Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, and I’ll be doing a little series here on Diary of a Toronto Girl in celebration of all things Canadian!
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous South Pond Farms property, and it was an absolute dream. I’d never been on a farm and I’d never been in the Kawartha Lakes area, so I was extremely excited! Danielle French is the mastermind and owner behind South Pond Farms, and she gave us a tour around her stunning property.
These photos don’t even begin to give any justice to how beautiful South Pond Farms is – you need to go see it for yourself.
I wore this backless maxi dress I received courtesy of SheIn with a pair of nude wedges from Michael Kors (similar here). I loved the way the dress looked with my tattoos! I was seriously worried I’d be overdressed and I even considered changing outfits at the last minute, but I’m really glad I didn’t because it looked awesome in photos. It does look very weddingy or prommy, so it’s definitely more of a special event type of summer dress.
The setup of everything was just so on point. Everything from the pretty little flowers to the wooden furniture to the mismatched plates gave off very rustic, homey vibes.
I’d never taken any serious thought into where I would want my future wedding to be (okay, maybe I googled “Toronto wedding venues” once or twice), but after seeing the beauty 0f this place, I am 99.99% sure I want a farm wedding. In fact, my entire wedding board on Pinterest would suit a farm wedding… So it was basically fate that brought me to South Pond Farms.
We had canapés in the garden, featuring Stinging Nettle Chèvre Truffle, BBQ shades of Gray Rabbit Rilette, and the Wild Leek Pide. I’d never had rabbit before this, and I was a bit hesitant to try it, but I ended up really enjoying it. It tasted just like chicken! (The same thing I said about the deep fried frog legs I tried at a buffet in Ottawa 9 years ago.) But seriously, it was good.
The signature cocktail for our day outing was the Hotter than Hades Strawberry Mojito, and while it was a bit strong for me, it was sweet and tasty.
After our canapés, we explored the property a bit before heading back into the barn for lunch. Our first course was a salad made with Lunar Rhythms baby lettuce, Heirloom carrot, Carlyle’s honey, pumpkin vinaigrette, and herbs from the farm. One of the great things about the food at South Pond Farms is that more than half of it is locally-sourced or grown! Also, Chef Kevin McKenna doesn’t really use dairy in his products unless it’s absolutely necessary – perfect for my lactose-intolerant friends.
We got some bread with dip, and I don’t know what the dip was, but it was amazing. Next we had the Maple Smoked Beef Brisket with Silo BBQ Sauce, Jessica’s Asparagus (not mine if that’s what you’re thinking), Wild Rice “Risotto” Vegan Parm, and Cold-Pressed Canola Oil Hempseed Rocket & Maple Champagne. The brisket was so unbelievably tender!
For dessert, we had Rhubarb Strawberry Shortcake with Sumac Chantilly and Garden Peppermint Sugar. The cakes looked way too pretty to eat, but I ravaged my plate within minutes of taking this photo. It was my first time trying rhubarb, and it was yummy!
I wanted to take this mirror home with me. The barn interior is just so goals! Excuse the bad quality iPhone photos – I only had my 50mm lens with me and couldn’t take any wide shots.
We also had the chance to preview the Ironhorse Ranch, which hasn’t opened as a venue yet. It’s an absolutely gorgeous space! The lake pictured below was actually placed there by the talented owner, Shawn Sutcliffe, who also restored the South Pond Farms barn to the beauty it is now.
Thank you so much to Danielle, Christine, and the whole South Pond Farms team for being such lovely and welcoming hosts. I hope to return again soon!
For more information on South Pond Farms, visit their website.
Photos featuring myself by Nadine J.