With interior and exterior design trends incorporating more natural colours and materials, teak patio furniture is a hot item for summer 2023. Historically used to build ships and yachts, teak wood is a highly sought-after, high-quality material that stands the test of time. Teak’s natural characteristics also make it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture.
Are you shopping for patio furniture and considering teak dining sets, chairs, benches, storage boxes, or other teak outdoor furnishings? Then you have come to the perfect place! Below, we answer common questions and provide details on key things you need to know before you purchase teak patio furniture near you. Read on to learn more!
Teak wood is a type of tropical hardwood harvested from Tectona Grandis trees. Tectona Grandis trees are very fast-growing and native to South and Southeast Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
When milled and dried, teak wood is close-grained, dense, strong, high in natural oils, durable, and very resistant to pests and rot. These qualities make teak a top choice for building wooden items that need to last – including outdoor furniture!
While there are over a dozen kinds of teak wood available from various regions worldwide, there are typically only three grades or classifications for the material. These classifications/types of teak indicate the quality, colour, durability, and resistance of lumber. Each grade is derived from different parts of Tectona Grandis trees, which impacts wood density and oil content.
The three types/grades of teak wood are:
We explain each in greater detail below, as it is important to understand how the overall quality, durability, and appearance of teak vary across each grade.
“Grade A” teak
Grade A teak is the highest quality teak available on the market. This grade of teak is extracted from the heartwood (also known as the centre) of mature trees. In its natural form, it is the highly desirable honey-brown colour that is characteristic of teak wood. Grade A is also rich in natural oils, making products crafted from teak exceptionally durable and resistant to pests and severe weather. The superior quality of this type of teak is reflected in the price, but it is worth the investment!
“Grade B” teak
Grade B teak is mid-grade quality wood, but it is still suitable for a variety of wooden products. This grade is extracted from the outer heartwood of trees. While not as strong as Grade A, Grade B still has sufficient strength, durability, and resistance to pests and harsh weather conditions.
The price of Grade B teak is lower than Grade A. Grade B teak also tends to be lighter in colour than higher quality alternatives.
“Grade C” teak
Grade C teak is the lowest quality compared to Grade A and B teak. It is extracted from the exterior wood (sapwood) of trees, which is less dense than heartwood and outer heartwood. Sapwood does not have sufficient strength or durability and is lacking in natural oils, making it unsuitable for patio furniture.
In addition, the colour of Grade C teak wood tends to be lighter and less vibrant in colour, usually appearing more white or cream than higher grade teak. Low-grade teak is also often uneven in colour and more prone to damage.
As indicated above, there are many benefits of teak outdoor furniture, including:
Durability and longevity
Rot and pest resistance
Low maintenance requirements
Versatility with style options
All of these qualities make teak outdoor patio furniture a worthwhile investment.
With proper care, teak furniture can last an impressive 50-75+ years! The natural oils in teak wood make it naturally resistant to intense conditions, including exposure to rain, snow, and even salty ocean air. Teak oils also make the wood resistant to rot and pests.
The best part about teak is that even if you neglect i
t or leave it sitting out, it will still hold up longer than other types of wood without warping, cracking, bending, or looking rundown.
How Often Does Teak Need to Be Cleaned or Maintained?
Teak is low maintenance and only requires a thorough cleaning with a soft brush and soap/water (or a teak-specific cleaner) once per season. After that, you can keep your teak clean by wiping up spills or accumulations of dust and dirt as they happen.
Over time, teak outdoor furniture will weather and develop a silvery-grey patina which helps protect the wood. Many people like this weathered look, while others prefer to maintain the honey-brown colour. If you wish to avoid patina development on teak, simply apply teak protector products once or twice per year.
To help your teak last longer, you can opt to bring it indoors or use a cover when you are done with your set for the season.
Not all teak is created equal. Before you make a purchase, ensure you understand the differences in all three grades of teak. Opt for grade A to ensure maximum strength, durability, and natural beauty. High-quality teak will be a rich honey-brown, indicating a high oil content. The colouring will also be even throughout.
In addition, pay attention to the craftsmanship of the teak pieces you are considering. The manufacturing is poor if you see visible nails, knots, cracks, or separation around joints. Look for mortise and tenon joinery, which is one of the strongest joint types used in furniture construction.
For the reasons above, it is recommended that you only order from a retailer with a respected reputation, positive reviews, excellent customer service, and product warranties.
