Finding the Warmth in Winter – Covid Edition

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A few years ago, I had the chance to be away from Canada for an entire winter. The idea of it made me slightly sad. Even though I was leaving Canada to go to a warmer place, I felt as though I would be missing out on the special warmth of winter, and that somehow the withdrawal would disrupt my usual rhythm…

I know that sounds a little over the top, but it’s true. This year though, everything is different and it is particularly important to stay safe and follow Health Unit Guidelines, so we must find creative ways to connect even if only virtually and stay warm  –  at home or in a cozy spot in Hastings County.

I love the winter because there are so many creative ways to appreciate the warmth and share warmth with my family and friends. It’s wonderful to create memories while also reliving old ones. As I think about the memories I made over the summer, even with a pandemic going on, I have come up with many ways to create wonderful, safe winter experiences and memories.

Places to share a cup of tea and more

There may not be many opportunities to people watch outside your window but will have opportunities to squirrel watch. Delight in watching squirrels fearlessly wander through a snowy labyrinth of trees. As you indulge your conversation, treats, and warm drinks you’ll also enjoy the snowy view of trees outside your window and the gentle quiet that winter can bring.

The O’Connor House English Tea Room

This lovely tearoom is just the place to go when you’re looking to stay indoors and enjoy a lunch or an afternoon tea. They have a wonderful selection of delectable meals and sweets to experience in their Victorian dining room – homemade soups and breads, delightful desserts and the finest Devonshire scones in the area.

place setting at the tea room
Photo Source: Facebook page

Memories Bakery and Tea Room

The name just draws you in. There are so many sweet little teacups to choose from in this family-owned café. I was happy as a clam when I was asked choose my own cup to drink from, during my visit pre-covid. If you want to get your hands on their delightful baking, but you missed their first Xmas Mini market, you still have the chance do so on the next 2 weekends from 10am2pm with 4 new inside vendors each week. 

Staying cozy at home

When the weather outside is frightful, the idea of hibernating sounds oh so delightful! At least in my mind. I figure, I’m a mammal so why not? Although that option isn’t realistic, I try to enjoy the great indoors at home during these cold winter months. I love looking outside the window as the world becomes an enchanting snow globe. There’s nothing like bringing in some added warmth when there are hot drinks and treats to share.

Ivanhoe Cheese

Cheese plates can be sumptuous items to share and they can help fuel a conversation. The cheeses featured in this photo are just a small preview of the wide selection that’s inside the store.

The Apple Store – Cooney Farms

There’s nothing like a delicious and sweet apple to accompany a sharp cheddar on your cheese plate. If pairing cheddar with apple is not your preference, then an apple crisp or a cup of warm apple cider may be just the warmth you’re looking for. This store will also amaze you with their atmosphere and amazing variety of gifts for everyone in the family.

Ontario Water Buffalo Company

So you may not be shopping for water buffalo per se. But have you tried their buffalo mozzarella? It’s fabulous way to add even more adventure on your cheese plate! If you’re feeling even more adventurous then their cured meat selections are also an option. After you’re done shopping for your cheeses and other lovely products, you can also visit the friendly buffalos themselves!

And last but not least, if you want to be #wildlyauthentic while you stay warm, here is the link to the new Hastings County online store – I love their branded mugs!

The winter months may be long, but they don’t always have to be cold. Shop local and create warmth to share with your family and friends.



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