Category Archives: Shopping

Seafoam Lavender, Northumberland Shore

Seafoam Lavender

We decided to do a day trip along the Sunrise Trail from Antigonish, via Pictou to Tatamagouche.

Although the day was cloudy and cool in early June it was an enjoyable and scenic trip.  We stopped at Seafoam Lavender along the Northumberland Coast.  It was early in the season so the Lavender was not blooming but the scent on walking into their shop was heavenly.  Kathleen welcomed us and explained that all the lavender products are produced in-house by this family owned business.

We purchased a couple of lavender plants for our garden and have been enjoying the Lavender Essential Oil and Lavender Soap to give that fresh lavender fragrance at home.  There was a lovely selection of products – Lavender Sugar, Lavender Sea Salt, Essential Oils, Lavender Herbs, soap, creams and skincare products and more.  The shop is very attractive and welcoming.

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Seafoam Lavender Festival PosterOutside we explored the information panels with their stories of lavender.  You can learn a lot on this stop and it will be wonderful later in the season when the fields of lavender are in bloom. Thank you to Seafoam Lavender for their photos of the fields in bloom and their poster for the July Lavender Festival.

A great time to visit will be at their annual Lavender Festival July 15-16. Create your own lavender bouquet with U-Pick and enjoy the gardens in flower. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Northumberland coast.   You will find Seafoam Lavender on the section of the Sunrise Trail between Pictou and River John.

Lavender, courtesy Seafoam Lavender Lavender fields, courtesy Seafoam Lavender

More Information

SEAFOAM LAVENDER CO. & GARDENS
(SEASONAL ONLY, 1 JUNE – 30 SEPT, 10-6 DAILY)
AND BY APPOINTMENT
3768 HIGHWAY 6 (SEAFOAM)
RIVER JOHN  NS  B0K 1N0

Farmers’ Market Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has wonderful Famers’ Markets.  A great way to meet some of the locals, try fresh local produce, enjoy entertainment, shop for arts and crafts from local crafts people.  Markets vary by area so check out the local bulletin board or shop to find out the dates and times.  Or check the link below to “find a market”.

You can look for food, art, photography, crafts, jewelry, breads, cookies, muffins, fiddlers, dancers, local produce, jams, jellies, honey and sauces, beer, gin, vodka and wine, quilts, and more.  Ask for recipes and tips if you find unfamiliar items.

Enjoy a visit to the Antigonish Farmers’ Market

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Pomquet Day Trip

 

This article was originally published in The Casket Exploring Pomquet. The Casket June 18, 2015 http://www.thecasket.ca/archives/45730. This edition contains more photos and maps.

Relax or swim on a sandy beach, browse fashions, enjoy an Acadian lunch and hike through woodsy trails all in beautiful rural Pomquet, Nova Scotia. Just 12 minutes from Antigonish turn off on the Taylors Road exit from Hwy 104 to Pomquet and within minutes you are enjoying a country road with views of Pomquet harbour, rolling green hills and bird song.

The tiny Acadian community of Pomquet, overlooks the Northumberland Shore between Monk’s Head and Pomquet Harbour. This rich area of bay, harbours, islands and forest was for centuries the home of the Mi’kmaq and then settled by French settlers in the late 1700s.

Pomquet map

Pomquet map

From Taylors Road, take the left turn to L’Église Ste. Croix (Holy Cross Church) built in 1863. Genealogy buffs will find gravestones from the 1800s and the Pomquet Museum located just north of the church with historical photographs and genealogical information (Call 902-386-2679).

Continue on and turn right to Pomquet Beach Provincial Park, a peaceful long (3 KM) sandy stretch of beach on the Northumberland Shore. This is one of the best swimming beaches in the area and during the summer is supervised by lifeguards. Boardwalks lead up to the beach through the dunes and sea grasses. Enjoy a beach walk with the fresh salty air and the gulls above and a view of Cape Breton on a clear day, or beach comb for shells, stones and drift wood. Some areas are protected for the Piping Plover nesting sites. Facilities include change houses and washrooms.

Follow the wooden boardwalk trails from the beach parking lot with interpretive signs on the history, geology, plants and animals of this area. The grasses and plants found on the sand dunes are well adapted to the salt environment. The boardwalk protects the undergrowth and provides an easy view of blueberries, cranberries, beach mosses and grasses.

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Back on Monks Head road – continue on to Chez DesLauriers situated on a hill above Monk’s Bay, with a spectacular view of Pomquet Beach and harbour. The heritage home was built in the 1860s. Enjoy a home cooked Acadian lunch on Fridays during the summer. Learn about the geology and history of the area in the Interpretive Centre.

