About Fine Thymes

The idea for Fine Thymes Restaurant and Tea-Room grew like a seed dropped into fertile soil. First it sprouted: “Why don’t we…” and then it put down roots: “Muskoka is the perfect location…” and then it leafed out and blossomed.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth and my partner is Claude. We come from very different backgrounds, yet the creation of Fine Thymes has allowed us to integrate and strengthen our common bonds.

We soon knew what we wanted…

…A restaurant that serves real food. Not health food, but delicious homemade dishes using quality ingredients, made “from scratch”, the way our mothers and grandmothers used to do.

…A restaurant open for breakfast and lunch, but with a tea room charm where people feel comfortable just dropping in for a cup of really good tea or coffee — and perhaps a delicious snack as well.

…A cozy place that offers a relaxing pause in a busy day and quiet music that makes you feel good. (We both love music, but Claude was the “music man” long before he became our “muffin man”.) After a twenty-five year career as a paramedic, he is looking forward to his most serious “emergency” being the occasional scorched muffin.

But why Muskoka?

My family has ties with Muskoka that go right back to its earliest years as a vacation place. My grandmother, another Elizabeth, visited some of the early resorts in Muskoka in her youth. She bought a waterfront lot in a sheltered cove of Gaunt Bay. Following her marriage in 1921, she and her husband Tom camped there while they were building their cottage. There was no road to the cottage in those days, and so they had to travel by boat down the Moon River from the town of Bala. The cottage property is still in our family today.

It is my memories of tapping trees and making maple syrup with Grandpa, and of family outings to pick wild blueberries and cranberries that sparked my interest in featuring local produce in my recipes and buying from local suppliers where possible.

From childhood summers in Muskoka to life in France seems a long leap, but eventually my twelve years there dovetailed with my love for Muskoka. In Bordeaux I managed a bistro on La Place du Parlement. Returning to Canada in 2004, I brought with me an appreciation for Mediterranean seasonings and products that bring a touch of adventure to my recipes. What could be more natural than merging all I had learned by opening a restaurant — in Muskoka.

For Claude, Muskoka is a comfortable choice, similar to the countryside around his hometown of Saint Jérôme, known as the gateway to the Laurentian Mountains. Both areas share a rugged, rocky terrain, forests and plentiful lakes and rivers. There are even the same old chipmunks and blue jays begging for sunflower seeds!

Claude and I have created and tested dozens of recipes and have selected those which we hope will suit your individual taste.

Are you watching what you eat and frustrated by how difficult it is to find a restaurant that serves healthful food? Whether you are counting calories, carbs or just trying to “eat healthy”, we can help you choose a meal that is satisfying and delicious without compromising your goals.

Having a chocolate attack? No problem! Try one of our decadent tarts made with dark Belgian chocolate and real dairy cream.

We hope you will visit Fine Thymes and like it so much that it will become your favourite place in the neighbourhood to eat and relax.

Come on over… Come on in…