Bed, Bar and Beyond at Fosters Inn [Stratford, ON]

Fosters InnRecently I had the pleasure of spending some time at Fosters Inn, Restaurant and Bar in Stratford. Located a stones-throw from the downtown and right next to the beloved Avon Theatre, this restaurant and inn was a joy to explore. Earlier this year I excited my taste-buds in their restaurant and you can read all about my watermelon salad and wine-filled adventure here – A Fresh Take on Classic Fare.

This time around I focused my attention on their accommodations and night-life. At Fosters Inn there are nine guest rooms and each full of character and charm with seriously high ceilings and fantastic attention to detail. Considering the age of the building, I was especially impressed with the interior renovations in the room we stayed in. Fosters has perfectly preserved the character in the window moldings and with some old-world seating and complimented it with modern curtains and bedding. I also especially like the hall-like entrance way in our room as well as the interior window. The windows in our room overlooked Downie Street which has its fair share of places to eat, and quite the mix of cuisine too. Certainly, though, anyone staying at Fosters should reserve space in their dining room before venturing elsewhere.

Fosters InnBeing so close to downtown, but just far enough away from the bustle, I spent the day window shopping and exploring and was excited to see how close Fosters Inn is to the Sunday Slow Food Perth County Market where local food and artisan vendors sell their goods. I guess here would be a good place to mention that although there isn’t parking right at Fosters, there is a municipal lot less than a block away where you can park all day for free for up to 72 hours. Parking in Stratford is scarce and so I certainly appreciated having somewhere for my vehicle to rest. Ok, back to my afternoon – after some fantastic shopping and having satisfied my hunger, hubby and I decided to visit Fosters’ fully stocked bar for a nightcap (or two).

The bar is adjacent to the inn’s reception area and the space is trendy and unique. Bistro tables are set with stools and candles and a more intimate couched area with the perfect dimmed lighting waits towards the back. My preferred seating at any bar is at a bistro table – it’s not as over-zealous as sitting at the bar in front of the tap but a little more serious than lounging on a couch. The bar itself is quite impressive – not that I consider myself any kind of beer or liquor expert – with lots of selection including bottles of drink I’ve never seen or heard of before. Throughout the night we were joined by locals and tourists alike – a few young couples, a cougar or two, a few men stopping in after a long shift and a ‘snake-charmer’ of sorts. The true measure of a good bar is patronage and Fosters surely passed that test.

Fosters InnAnge – the bartender – was a gem. The house red is what I like to call a ‘dangerous wine’ – one because there was at least 6oz in the glass and two, because it was a little too easy going down. My wine was followed with a sip or two of hubby’s DiSaronno and then, at Ange’s suggestion – my very first Manhattan. Let me say that I will certainly be enjoying another Manhattan or two in the near future.

Being fully primed and prepped for a good night sleep it didn’t take long before I was dreaming about the day’s events. And, I absolutely love places like Fosters that have a check-out time of 11am opposed to earlier, after all – who wants to wake up early on vacation?!

All in all, my favourite things about Fosters were … well … everything. I’d most certainly stay here again. The value of the room, the room’s old meets new world decor, the food, the bar, the location, the staff – everything at Fosters is what it should be and more! But, don’t take my word for it – give Fosters Inn a call, book a room and reserve a meal and make some great Fosters Inn memories of your own.

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