The Lakehouse Inn seen from the parking lot.
About an hour east by car from Cleveland is Geneva-on-the-Lake. One of those old lakeside resort areas that, for some miracle, not only lingered but is once again packed with summer crowds. However, growing up, parents never stopped there but once. We usually drove through there to get to Ashtabula while enjoying the lake view. Now, as it turns out, all these years later, I have a reason to drive over there more often.
These two photographs speak for themselves.
The Lakehouse Inn is a deceptively nice place to stop on a Sunday or even spend the night it turns out. A bed and breakfast, it also has a restaurant, spa, winery, gift shop, and an amazing terrace and patio area. The patio alone, overlooking Lake Erie, makes it worth the drive alone.
The western patio with a view of the north coast.
One of the patios looking East.
In a few ways, walking down the brick steps to the patio, it reminded me of some of the places I’ve been to some of the places I’ve been to at Niagara-on-the-Lake or up in Muskoka. There were plenty of Adirondack chairs, umbrellas open on the tables and of course the view. You can call it a micro-resort, it just happens to be squeezed in a narrow lot on the north side of Route 534. Even with summer officially over, the parking lot was pretty full and with the weather more like late July than the middle of September it leads to the Inn being a pretty busy place. With all the summer help back to school, and the food being brought down from the restaurant kitchens, the two servers had more than their hands full taking care of everyone. My server told me that they were pretty much booked solid all day.’
One of the pizzas made there.
The patio has a light menu of appetizers, pizzas, desserts, and before 4:00 P.M. sandwiches. While I wasn’t too thrilled I had to pay a dollar for a bottle of water, I suspect that’s because there’s no running water in the little bar/cashier area nest to the stairs but most people were drinking beer and wine, one couple had one bottle chilled in an ice bucket at their table. As for me, I had the wood fired pizza with three toppings for $14. The dough was homemade and the server that all their produce comes from a farm in Kinsman Township which is south of Andover near the Pennsylvania border. It was very good and I ate it all!
The menu for the Crosswinds Grille up the hill looked very good as well. While not Pier W or Chez Francois, that’s not the point. I think what the owners were trying to do was find their own niche with locally-sourced food and a menu that changes often. In fact, it might fit in well with the Sherwood Inn more than anything else. I just stopped in there few seconds to poke around but might have to go back to what it’s really all about.
A look at the Inn grounds.
The patio is usually open until the first week of October, weather permitting. As for the restaurant, it remains open all year round (but closed Mondays and Tuesdays in the Winter).
A row of rocking chairs for those who just want to enjoy the view.
Just another of the unknown gems on the North Coast.
Photographs by James Valentino.