Two of the main buildings at the Ben Miller Inn & Spa are over one hundred and thirty years old, but it’s the simplicity and charm of the old grist mill, that keeps visitors coming back for some good old fashioned country R & R. It’s nestled in the rolling hills near Lake Huron, about ten minutes from downtown Goderich.
Rooms are available in different buildings or cottages, depending on the experience you are looking for. We stayed in one of the Mill rooms that overlooked a gushing stream and the Maitland River. The sound of the water and the view were amazing.
The room was clean will all the amenities, including a mini hideaway kitchenette. I was a bit disappointed with the overall condition of the old Inn. There is being old and there is looking old; the Inn looks like it could use some TLC. It was more evident on the property away from the main building.
We walked around the area and drove along the Mailland, into Goderich, to check out the area. The historic Park House Bar & Restaurant was the perfect place for a late afternoon beer and appetizer.
Dinner was at the Ben Miller. We had made reservations earlier, being told seven-thirty was the latest sitting they could do. The hostess added that they were short-staffed because of the holiday weekend. Funny, for a resort, I would have thought that would be the time to have extra staff available.
Cathryn and I split the PEI muscles as an appetizer, done in a smoked tomato peperade, with chorizo and scallions. The muscles were plump and whatever juice we couldn’t scoop with a spoon, we soaked up with our bread.
C had the seared beef tenderloin and butter poached shrimp, served with pommes sarladaise, seasonal vegetables and a maple whiskey spiked hunter sauce. She said it was delicious, but cold. The sever was over-taxed and never checked back on us, so she ate her meal anyway.
I had the seared flat iron bistro steak, with sauteed mushrooms and Cabernet, jumbo onion rings, and scallion potato hash. I found my meat a bit tough-but that’s not unusual with that type of steak, if it’s not prepared perfectly. The golden and crispy onion rings were the highlight of my meal, they were easily the best I’ve ever had.
We ordered an Argentinian Malbec, from Mendoza, to accompany our entrees. As every other wine I’ve had from the Mendoza region, it didn’t let us down. It was a bit sharp at first, but decanting took care of that.
Although we were told seven-thirty was the latest seating, others were seated up until eight-thirty. During the course of the evening we heard the hostess/waitress apologize to each and every table about being swamped and short-handed. The bartender was also doing double-duty as a waiter and the busboy must have been helping in the kitchen, because tables were not cleared and water glasses were not filled.
Apart from the restaurant glitches, our stay was peaceful and relaxing, just the way we wanted it.