À la table de Madame Marie: Langdon Hall – A culinary dream
Introducing À la table de Madame Marie – a new pandemic series that provides in-depth experiences of restaurants in and around Toronto.
1 Langdon Drive (Cambridge)
Situated on 75 verdant acres, Langdon Hall is a destination that whisks visitors away to an enchanting place where time seems to slow down. After an incredible visit in 2019 (read my past review), it was the ideal place to venture to as pandemic restrictions started to lift.
Located in Cambridge, Ontario, the elegant post-Colonial country house has 60 charming guest suites that are complemented with renowned fine dining and relaxing spa treatments. Large indoor and outdoor dining rooms, a picturesque outdoor pool, cozy lounges, and tranquil bedrooms overlook well-manicured gardens. Plush feather beds and soul-satisfying food are ingredients for a truly restful escape.
Langdon Hall has a strong culinary reputation, backed by equally strong credentials. It comes as no surprise that Langdon Hall ranked fourth on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2020 list. At the helm is Chef Jason Bangerter, who produces brilliant menus and draws his inspiration from the property’s gardens and neighbouring farms. Fresh eggs and pork are sourced from Murray’s Farm, for example.
Operationally, Langdon Hall has made numerous changes to ensure the health and safety of their guests and staff. Similarly, the dining program has seen several iterations since Langdon Hall reopened in June, but you’d never know. Chef Jason Bangerter and his team always focus on delivering a seamless and simply divine experience for their guests.
With every overnight stay, guests have the option of adding a three-course dinner and breakfast, which I highly recommend. Dinner overlooking the lily pond may start with sea scallops dotted with citrus geranium jam, crème fraîche and edible flowers from le jardin. Or, perhaps a nod to the simplicity of heirloom tomatoes that are picked from the garden and served same-day. They’re precisely blanched and enhanced with fragrant anise, olive oil and tomato water.
The food is sans faute and achieves the perfect balance between comforting and classical with a local flair. Imaginez: slow cooked beef with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms plump with pan jus or poached young chicken with fresh potato and a healthy dose of velouté. I adored Chef’s take on summer risotto – a vibrant showcase of green garden vegetables, honey mushrooms and a rainbow of delicate edible flowers. For even the best chefs, risotto is an easy dish to botch. Preparation requires the right ratio of rice to stock and ample attention to achieve an al dente texture. It was exquisite, and one bite was all I needed to fall in love.
Desserts were divine. Take the Blackberry and Blossoms, for example, with creamy chamomile custard, blackberry compote and elderberry jam. This sweet summer ending made me wish I didn’t share this dish with my date. Grape jellies that glittered like amethysts and pomegranate macarons bookended an impeccably executed meal. Unique wine pairings also complemented the meal from start to finish.
Breakfast was just as dreamy (even though the decadent buffet option was not offered during my stay due to the pandemic restrictions). Ingredients were as freshly squeezed, seasonal, and as locally sourced as they come. Eggs with deep orange yolks were absolument parfait – and their purity shone in the Lobster and Champagne Eggs. La même chose with the creamy coconut yogurt with a tropical pop of pineapple. Brioche pain perdu with local strawberries, or a buttery pain au chocolat, made with Langdon Hall’s own 70% dark chocolate, were the dishes that dreams are made of.
A visit to Langdon Hall will transport you to more idyllic times where staff demonstrate outstanding hospitality, and this visit exceeded my first. A nod to servers Evan and Romain for their impeccable customer service and attention to detail. Chef Jason Bangerter’s dedication to local ingredients results in memorable dishes that are refreshingly simple and elegant without being pretentious (stay tuned for his cookbook release). If you don’t leave Langdon Hall happier than when you checked in, consider visiting your therapist.
Mme. M. xoxo