Tour This Town – Stratford

Best known for its theatre and arts culture, Stratford is a tourist hotspot with some amazing shops and delicious eateries. First settled in 1832, Stratford really began booming in 1850 when the railroad came to town and the manufacturing district really took off.  This town is less than 30 minutes from my house so I tend to get there a little more than I care to admit after discovering some unique and inspiring stops.  With a population of just over 30,000 people, visiting Stratford means engaging and supporting hardworking small businesses and encouraging a prospering art community.

Whether you are heading to town for a Shakespearean play or to meet a friend for lunch, make sure you check out some of my recommended stops in this picturesque town:

 

Wills & Prior

Hands-down the most perfectly curated home shop I have ever been in. Owner Sarah has an amazing eye for mixing vintage pieces with modern accessories in a European-feeling design that will compliment any home or make for the perfect gift. Whether you are in the mood for a vintage accent chair, well-made Dash & Albert rug, complimenting basket or beautiful local-made art goods, Wills & Prior should be first on your shopping list. Pop back often as new items are constantly being added and seasonal arrangements and displays will be sure to inspire your home.

 

Got it Made

I only discovered this shop the last time I was in town and I cannot believe the creativity and craftsmanship that gets poured into each piece found here. A wonderful and unique collection of over 60 local artisan goods can be found displayed and prepared for your home or next gift.

 

Bradshaw’s

Family owned and operated since 1895, this is the ultimate stop for all things functional and beautiful for your hard working kitchen and home. Enjoy browsing a wide range of kitchen tools, beautiful linens and don’t forget to pick up your next bridal registry gift while you’re there.

 

Stratford Antique Warehouse

The multi-vendor warehouse Stratford Antiques, is home to an afternoon of exploring and treasure hunting. Take your time as you look booth by booth at some one-of-a-kind items from days gone by.  Pick up a solid wood chair, a vintage serving dish or some framed prints to compliment and add history to your space.

 

EATERIES

I’ve compiled a large list of eateries for you to explore.  You’ll probably have to return a few times to hit every stop on this list (and I’ve probably missed some amazing ones as well):

(In order from top to bottom, left to right)
Sirkel Foods – homemade food in a cafe atmosphere, join for breakfast or lunch
The Red Rabbit – fresh take on fine dining, menu inspired by local ingredients and artisan producers
The Common – eclectic mix of food from around the world, theatrical beautiful interior
Keystone Alley – casual fine dining with an amazing patio for warmer months
Jenn & Larry’s Brittle’n Shakes & Ice Cream  – year-round offering of traditional cold treats and homemade brittle
Edison’s Cafe Bar & Inn – fresh, mostly organic and simple cafe fair.  Be sure to check out their gorgeous inn as well
The Pulp – high quality juices, smoothies and vegetarian food options
York Street Kitchen – the perfect spot for a casual lunch before a show or while shopping about
Soup Surreal – a hidden hole in the wall with the best soup ever (great take home options too)
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photo credit – OpenTable 
Revival House – Ok so I’m dying to get to this old church turned restaurant/event space, and I can’t review it because I haven’t been there.  This multifunctional space is both restaurant/lounge and can also be rented out as an event space for weddings, parties or functions.  Call ahead if you’re heading to the restaurant because sometimes the place gets rented out.  If you have been – send me a message and let me know what you thought!

 

Whether you are in town for a theatrical show, meeting up with a friend or looking for that perfect gift, be sure to check out the amazing shops and eateries Stratford has to offer.  Did I miss one of your favourite stops in Stratford?  Message me and let me know.

Tour This Town – Conestogo, ON

Just a short five minute drive northeast of Waterloo lies the small community of Conestogo, ON. Once a thriving mill community, this small town now is home to a few great shops (especially for the vintage enthusiast) and some quiet subdivisions. Conestogo is a wonderful stop on your way through to the neighbouring towns of Elora, Guelph or Elmira.

 

You should first stop at Rumbletum Café & Gifts for some delicious breakfast, lunch or just a morning coffee. Be sure to look around at their lovely gift shop while you’re there, and make your way upstairs for more vintage finds, décor pieces and adorable clothing for the wee ones.

 

Next you’ll want to walk a few minutes down the road to Pepper Pot Place Vintage Store for a sneak at the wonderful displays of quality furnishings and vintage treasures. From lamps and crystal glasses to globes, picture frames and hutches, you’ll be sure to find something with a mysterious history for your collection or display.

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Another interesting shop you’ll want to explore (but unfortunately wasn’t open while I went through town) was Auburn Vintage Clothiers. A sneak peek in the windows revealed some unique looking clothing and accessories perfect for that special occasion or collection.

 

As you head on your way to your next destination, be sure to stop at Sittlers Home Baking for some goodies to go. Fresh baked breads, buns, cookies, loafs, preserves and granolas abundantly fill shelves of a small tucked away building just off the main street. Only open Wednesday-Saturday, be sure to go early for the best selection and freshest options! I highly recommend their short johns for just the perfect bite of sweet dough and cream!

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Finally if you continue about 5 minutes northeast outward from Conestogo, you’ll end up at the intersection of Northfield Drive East and Line 86. A large orange barn off to your left should catch your attention and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a large selection of antique furnishings at the Country Antique Store.  With everything priced very reasonably, I would think you’ll have a hard time leaving this stop without stuffing something into your trunk or backseat.

 

Let me know if you make your way to Conestogo and tell me all about some of the wonderful treasures and goodies you were able to find!