When a bed and breakfast has its Instagram hashtags posted prominently in the dining room, you know it’s not a fussy, old-fashioned B&B.
The young owners of the Iron Kettle B&B, Benjamin Leblanc-Beaudoin and Ginette Tremblay, spent their wedding night at this southwestern Ontario inn. Not long afterwards, they returned and bought the property, which they now run as a six-room, social-media-friendly bed and breakfast.
Here’s the scoop:
Located in the tiny town of Comber, Ontario, 30 miles east of Detroit, the Iron Kettle B&B is set in an 1870s brick Victorian manor with an expansive lawn and garden.
The guest rooms retain carved moldings, original wood doors and floors, exposed brick, and other traditional features. But this isn’t a fusty Victorian lodging.
The owners have created an environment that’s more like an intimate boutique hotel, with contemporary furnishings, modern private bathrooms, fast Wi-Fi, and plenty of space to hang out, in the living room’s deep leather chairs, beneath the bay windows in the reading room, or outside on the terrace.
Ben is a professional chef (he competed on the Food Network’s program, “Chopped Canada”), and breakfast, served in the sunny window-lined dining room or out in the garden, is a highlight.
He bakes fresh scones, croissants, and other pastries that he pairs with homemade jam. You might start with fresh berries or other seasonal fruit, and a deliciously creamy yogurt that he sources from Quebec. He’ll make you a hot dish, too; during my stay, it was a quiche with sweet potatoes and ham.
If you’re wondering why you should stay in Comber, Ontario — beyond cocooning at this lovely inn — there’s plenty to do nearby.
This corner of southwestern Ontario is a rapidly growing wine-producing area, so you can tour and taste nearly 20 wineries. Schedule lunch amidst the vines at a winery restaurant, perhaps the peaceful Wine Garden at Oxley Estate Winery or the restaurant at Viewpointe Estate Winery, which is known for its pizzas and fresh perch. Windsor Eats’ Wine Trail Rides, guided winery-to-winery bicycle tours that run from May through October, are another fun way to do your sampling.
The Iron Kettle is also a short drive from Canada’s southernmost mainland point, a region protected in the Point Pelee National Park. Head to this Lake Erie park for hiking, canoeing, birding, and southernmost Canadian bragging rights.
Or have a look at my guide to the province, Moon Ontario.
Oh, and when you’re back at the Iron Kettle B&B, be sure to Instagram your visit. At this social-media-friendly boutique inn, you don’t have to hunt for the hashtags.