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My wife and I have been going to Hathaway's Cottage for over 10 years. In our travels, we've rarely stayed in the same place twice. Kevin and Rachelle make it very hard to consider staying anywhere else while in Stratford...this is why we keep going back!
First, the location - most visitors to Stratford will probably be in town for the Shakespeare Festival. Here is the first way that Hathaway's Cottage shines - it's roughly the same distance to all of the four theatre venues. So, since Stratford is such a nice walking town, you're never too far away from the shows, the shopping downtown, or the great restaurants. Just down the road, going east, is the Festival Warehouse, where they have costume tours. Going down a little further is Zehr's supermarket, where you can pick up light snacks or a picnic lunch for later. Make sure to make dinner plans at one of the great restaurants in town...if you need, Kevin or Rachelle can make suggestions or help with reservations.
The B&B is just off of the corner of Douro and Front Streets. This, again, is quite nice, because it makes it easy to find (especially if you end up coming into Stratford late at night). Plus, there's a stop light at the corner of Front and Ontario Street (the main business street in town). For those of you that have tried to cross or turn onto Ontario when it's busy during the theatre season, you'll know what I mean when I say that it's nice to have a traffic light.
Parking is easy and ample in the driveway. From the driveway, enter through the latched gate (please make sure to relatch the gate...Bailey, the friendliest dog in all of Canada lives there...you don't want her to get loose) into the kitchen. From there, the room is up a short spiral-like staircase. The room is more than roomy enough for the two of us. The bedding is all brand new, as is the paint in the bedroom, and the entire bathroom. There's a dresser and an elevated walk-in closet with plenty of hangers and rod space, plus room for suitcases. In the walk-in closet, there's a mini-fridge, with room for an ice tray or cold packs (remember to bring a cooler, since Stratford is such a great place to enjoy picnics along the river). Along with the refrigerator, there's a coffee maker and tea, with cold water and coffee cream. Because of the location of the room relative to the windows, the room never gets the heat of the afternoon sun, so it stays nice and cool in the summertime. Since it's on a side street, it never gets too loud...all of this makes for peaceful sleeping.
Now for the breakfasts...Hathaway's Cottage is a "second generation" B&B, as Rachelle's mom also runs a B&B in town. So, you can be sure that many of the wonderful breakfast dishes have either been tried-and-true or are the collaboration of two very good cooks! There will be a checklist sheet waiting for you, with your request for breakfast items (and time) for the following day. Weekday breakfasts are more continental style, with muffins, pastries, scones, cereal, etc., together with fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and juices. However, on the weekends, Rachelle will put her creative juices to work. Over the more than 10 years that my wife and I have been returning, we've made the migration to a vegetarian diet. Rachelle has been very good in keeping up with our dietary needs...all you have to do is to tell her what you'd like (or don't want). For the most part, she will usually have a suggested egg dish or a recipe that she's been dying to try (don't worry...she'll ask you first!). We've never been disappointed. The dining room is very light and roomy...makes for a nice environment to enjoy the wonderful food and plan out the day.
The home itself is very well kept, with a covered porch and comfortable chairs in front. If you have the time to sit and relax, kick back, while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Again, being a side street, the traffic is very light, so it will be quiet, while you curl up with a newspaper or a nice book (from one of the independent new and used bookshops in town). The lawn is very well kept and manicured. There's a wonderful garden area in the back, with flower beds and bird feeders on the shade trees. In fact, the garden recently won an award in a local Stratford area competition!
Wifi is good, consistent, and fast. There's also a TV with a satellite receiver in the room.
Your hosts wlll be Kevin, Rachelle, and Olivia (their daughter) Watts...and don't forget Bailey (woof). We've had the opportunity and the joy of watching Olivia (and Bailey) grow up and be happy and active. Yes, Kevin and Rachelle are doting parents, but it's obvious that there's a lot of love in the household.
On the whole, it's always nice to return...and it's a little sad in leaving, but I hope that you'll take comfort in knowing that you can always go back.
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