If a retailer is advertising genuine teak furniture at a very low price, that is another red flag that you will not want to ignore. Teak furniture is an investment that lasts decades, which is reflected in the retail price.
Teak is an incredibly versatile material which is why it has been one of the most popular types of outdoor furniture for countless decades. Teak’s natural appeal and adaptability also make the material suitable for a variety of décor items in your backyard oasis.
Some patio sets, loungers, benches, and storage boxes are fully constructed with teak wood, which enhances an airy, natural, and casual aesthetic. Pair these items with beiges, browns, and greens to create a relaxing and inviting outdoor living space. For this aesthetic, consider the Circus Dining Table made of cultivated and certified teak.
The Circus Dining Table is a large table in teak's signature honey-brown colour. You'll love the 70-inch Lazy Susan made of durable and attractive superstone. This table looks fabulous surrounded by rattan chairs, but it also lends itself well to black and slate chair frames if you prefer a more modern look.
Opt to apply teak protectant to the Circus Dining Table to preserve its stunning colour, or allow it to form a patina over time.
Whether you want a fully teak patio set or prefer to pair teak with other materials, there is sure to be a teak outdoor furniture option that suits your unique style!
In conclusion, teak patio furniture is the perfect option for anyone who values making investments in high-quality items that will last for decades with minimal care and maintenance.
Teak offers many benefits in terms of strength, durability, versatility, sustainability, and resistance to pests and rot. It is also naturally beautiful when sealed to preserve the prized honey-brown colour. It is equally attractive when left to weather and develop a silvery-grey patina.
When shopping for teak patio furniture, always ask about which type/grade of teak was used. Teak grades (A,B, and C) vary significantly in terms of quality, strength, durability, weather resistance, and colour. Therefore, it is important to ensure you purchase furniture pieces or sets that will stand the test of time.
In addition to asking about teak grade, pay attention to the quality of the craftsmanship and only purchase outdoor teak patio furniture from a reputable retailer. Remember that teak furniture is an investment; inexpensive sets are likely poor quality or made with imitation teak that will quickly disappoint you.
Due to teak’s versatility and ability to pair well with a variety of other materials like aluminum and rattan, there is a teak patio set available on the market for everyone’s unique styles and tastes. Opt for a fully teak set, pair teak with matte black accents, or incorporate teak accents into your outdoor décor for an upscale aesthetic that is very on-trend this summer.
Are you ready to start shopping for high-quality teak patio furniture that will last the test of time? Do you also want to find a comfortable patio set that exudes elegance and matches your style? Then consider shopping with Cottage Culture!
We are proud to be a family-owned and operated patio-furniture retailer in Canada. We are committed to offering only superior customer service, warranties, and support to every client who walks through our doors.
We invite you to browse our online patio furniture collection or visit our showroom in beautiful Hensall, Ontario.
Looking for inspiration? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
At the end of each year, it is tradition for interior designers, paint experts, and fashion gurus to release their predictions for the hottest colours of the upcoming year. “Colours of the Year” are based on societal and design trends the experts see, and every industry pays attention to them. Amazingly, these annual predictions can influence everything from paint colours to couch cushions to kitchen appliances.
Are you ready to see the 2023 “Colour of the Year” predictions? Read on below to see the trendiest colours and learn more about incorporating them into your outdoor living space.
While 2022 focused on bringing more green into interior and exterior spaces, the 2023 “Colours of the Year” are all about self-expression and prioritizing health and well-being in the home.
Nods to nature and earthy tones are popular and utilized to create spaces that feel protected, calm, and cozy. Elegant whites and grey-beiges are also trending, creating opportunities for fresh starts.
Here are all the predictions we have seen so far:
While not highlighted in this article, Valspar has also unveiled its picks for "Colours of the Year" with 12 stunning hues that echo the trends noted by other experts. Cozy White, Gentle Violet, Rising Tide, and Villa Grey are just some of the colours on their esteemed list.
Below, we dive into some of the different colours of the year and offer tips on how to incorporate them into your outdoor living space.
Terra Rosa by Dunn-Edwards is a bold, romantic, nostalgic, and approachable hue perfect for a neutral background or as an accent colour. It’s rosy-pink tones with a slight nod to terracotta provide a sophisticated, yet pretty look for any space.
This "Colour of the Year" pairs well with white accents, tan linens, slate greys, and blush pinks. Add pops of black, green, sky blue, or yellow to complement Terra Rosa and make the space your own.
Complement Terra Rosa colours on your deck or patio with a Pamir Pendant Lampshade in beige or natural. Toss a Solid Crinkle Throw in Fawn Pale Beige/Medium Beige over your outdoor sofa or add a pop of yellow in your outdoor kitchen with a Dandelion Linen Hand Towel.
For a moodier look, incorporate black and slate furniture or accents. Try the 3ft Polygon Fire Bowl or the Amesdale Lounge Set.
Redend Point by Sherwin-Williams is a beautiful blush-beige with pink undertones that is a perfect example of a mid-tone neutral. It offers warm energy with earthy colours, creating a sense of serenity while bringing a touch of desert-esque nature to a space.
This modern and energizing neutral can stand on its own or pair well with other neutrals like beige. Similar to Terra Rosa, Redend Point looks great with white. It is enhanced by natural accents like rattan, terra cotta, and grassy greens.
Pair Redend Point with unique décor items like the Dutchess Indoor/Outdoor Pillow in your outdoor space. Opt for rattan patio furniture like the Kamomill Armchair or accessorize with the Haya Set of 3 Outdoor Planter Baskets with a rattan finish. A Hassel 2.5 Seater Sofa would also look stunning with a Redend Point-coloured pillow or throw.
The terra cotta-inspired and pinky trend continues with Better Homes and Gardens pick - Canyon Ridge. However, while Terra Rose and Redend Point lend themselves to a more romantic, traditional, or moody look (depending on how you choose to style it), Canyon Ridge creates opportunities to have some fun.
A vibrant cobalt pairs well with Canyon Ridge, as do greens, reds, and whites. Because this "Colour of the Year" works well with almost any hue, you can express your creativity and bring your own style to the mix. For modern spaces, take the risk with cobalt accents. Opt for denims for rustic spaces, or stick with a timeless navy if a traditional look is what you are going for.
Try the Noosa Pillow or the Atlas Fleece-Lined Throw for denim décor. The Bertrix Pillow in Patterned Sand would also pair perfectly with desert-inspired Canyon Ridge.
Blank Canvas by Behr is appropriately named due to its ability to complement any design you can envision. This "Colour of the Year" offers a clean, fresh, rejuvenating, and inviting
hue that provides more visual interest (and less starkness) than pure white. Use it on its own or as a grounding starting point for visually appealing layers.
Blank Canvas offers limitless possibilities for both indoor and outdoor living spaces. It invites us to embrace a fresh start and aligns with the trend of creating a sense of calm and rejuvenation. Yet, at the same time, it challenges us to demonstrate our individuality.
Bring Blank Canvas aesthetics into your patio furniture with outdoor sectionals like the Lyra 2.5 Seater or Armchair. The Vevi Coffee Table in white is another way to incorporate the vibes of Behr’s Colour of the Year.
Complement Blank Canvas-esque outdoor furniture by boldly experimenting with different colours, textures, patterns, and materials. Try a rug like the Bold Strike Shag Mat, add some interest to your table with the Kimono Rectangle Placemat, or incorporate pops of colour with the Patek Turkish Towel
Glidden’s Vining Ivy brings nods of nature into your space with its blend of blues and greens. While it looks like a bold choice at first, this energizing “Colour of Year” is extremely versatile and can work in both classic and contemporary styles.
Use Vining Ivy to create a welcoming, cozy, and tranquil environment that feels homey for you and your guests. In your outdoor living space, utilize Vining Ivy as an accent in your patio cushions, pillows, throws, rugs, and towels.
Pair Vining Ivy with wood finishes, rich textures, and stone accents. For a concrete tabletop look, try the Virgo Coffee Table. Opt for the Eios Teak Dining Table or the Circus Dining Table with Lazy Susan to incorporate natural wood.
Last but certainly not least is Rustic Greige by Dutch Boy. As its name suggests, this "Colour of the Year" is a mix of grey and beige. It has subtle red undertones, which make it a great match for the other earth-tone paint and décor items that are on-trend.
Like other colours on the list above, Rustic Greige is grounding, cozy, comforting, and calming. Its warm, neutral tones can be used as a backdrop to soften bolder colours, but it can also stand on its own as the focal point.