Behind Chez DesLauriers, wander to the top of the hill behind the house and well-marked signs point the way to the Acadian Trail, a 6KM series of loop trails along the meadow cliff, through the forest with mossy and well-kept paths, and along the shore. Bring along your nature guide books to identify mushrooms, mosses, trees and birds. The inland trail weaves through forests of various ages, including 100-150 year old pine trees, and views of Cape Breton Island in the distance.

Retrace your drive to the Taylor Road intersection and continue on to visit The Old Barn Gallery & Boutique to find hand selected one-of-a kind designer fashions, handbags, fun art and antique dishes. You will get lots of decorator ideas and you can enjoy cookies and tea on the patio. The Boutique recently was awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Be sure to bring water, snacks or a picnic lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, and your sense of adventure.

Directions

  • Exit Highway 104 on Taylors Road between Exits 35 and 36. 10 minutes from Antigonish, 40 minutes from the Canso Causeway.
  • Or Exit from the 104 Highway on the Upper Pomquet Road across from the St. Andrew’s sign. Closest exit for Melanson Rd and the Old Barn Gallery and Boutique.

For More Information

Artport Gallery Co-op Halifax Airport

 

Artport Gallery Co-op
Stanfield International Airport, Halifax

Artport Gallery artistsThe gallery houses original works by ten local Nova Scotia artists: Peigi Alcorn, Annabelle Caissie, Judy MacIntosh, Warren Melanson, Heather Bowman, Marshall Burgess, Anne Duggan, JoAnne Muise, Pat Stewart, Janet Jones

One of the artists is on site during the open hours.  Drop in and chat and find out more about the artists and their works.

It is a delight to see a local artist cooperative at the airport.   Not only is it fun to browse but also a great place to buy from local artists for gifts or for yourself. Be sure to ask for the artist card to get more information.

Artport Gallery Co-opartport gallery-3481 Artport Gallery Halifax AirportYou will find a wide range of styles and mediums including watercolors, acrylics, oils originals and reproductions in various sizes and formats including matted prints, cards and bookmarks.

This is a great addition to the airport and its support of the arts.

Contact information

Open daily 8:30 am – 8:00 pm
During hours: 902-873-4446
After hours contact Marshall Burgess 902-429-9073

 

 

View of Arisaig Harbour from Steinhart Distillery

Maple Vodka – Visit Steinhart Distillery, Arisaig

 

The view is spectacular – facing out over the Atlantic on the Northumberland shore with Arisaig lighthouse below you to the right and PEI just visible on the horizon. We visited on an early spring day with ice still on the water but sun shining and green grass starting to show.

Thomas Steinhart, distiller and owner of Steinhart Distillery, welcomed us in. It was fascinating to learn how he came to this part of the world, found an old farm and land and considered business ideas that would be feasible in this beautiful location so that he could settle in Nova Scotia. His father and grandfather both were in the distilling business in Black Forest area of Germany making Schnapps.   Steinhart produces a fine line of Vodka with natural ingredients – local wherever possible.

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I first tasted Steinhart Maple Vodka at a party and was blown away by the smooth flavor and color. This is a delicious drink – just have it over ice. To think this was produced just a few miles from Antigonish. Other vodkas are Cranberry, Blueberry and Organic.

The gleaming brass handmade copper still towers up in light of the panorama window. Huge bags of wheat used to make the daily mash, fruit, herbs and spices used for the flavored vodka are ready at hand. No artificial flavors or chemicals are used.

The bottling and labeling are ingenious and sure to be a real collector’s item and make this a great Nova Scotia gift. The Steinhart brand outer label is a genteel cream and gold, but after purchase you remove that and beautiful art from a Nova Scotia artist appears. Recipes and suggestions for the vodka are on the label backing.

While you are visiting the Distillery enjoy the delights of Arisaig. During the season (June – Oct) visit the Lobster Interpretive Centre, the Lighthouse Café for ice cream, and walk around the harbour to see the fishing boats, enjoy your snack at the picnic tables and enjoy the rocks and waves. Just a mile away along the coast is the Arisaig Provincial Park where you can explore for fossils on the cliffs and take the stairway down to the beach. Interpretive signs guide you through the geology and history of the area.  Take a swim at the beach or explore the tide p ools.

Thomas has built comfortable and well-furnished chalets on the property. Terrific view of the ocean from the large deck.  Great for a place to stay in Arisaig as you explore the area.

More Info

 

Old Barn Gallery and Design

 

 

Old Barn Gallery

Where can you enjoy stepping back into history, see beautiful art, smell the flowers, admire the horses and experience a 166 year old barn transformed into an attractive gallery where you can browse and enjoy a delightful hour or two?

