My last visit to London Ontario was deep in the heart of winter. I explored downtown shops, stayed in a historical mansion hotel and ate the most memorable dinner. This time, I headed into Downtown London Ontario for the Regenerate 2016 Event, but as luck would have it, London Ontario had its Doors Open all weekend.
Downtown London Ontario Farmer’s Markets
I have become envious of the smaller cities in Ontario like Hamilton and London because they have these fabulous farmers markets. London Ontario had two such farmer and artisan markets worth visiting.
Covent Garden Market
Located in the heart of Downton London, Covent Garden Market is a huge complex featuring fresh produce, gourmet foods, gifts and crafts and features an outdoor farmer’s market two days a week (Thursdays and Saturdays). Check their website for community events for both adults and families including tastings and cooking classes.
London Farmer’s and Artisans Market
Open Saturdays only, this farmers and artisans market is two floors of vendors selling fresh produce, gourmet foods, snacks and lots of interesting crafts. Interesting fact: some of London’s newest restaurants got their start as a small booth right here in this very market. Be sure to grab a bite to eat!
Historical Attractions in London Ontario
For history buffs, I have two stops you have to make while visiting the city, especially if you happen to be there during open doors London.
During my tour of Eldon House, I felt like I was learning the stories of Canada’s version of Downton Abbey. This historic house was filled with stories from both the living and servers quarters.
This historic site includes the preserved home and grounds of four generations of the Harris Family. It was donated to the City of London in 1960.
Be sure to splurge for a guided tour. We learned so many interesting things about the Harris family and their love for travel. The rooms are filled with little things you might miss if someone isn’t pointing them out to you.
Banting House Museum
I feel ashamed to admit this, but I knew about Dr Frederick Banting was that he invented insulin. Banting House is known as “The Birthplace of Insulin,” where Dr Frederick Banting woke up at 2 a.m. on the morning of October 31, 1920, with the idea that led to the discovery of insulin.
I had no idea what to expect from the historical museum that once was the home of this famous Canadian. How did we not learn his story as a decorated War Hero with Canadian Army medical services team? Or did I learn all this and not take it in?
Then I walked into a room with what looked like Group of Seven paintings, which were Banting’s work. Again if you can, get a guide to walk you through the house because of the stories about his friendship with A. Y. Jackson and the paintings inspired by that friendship are just inspiring. I learned so much about him on this tour.
More London Ontario Food Discoveries
The Root Cellar
A restaurant that endorses clean eating, but provides options for just about any dietary preferences is my kind of restaurant. From gluten free, vegan and paleo this restaurant is committed to locally sourced organic ingredients.
Every plate that came to our table was delicious with generous portions.
Do not go to this restaurant unless you have an empty belly because all their dishes were filling and made to satisfy.
Plant Matters Kitchen
My very first attempt at dining Vegan only and it was a huge success. I loved every bite from appetiser to dessert, so much that I’m writing an entire post on this place. See the full post on Plant Matters Kitchen here.
Where to Stay in London Ontario
I have a few suggestions for stays in London from my returning visits there. Check out these three hotels (links available to full hotel reviews) below.
Delta London Armouries Hotel
I loved the modern renovations inside mixed with the historical elements of the Historic London Armouries building. The rooms were modern with all the connections and plugs a business travel would need, and the location is right in Downton London Ontario. Delta London Armouries a Modern Hotel with Hidden History.
Idlewyld Inn and Spa, London Ontario
For a boutique stay in a charming restored historic mansion. The Idlewyld Inn and Spa are the way to go. Just outside of downtown London, this is a great place to stay if you’re looking for some luxury and a little quiet. Still minutes from downtown this is a favourite of mine. Click here for the hotel review.
Station Park All Suite Hotel
Depending on which side of Downtown London you want to be at, the Station Park All Suite Hotel is located at the opposite end from the Delta Armories. Both great choices if you are doing things in the heart of the city. This hotel is like getting a condo vs. a hotel room, with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. Click here for the hotel review
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