To complement Rustic Greige in your outdoor living space, incorporate the Blixt Lounge Chair in Pink. Alternatively, make greys a focal point with an outdoor sectional from the Ambon collection. The Ayla Turkish Towel in Red is also a creative way to stay on trend, add visual interest, and pull out the red undertones of Rustic Greige.
Whether you are attracted to the bold and romantic hues of Terra Rose, the warm energy of Redend Point, or the opportunity to be adventurous with Canyon Ridge, you
are sure to find outdoor furniture and decor items that bring in one (or more) of these "Colours of the Year." Pair the desert and terracotta-inspired hues with earthy colours like tan, white, blue, green, and yellow. Also, plan to have some fun experimenting with different textures, patterns, materials, and finishes.
For nods of nature and a bold yet versatile colour (that may initially seem beyond your comfort zone), opt for Vining Ivy's blue-green blend. Make it the star of your space, or incorporate it more subtly with outdoor décor and accessories. Pair it with wood and stone accents to keep your outdoor space on-trend.
If Terra Rose, Redend Point, Canyon Ridge, and Vining Ivy seem too adventurous for now, colours like Blank Canvas and Rustic Greige may be just what you are looking for to rejuvenate your space. Both hues are cozy, inviting, and versatile. Utilize them as a base for layering or let them shine as the focal point. Dare to pull in the other "Colours of the Year" with outdoor pillows, throws, towels, and rugs.
No matter which colours you choose to spruce up your backyard, deck, or patio next year, we know you will have a great time experimenting with colour and expressing your personal style.
What did you think of the 2023 "Colours of the Year?" Did any of the hottest colours for summer 2023 catch your eye? Are you already getting excited about how to incorporate some of them into your backyard, patio, or deck? If so, you will love what Cottage Culture has in stock!
Browse our online patio furniture collection or visit our showroom in Hensall, Ontario to start making your vision come to life. Though you are likely packing up your outdoor living space and preparing to hunker down indoors for the winter, it is never too late to start planning for your perfect patio next season!
Are you looking for outdoor living inspiration? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
I am in love with Scandinavian design! The minimalist, clean look incorporated with warm hues of nature speaks to me. When it comes to the winter months I am drawn even more to the Scandi vibe. I think this may come from my aversion to the dreary winter months and my constantly looking for ways to bring light and warmth into my home during this cold grey season. With this in mind I thought this year, I would delve more into decorating my home in a Scandi vibe for the holiday season. The simplicity and coziness of the Scandinavian Christmas décor creates a peacefulness (that I think we all need at some point during the holidays).
Here are some decorating tips for a Scandi Christmas vibe to help you bring some peaceful Scandi bliss into your home this holiday season.
Lots of white. As with year-round Scandinavian design white is the main feature. White is traditionally used in Scandinavian interiors to reflect the natural light and spread the light around the home during the long cold winter months. Strings of white beads on Christmas trees along with handmade crochet snowflake ornaments would be one way to infuse white into your Scandi Christmas decorating. Since it is the holiday season be sure to add in pops of colour, red is always a sure-fire fit! Be sure to create contrast and depth by adding pops of black, maybe with candle holders or with your dinnerware when setting the holiday table.
Light natural wood. Woods such as beech, pine and ash are commonly used in Scandinavian design. This carries through with Christmas décor in the way of strings of wooden beads for the Christmas tree, dough bowls used as table décor and even wall décor of various forms. Handmade wooden carvings of horses placed with a sprig of greenery or a little bow placed around the home creates a quick and easy Scandi Christmas décor.
Texture. Texture, texture, texture, this is what brings in the warmth when decorating. The Scandi vibe includes sheepskins anywhere you can use them, chunky knit throws and felt décor pieces. A basket filled with throws and sheepskins placed by the couch in the living room screams “come sit, be cozy!” And cozy is yet another element of Scandi design and maybe one of the main elements! I am sure you have word of the word Hygee. This is the Danish and Norwegian word that loosely translated means coziness and comfort, a feeling of well-being and contentment. Textured pieces create this coziness. Felt bowls filled with extra Christmas tree decorations placed on a shelf or as a center piece or even the use of felt coasters add a layer of texture creating the cozy vibe.