 

Where else but at the Old Barn Gallery and Design at Beaver Dam Farm Resort in Pomquet. The farm is owned by Carol and Arthur Rivoire  who built it up over 30+ years.  The gallery opened in July 2011 with partnership of Ed Mattie.  They realized that their collection of antiques, paintings and arts and crafts would be wonderful to share with a broader audience.  They setup their gallery in the 166 year old barn which gives the perfect ambiance for enjoying a peak into the past as well and enjoying arts from the current artists and crafts people in the area.

Quilts

Such a variety!  Old fashioned quilts – and new quilts with traditional or newly crafted designs. Paintings by owner Arthur Rivoire, local artist and partner Ed Mattie and others, antique dishes, wood carvings from burls with beautiful and exotic shapes and texture, old cradles, sleigh, and other home implements from the early 1900s,  handmade rugs, locally made wool blankets that remind you of your childhood, colorful antique boxes and containers, hand knitted items,  and more.  Carol Rivoire is welcoming and knowledgeable and loves to chat about the collection.

The gallery is surrounded by beautiful flower gardens, trails, horse stables and paddocks.  It is a delight to visit and I plan to go back often to enjoy more of the area.  It is very easy to get to and is only about 15 minutes drive from Antigonish. A great outing.

Photo Gallery

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X Ring Featured at Cameron’s Jewellery

 

 

Do You Have an X Ring?  Chances are you have been into Cameron’s Jewellery on Main Street, Antigonish.

Camerons_Jewellery_X_Feature

The "X" featured in Floor Inlay and Chandelier

Cameron’s on Main St. Antigonish has undergone a transformation and their new look is bright and inviting.  With the interior design of Andrew Murray of Antigonish the store has a new look that celebrates the traditions of the past but adds the sparkle and modern décor of the present.

The center piece that features its “X” connection is a large black marble “X” inlay in the center of the floor area with an inlay of “1922” when the store was first opened.   Above it is a chandelier with the “X” and crystal pendants.

The X Ring dates back to 1942.  Working with the engineering class of St. Francis Xavier University, Cameron’s Jewellery designed the present X-Rings, a gold ring featuring a black enamel X within a raised gold square, with the date of graduation flanking the X on its shoulders.

The wooden oak cabinets running along the wall are the original oak cabinets with

Cameron's 90 Year Old Oak Wood Cabinets

Cameron's 90 Year Old Oak Wood Cabinets

design that highlights the oak grain.  The cabinets are 90 years old and have been refurbished by CACL to bring out the beauty of the wood.

The large fireplace on the opposing wall gives a comfortable feel to the shopping experience and highlights art work on the feature wall.   According to Donna MacPherson, the store manager “We had incredible craftsmen for the stonework, woodwork, electrical and fittings” in making over the store look.  On our buying trip we looked for new items that were not currently available in Antigonish.

Cameron’s is a great place to shop for gifts, home decorating items, dishes and jewellery.  The tasteful selection of items and the welcoming staff make this a great Main Street destination.

Browse the slide show using the arrow keys and click on the “Caption” button on the right to view the captions.

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In the early evening the lighting on the displays adds a sparkle to Main Street.  Be sure to stop in for a visit to see this new gem on Main Street.

Enjoy a Day at the Halifax Waterfront

Halifax Waterfront

You can easily spend a day – or if you have just a few hours you can make a shorter version of this inexpensive way to enjoy the Halifax harbour and its many attractions.  It has something for everyone young or old.

Along the Halifax Boardwalk

Along the Halifax Boardwalk

The Boardwalk on the Halifax side of the harbour stretches from Pier 21 on the South end to the Casino on the North end.  As you walk along you will enjoy the view of the boats and ships on this largest xx …    Many visitors to Halifax arrive via cruise ships and to boardwalk is a great way to experience the historical side of Halifax, enjoy the harbour views and have many places to drop in and shop or enjoy a meal. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and dress in layers even on a sunny day.

The Farmer’s Market near Pier 21 is open daily and has a huge selection of produce but also arts and crafts, baked goods and much more.  Great place to browse or buy.

There is a large Tourist Information Centre with lots of brochures, maps and

Halifax Waterfront

friendly people to advise on where to go and what to see throughout Nova Scotia.  It’s a great place to help in planning your visit.

If you are interested in history, Pier 21 is the Museum of Immigration.  So many people entered Canada through Pier 21 and the exhibits are interesting to give us a view of our history.  The Maritime Museum includes both small and large craft, boat building, sailing, the Titanic explosion in Halifax.

There is plenty of shopping and browsing along the route if you are so inclined.  Nova Scotia crafts, salt water taffy, t-shirts and souvenirs.

