The Drake Devonshire Inn was the final stop on our tour of Prince Edward County with the Drake Hotel. This beautiful heritage property was built in 1860, where it originally operated as the Wellington Iron Foundry. Since then, the property has had many owners and uses ranging from a nursing home, retirement residence, and lodge, until the Drake Hotel purchased the land in 2012. After an intense restoration process and range of additions, the Inn reopened for business in 2015.
My first impression of the Drake Devonshire was one of serene awe. There is an incredible amount of detail throughout the property represented with each piece of art and choice of fixture - all a result of a careful thought process to vividly tell the story of the Drake Devonshire. Luckily, our itinerary for the afternoon included an art walk throughout the hotel grounds, hosted by the Drake Hotel's resident curator and cultural programmer, Mia Nielsen. The venue’s seasonal art exhibitions are held outdoors, or en plein air, with the artists taking advantage of the natural landscape and unique architecture to create their work in-situ. My favourite piece was New Shade, a work comprised of massive glass lettering suspended above a natural stream by artists Trevor Wheatley and Cosmo Dean, but I honestly loved everything. We were also treated to a visit from Team Macho, a Toronto-based art collective who, among other talents, turn flea market finds into brand new works of art. Mia did a fantastic job at explaining the story behind each art installation currently featured at the Devonshire.
We had enough free time before and after our art walk to enjoy some of the hotel's amenities, particularly the restaurant and outdoor patio. The food at the Drake Devonshire is excellent, and the atmosphere is cozy and cottage-like; we shared chicken karaage and all-dressed potato wedges, as well as the Drake Hotel’s signature cocktails. You can bring your drinks outdoors to the wooden bleachers, where yoga mats are placed for guests to sprawl out and relax in front of the pebbly beach and calm, blue lake. I could have spent hours nursing my drink in the warm Prince Edward County sun.
The Drake Hotel’s Art-Filled Devonshire Day Trip was by far one of my favourite adventures of the summer. Not only was it an awesome way to spend time outside of the city, but the entire event was thoughtfully articulated and perfectly executed. From the comfy coach bus and healthy lunch provided by PicnicPEC, to the complimentary art print by artist Micah Lexiar and excellent hosts at Kinsip and Loch Sloy, the Drake Hotel made sure their guests were well taken care of, proving once again that they are the forerunners in the Canadian hospitality industry.