Category Archives: Places

Off the Beaten Track on the Eastern Shore

Off the Beaten Track on the Eastern Shore

In October I was excited to go with a group of travel writers to visit the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.

SeaWind Landing Country Inn is certainly off the beaten track but well worth making this a destination.  The Inn is located in Charlos Cove on the Eastern Shore with ocean views and fresh air off the Atlantic. I had a cozy gable room on 2nd floor with an ocean view – a great spot to catch the spectacular sunrise next morning.  If you enjoy fine dining you are in for a gourmet experience.  Local seafood and produce are the star attractions.   The recipes are simply done to highlight the best flavor and presentation.  The dining room view of the ocean and the warm colors and ambiance makes this a treat for the senses. My breakfast favorite is the blueberry French toast.  There are several paths and trails leading down to the ocean and along the shore. Great for exploring.  The lounge area in the main building is comfortable for a group mix and mingle area with piano and drinks or to browse through the books and enjoy a drink from the well stocked bar.   There is also a small gift shop with local items.  The innkeepers, Dave and Anne Marie de Jongh are hospitable and knowledgeable of the area with suggestions on what to see and do based on your time and interests.

Our group went out on the fishing boat, “Get Kraken”, with Captain Damian  who expertly navigated us through the Sugar Islands, just off the coast – craggy rocky islands, wind swept trees, waves crashing over shoals and some sheltered sandy bays.  We sighted some playful seals.   The Berry Head Lighthouse and setting sun gave us some spectacular vistas while we enjoyed delicious snacks of Smoked Herring Fish Cakes and Digby Scallops prepared in the galley by Dave de Jongh, innkeeper of SeaWind Landing. A perfect way to enjoy in the tangy salt air along with a glass of wine.

For long sandy secluded beaches and interesting rock formations head to Tor Bay, a 15 minute drive from SeaWind Landing through Larry’s River.   If you are craving solitude and peace this is a great spot to take in the sea air.  Boardwalks, dunes, sea grasses and a variety of vegetation make for interesting nature exploration.

Jude Avery, a local historian gave us some insight to the history of the Acadian settlements along the Eastern Shore.  His recent book “The Forgotten Acadiens … a story of discovery” describes how the Acadiens came to settle in the Larry’s River area and how they have survived over the centuries.  The commemorative park “Parc de Nos Ancestres” in Larry’s River and Place Savalette National Historic Site, in Port Felix, commemorate this historic Acadien region.  Parc de Nos Ancestres has an anchor shaped set of stones painted with the history of the Acadiens in this region.

A visit to Guysborough community feels like a step back into the past.  The historical homes and churches show the prosperity of a past era when ship building and industry were an important part of this thriving town.   Now you can learn about this at the town museum which is set in the Old Court House.  The waterfront marina is usually busy in the summer but had suffered damage from the latest hurricane Dorian.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at “Days Gone By” with lobster rolls, fish cakes and tempting fresh bakery deserts.

There is lots to see and do on the Eastern Shore – nature, hiking, history and culture – and don’t forget the food and drink!  On my next visit I would like to stay several days to be able to explore more of the area. 

Note: Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores (DEANS) organized and sponsored this FAM Tour.  My lodging, activities, and food were compensated.

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Lavender, Lavender, Lavender – A Feast for the Senses

As we learned about the types of lavender from Dave Belt, owner of Seafoam Lavender, we could see, feel and smell the differences in the lavender flowers.  Even though this is October some of the plants were still in bloom.

It would be amazing to be here in the peak season in July when the air is full of the scent of lavender from the millions of lavender flowers and buds on the surrounding slopes.  The lavender scent and taste is captured in the over 60 products created and produced by Suzy Belt and her team.  Lavender herbs for cooking, jellies, honey, and tea.  We enjoyed a treat of the Lavender Ice Cream and I have been cooking with the Lavender Herb blend at home and enjoying the jelly on toasted English muffins.  A lovely fresh flavor.  Soaps and skincare products, aromatherapy and bundles of dried lavender are just a few of other items.  The beautiful display of products and testers are appealing and make great gifts.

Seafoam Lavender uses sustainable hand picking of the blossoms which extends the season.  At peak times of the year, usually mid July, thousands of people come for the lavender festival and may choose to U-Pick their own lavender bouquets.  Lavender bud bouquets and Lavender Sachets are a wonderful way to bring that scent of lavender home.

We learned how lavender soap is made and saw how it is cut into bars with patterns of purple and white swirls. 

Seafoam Lavender is on the Northumberland Shore of Nova Scotia on the Sunrise Trail near River John.  Colorful and descriptive information panels describe the types of lavender, interesting facts about lavender and some of the production processes.  The sample garden with 25 selected varieties (out of 400) give you the chance to see and compare different varieties.  The purple theme through the buildings and accessories bring out the colors of the lavender flowers.

More Information

Seafoam Lavender website www.lavendercanada.com

3768 Highway 6
Seafoam (River John)
NS B0K 1N0

A Visit to Steinhart Distillery

The Antigonish Chamber of Commerce organized their monthly networking meeting “Business Connects” with a trip on the Luxury Bus to Steinhart Distillery in Arisaig.

The Luxury Bus is a great way to chat and meet with people as the comfortable padded seating goes around the bus – not in row seats.  Our driver, owner, Gerard MacIsaac was engaging and helpful.  Great way to travel with a group.

Such a beautiful drive along the Northumberland Shore.  A beautiful view of Arisaig from the patio at Steinhart Distillery.  Thomas Steinhart gave us a tour of the operations and an interesting history of developing his business.  It is amazing to see how this business has impacted employment and agriculture.  Wherever possible the ingredients are locally sourced.  Truckloads of rhubarb arrived from multiple farmers to be made into the rhubarb gin. Several of the products have won awards nationally and internationally.

At the bar we ordered from their variety menu of gin, vodka and mixed drinks made to order.  A wonderful way to socialize and network with the Chamber members and guests.   Looking forward to future trips to other businesses in the area.

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Arts Antigonish: Visual Arts

By Denise Davies

Arts and culture in its many forms is a pillar of community life in Antigonish where all ages participate.  The arts are important in continuing to keep up traditions and have enabled young people and established artists to stay in the community rather than moving away.  This small town in northeastern Nova Scotia punches above its weight in the arts. Stroll around town and enjoy the wonderful art scene.

Arts on Main

A stroll along Main Street is a great way to start exploring the visual arts in Antigonish. 

Grab a coffee or fresh locally made baking and lunch specials at the Tall and Small Café, a popular laid-back hangout.  Browse the latest art exhibit from local artists. Exhibits change monthly. https://www.facebook.com/antigonishtown/

As you continue down Main Street, be sure to visit the Red Sky Gallery, the newest Antigonish art gallery.  The curator, Rosemary Curry, will be happy to show you around. When asked about the name “Red Sky Gallery” Rosemary replied “I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t paused and taken a moment to fall in love with a red sky.   I think we all fall for a red sky at some point when it’s just right for us.  And the art we fall in love with is kind of the same. “The gallery is a wonderful space to enjoy local and regional art – photographs, oils and watercolors, pottery, sculpture in contemporary and more.  Featured artists include works by Anna Syperek, a realist printmaker and painter, Linda Johns with her metaphorical paintings and sculptures, and Kath Kornelson Rutherford’s mezzotint works. The open space design and peaceful welcoming atmosphere has made this a not to be missed spot on your art walk.  Upcoming shows include “Home Coming” – with artists from StFX University alumni, and popup shops of fashion and jewelry during the fall.  https://www.facebook.com/Red-Sky-Gallery-239919850108535/

