Last updated: October, 2019
For current information, click ‘What’s on Now’ (above)
We have converted the original family home into a café. We love featuring local food with a cranberry flair. The menu changes seasonally, but you’ll always get a warm welcome in McArthur House.
What’s on the Menu?
Our seasonal, local cheese plate is popular year round, featuring Ontario cheese and Mrs. J’s preserves. Turn it into a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich by choosing your bread (marble rye or panini?), your cheese (maybe cranberry cheddar or caramelized onion cheddar?) and your condiment (does cranberry chutney or cranberry ketchup sound good?).
When the weather turns cold, we also feature soup and chili. Need a snack? Try a cranberry oatmeal cookie or a cranberry muffin.
We’re FeastON certified for our locally sourced menu.
Our wine, cider and spritzer are always available by the glass. In summer, we create a Muskoka Sangria. In winter, we feature Hot Mulled Wine. For the designated driver, we have hot and cold cranberry apple cider. Need caffeine? We’ve got you covered with Americano, Espresso or Cappuccino, and even assorted teas. Hot chocolate is great on its own or as part of a caffè mocha.
And be Merry!
The café is a great place to stop between hikes on our trails, or between a morning skate and an afternoon snowshoe. Check it out in any season!
What’s in a Name?
An African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child; this could also be said of our farm. In a lot of ways, it took a village, in the form of family, friends and community, to make Orville Johnston’s cranberry dream come true.
Orville Johnston married June McArthur when they were still at McGill University. They met in the BSc program – Orv in Agriculture and June in Home Economics. By the time they graduated, their first child was born. They moved to Bala without much more than a dream to sustain them. Walker and Jessie McArthur (June’s parents) had a home built for the newlyweds. This home sheltered the family for decades. It was also where June began experimenting with cranberry recipes – including her “Mrs J’s” preserve recipes we sell in our store.
Not only did family (on both sides) help build McArthur House, they also helped clear the farm, blast ditches, take care of children, survey, plant vines and harvest cranberries. Calling our café, ‘McArthur House’ acknowledges some of the support that helped establish ‘Johnston’s Cranberries.’
The house is full of family pictures and memorabilia and is our way of honouring our ‘village.’