Lighting. Nothing creates a mood more than lighting and this is especially true with the Scandi vibe. The white base of your Scandi design is there to help reflect the light as the available daylight is in short demand. Candles are a must have when you are creating a Scandi Christmas. Candles give you height when used in your table décor and create such a warm and welcoming vibe when lit. There is truly something special about enjoying a meal over candlelight. Another lighting element to consider when you are thinking about your Christmas décor is twinkle lights, a must have for any Christmas decorating. I love the simplicity of the lighted bare branch trees in white either on their own or clustered in a group in a corner. You can choose to hang a few simple red ornaments on them for a festive flare or leave them bare, either looks great and creates a warm feeling. Need help adding light to that far corner of the room? Maybe a textured floor lamp on a dimmer switch would help create the feeling you are looking for? I love the Midway floor lamp; the handwoven rattan floor lamp instantly adds warmth to a corner even when it is not lit up! When the floor lamp is turned on the cascading rays of light on the floor add yet another design element.
Greenery. Bring the outside in! Natural elements are a main principle of Scandi design. Sprigs of evergreen are a must have in Christmas Scandi décor. A simple branch hung on the wall is a great place to display your collection of Christmas cards and well wishes from friends and family. A small evergreen sprig with a tied bow of twine placed at each table setting on top of a linen napkin is great way to incorporate nature into your dining table décor.
Potted plants throughout the home is another Scandinavian design element. To carry this design element through the holiday season, use smaller potted evergreens placed throughout your home. Placed on the foyer table or kitchen countertop these little saplings instantly create a natural holiday flare. These potted evergreens are readily available this time of season and bring a natural pop of colour and texture to the home. Not to mention, this is an environmentally friendly form of seasonal decorating as you can plant these evergreens around your home in the spring.
Less is more. As with traditional Scandi design decluttering is key. Clean lines and minimal adornment carry through to decorating for the holidays. You may find this an easy form of decorating but admittedly this is one of the hardest Scandi decorating tips for me to follow. I tend to decorate an area and leave a box in the room, for the next few days, every time I walk by the decorated area I “edit” taking some pieces away. By the end of the few days, I usually have the desired minimal look.
Make it personal. The holidays are all about family and traditions, don’t forget to incorporate this into your holiday decorating. Even if some items may not align with the Scandi vibe, if these pieces mean something to you it is important to have them in your space. You want your indoor space to be as unique as you, this is what makes it special and memorable.
With the arrival of the crisp Autumn weather our thoughts turn to dismantling our outdoor living spaces for another year. Before you go and store away your patio furniture why not take a look and see if you can use any of your outdoor furniture pieces in your indoor space? Refresh a corner with seating for two for a morning coffee or add that extra seating to your living room space. No longer is outdoor furniture made strictly for the outdoors, it now comes in many different styles and dimensions. Resin is no longer the only option!
The scale of outdoor patio furniture lends perfectly to small hard to design spaces and private corners. Quality and design have come so far in patio furniture some condominium owners prefer patio furniture for their indoor living spaces. When every square inch counts you want to make sure that you choose wisely for function and design. The Covelo line is a popular choice for small indoor living areas. Insert link.
Do you have a small unused corner in your indoor living space that you just don’t know what to do with? Consider placing a small bistro set in the corner. Not only are these sets eye-catching it will give you a new area to sit and enjoy your morning espresso or cappuccino. By moving your café set indoors you will be able to enjoy the Parisian vibe all year long!
I know plants are not furniture, but you have nursed these plants along all summer, why not enjoy them throughout the winter? Not all plants can be safely moved indoors, unfortunately annuals will not make the transition. However, most other plants will thrive just as beautifully indoors, just be sure to place them in the correct natural light requirements in your home. While you are bringing in your favourite plants it is also a great time to give them a touch of fertilizer to ease the transition. A simple styling trick when bringing in your patio plants is to use a plant basket. It’s as simple as placing your potted plant from outside in the basket pot and all! We would advise to ensure you have a spill tray at the bottom of your pot incase you over water it. These baskets add a warm texture to your space and are available in a variety of colours. Our favourites are the Pokoloko plant baskets that come in 3 different sizes and designs that compliment each other.
Style wise, usually your outdoor furniture will be along the same lines as your indoor furniture. People tend to gravitate to their preferred style when sourcing and purchasing furniture. This being said it makes it easy to meld your outdoor patio furniture with your existing indoor furniture.
Why not freshen up your current indoor furniture set up? Side tables and end tables are interchangeable with indoor and outdoor furniture and sometimes add that perfect bit of something new to add interest to your space. Some popular versatile outdoor side table options are the Pamir side tables for a traditional look and the Virgo nesting coffee tables for a more modern look.
