Welcome to our Big Backyard!

The Scenic Route

Scroll down for your guide!
Cultivate Big Backyard

Hi, my name is Jeff Bray and I am the co-founder of Cultivate Festival. That's me and my daughter doing the tour right up there. 


Our festival was born out of our appreciation for what is going on in our “ Big Backyard”. We are surrounded by wonderful farms, great restaurants, award winning breweries and world class markets. It’s also one of the most beautiful places on the planet during the fall. So here we are - celebrating greatness. Thank you so much for supporting! 


You probably want to get right to your tour, but I thought I would share some valuable information before hand. 


We think you are going to love this tour. Enjoy it from east to west, or the opposite! Either way, drive safely and enjoy the scenery. There's even more to the scenic route than we've included. Before we get to the tour, here are some thoughts on what you can do along the way and at the end of the road. 


If you start in Grafton, you will finish at Haute Goat - a brilliant place for a picnic, the views are unrivalled. Even in the snow! Sometimes, especially in the snow. 


Headed in the other direction, you will end up in Grafton at The Lass & Ladle. 


Here are a couple more places you could check out from East to West. 


Pop by Moore Orchards and grab a some incredible fresh pressed cider. 'Tis the season! Go home and whip up some mulled cider. Top with your favourite adult spirit. 


Just North of the 401 on Highway 2 is Dancing Bee, Canada’s largest beekeeping supply store with so much more to offer than just that. Grab some honey and sweeten that cider! 


There is a lot to do, so keep your eyes peeled. Remember, though, these are bonuses! Scroll down for what's included.


However you decide to do it, let us follow along. Share your tour with us on social media for a chance to win. Tag Cultivate Festival on Facebook or Instagram with the #cultivatesbigbackyard for your chance to win monthly prizes including tickets to our winter concert series, an overnight staycation and plenty more. 


Have the best time and say hello to everyone for me along the way. 




The Scenic Route

Cultivate Big Backyard

Haute Goat - 1166 5th line, Newtonville

$15 Gift Card


Haute Goat is one of my favourite places to be. The property offers an instant calm. The views are amazing and the treats are unique. If you are planning on grabbing and going, I would suggest the Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar. It’s an award winning cheese made by Mariposa Dairy just up the road in Lindsay that will have you reconsidering what you thought goat cheese was. It’s a top five cheese for me.


Alternatively, grab a coffee and get yourself going, or splurge on some Udderly Delicious goat milk ice cream. Who says you can't have ice cream in the winter? Make sure to walk the property though - kids love the alpacas, goats, horses and chickens and, to be honest, you will too. 


Ganaraska Brewing Company - 33 Mill St South, Port Hope

$10 or two cans of beer.


Ganaraska Brewing Company just opened. It’s been years in the making! They have plenty of great options at this point. They have a little something for everyone, including food, so don’t feel like you need to have a beer - but, it sure sounds good to me! All of the beers pay homage to the history of Port Hope. I would suggest the Hazy Rapids New England IPA, but it certainly wouldn't be a bad decision to get a flight and try a few!


Happenstance Bakery - 135 Peter St, Port Hope

Cafe Happenstance - 203 Third St, Cobourg

$15 Gift Card


Happenstance filled a void in Port Hope a few years back. We were desperate for freshly baked bread and espresso based beverages. They have delivered. If you are hungry, the pretzels are amazing! As is the ham and cheese croissant - that is my go to.


We're trying to stay cozy here, so I think you should try the Maple & Spice Latte. Sweetened with maple syrup and all the warming spices you could ask for. It's the perfect accompaniment to the next stop!


On the weekends, grab one of their famous breakfast sandwiches (downtown Port Hope only). If you are feeling really adventurous, put together a pizza kit with their sourdough pizza dough and homemade sauce. We do this weekly and our kids LOVE it.


Little known fact - While I don’t want any credit, I pushed owners Nick and Erin to open a coffee shop for ages when they first moved here. You’re welcome!


Betty’s Pies and Tarts - 7380 County Rd 2, Cobourg

$10 Gift Card


Award winning butter tarts. What more do I need to say here? Betty’s Pies and Tarts have been a staple of the community for ages. They do make very nice pies and an apple crumble tart that is quite a wonderful treat. But I am here for the butter tarts, and you are too. Let’s be serious. For me, it’s all about the classic plain. Raisins? Nope. No chance. But that’s just me. You do you. 


Little known fact - Betty’s won the award for best tart at the Royal Winter Fair in 2014. A HUGE honour. They also have a gooey centre, so I would suggest not taking your first bite while behind the wheel. I have made this mistake so you don’t have to. 



The Mill Restaurant and Pub - 990 Ontario St, Cobourg

$10 Gift Card


The Mill Restaurant and Pub is a great place for a winter warm up, or a refreshing winter walk! 


For food, cozy up in the big windows and order some fresh cut fries with basil mayo. If it isn't fries, dive into a warm soup. Chef Isaac is a soup master - you won’t be disappointed! They also have a great craft beer menu, in case you feel the need. 

While you're there, book your spot for  the Hot Chocolate Hike. It is underway between Thursday and Sunday and you already have one free pass in your bag! It's a wonderful walk themed around the stars complete with a beautifully lit archway bridge. Fun for the whole family!


Little known fact - Cultivate co-founder, Amelia Sheffield, is the General Manager of The Mill. Make sure you say hello!


Market & Smor - 39 King St E, Cobourg

$20 Gift Card


Market and Smor has been delighting the palettes of downtown Cobourgers for a couple of years now. They are focused on healthy, beautiful food as well as zero food-waste and easy, to-go items. For me, it’s all about the charcuterie. Chef Sean is doing amazing things with whole animals from the farms of Northumberland. This is the only place making charcuterie around, so don’t miss out! Look closely - anywhere you see “Market” on the label, will assure you that it was made in-house. Their charcuterie mixed pack offers something for everyone. I would also urge you to get the country pate. Take your time to explore - you’ll find a lot with your name on it, and M&S will become your favourite market in Cobourg.


Little known fact - Although the owners' names suggest they came from the USA (Lucas Cleveland and Montana Desjardins), they actually sold all their belongings and moved to Cobourg from Alberta with the dream of selling fresh produce to downtown Cobourg. Dreams can come true!


The Lass & Ladle - 10831 County Rd 2, Grafton

$10 Gift Card


Downtown Grafton has never been so lucky. The Lass & Ladle opened up this past year and has been a revelation for locals. Fresh coffee from Cold Creek Coffee Roasters (Castleton) and fresh bread from Millstone Bread (Cobourg) are daily staples. All this before you even get into the baked goods and hot food that has taken the township by storm. For the sake of this tour though, I am going to suggest their Cheesecake in a Jar. Always partnered with a seasonal filling and topped with a graham cookie, it makes the perfect takeaway dessert - one that could be enjoyed anywhere. 

Little known fact - If you happen to choose the Jamaican Paddy or the WONDERFUL house-made focaccia, it was made by my best bud and  groomsman, Jeff May. Yes, our names are wild close. We also share the same middle name.



There you have it! I hope you enjoyed. Don't forget to share your experience for a chance to win monthly prizes! Tag Cultivate on Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #cultivatesbigbackyard



Disclaimer - We recommend taking the tour between 11am - 2pm, Wednesday through Saturday. Having said that, the certificates don't expire. You can do this at your own pace! However we strongly urge you to check out the participating businesses hours of operation. These places are small and independent, so things can change quickly.

There is no g
uarantee that my suggestions will be available. These are small, independent businesses and things change. They will always have delicious options though. 

Cultivate's Big Backyard is proudly sponsored by: