Back out in the garden Steve told me the interesting story of the fountain that had been buried in the ground for many years. It was only when a grandchild of the original owner mentioned that there used to be a fountain at a particular spot in the garden that a search was started. It ended up being discovered and put on display again in its original location.
The re-discovered fountain is back where it should be
My room was going to be in the Manor House which houses 10 spacious guest rooms. I was looking forward to relaxing in Room 153, with its luxurious King-size bed, its Internet-equipped work area and flat screen television, the marble-tiled bathroom and private access to the terrace. With my packed schedule there was not going to be much relaxing, but I knew I was going to have a good night’s rest in the huge comfortable bed.
Beautiful hollyhocks adorn the Manor House
Back outside we walked past a stone building that houses the Conference Centre. The Millcroft Inn is not only a popular destination for weddings and private parties, but also for corporate meetings. Then we strolled across the bridge over Shaw’s Creek which provides a great view of the waterfall. On the other side is a forested area with some ruined former storage buildings that make for a scenic backdrop. A clearing inside the forest is used as an outdoor chapel for wedding ceremonies. Stones from the Niagara Escarpment highlight the rugged nature of this space and lots of walking trails criss-cross the property of the Millcroft Inn.
A look at the Main Mill with the waterfall
Steps further north are the “Crofts”, a collection of town homes that offer self-contained, two-storey chalet-style accommodation. The upper level has a separate Queen bedroom while the main floor has a large sitting area next to a wood-burning fireplace and a ground-level walkout patio. Six of the town homes also feature a private outdoor two-person hot tub.
The living room in one of the Croft buildings
After visiting the recreation room with its billiards, shuffleboard, movies, DVD and CD player and various table games, we headed into the 9000 square foot spa. 17 treatment areas, a café, an indoor whirlpool and an infrared sauna welcome and pamper the guests. The fully licensed Spa Café serves a selection of healthy choices. Just outside the spa is an attractive terrace with a healing garden and an outdoor treatment area. In my mind I was picturing what it would feel like to get an open-air massage in this serene environment…
Guests get to relax by the swimming pool
Having visited the main buildings on the property I headed back to the Main Mill where Steve introduced me to Roberto Fracchioni, the award-winning executive chef of the Millcroft Inn. A tall and lanky young man with a perennial smile on his face, Roberto is a real character and passionate about the food that he and his team create. He has been the executive chef at the Millcroft Inn for five and a half years now and his menu changes with the seasons, depending on what fresh fare may be available.
Chef Roberto Fracchioni with his huge vat of soup stock