July 2005 Edition
The Flavour of Canada
A Trio of Wine-Country Inns Offering Individual Service and Distinctive Settings

 

With three locations in the Niagara region of Ontario, each with a distinctly different personality, Vintage Inns’ menus embrace a range of food styles and surroundings that vary from high tea in an English drawing room to summer patio barbecues.

 

Queen’s Landing Inn and Conference Resort; The Pillar and Post Inn, Spa and Conference Centre; and The Prince of Wales Hotel and Spa offer highly individual dining environments. At Queen’s Landing’s Tiara, the ambience evokes the elegant Georgian era. Escabèche at the Prince of Wales Hotel & Spa offers an upscale bistro feeling, while the Pillar and Post Inn’s Cannery and Carriages dining room has a rustic country setting.

 

Vintage Inns’ clientele enjoy menus that are constantly evolving to take advantage of the freshest local ingredients, as well as classic components from international fare. The results are a thoroughly modern gastronomic experience, steeped in time-honoured culinary traditions.

 

The inns’ three kitchens furnish the three dining rooms, three lounges, and patios, as well as 377 hotel rooms and 35,000 square feet of meeting rooms and banquet space.

 

“We do many conferences as well as weddings, social functions and off-site catering events such as wineries,” says Vintage Inns’ Director of Marketing, Colin Sines.

 

The philosophy of service at Vintage Inns is to provide individual attention to each guest. The Inns also take full advantage of their location in the heart of one of Canada’s most renowned wine regions by matching wines to their menus.

 

At Queen’s Landing, Executive Chef Stephen Treadwell marries local produce with international favourites to create seasonal menus designed to bring out the natural attributes of fresh foods through simple preparation. This approach has brought original interpretations of classic cuisine to the elegant ambience of Tiara, as well as the more casual lounge and patio.

 

English-born Treadwell’s European training is evident in his approach. He came to Canada in 1982, and took charge of the Queen’s Landing kitchen in 1995. Since that time, he has cultivated strong relationships with local growers.

 

At Pillar and Post, Executive Chef Randy Dupuis’s passion for the local produce comes naturally, since he, too, is local. Dupuis was born, raised and trained in Niagara. He’s been executive chef at the Pillar and Post since 2004.

 

Like many fine homes, the Pillar and Post’s Cannery and Carriages dining room has a hearth at its centre. Whether it’s being used to bake pizza, or as the centrepiece of an omelette bar or waffle bar, the hearth is always abuzz. In the Cannery and Carriages’ casual, welcoming atmosphere, guests relaxing in jeans mingle with collar-and-tie diners in a convivial ambience.

 

At Escabèche in the Prince of Wales Hotel and Spa, Executive Chef Andrew Dymond puts the emphasis on fresh, locally produced foods paired with the finest imports from around the globe. Less formal diners can enjoy the rewards of Dymond’s fresh approach and unique execution in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Churchill Room.

 

Dymond was raised in Niagara, which may account for his vast knowledge of the bounty from local farms. However, the Welsh-born chef was trained in Europe and began his career in England before coming back to Canada in 1998. He has run the Prince of Wales kitchen since 2004.  

 

“Food is a major revenue generator for Vintage Inns,” Sines says. “It plays a significant role in our guests having an individual experience.”

 

Bringing more individuals to Queen’s Landing, The Prince of Wales, and The Pillar and Post is the next goal for this trio of wine country retreats. To accomplish that, Vintage Inns has recently adopted a new marketing strategy that will focus on re-positioning the three Niagara properties, Sines says.

 

The program will raise the profile of the Inns among potential clientele in the Greater Toronto Area as well as in New York State. In addition to a new Web site equipped with new customer service tools, Vintage Inns is pursuing an aggressive marketing plan and media program designed to deliver a consistent message with high visibility.