Although technically summer doesn’t begin for another couple of weeks, I think we can all agree that the May long weekend serves as its unofficial launch. Summertime is practically synonymous with patio season, and I’ve often wondered about the obsession with dining al fresco.
Most of us can relate to the yearning to lounge outside, protected from the blazing sun by a bright patio umbrella, a similarly colourful miniature parasol perched on the edge of a vibrant cocktail.
So, whether you’re looking to grab a drink or a bite to eat, patio seekers — I salute you. Here is a quick list of recommendations — not exclusive and in no particular order — for outdoor dining and drinking.
Patios in the Bay of Quinte
Signal Brewing Company
This patio, which hugs the Moira River, provides a rustic escape from the city. Treat yourself to a flight of craft beer from this brewery housed in the historic Corby distillery just north of Belleville.
PS: If you’re curious about other craft breweries in the region, you can check them all out here.
Since its grand opening in January 2017, Shorelines has become an entertainment hub in Belleville. The patio here boasts an indoor/outdoor stage so you can catch a performance after some time on the slots.
The Pier Patio & BBQ
You don’t need to be a seafaring traveler to dock yourself at this patio and watch the boats glide in. With live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights plus daily specials, it’s hard to go wrong. The hardest decision is whether to go on Margarita Monday, Sangria Saturday or Caesar Sunday.
Well it’s not a bar, and it’s not a restaurant. But, this patio is unique to the others on this list: it’s concealed by a men’s clothing store! Browse the racks and then pop outside for a libation.
I don’t even golf, but I would pull on some argyle knee-high socks, a sweater vest and a flat cap for an excuse to grab a drink on this patio. Fortunately, you can settle in on this patio without dressing in 1900s golf attire or playing a round.
As you can probably tell by this point, there’s no shortage of waterfront patios in the Bay of Quinte! This downtown spot is a great choice if you’re in the market for high-quality takes on pub classics (and live music on Saturdays).
Huff Estates Winery
Close your eyes and use your imagination for a second. Envision a sleek, modern patio punctuated by a bright yellow awning underneath which you’re cradling a glass of pinot gris. There are endless rows of grapes that appear to extend to the horizon, growing just a few feet away from where you’re sitting. Now open your eyes and make this dream a reality by starting the beautiful country drive to Huff Estates.
Where is your favourite patio in the BoQ? Yes, your backyard counts 😉 Let us know where you like to dine outdoors during the summer months in the comments or on social media using the hashtags #bayofquinte and #BOQpatios.