Magical Lights and Sounds
Fort Henry is a World Heritage site where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. We have enjoyed visiting it a few times since my son started going to school in Kingston last year and if you’d like to see more, you can find a few more details about those visits here.
Lumina Borealis is the current exhibit and it is wonderful. Set outside in a winter wonderland we were dazzled by the beautiful and mesmerizing lighting displays. Music and animations add to the magical effect of this mystic and playful display. Running around the walls and inside the parade ground of the fort, we appreciated the variety of scenes that were set up – including stories and paths that lead you through the displays.
The colours were beautiful and I really enjoyed the fire pits scattered throughout. We were there on one of the coldest days of the season and were able to grab a bit of warmth here and there – it was so cold my phone died!
The parade grounds inside the fort proper had interactive videos on the walls – if you throw a golden ball against the video it makes things happen. I won’t ruin it by saying too much but it was very fun and also helped keep you warm.
Pop Up Oyster Bar
While at the fort you can enjoy dining at one of their restaurants run by Jessup Food and Heritage Ltd. (This company also runs Sir John’s Public House in town – one of our favourite Kingston restaurants.) Keep an eye on their seasonal offerings at the Fort Henry Restaurants Facebook page here.
We’ve enjoyed meals at The Battery Bistro in the past and this time we had an extra special treat – the Pop Up Oyster Bar. It was there until the end of December and I have to tell you about this place. My husband, son and I were first timers with oysters and the staff was very patient and helpful. Here is owner Paul Fortier sharing a little info about shucking – and I had just asked him if he’d ever found a pearl…
I had no idea what the process was to have oysters and I had psyched myself up for this experience but I’m happy to report they were delicious and I’m so glad we had a chance to try them! We had Malpeque and Beausoleil Oysters – from PEI and New Brunswick with fresh grated horse radish, lemon and in house made Mignonette sauce.
We also tried some other dishes on the menu including a garlic cheese baguette, their fish plate battered with breading instead of the usual batter, and deep fried dill pickles. Finally we warmed up with Hot Rum Toddy’s and a Rum Hot Chocolate before heading out to walk around the fort.
Be sure to check out one of the many Jessup Restaurants in the fort or around town next time you are in Kingston.
Green Acres Inn
Once again we spent a night in the sweetest Inn in Kingston – the Green Acres Inn. The staff is so friendly and welcoming at this place. Staying at this place is like spending the night at your aunt’s house – it is homey, has everything you need, and is comfy. Plus they have an amazing fresh made breakfast you can have in your room the next morning. I love it. Very affordable and you can bring your dogs!
As a special treat we were upgraded to their fireplace suite with a bedroom, a sitting room with a kitchenette and a giant bathroom. (The tv is above the fireplace – you can see if from the tub or the shower!)
It was very cozy place to be on that cold Kingston winter night. In this suite we found a huge corner jacuzzi tub, a double shower with four shower heads – on two sides, heat lamps, a tv and of course the fireplace. Simply WONDERFUL. Plus, there were all the extra little goodies in their hospitality packs including a sewing kit.
This was our breakfast in the morning – feel free to drool:
On our way to dinner we passed the free public skating rink in the Springer Market Square. It is an annual tradition for this rink to appear and seems to be well attended at all hours of the day and night when I have been around it. For more information check here.
We topped off a wonderful day with dinner at the Chien Noir with their French bistro classics and comfort food. It is an interesting combination that they pull off so well. The same group operates Dianne’s Fish Bar, Harper’s Burger Bar and newest to the lineup Atomica Pizza and Wine Bar.
Le Chien Noir has an amazing array of drinks and appetizer choices including several sharing plates. The next time we go I want to order their Roasted Stuffed Portobellos or their Le Club, (with grilled marinated chicken breast, local bacon, brie, avocado,
roasted tomato, lemon-tarragon aioli, multigrain,). I drool now thinking back to the wonderful smells wafting around us.
We were all craving some of their delicious choice beef cuts and decided to skip straight to the main course. The 10oz NY prime strip was served with sautéed forest mushrooms, chermoula butter, frites, and roasted garlic aioli. It was wonderful even though my pictures don’t really do it justice. Dessert was comfort food lemon tart and creme brulee.
We packed up the boy and headed home after our mini-vacation. It is so much nicer to spend a day or two enjoying Kingston rather than grabbing him and leaving right away. It’s only a couple of hours to Kingston from where we live and we find new things to do every time we visit. There is so much to do there and discover plus it is truly a town that takes advantage of all the seasons.
Thanks to the Kingston Accomodation Partners for arranging our stay. We really appreciate the hospitality and have provided honest opinions about our experiences.