It was a vacation to Ireland and stays at many bed & breakfast establishments there, that inspired Peggy and Monte to open their own B&B on beautiful St. Joseph Island, Ontario.
“We took a trip to Ireland and stayed at some of the most charming B&Bs there. We were looking for an opportunity to put our 80 acres of property on the island to work for us, and we thought: we can do this too,” they told me.
Tucked away off the main highway, and down a short driveway, you’ll find Stonefield House. In a pretty, private setting among trees, meadows, and gardens, the house was built 10 years ago in Irish farmhouse style. “It was purposely built in order to operate a bed and breakfast business,” said Peggy. “With my background in hospitality and Monte’s love of cooking, it’s been a great fit for us.”
What a beautiful home it is, with a large entryway and three tastefully decorated guest rooms on the second floor, each with an ensuite private bathroom and enough room for eight guests. There is also a library nook in the top landing area, chock full of interesting books and comfy chairs to welcome guests.
Downstairs, on the lower level of the home is something you won’t find in most B&B establishments! There is a gorgeous Irish-style pub, complete with a bar, stage, and seating for many. “When our guests see it for the first time, they are delightfully surprised,” said Peggy. It’s in the pub that Peggy and Monte serve their guests breakfast.
Three types of breakfasts are served, depending on the length of stay. Fresh baking is standard fare, along with fresh fruit and yogurt. French toast, bacon, eggs, or a delicious frittata are the choices. The menu can be modified to accommodate vegetarian preferences or any other dietary needs if notified beforehand. A full Irish breakfast can be created for guests, complete with baked beans, bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled tomatoes, potato pancakes, and Irish soda bread if ordered prior to staying.
Stonefield House B&B is enthusiastic about supporting and sourcing locally for their menu items, including eggs from a local farm, and maple syrup from Mountain Maple Products, from the Island too. Coffee is from St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters, and the bacon and berries come from Island Market in Richards Landing. When fruit is in season, they always make sure to buy it from local or at least Ontario growers. Their jams come from Yandeau’s Garden, located in Hilton Beach, and the sausages are from Pino’s Get Fresh in Sault Ste. Marie. Most baking is made in-house, except for the bread which is purchased from Mom’s Restaurant on the island.
I asked where their guests come from, and Peggy and Monte said: “Most of our guests are from Southern and Northern Ontario. Many travel from the Sudbury or Thunder Bay areas while on route to or from the Lake Superior Circle Tour or travelling to the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry at Manitoulin Island. We do get some Americans, and occasionally Europeans and Asians from countries like England, Hong Kong, and Japan. Many of our guests have their routes planned out and will search for accommodations along the way.”
“The best part of this type of business is meeting so many different and interesting guests. We really enjoy meeting new people, and we’re curious to learn about them and why they come to St. Joseph Island.”
Peggy mentioned that “our future plans include upgrades to the rooms and finding more ideas for baking and food to entice our guests.”
I have to admit that I have had the pleasure of staying at Stonefield House on a few occasions. We always sleep well on comfortable beds and are treated to a delicious breakfast. Peggy and Monte are the most superb hosts. For a wee taste of Ireland, I highly recommend their place for any tourist passing through or staying a while. There is lots to do and sites to see on the island and they’re open year-round!
Stonefield House Bed & Breakfast
Peggy Trainor and Monte Lucas
2826 I Line, St. Joseph Island, Richards Landing
PH: (705) 246-1616
B&B Canada: www.bbcanada.com/12610.html