Harry Hyde, yes, he does have an amusing name, was my grandfather. Family legend states Harry worked as a chauffeur for a period time at a very prestigious home in the village of Blair. The house was located at the top of a hill, had a very long driveway meandering through forest up towards a circular drive going beneath 4 massive pillars. It was owned then by the Eugene Langdon Wilks and his wife Marguerite Briquet, and their three daughters Catherine Claude, Anne Marguerite and Marion Lucille Langdon.
If you live in the Cambridge area and haven’t guessed by now, that house is now known as Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa. No longer a private residence, Langdon Hall is known for being a top notch example of luxury not only in the region but in the world. From their website:
The Lasting Luxury
Experience Relais and Châteaux luxury and elegance in the Ontario Hotel & Spa of your dreams. Offering 60 luxurious guest suites, a full-service spa, outdoor swimming pool, a 5-diamond award-winning restaurant with elegant reception rooms. Langdon Hall is a place where time seems to stand still.
Ever since getting my driver’s license, I have periodically headed up the long lane leading towards Langdon Hall to think and reminisce. Driving slowly, I try to soak up the sheer size and magnitude of the building. I questioned how my grandfather felt making the route regularly to bring the family wherever they desired to go. My heart filling with joy and excitement no matter the season at the wonder of it all. Always magical in the winter time as the light from the windows would glisten on the snow and even better in the fall when the trees were a riot of colour.
No matter how many times I would make the drive up to Langdon Hall, I never dared to stop the car or to get out and go inside until this past weekend.
In honour of one of wedding anniversary, my husband booked us a reservation for breakfast in the dining room at Langdon Hall. Before you ask, yes the general public can eat at Langdon Hall with a reservation and yes, can you can book the reservation online.
We arrived a little early and checked in with the front desk to see if we could walk around the grounds. The door heading inside was massive. A stately home deserves a stately door and this did not disappoint. What was a pleasant surprise was what greeted us when we entered the building – a warm and cozy lobby with fireplace just inviting you to sit down and stay awhile.
We were made to feel incredibly welcome by the front desk staff who answered our questions and directed us where we would need to go for breakfast and even welcomed us to wander the grounds. This was only the beginning of the fabulous service we received and the warmth from all of the staff we talked to, wait staff to the chauffeur, was outstanding.
Having followed the Langdon Hall twitter account (@langdon_hall) and the instagram account (@langdonhall) for years , I was very interested in exploring the kitchen gardens. I have been fascinated to learn that the gardens supplied mostly all of the food served in the dining areas and that the menu varies based on what is available to harvest. We saw herbs and brussel sprouts still growing. Since it was late in the season, many gardens were already mulched for the winter. Even still, it was very impressive to see the greenhouse was still in full swing. It was obvious the gardens held a sense of pride for the hotel.
No matter where we explored, the views were incredible. Wonderful unique spaces and gardens throughout the property just asking for you to turn the next corner and see somewhere new.
Heading into breakfast, the staff happily took our coats and guided us to the dining room. Service was fast and friendly and we were pampered. They waitstaff even surpressed their giggle when my husband accidentally put salt in his coffee instead of sugar.
If you are visiting Langdon Hall for breakfast, I highly recommend the “Country Breakfast Table”. Fresh pastries, fruit, yogurts, quiche and jams, along with some hot food options (french toast, sausage and eggs this past weekend) are all available to delight your taste
buds. We enjoyed everything about our meal. Even the coffee tasted special, and I don’t just mean the added salt content.
All in all, it was a wonderful visit to Langdon Hall and I am so glad that we have somewhere so momentous right in our back yard to help us celebrate special occasions. I’m also glad that I have finally stopped the car and gotten a chance to explore somewhere that has been woven into my family history.