The next stop is the People’s Place – Antigonish Town and County Library.  Opened in 2011 it has become a hub of community life.  Twenty-two local artist works were commissioned in the design including the colorful hanging silk art panels on nature theme in the Bistro area by Anne Camozzi, the large mural of Mi’kmaq children fishing by Alan Syliboy, the tapestry by Murray Gibson in collaboration with the L’Arche community, and many other interior and exterior art works.   Pick up the Artist and Artisan Guide from the PARL website.  The Bistro area has a monthly changing exhibit by local artists.  In July the GoArts Gathering of the Arts is jam packed with art and entertainment.  http://www.parl.ns.ca/locations/antigonish.php

Continue on Main Street to the Down to Earth Art Gallery featuring art by Alan Syliboy, a renowned Mi’kmaq artist, J. Franklin Wright – specializing in marine art.  Kate Brown Georgallas landscapes and etchings are inspired by rural life in Nova Scotia, and her murals are found around town including the mural over the main desk at The People’s Place  http://www.downtoearth.ca/

The Kirk Gallery, on the corner of Church and Main Street displays a changing exhibit by artists and photographers.

Head up to the St Francis Xavier University home to 3 art gallery areas on campus.  The StFX Art Gallery on the 1st floor of Bloomfield Center features a permanent collection and changing exhibits, talks and concerts.  The McNeil Gallery in beautiful Schwartz School of Business displays changing exhibits. The Student Success Gallery in the Angus L. MacDonald Library features the best of student art.  The fall Arts Gala is a special event with live auctions, artists painting and sculpting on site, and a fun social time with artists and art aficionados.   http://www2.mystfx.ca/art-gallery/exhibitions

During the summer a bi-weekly Antigonish Art Fair is held in Chisholm Park. This is a wonderful place to talk to artists with displays of their art work.  Enjoy the music and entertainment, a children’s corner and food trucks with international and local tasty treats. Art classes and workshops are offered at the Art House. http://antigonishartfair.ca/

Subscribe to see following articles on the Performing Arts and Arts organizations in Antigonish

Special Olympics Summer Games – Antigonish 2018

Welcome to the Special Olympics Summer Games 2018

Antigonish is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Special Olympics athletes, their coaches, supporters and families.

The athletes and coaches will be housed on the St. Francis Xavier (StFX) campus and the majority of the athletic events will also take place on campus except for the softball and golf events.

There has been amazing community support with over one thousand volunteers.   The events, except for the ticketed opening ceremony are open to the public at no charge.  Come and view and cheer on the Special Olympics Athletes who are participating from all over Canada.

Several events have been planned to have the participants experience the hospitality and unique experiences of Antigonish and Nova Scotia.

Find out what’s going on at www.so2018.ca  and you can also follow the events live on Bell Alliant.  Details and links are on the Special Olympics 2018 website.

If you are tweeting and sharing on social media use the hashtag  #so2018

While you are in the area enjoy exploring Antigonish and the surrounding areas.

Here are a few suggestions:

 

Fish and Chips and a Drive? Ballantyne’s Cove

What about an afternoon drive out to Ballantyne’s Cove.  Heading out on Hwy 337N from Antigonish, past the Hospital from the end of Main Street you pass through luscious farmlands with views of the ocean.  Then up hill and down dale with wildflowers along the roadside and occasional views of the Northumberland shore.  Just as you reach Ballantyne’s Cove stop at the lookout for a spectacular view of the cove, St. George’s Bay and Cape George beyond.  You can use the map there to identify some of the places that you see including Cape Breton on the horizon.

Stroll around the marina and look at the Tuna fishing boats and pleasure boats.  Learn about Tuna and Tuna fishing at the Tuna Interpretive Centre.  Find some amazing facts about Tuna that have been caught in the area, the largest was over 1400 pounds.  The Tuna season runs from August through October.  Several tuna sport fishing charters are based here.

Behind the Interpretive Centre take a short walk to a crescent pebble beach perfect for dabbling your toes in the warm waters of St. George’s Bay, sunbathing and beach combing.

