Today was a balmy summer day of incomparable lethargy! Getting out of the apartment was no challenge in spite of the soaring temperature or the pandemic. What however presented a moderate trial was achieving a degree of novelty. Fortunately for me I long ago adopted a preference for what some would look down their noses and call the lesser scope of habit and repetition. Nonetheless I flatter myself to presume that whatever I do – whether habitual or repeated – has at least an element of artistry or discovery depending upon the nature of the undertaking. A mere drive in the car for example affords me the dual ingredients of artistry (the bucolic country landscape) and discovery (insinuating the nearby cafés and restaurants). When wintering on Hilton Head Island or in Florida it was nothing for me to recollect wistfully the pleasure of a summer’s drive among the hamlets and villages which dot the landscape of surrounding Lanark, Renfrew and Leeds Grenville Counties. Our repeated sojourns to Burnstown, Calabogie and Ivy Lea Club on the St. Lawrence Seaway have inured us to the tranquillity and surprisingly agreeable resorts within a short distance of home – where “rural and urban lifestyles co-mingle in diverse and historic communities“.
Shamefully I confess anincreasing acquaintance with bakeries in the area. In Almonte we have the superb choice of Baker Bob’s for Nanaimo bars and Equator Coffee Shop for a variety of refined pastries; Carleton Place has Beckwith Bakery for tea biscuits and butter tarts – plain, pecan or raisins; Burnstown has Neat Café for date squares and peanut butter squares and Laurent’s Ice Cream Parlour for designer coffee, homemade ice cream and macaroons all served with uncommon dignity and attention.
I relish having the opportunity to brighten the view of our particular corner of Eastern Ontario. Every time I aimlessly motor about the local landscape I find myself contemplating the anticipated allure, growth and expansion of these once hidden gems of our immediate society. A prime example of this unparalleled attraction is the Mississippi Golf Club in the Village of Appleton where we make a custom of having breakfast or lunch often with close friends and acquaintances.
“Eastern Ontario (census population 1,763,186 in 2016) (French: Est de l’Ontario) is a secondary region of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario which lies in a wedge-shaped area between the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River. It shares water boundaries with Quebec to the north and New York State to the east and south, as well as a small land boundary with the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region of Quebec to the east.
It includes the cities of Ottawa and Kingston, and the census divisions of the following: the counties of Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Lanark, Renfrew, Leeds and Grenville, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington.”
For a more retail adventure there is the Canadian Co-Operative Wool Growers Limited in Carleton Place for Viyella shirts and white Merino socks; or Grace in the Kitchen in nearby Bells Corners for Maldon salt, high-end utensils, extraordinary coffee and mouthwatering sandwiches.
The underlying fabric of these outings is invariably the wheels upon which we divert ourselves. Frankly I am uncertain how captivated I might be by remote sweets if it were not for the pleasure of driving there. My late father was similarly notorious for rambling about the continent in his automobile of choice. I fully understand the magnetism of the drive.