VARNA – The former St. John’s Anglican Church in Varna was recently restored and unveiled as the only chapel in Ontario in which couples can be married and stay overnight.
Mary Hughes, owner of Wedding Cake Cottage on Parr Line just south of Mill Road, held a grand opening celebration and official ribbon cutting June 2. About 200 people attended.
Hughes told the crowd that she and her husband, John Westerman, bought the Bayfield Boutique Bed and Breakfast about a year and a half ago and when she learned that the former church in Varna was going to be sold, the couple took a leap of faith and decided to buy it.
Hughes and her husband took over the property on May 1 and gave it a 30-day makeover, adding a new roof, paint, new front door, driveway, landscaping and more. Hughes described herself as “overjoyed” with the results.
“I’m beyond thrilled,” she said, adding everything came together just in time for the June 2 grand opening. She said she received an overwhelming response from those who attended the event and she already has her first booking – a 90th birthday party.
Hughes said the name Wedding Cake Cottage comes from a historic house in Cambridge. The Varna building was constructed in 1862 as St. John’s Anglican Church and decommissioned in 1965. Over the years the building was also home to Decadence in the Country, a home décor and paint business. Most recently the building had been used as a bed and breakfast.
Hughes said the building “had great bones” and simply needed some cosmetic improvements.
Wedding Cake Cottage includes a kitchen, sitting area, bar and loft and is available for small weddings, dinners, tea parties, birthday parties and more.