December 2018 Arowhon Pines, Algonquin
Dear Friends of Arowhon Pines
Hello All! We’re fresh from a wonderful and busy 2018 season – thank you for your loyalty, patronage and friendship.
While everything is still fresh in our minds, here are some of the goings-on from the season past and what we’re looking forward to...
There is a beautiful sculpture of two trees in the old fountain bed among the flowers, in memory of the late Helen and Eugene Kates. It was commissioned to renowned metal sculptor Hilary Clark Cole. We’re happy to see that it has become a lovely, peaceful place to sit.
Renovations continue: A new look to Sherwood lounge and deck, and a screened porch on the LK cabin, “like-new” chairs and a different layout for the dining room, and new signage around the grounds. For 2019 the two private suites up the hill have undergone a major revamp including screened porches; it was time. Kudos to designers Tim Webb and Dave Campbell, owners of The Shipyards, Gravenhurst, our long-time friends.
Our 2018 staff was extraordinary. We’ve begun to rebuild and/or renovate our staff accommodation. Arowhon provides all staff with private rooms, something unheard of in the resort staff accommodation business.
A goal of the Algonquin Park management is to have only native plants in Algonquin Park. Plans are in place at Arowhon to meet the challenge of gradually removing all non-native species from our grounds, especially the invasives, replacing them with beautiful, indigenous wildflowers, trees and shrubs. We discovered that one of our favorite guests, Judith Adam, is a well-known landscape designer and horticulturalist, with many published garden books and manuals. This spring, she’ll be helping us with this important transformation.
You might also see Chris Brackley around the grounds this summer, with compass in hand. Chris is a cartographer, and the official map-maker for Canadian Geographic Magazine. He will be creating a new accurate map of the grounds, trails and lakes. Chris was drawn to his profession by the many summers he spent at Camp Pathfinder in Algonquin Park. He spends a lot of time at his nearby cottage on Canoe Lake.
Anne Hardy’s WHERE TO EAT IN CANADA (http://www.oberonpress.ca/wheretoeat/) is Canada’s only independent guidebook to restaurants across the country. Every restaurant in the guide is personally tested. There are no free meals for their reporters, no advertisements and no payment for listing.
“The cooking at Arowhon Pines this year has been some of the best we’ve ever experienced. Major investments have been made in the property—a new kitchen, a new dining-room entrance and a new front office—and they’ve richly paid off. The chefs may be working from established recipes—Eugene and Helen Kates put everything into the computer—but there’s a liveliness and variety to the meals that we haven’t seen before, and the dessert buffet is more elaborate than ever.”
FOR THE FULL REVIEW, CLICK HERE
Chef David Cooke, has been seriously talking to us about an Arowhon Pines cookbook. Do you have Arowhon favorites you want to see included in the book? Let us know, and stay tuned.
In January, we’ll be contacting you to say hello and ask that you confirm your booking for next year with a deposit. For those of you who have not yet picked some dates, we hope to hear from you soon. The suites and the rooms along the lakeshore are going fast, especially during the peak times of the season!
Season’s Greetings from the very merry team at Arowhon Pines.
Spend some time exploring by canoe or trail some of the more obscure and/or historic elements of Algonquin Park…
The remains of the Gilmour Lumber Mill at Potters Creek. Opened in 1887, 500 workers lived here. The community sported a hospital, horse stables, warehouse, cookhouse, storehouses and offices, mill workers houses, boarding houses and cemetery. Turtle research continues each season along the old railway bed 3 km from Arowhon. http://www.sbaa.ca/projects.asp?cn=316
Baden Powell Lake is a good day trip from Arowhon. Named after the founder of boy scouts and girl guides, there is a log book and badge swap on the west shore of the lake.
Standing chimneys are all that is left of Camp Minnesing located on Burnt Island Lake. We suggest you canoe part way, then walk the white trail – or you can canoe all the way.
Tom Thomson cairn and totem is located on Canoe Lake, apparently at the site of one of his favorite campsites, accessible only by canoe.
Best Wishes – I’m here for the asking. Adam
FROM THE CHEF...
A seasonal life style is a wonderful opportunity for staff to travel, learn new skills, meet people and enjoy the world. Although it might not be for everyone, for it involves more work sending out resumes, making travel plans, packing bags, saying goodbye (again) to family and friends, finding accommodation, etc. – I’ve always found it to be the right life for Donna and me.
Seasonal staff bonds last a lifetime. I am still in contact with chefs whom I met when I was in my twenties. As the old man now, I relish keeping up to date with all the travel plans of our young staff.
I usually spend the off season teaching culinary arts at Algonquin College in Ottawa. This winter, however, with all three of my boys flown the coop, Donna and I have decided to take a three month tour of Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand – a trip that we’ve been planning for decades. I am calling this a "food research" tour and plan to bring back lots of new recipes and tastes to incorporate into our menus next season. We leave soon after the holidays and we’re very excited!
No matter what I do though, by the time the snow starts to melt, I can feel Algonquin Park tugging on my soul, and can't wait to start a new season in the kitchen, and a new adventure!
Happy Holidays from Chef David Cooke