Special Dinner at AG Cuisine

If you are looking for a really fancy, special, delicious dinner then keep reading… I went for dinner with my parents to AG Cuisine, located in the Sterling Inn and Spa. AG’s food philosophy is to enjoy what our beautiful region has to offer. From their fresh produce to seasonal fruits to delicious Niagara wine, it’s a wonderful way to celebrate all that Niagara has to offer the gourmet world. If it’s not Niagara items on the menu, then you can guarantee that it will be Canadian!

ag2The restaurant is located in the lower level of the Sterling Inn and Spa, slightly hard to find when you enter the hotel but once you find it, you can’t help but feel VIP. It’s red and white, modern interior is the perfect backdrop to the delicious food that they serve up.

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The experience at AG Cuisine was very special. My parents and I had a lovely night enjoying Niagara’s cuisine and as lovers of food and drinks, the bill at the end was worth it to us. I think if you can afford to visit AG Cuisine, you should definitely give it a try. It is not something that you find very often in Niagara Falls and a lovely way to treat yourself… or in my case, your family.We began our dinner with a Black Lager beer, brewed in Niagara-on-the-Lake at Silver Smith Brewing Company. Don’t let the black appearance scare you, this beer is crisp and refreshing with a beautiful, distinct flavour. The flavours kept on coming with the Duck Confit, Lamb Sirloin and Beef Tenderloin Pasta Bolognaise that my dad, my mom and I ordered. Each dish was amazing. The Duck Confit was served over a bean, rabbit and sausage mixture. The Lamb Sirloin was accompanied with a goat cheese and carrot polenta and the Beef Tenderloin Pasta Bolognaise was full of meaty flavour and fresh herbs. Of course, what dinner would be complete with a bottle of wine. We chose a Cab Sauv from Trius, perfect complement to each of our dishes.

ag3The experience at AG Cuisine was very special. My parents and I had a lovely night enjoying Niagara’s cuisine and as lovers of food and drinks, the bill at the end was worth it to us. I think if you can afford to visit AG Cuisine, you should definitely give it a try. It is not something that you find very often in Niagara Falls and a lovely way to treat yourself… or in my case, your family.

62nd Annual Niagara Wine Festival

wineIt’s that time of year again! No, not back to school time and no not end of summer… it’s Niagara Wine Festival! Entering it’s 62nd year, this festival helps Niagara locals and visitors celebrate Niagara’s pride and joy; our wine!

As always, there will be Discovery Passes available for purchase for $40, which allows you to discover what each winery has to offer. Throughout the festival, the wineries have paired their favourite wines with some delectable dishes! The Discovery Pass can be used Saturdays and Sundays from September 14th to 29th. It’s a great opportunity to visit some wineries that you’ve never been to before or revisit a few of your favourites.

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This year, I’d like to give a shout out to Creekside Winery, with their Roasty-Toasty pairing. A guest chef at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel for our Robbie Burns Celebration, Chef J. Mark Hand has created a roasted heirloom tomato and basil “margarita” tarte with crumbled Ontario Farmer’s cheeses, paired with Creekside’s barrel-aged 2011 Cab Shiraz and 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir. Sounds delicious! Good job Mark!wine3

wine4Another fun event that caught my eye was the Picnic In The Vineyard at Cattail Creek Estate Winery. For only $15/person, you can enjoy a picnic basket filled with assortments of meats, cheeses and antipastos, along with some home-made cookies for dessert. Of course, all of this will be complimented with a glass of wine, surrounded by a beautiful vineyard.  Guys! Here’s a hint… this is really romantic.

wine5And what Niagara Wine Festival blog post would be complete without mention of the big party that goes on in Montebello Park, starting on September 20th- 22nd and again 27th-29th. Lots of delicious food vendors, amazing wine displays and fun entertainment too! Friday, September 27th, the Caverners will be playing from 8-10:30pm, another Best Western Plus Cairn Croft connection… who have played live from The Croft Lounge! For a full list of Montebello Park’s lineup, check out their website.

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So here’s to celebrating the amazing wineries that Niagara has to offer… and whether you have traveled from around the world or down the street, I hope that Niagara’s wine is enjoyed with good food, great friends and creates lasting memories.

Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub- Opening December 2013

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Locals and visitors looking for a friendly exchange and great entertainment in Niagara Falls, ON have always headed to the Croft Lounge at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel. A much-patronized fixture since 1965, over the years the Lounge has seen its share of changes. None, however, as extensive or exciting as its upcoming transformation, set to be unveiled in December 2013, as Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub. Having so many great and loyal customers, we know that you will love this fresh change!

Doc Magilligan’s will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, evening entertainment, sports, nightlife- a new friendly and local spot for everyone to enjoy together.

Like Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub- Opening December 2013 on Facebook for all of the updates as we move forward in this exciting time!

So who’s Doc Magilligan?

