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August 2, 2011

A Bed & Breakfast for families

My husband and I love staying at bed and breakfasts.  We love the special attention, the delectable breakfasts and getting the inside scoop from the hosts on the area we are visiting.  Sadly though, since having our daughter eight years ago, our visits to quiet and quaint B and Bs have been immensely curtailed in favour of cookie-cutter hotels with plenty of family amenities, but none of the personal touches.

But just when we thought we’d never enjoy another B & B stay we happened upon Adam Farm Bed & Breakfast, located in Hastings, Ontario.  This unique place not only allows children over the age of eight on the premises, they encourage it.  But wait there’s more!  Even the family pooch doesn’t have to stay at the kennel while the family is out having fun.  This B & B caters to furry family members (and we’re not talking about dad) by even providing a doggie agility playground.

Just as the name indicates, this Bed and Breakfast is a working farm, making it even more fun for kids and their parents.  Hosts Donna and Bill Adam have been farming for 32 years but decided a few years ago to establish a B and B.

“Bill’s got the smarts and I’ve got the arts, “ Donna proclaimed as she showed us the jewel in the crown on their property: a heritage cottage she decorated herself.  It is truly beautiful with a mix of heritage pieces and modern looks.  A fully fenced backyard is filled with beautiful artwork, toys for the kids and playthings for the dogs.

Donna isn’t sure, but she thinks the cabin was built in 1810.  It’s thick stone walls are indicative of the story of Canadian settlers living without water and hydro.  The cabin remains true to its roots, so expect to use oil lamps and candles to light up the night.

As well, there is no indoor plumbing, but outside visitors will find a private portable bathroom that’s definitely nothing like your great-grandparents outhouse.  An outdoor solar heated shower ensures that guests won’t miss having an indoor bathroom.

But if the stone cottage is sounding a bit too rustic there’s another alternative.  The Adams recently turned an old barn loft into a mini-apartment that’s perfect for longer stays in the area.  With a bathroom and kitchenette, visitors will have all the conveniences of a modern home in a beautiful rural area that is largely undiscovered in Ontario.

There is a lot to do on the farm as well.  Visitors can take nature walks through an enchanted wooded area with areas set up for meditating, or meander through wheat fields that seem to go on forever.

There’s also a very friendly pair of equines that are totally kid-proofed.  A donkey called Tiny and Rocky the horse love human attention and families will enjoy meeting them as much as the two family dogs that wander all around the property.

The Stone Cottage can be booked from Friday to Sunday for $250, including two continental breakfasts.  The Barn Loft is also $250 from Friday to Sunday but you will have to bring your own breakfast since the mini-apartment has its own kitchenette.  For more info: adamfarm.ca.

The Adam Farm Bed & Breakfast is located two hours east of Toronto in Northumberland County. For info on events and attraction in the area: northumberlandtourism.com.

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Images: Phil Raby
Article: Anna Augusto Rodrigues

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