TORONTO — Drake Devonshire Inn in Wellington, Ont., has been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design or Renovation in North America.

Under the creative direction of John Tong and his team at +Tongtong Design, Drake Hotel Properties’ all-season retreat was transformed into a space that is a contemporary nod to “rustic Canadiana.” Maintaining original architectural elements of the late 1800s foundry, Tong added custom furnishings, vintage treasures and an abundance of commissioned contemporary art — resulting in a beautiful country inn with the freshness and playfulness associated with the Drake brand.

The only Canadian nominee, Drake Devonshire’s dining room’s aesthetic fuses rural and urban, hi-tech and craft, old and new to complement chef Matt DeMille’s local and seasonal farm- and lake-to-table menu of comfort classics. The dining room is a newly constructed addition to the original foundry and features a cathedral ceiling with massive Douglas fir beams, customized leather banquettes, contemporary art, a marble topped bar and large windows.

“We are honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award and to be amongst such distinguished company,” says Jeff Stober, founder and CEO of Drake Hotel Properties. “We’ve worked very hard to incorporate a number of classic Drake elements, be it cultural, artistic, design or service-focused to our newest property in one of the most beautiful regions of Canada. It has been a labour of love that has turned this historic foundry into a playful, sophisticated country inn and we are thrilled with this recognition.”

The awards ceremony will be held at Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 2, followed by a gala featuring top chefs and professionals in the food and design industries.


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