The restaurants and snack places are dotted along the route with upscale dining, and family style restaurants as well as take outs if you wish to enjoy your lunch out of doors along the boardwalk.   The small parks along the way have seating or you can perch on the wooden

Ferry Trip

One of my favourite things to do is to take the ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth.  This is the poor man’s harbour cruise.  For $ 1.50 (senior) or $ 2.50 (adult) you can buy a ticket that takes you from the Halifax Ferry terminal to Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. Sit up on

Halifax McDonald Bridge at night from the ferry

Halifax McDonald Bridge at night from the ferry - Time lapse photo

the upper deck and enjoy the activities in the harbour, see the two bridges spanning and joining these two cities.   The ferry system is part of the Halifax Metro transport system.  So you can even use your ticket to get on a bus on the other side.  Or you can enjoy walking around the Alderney Landing area, have a snack or browse and then hop back on the ferry within a 2 hour limit and use the same ticket!

Nighttime also gives a spectacular view of the skyline of Halifax and the bridges.  Best on a clear night and be sure to wrap up warmly.

Dartmouth Waterfront

The Dartmouth side of the harbour gives you a great view of the Halifax skyline.  On the weekend you can visit the Farmers Market.  The Alderney Landing Library is just a few steps away and you can drop in to relax and read a magazine or look at the views of the waterfront from the upper floors.

Alderney Landing Dartmouth

Alderney Landing Dartmouth

If you are in the mood for more walking take a right from the Alderney Landing along the waterfront and follow the path.  This leads over a small bridge which is the beginning of the Shubenacadie Canal.  There are several museums and heritage sites in the vicinity well worth visiting including Evergreen House – the Dartmouth Heritage Museum.  They have “high tea” several afternoons a week.  Check their website for timings.

 

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Map

Click on the map to get bus transit details and to zoom in on the route.  The route shown uses Lower Water street – but just head towards the water to get on the boardwalk at any point.


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Useful Links

 

Treasure Trove of Local Artisans

Walk in to this tiny shop on Main Street of Antigonish and you are in the midst of a treasure trove of locally made items that engage all your senses.

The Made in Nova Scotia Store is not your normal tourist shop.  Everything here is hand made by known crafts men and women, artisans, cooks and artists.

Maple Products, Jams and Jellies

Maple Products, Jams and Jellies

Taste the jams and jellies with the flavors of Nova Scotia.  Enjoy the colors and feel of locally grown wool, hand knitted and woven shawls, mitts and sweaters.  Explore the exotic hand crafted candles and soaps with scents of lavender, pine, and unscented if that is your preference.  Marvel at the jewelry designed with local stones and beach glass with intricate designs in silver.   The choices go on and on – Mi’kmaq porcupine quill ear rings, leather moccasins; framed photos and gift cards; hand made quilts, beach stone lamps, wooden frames made from old barn wood.  Every corner has unique and local items.   You can find body products, blue berries, carved wooden salad servers made from Bird’s Eye Maple and even enjoy home made baked goods or buy free range eggs.

Anna DeCoste, the owner of The Made in Nova Scotia Store says “I had

Anna DaCoste, owner The Made in Nova Scotia Store

Anna DaCoste, owner The Made in Nova Scotia Store

been doing crafts for years and really just wanted a place to display my own things.  I have a lot of contacts with arts people in the area and the idea just snowballed in a very short time to setup the shop”.

Visitors to the shop are primarily tourists and visitors to Antigonish who are looking for gifts or mementos.  They comment that they are so pleased to find a store where they can buy everything local and to easily find such a variety in one location. Everything is made locally and you can learn about the person who made it. There are author bio cards and Anna knows the artisans personally and can give details about who they are and their backgrounds.  This is so different from the regular “tourist shop” where items might come from China.   Everything is made locally by a known artisan.   Local people come in to browse and bring in their visitors as a convenient location to find a wide variety of gifts.

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The Made in Nova Scotia Store is located on the ground floor of a handsome clapboard house that was built in 1857 by Alexander MacDonald, “Sandy the Carpenter” and was originally owned by Master Mariner and Ship Owner, Captain Dan MacDonald who lived here with his household of 13 people.  It is one of the charming buildings on Main Street that gives an old world charm to the town.

The store is a boon to the artisans of the Antigonish and surrounding areas.  This one-stop outlet gives crafts people a wonderful place to display their works all year round.

Winter shot of The Made in Nova Scotia Store

Winter shot of The Made in Nova Scotia Store

How to find it: The Made in Nova Scotia Store, 324 Main St. Antigonish NS, Canada (across from Shoppers Drug Mart).  Browse the website for products and shipping information. 

 

 

Links for more information

  • www.themadeinnovascotiastore.com
  • Click to read more about the HISTORY of the building
  • Nova Scotia – Book by David Orkin. Nova Scotia tells visitors where to eat the best smoked fish, find the most stunning beaches and pick the plumpest wild blueberries. Delving deeper than any other guide, it reveals the best of the province both on and off the beaten track.

Article and photos (c) Denise Davies.  For information on republishing please fill contact davies@eckova.com .