Ten years after its revolutionary launch in downtown Toronto, the Drake Hotel brand is celebrating with the addition of a rural country inn, bar and restaurant in the historic town of Wellington in Prince Edward County—an area renowned for its artisanal foods, new wines, beautiful freshwater beaches and seasonal activities. Soft launched in September 2014, the Drake Devonshire will officially celebrate its grand opening May 2015.
Drake hotelier and visionary Jeff Stober brings back the original Drake designer John Tong and his design studio, +tongtong, to help him and the Drake team reinvent a circa 1800 foundry as an 11-room and two-suite inn. The relaxed, lakefront inn is tucked just off Wellington’s main street, nestled in a treed property with a private waterfront and a meandering creek.
The historic building and its new additions take their aesthetic cues from Ontario’s vernacular architecture, celebrating its pitched roofs, covered porches, brick chimneys, multi-purpose barns, ad-hoc renovations, off-the-shelf building materials and mismatched furnishings. Though it was inspired by the qualities of a simpler time, this inn has a contemporary view of the world. As such, its features are blended with contemporary art installations by emerging and well-known art stars, and plenty of doses of the Drake’s idiosyncratic and mischievous personality.
Guests are encouraged to escape to an all seasons retreat for a weekend; gather with friends, family or colleagues for a special getaway or celebration; or simply drop in for a meal or a drink. The Inn offers a variety of entertaining spaces including a full-service restaurant in a Douglas-fir lined dining hall complete with an oversized, double-sided fireplace, a screened-in, Adirondack style porch pavilion, a Philip Johnson inspired glass ‘box’, an old fashioned living room and a covered bar and outdoor deck with bleachers cascading down to the lake.
The rooms are decked out with a unique combination of vintage furniture finds and +tongtong’s own custom-designed pieces, including tongue and groove bed frames, drawerless desks and oversized armoires. Ireverent paintings by Toronto studio, Team Macho, hang alongside historic paintings in gilded frames. Cozy wool blankets and rag dolls made by Canadian artisanal workshops add a homey feeling and a smile.
The “Owner’s Suite” is the ultimate escape, feeling like its own A frame cabin with Douglas fir, cathedral ceilings, a bedside fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and generous, private balcony stretching out to the lake.