Doc Magilligan, the Pub’s namesake, was great, great grandfather to Maureen Magilligan Cade- Managing Owner. Now, as the story goes, our good Doctor didn’t want for a share of the ole’ legendary Irish charm. Admired for his nurturing care when he made his rounds, and just as popular when buying yet another round for the lads. Thoroughly professional but still the life of the party, the beloved Doc was nothing if not the real deal!

Perfect then, that Doc Magilligan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub will totally be the genuine article. Completely built in Ireland and then shipped to Niagara Falls, come Decemeber, this magnificent establishment will be dishing up delicious, comfort-inspired fare, as well as craft and International brews, in authentic “Irish-as-it-gets” surroundings. Doc would be right at home, greeting his mates while resting his elbow on the grand Victorian bar. Do make it a point to swing by and be part of the next chapter of the Doc Magilligan story.

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A BBQ and Band at Queenston Heights

Queenston HeightsWe’ve spent the day at Queenston Heights before and we’ve told you about the family fun you can have. But this Sunday, August 25th, it can be even more special, with the Annual Harvest BBQ and a live band concert before that.

Queenston Height’s Restaurant will be hosting a BBQ, at the foot of Brock Monument at 4:00pm. For only $40/adult and $20/child, you can enjoy delicious seasonal creations. Duck Breast on Yukon Potato Cake with Blackberry Drizzle, Grilled Market Antipasto Salad, Rainbow Trout with Apricot- Jalapeno Salad, Angus sliders, Niagara Peaches and Cream corn, BBQ Baby Back Ribs and more.

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Before the BBQ, spend the day enjoying the park and from 2-4pm, the Lincoln Concert Band will be playing. The Lincoln Concert Band is a community band, made up of 35 volunteer musicians. It’s a great opportunity to take in some big band music for free!

With a beautiful weather forecast for this weekend, I think the day spent at Queenston Heights will be a terrific way to spend a Sunday. Whether you are a local looking for something different to do, or a visitor looking for more than just a Maid of the Mist ride, take advantage of what Queenston Heights is offering!

For tickets to the BBQ, call 905-262-4274.

FAQ about Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel

545636_10151166634357856_1874535739_nThere are those questions that a lot of our guests ask when they arrive at the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel. To save you from asking and to help you plan your trip before you even arrive, we’ve created a FAQ post.

If there are more questions that you’d like answered, leave a comment!

Is there a shuttle service to the falls?
Yes the WEGO runs daily starting in the morning to late evening. Passes are sold at the front desk. Passes are available for a 24 or 48 hour period.

 

Does the Adventure Pass from the Niagara Parks have to be used in one day?
No, it can be spread out over the time you are in Niagara Falls.

Do you require a passport to come into Canada?
Yes, you do require a passport to enter into Canada. It is always good to check with the Canada Border Services prior to your scheduled trip.Rainbow_Bridge_Niagara_Falls_small

Can I pay cash for my reservation?
Yes, cash is an acceptable payment. If you are paying cash the room and tax must be paid at check in. You will also require a $150 incidental deposit per night. This deposit is completely refundable at check out, providing there are no damages to the room and there was no services charged to your account.

If I pay by credit card for my reservation how much does the hotel hold?
The hotel would hold the total amount for room and tax as well as an additional $75 per day. When checking out the total of your bill will be charged to the credit card and the remainder will be released. The release of any extra funds holding is released within 3-5 business days from the time of check-out.

imagesIs US Currency acceptable to use?
Us Currency is acceptable. The currency exchange does fluctuate. You are better to exchange your money at a financial institution and use Canadian currency.

 

 

What is the weather like in Niagara Falls?
The warmest months are June-September. Average 75⁰F-90⁰F
The coldest months are November-March. Average 21⁰F-39⁰F

How deep is your pool?Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel - Compressed
4 ½ feet deep at its deepest point.

Does your restaurant cater to dietary restrictions?
Yes, we do offer a selection of Gluten Free items. We are also very accommodating in all requests and try to ensure that all guest’ needs are met.

Let us know if you think we’ve missed anything, with a comment below. We will be happy to answer any and all questions you have!

Canal Days 2013

portCanal Days in Port Colborne is a festival to celebrate the marine heritage and the connection with the seafaring world. As this celebration moves into its fourth decade, there is no surprise why this weekend of fun has become so popular, with more than 300,000 people visiting over the four days.

There are so many different events and activities going on throughout Downtown Port Colborne, from August 2nd to August 5th, that it’s difficult to choose which to check out. On Princess Street, there will be Midway Rides and Games, starting at 10:00am, daily. The children always love taking a ride on the dragon or trying to win a huge bouncy ball at one of the games.  To continue with what children love, there will be a Children’s Area at Seaway Park. From 11am-6pm, the kids can enjoy Balloon Animals, free face painting and bouncy castles. I always loved having flowers painted on my face when I was a kid.