Enjoy a feed of Fish and Chips from Fish ‘N Ships.  Or select one of their burgers or an ice cream.

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Antigonish Art on Main – Summer 2018

Stroll along Main Street Antigonish and enjoy the summer art scene.  Antigonish is well known as a hub for the arts.

  • Red Sky Gallery. Visit this newest art gallery for a refreshing exhibit of local and Nova Scotia artists.  Paintings and drawings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture.  320 Main Street.
  • Down to Earth Art Gallery. Featuring art by Alan Syliboy, J. Franklin Wright, Kate Brown Georgallas and more. 240 Main Street.
  • Tall and Small. Great coffee shop with baked goods and lunches. Monthly changing exhibit by artists and non-profit groups. 342-2 Main Street.
  • The People’s Place Antigonish Town and County Library. Monthly changing art exhibits by local artists. Commissioned art work in and outside of the library.  Look for the silk banners in the bistro area, murals and art pieces. 283 Main Street.
  • Antigonish Art Fair. Summer art fair with artists, artisans, food and entertainment every second Friday during the summer.  June 20, July 6, 20, August 3, 17.  Chisholm Park with rain location at the new legions, St. Ninian Street.   6:30 – 9:00 PM
  • Grannies Antiques and Gifts. At the east end of town. Antiques and collectibles. 7 Adam Street.
  • Murals. Look for murals around the town.

 

I Scream for Ice Cream

Where can you find an ice cream in Antigonish? We have lots of choices for enjoying an ice cream on a hot summer day.

  • Goji’s Neighborhood Treatery – 44 James Street
  • Dairy Queen – 155 Church Street
  • Scotsburn Ice Cream – Next to the Sunflower, 194 Main Street
  • Granny’s Antiques and Gifts – 7 Adam Street
  • Arisaig Lighthouse – Arisaig Harbour (out of town)

Add your favorite spot in the comments below

Carol Rivoire at the Old Barn Gallery

Old Barn Gallery – Pomquet

Enjoy 5 galleries of art in a delightful farm setting with seasonal old-fashioned perennial flower gardens. In season the scent of roses fill the air.   The barn built in 1845 has a high vaulted ceiling and displays changing light and shadow on the art and studio.  The original horse stalls are converted to gallery space and Arthur Rivoire’s studio is now a gallery on the upper part of the property.   Views of Pomquet harbour and islands, and the country surroundings are visible from this upper area.

Carol Naveta Rivoire original art works and other noted artists are tastefully displayed in galleries inviting you to browse and soak in the environment.  Galleries include antiques and hand-crafted items such as rag rugs which were a home staple of the past.

The gallery is situated on the 300 acre Beaver Dam Farm, just 10 minutes from Antigonish. Chat with Carol Rivoire, artist/owner and founder of the Old Barn Gallery & Decor at Beaver Dam Farm.  She is a passionate abstract artist and collector.

It is a true experience to visit the Old Barn Gallery and the art is affordable.

During the summer there will be artist workshops.  Check the Facebook page for details.

Old Barn Gallery 71 Melanson Road, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, B2G 2L4  (Pomquet area)

 

Cape George Lighthouse

A beautiful 35 minute (53Km) drive from Antigonish will take you to Cape George Lighthouse overlooking St. George’s Bay.   Highway 337 winds through rolling agricultural lands and along the coast.  Scenic views abound and this drive is sometimes called the “Mini Cape”  or the “Mini Cabot Trail” and is part of the Sunrise Trail.

On a sunny day, enjoy views of Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island in the distance.  Perhaps you will see an eagle soaring above or below you and sea birds skimming along the ocean below the cliffs.

Imagine what it was like back in the day as the lighthouse keeper with his family living up here with his wife and children in all seasons.

The original lighthouse was built in 1861.  The iconic white and red lighthouse style is similar to what you would see at Peggy’s Cove.  The current lighthouse is the 3rd on this spot.

Nearby is a trailhead for Cape George Heritage Trail system.