Laveanne (Campbellcroft)

Looking for a photo op amongst flowers and disappointed to hear the sunflower farm is now closed? Luckily, you can still nestle yourself amongst the lavender fields of Laveanne. About an hour outside of Toronto in Port Hope, Laveanne is a small farm with no admission charge containing a little store and open-air bistro. Unless you’re a photo fiend, you likely won’t spend more than an hour and half at the facility, but a visit to the goat farm and Port Hope marina can help fill the day.

They’re only opened for July when the lavender flowers. By the time we visited at the end of the month, the peak of the lavender bloom was over, but the purple flowers remained on the plants. Perhaps not as vibrantly coloured as mid-month, we could still smell the distinctive scent as we walked amongst the field.

A local restauranteur/caterer also takes over their open-air bistro for lunch. During 2018, it was On the Side Gourmet where they offered a simple menu with four sandwiches, a larger salad, soup, dessert, and sides. The bistro consists of a dozen tables under a tent attached to a gazebo where the kitchen resides. While the food was mediocre, at best, there’s something about eating amongst a lavender field that makes everything taste better.

The steak on baguette ($17) is better described as roast beef on a sausage bun. Everything was too soft for me – the beef so thinly sliced against the grain that it almost crumbles, which would have been okay if the bread also wasn’t doughy. Moreover, it needed seasoning - even with grilled onions and cheese sauce there wasn’t much flavour. While the French potato salad was a vibrant combination of cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrots, celery, onion, and olives, like the sandwich it needed something more than just herbed oil to give it interest.

Still, the “steak” was a better option than the grilled chicken kabob ($16), which had been precooked, left in a warmer, then re-heated on the grill. By the time it was served, the chicken was dry and hard. Perhaps if there was more sauce to rehydrate the protein it’d be better, but the wrap barely contained any tzatziki and the tabbouleh was really chopped tomatoes and not the flavourful Middle Eastern parsley and grain salad you’re expect. Luckily, I paired this with the garden salad, so when added into the wrap there was at least some flavour and crunch. Otherwise, the best part of the sandwich was the warmed flatbread.

While I’m not normally a huge fan of lavender in food, being at Laveanne convinced me to try the punch with lavender syrup ($3). Not surprisingly, there was no lavender flavours; I couldn’t even smell the aroma. To be fair, maybe it was because we had just walked through the field of flowers that had such a strong fragrance. For fruit punch, it was fine.

Disappointing lunch aside, Laveanne is worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a relaxing and low-key drive. Sometimes you just need to get out of the city and be amongst nature. In July, why not make it fragrant purple lavender? 

Overall mark - 6 out of 10 

How To Find Them
 Location: Campbellcroft, Canada
 Address: 8667 Gilmour Road

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!