In the early Spring, Audi approached me to see if I’d like to test out the new Audi Q5 on a road trip. As a woman who loves a powerful ride, I said yes without hesitation. The next step was figuring out where I’d go in this fancy automotive vehicle; what would make the perfect pairing? Ah-ha! Langdon Hall. Have you been? I went with a girlfriend this past fall for a rejuvenating overnight stay and this time I would go with my boyfriend. (Ahem, rejuvenating in a different kind of way.) I was ecstatic.

Firstly, let me just say that Langdon Hall is the most romantic sojourn to be had within sixty minutes of downtown Toronto; it might even be the most romantic destination in all of Ontario. But it sure doesn’t look like anything else in Ontario. The colonial architecture of the original house (built in 1902) makes you feel like you are driving up to a Virgina Plantation, which makes sense since the original owners were wealthy Americans seeking a quiet summer retreat in British territory. Although Langdon Hall hardly resembles a “summer home” it is not extravagant or ostentatious, rather handsome luxury with absolute charm. But before I take you on a visual tour, let’s back up to the sexy ride. Vroom-vroom!

I am not a car reviewer, nor am I a car expert, but I have been driving for seventeen years and grew up in a car-obsessed family. My Dad used to race and has participated in about twenty international car rallies, including driving a 1938 Packard around the world in 80 days. I like to think I’ve inherited his agility on the road.

The Audi Q5 8-Speed Tiptronic Quattro is named appropriately. It sounds like it has power, and it does. You can feel it in your big toe. You don’t need to press hard to make this machine take off! The visibility makes you feel in charge on the 401 and we especially appreciated the iPod plug-in tucked away in the glove compartment. Gadgets galore: The dashboard had me feeling like Marty McFly in Back to The Future. I guess the future has arrived.

Not going to lie, when my boyfriend and I pulled up into the long Langdon Hall driveway and I passed the keys to the valet, I felt like I was not only testing out a car but a brand new life. Please come back! We were escorted to our elegant room and settled in quickly. (If I ever do a reno on my house, I want to duplicate the look and feel of a Langdon Hall suite, including the marble floored washroom with open concept shower.) With a view of the gardens that lead to the pool house, I took a deep breath, smiled and felt instantly relieved of any city stress. Some people save up to buy a cottage, I’d rather kick back at Langdon Hall a couple times each summer and never have to worry about the upkeep of recreational real estate. (Not like I’m in the market, but hey.)

The manicured gardens grow a variety of edible flowers and veggies that Grand Chef Jonathan Gushue and his team use on a nightly basis. It should be noted that Langdon Hall is THE ONLY destination in Ontario with the prestigious Five Diamond Award. And you don’t need to stay overnight to plan a visit; a once in a lifetime fine dining experience is but a short drive away!  Being the first official Friday this summer, we didn’t sit in the dining room but took a seat on the gorgeous patio for Langdon’s annual Canada Day BBQ. With white tents lining the emerald green lawns and trees sprinkled with white lights, the scene was breathtaking. And the food! Oh my friends, you have never BBQ’d like this before. We had to pace ourselves.

An altar laden with proscuitto & sopresatta, twenty or so platters of the most beautiful vegetable dishes you have ever seen including heirloom tomato salad, roasted asparagus and kale (from the garden!) Caesar salad. The BBQ tent offered up flank steak, grilled sausages, Perth County pork, albacore tuna and a dozen or so more savoury wonders. There was even a semi-secret trail that led to a smokey hut where juicy fried chicken was dished out with eggplant gratin. It was sensational.

This BBQ dream scene happens every Friday during summer. You must go! All of you must go! It’s $69 and you can spend all evening relaxing under the stars while you meander the culinary delights and take in some live music. I really can’t think of a better way to unwind from hectic city life while also feeding your senses with the most delicious array of local fresh food. Check out Jamie Drummond’s photo essay on Good Food Revolution and you’ll instantly know why I can’t stop raving.

Take your mom to the BBQ! Run away with your lover for a night of amazing food and passion! Pack your best friends into the backseat and hit the road!  This is a special place and if you do decide to book a room, you will not regret the splurge.