Would you ever have dinner deep beneath the Earth's surface? In Ontario's Highlands, there's a place where you can do just that.
The Bonnechere Caves in Eganville are some of the world's finest natural solutional caves. Operated by Chris Hinsperger and his wife, the caves have become an award-winning attraction in the Ottawa Valley over the years. They contain everything from 500 million-year-old fossils, a colony of bats, and even an underground system of waterfalls and rivers.
On any regular business day, onsite staff offer guided tours of the cave every 20 to 30 minutes and each tour can last up to an hour. But perhaps one of the most unique attractions of the cave are its underground dining events, which happen once or twice yearly in the summer months. The dining experience is truly a unique one - intimate, candlelit tables are arranged in a line within a narrow corridor of the cave, with two tall limestone walls on each side of them. Meals are served to each table by the staff while elegant live music plays in the background. In previous years, the caterer was Rio Tap and Grill, which offered mouthwatering choices like beef or chicken platters.
Currently, the caves are closed for the winter season, but they will be reopening for regular tours and events on the Friday of the long weekend in May 2017. In terms of this year's underground dining, Chris Hinsperger has told me that two events will take place this September.
"We do it for the novelty and the fun we have doing them," says Chris. "Each sitting is around 35 people. They are truly an epic experience, our customers tell us."
Those who are interested should definitely stay tuned to the announcements on their website. There, they also list other cool events that they hold, like their Bonnechere River Paddle & Fiddle events. Past diners also caution that tickets sell out fast and are hard to get, so make sure to be on the lookout within the next few months!
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