Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival Weekend Getaway

Stratford Festival Theatre
Festival Theatre, 2004. Photo by Norm Russell.
Stratford Festival Theatre
Festival Theatre, 2004. Photo by Norm Russell.

Whether you are an admirer of the Bard, or prefer contemporary theatre, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2012 playbill will suit many divergent tastes. A trip to Stratford, Ontario, which is about 1 1/2 hours west of Toronto, provides a great option for short weekend trips (check out some of the best Stratford hotels here), combining the best of Canadian theatre against a backdrop of Perth County farm country. One of the must-see performances at the 2012 Stratford Festival is ironically not a Shakespearean romp, but the autobiographical monologue, A Word or Two, by recent-Academy-Award-winner Christopher Plummer, who will discuss the works of literature that influenced him throughout his life.

Stratford Festival 2012 Recommendations

To mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812, VideoCabaret will make its debut at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival with their satirical historical drama, The War of 1812. If you’ve never seen a VideoCabaret performance, it’s a treat. The actors appear on a black box stage, playing numerous characters in cabaret style. Another sure hit is the Tony-Award-winning musical,  42nd Street, starring TV star Cynthia Dale, who returns to Stratford after an absence of five years.

Affordable Stratford, Ontario Restaurants

Let Them Eat Cake Restaurant
Let Them Eat Cake, Stratford

Restaurants in Stratford, Ontario are either very expensive or somewhat expensive; there doesn’t seem to be much selection below that. Having said that, Raja Fine Indian Cuisine (10 George Street) is a pretty affordable choice that offers good value . Don’t fill up on the delicious homemade vegetable pakoras or you won’t have room for one of the restaurant’s specialties, Chicken Tikka Masala. Reservations at this elegant dining room are a must. The Sun Room across the street (55 George Street) is located in a light-filled, renovated house, and offers relatively inexpensive meals with entrees averaging $26. The menu includes vegetarian options such as Baklava with roasted vegetables and walnuts, and stir fry tofu and vegetables with coconut Basmati rice. If you’re searching for a good breakfast spot, check out Let Them Eat Cake (23 Albert Street), which opens at 7 a.m. The cheerful bistro and dessert cafe serves eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and fresh fruit bowls, as well as an all-day breakfast and dinner menu.

The Sun Room Restaurant, Stratford
The Sun Room, Stratford