Ancaster Mill (Sunday Brunch)
We went to Ancaster Mills on two occasions already, but both times for a wedding and later in the day. With our parents living around the corner, a brunch visit was in the cards for quite a while.
First and foremost, people come because of the marvellously landscaped property situated at a site of a historical mill. Besides the changes in elevation and stone-adorned walkways throughout, a picturesque waterfall is a major landmark attracting attention. A slew of rustic buildings (some are more recent additions, styled as heritage) come together around the falling water to complete the picture.
Ancaster Mills is worth a visit at night too - there was a lot of effort put into the landscape lighting. The appearance is quaint and serene both in white snow winter and lush green summer. Take a walk around after your meal, it will likely benefit both your body and soul.
There are 3 lots, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t find a parking spot at first. The elegant geometric circular logo can be spotted multiple times around the property - carved out of stone, wood, on carpets and so on. We realized that the same identity was used at the Elora and Old Mill - turns out they share the owner.
Despite a fairly steep price, Sunday brunch was almost sold out. We got to explore the whole multilevel property this time around as different food stations were scattered across the many rooms. Although it may seem a bit disorganized the staff truly made the experience appear seamless.
We were seated at a table right by the fall, lucky us. There were elderly couples, families, groups of ladies...a mixed bag basically. From tables for 2 to tables for 12, the demographic here was broad.
Our waiter, Steve, was polite and to the point. We started off with a coffee and also got teas and juices later in the experience. As for the food itself, the choices were abundant and somewhat traditional with focus on lunch items.
There was seafood, cold cuts, fruits and pastries on one side of the dining area. To the other wall, we saw warm desserts including crepes and waffles as well as quite a few brunch and lunch options - prime rib, roasted veggies, lasagna. To cap it off, there was a Benedict and omelette station. We read rave reviews about the Benedict, but were not that impressed - the dish lacked meat and was stingy on béchamel sauce. We mitigated the situation by a quick stop by the seafood section for a topping of smoked salmon. Lamb and prime meat slices were awesome as well, but our benny got a bit cold by the time we reached table with all the goodness piled up on the plates.
We are somewhat disappointed by the cheese choices - generic cheddar, mozzarella and brie, if it wasn’t for the decent blue cheese, we wouldn’t have bothered picking any of these.
On the other hand, we can vouch for their mini cheesecake, carrot cake, bread pudding and, of course, a milk chocolate fountain. We also enjoyed a neat gesture at 11am - mimosas in flute glasses were offered to all tables. Those mimosas were not light on booze so the rest of our brunch went on an even higher note.
One more thing to mention - the scones and buttermilk biscuits combined with a great selection of jams (fig, rhubarb) plus creative butters (maple, chives) made for an awesome snack throughout.
Ancaster Mills is definitely worth an experience at least once for brunch. Many locals appear to be going there frequently and other patrons come from all over. Book in advance if you can, and make sure to secure a spot with a view as you might want to stay a while.