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If craft shows are your style, make sure you check out the Vale Health and Wellness Centre on Elizabeth Street. Show casing more than 60 vendors and supporting the Optimist Club, it’s a great way to buy some unique gifts and help a good cause.

Lots of action at HH Knoll Park during the festival! Throughout the day on Saturday, wander down to see the Niagara Windriders Kiteflyers Association demonstrate their moves up in the sky, with a night show, complete with lit up kites. And on Sunday, head down for the Car Show! If you want to participate, show up early with your beautiful ride.

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If you want to listen to live music, Canal Days has you covered on Market Stag (just follow the music). Friday night: Tea Party, Bleeker Ridge and Time Giant. Saturday night: Myles Goodwyn & April Wine, Downchild Blues Band, and Rich and the Poor Boys.

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Of course, a Canal Days festival wouldn’t be complete without a walk down the harbor to check out all the ships. There will be a Boat Parade of Lights on Sunday night, followed by a fireworks show that will really help to celebrate! For the full list of events, make sure you check out their website so you can plan your festival.

Casa D’Pizza- My Go To Pizza & Wing Place

STG-CDP-PizzaI have a weakness for good pizza and wings. Although the original Buffalo chicken wing is said to be made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, I think that Casa D’Pizza has found something that comes arguably close.

Located in the Canadian Tire plaza on Montrose Road, Casa D’Pizza is a small, welcoming and busy place. I have been going to this place for a number of years and the service is always great and the food is always delicious. My typical order is a pizza with spicy pepperoni, bacon and green olives with a pound (or two) of medium chicken wings. You can decide to go “traditional” chicken wing or breaded and although I don’t like straying too far from tradition, the breaded chicken wings give the traditional a run for their money. You can decide which you prefer. The pizza and wings is why I started going, but I have found that the rest of the menu is just as amazing; French onion soup, beef on a bun, jalapeno poppers and deep fried pickles.casadpizza

For the summer, there is a small patio off the side of the bar, where you can enjoy the sun and some beers. Of course, the view is nothing to write home about, as you are looking at the Canadian Tire parking lot, but the food more than makes up for it. Next time you are looking for a delicious take-out meal or a good place to enjoy a wing or two, give Casa D’Pizza a try. I know you won’t be disappointed. Give them a call tonight! 905-356-0217

Concerts at a Safari!

niagaranight2Who knew that you could see lions, tigers and… The Trews at the zoo, oh my! Well at Niagara Safari you can! The great concert series line up this summer will keep you rocking after the sun goes down;

July 13th: Trews & Finger 11

July 26th: Colin James
August 9th: Sheepdogs and 54-40
August 24th: Great Big Sea

You can buy tickets online, in person at Safari Niagara or over the phone 1-866-943-8849. There is concession service at each concert and a beer tent too. Everything you would possibly need.  A quick drive out to Stevensville and this could be yours. What better way to spend your warm summer nights then surrounded by friends, listening to some great music? Decide which band you want to see and book your tickets now, while they still last.

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Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebrations

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Niagara Falls is the place to be for your Canada Day celebrations! Not only does Niagara Falls have the world famous firework display to ring in Canada’s birthday, but lots of fun is planned throughout the city during the day as well.

canadadayThere will be a Canada Day parade, along Victoria to Queen Street, starting at 11:00am. The main stage, at city hall will have opening ceremonies with performances from Elton Lammie, Senior Star and Pop Sensation, which are playing at the Greg Frewin Theatre throughout the summer. Birthday Cake will be served at noon, but only while quantities last, so make sure you get there early!

Not only can you celebrate Canada Day but you can also celebrate the Niagara Falls community with demonstrations by Club Italia, Happy Feet Dance and many more. This is happening at the corner of Queen & St. Clair. All along Queen Street, you will also be able to enjoy our local delicious food vendors. Lots happening downtown!

Niagara-Falls-FireworksOnce you’ve had all the fun you can have on Queen Street, make your way down to Queen Victoria Park to watch the firework show and show your Canadian pride!

Bird Kingdom’s 10 Anniversary

bird_kingdom_niagara_falls_logoThe Bird Kingdom is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has won a Trip Advisor Award of Excellence! We have visited the Bird Kingdom before and the award is definitely well deserved. Lots of birds, cool reptiles and other creepy crawlers too.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the Bird Kingdom will be thanking its guests with free children’s admission all day on Sunday, June 23rd and adults tickets only $10. If you haven’t been before, this is a great opportunity to check it out and if you’ve been there before, it’s a great opportunity to go back and relive all the fun!                    Bearded_Barbet_smaller  parrots_0

You’ll  be celebrating alongside all of the birds and creatures while you partake in scavenger hunts with prizes and get your face painted.  Don’t forget to stop by the snack bar for when you want to take a little break from the  excitement.

Make sure you say hi to my old friend the Iguana.  Happy Anniversary Bird Kingdom!