Don’t be afraid to use your outdoor rugs inside. These rugs again have come a long way from the old peeling plastic versions. The Averio rug looks and feels like a sisal rug however is made of a polypropylene that will not flake away and makes for easy clean ups! With the arrival of fall and the impending arrival of winter muddy and snowy boots will be lining our entry ways, this is a great place to use your outdoor rugs. The Chilewich shag rugs are specifically designed to capture the dirt and debris from footwear as well as the feet of our canine family members. Less vacuuming is always a good thing! To clean the rugs just take them outside for a quick shake.
Another area of your home that is quick and easy to spruce up with outdoor furniture is your home office or bedroom. Do you have some extra floor space in these areas that could accommodate an occasional chair? Sometimes just the addition of a chair and a side table create the perfect little moment in your indoor living space. The Indus and Lyra lines meld beautifully with the esthetics of a home office. You can’t even tell that they are outdoor furniture!
Swap out your dining chairs. With the ever more popular eclectic look when it comes to dining chairs, why not exchange a couple of your indoor dining chairs with your patio dining chairs? Not super keen on the eclectic look? A more unified esthetic is to exchange the two end chairs creating visual interest.
Do you have a formal dining room that you no longer use? An area of your basement that is forgotten? Maybe even a home gym that is only used as a laundry rack? These areas can be transformed into beautiful garden rooms, even if they are not bathed in sunlight. With a little bit of white paint, botanical print wallpaper used strategically and some artificial plants these spaces can be transformed into an inviting and relaxing garden room. This is a great idea especially if you have some true rattan pieces of outdoor furniture. Adding these pieces indoors creates a costal vibe and we all need to feel a bit of a warm costal vibe at some point in the dead of winter. We have put together some of our favorite garden room pieces for some inspiration.
Made of true rattan the Vallda line is made to last generations. As rattan pieces are investment pieces it makes sense to have a place indoors to use them year round. There is an added bonus of feeling an instant sense of warmth when you pass by a rattan chair which helps chase away the winter blues.
The dimmensions and design of the Hassel make it a great option for luxury in small spaces. The neutral colour palette compliments any interior you just add your own personal choice of toss cushions and or throws to completel the look!
Similar to the Hassel the Pembroke lends itself beautifully to luxury in small spaces. With the tubular black aluminum legs the Pembroke has a bit more of a modern look but again with a neutral colour palette making it easy to meld with your interior decor.
As you can see the line between indoor furniture and outdoor furniture has definitely been blurred. It makes sense to take the time when shopping for patio furniture to think ahead of how you may be able to use these pieces of furniture year round.
Being creative and thinking outside of the box before you go ahead and store all of your patio furniture for the season may lead to a new look for the interior of your house this winter! Happy decorating!
Fall is less than a week away on the calendar, despite the lovely warm weather we’ve been enjoying! And it’s an enchanting time of year!
Cooler temperatures, crisp leaves and bright colours – bursts of yellow, orange and red dotting the landscapes around the country signal that one of the most spectacular seasons in our part of Ontario is arriving. Fall, no matter your age, still somehow signals the chance to start anew. The season almost urges you to slow down, savour quiet moments, dig into harvest foods and discover new experiences.
So, take a moment to plan the perfect respite between summer and winter at your cottage, and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons in your locale, whether it be hiking, apple picking, enjoying bonfires. However, you don’t need a cottage to enjoy this season, just a willingness to get out in nature and enjoy the fresh weather and surroundings.
The Cottage Culture team dug into what enjoyable fall activities come to mind for each of us, and share a few of our favourite ways to safely embrace autumn this year.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
- Albert Camus
Orchards are now open for apple picking at Ontario farms, and to our way of thinking, nothing signals the coming of fall like biting into a crisp fresh apple that you picked with your own two hands. Peak picking stretches right through September and October, so find an orchard open for picking near your cottage and take the family apple picking for the day. Couple that with a full day of farm fun, like corn mazes and wagon rides, and you have an ideal day outing with the family.
Then what could be better than baking your apple pies after picking the ingredients with your own hands? Here are just a few area orchards open for picking: Apple Land Station, Thorndale; ; The Red Barn Fruit Farm, Arkona; Smith’s Apples and Market, Port Elgin; Maxwell Apple Orchards near Collingwood; Meleg’s Lakeview Orchard, Kingsville; Thiessen Orchards, Leamington.
Always check to see that visiting and picking is allowed. Otherwise choose to visit the numerous area orchard markets who’ve done the work for you! Also check open hours before you head out.
We are fortunate here in South Western Ontario to have access to two Great Lakes for our fishing enjoyment. Local experts suggest that fishing in the fall is when you may be most likely to catch the biggest fish. If you don’t have you own boat, there are a number of fishing charters leaving rom ports all along the Lake Huron shoreline, leaving from Sarnia, Kettle Point, Port Franks, Grand Bend, Goderich, Kincardine, to name a few. Charters also serve Lake Erie, departing from Erieau and Colchester. You can enjoy the last fishing moments of the season (until ice fishing begins!) and impress your family with your fresh catch.
There are so many beautiful spots to hike in the fall, it’s difficult to capture them all. For me, one of my favourites is hiking along the shores of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay (or Lake Erie), when you get to a viewpoint and see stretches of crystal blue waters along side pops of bright colour – think the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, with over 900 km of main Trail and over 450 km of side trails. Accessible to explorers of all ages, the Bruce Trail connects you to the wonders of the Niagara Escarpment – cobble beaches, open meadows, waterfalls, rocky crevices, old growth forests and awe-inspiring views. While another recommends an enjoyable hike closer to home, in Rock Glen Conservation Area, where you can wander through a forest filled with rare trees, soak up waterfall views, and enjoy a scenic gorge in this area. You can even go fossil hunting! And still another, hiking along the Elora Gorge, suggesting that if you are only going to visit a small number of charming towns in southwestern Ontario this fall, then you might choose Elora. Not only is it a lovely little town full of colourful places for strolling, but a hike through the Elora Gorge Conservation Area in the fall will wow you with brilliant fall foliage. If you take the trail through the park, you can catch sight of the over 70 foot cliffs that line the gorge – truly a visit for your bucket list!
Cocktail hour at the cottage in the summer, whether on your dock, or deck, is hard to beat. But, have you ever thought about sitting outside in cozy sweaters with thick blankets draped over your outdoor lounge chair, sipping mulled wine or warm cider? You can watch the sun go down, and see the rays light up the surrounding colourful foliage, then see the stars come out. You’ll be wishing you’d thought of this sooner.
We have our favourite mulled wine recipe to share with you, here.
The Best Mulled Wine Recipe
The best traditional mulled wine recipe with brandy, apple cider, and mulling spices. This hot spiced wine is festive, easy, and perfect for parties!
While we can’t state authoritatively that this is the most traditional mulled wine recipe (there seem to be as many variations of mulled wine as there are European cafés in which to sip them), we’ve made enough batches to say with confidence that this is the best mulled wine recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This recipe scales easily. Feel free to increase the batch size by as much as your slow cooker or pot will hold.
TO MAKE ON THE STOVE: simmer the wine, apple cider, orange zest and juice, and spices in a large pot or Dutch oven the stove over low heat for 30 minutes, instead of heating in the slow cooker. Do not let the wine boil Add the brandy and serve.
TO STORE: Let your slow cooker mulled wine cool completely, then pour it into an airtight storage container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm mulled wine in a large pot on the stovetop over low heat, or pour leftovers into your slow cooker and reheat on LOW until warm.
Notes on the Ingredients:
Spices. Cardamom, cinnamon sticks, and star anise are the mulled wine spices. Even if you don’t love anise, the flavor here is subtle, well balanced, and gives this spiced wine an extra note of flavor that you don’t want to miss.
Ground spices not recommended, as they will float on top of the wine and not incorporate properly.
Brandy. The final edge this spiced wine needs to reach its peak
A lot of people underestimate how enjoyable evenings are at the beach. While we enjoy bonfires on the beach right through the summer, we find that now, as the temperatures cool down, there is nothing more special than enjoying a bonfire. Firepits are an excellent way to avoid any issues with legality of having a bonfire in your location; they also raise up the level of the fire to help keep everyone warm. Cottage Culture staff would be happy to show you their sturdy Iron Embers firepits.
The following checklist of items will ensure you create the perfect bonfire experience;
However you plan to spend your time this fall at your cottage be sure to savour the moments, it's the little things that create the largest memories!