My daughter visited us in Nova Scotia recently from Vancouver and top of her wish list was to have a lobster. It isn’t the lobster season in our area and although we could have a lobster dinner in a restaurant, or buy a lobster from a big chain grocery store that wasn’t the experience I wanted for her. I grew up eating lobsters fresh from the pound and boiled on the beach – or a feed of lobster on the back yard picnic table. No fancy dinner just butter for dipping and lots of newspaper and dripping juicy lobster.
Just 2KM past Peggy's Cove
Our chosen lobsters
Into the vat
Oysters on the half shell
View from picnic tables
View from picnic tables
Ryers Lobster Map
On a tip from my sister we found a great place that gave the real experience. Ryer Lobsters is just 2 KM past Peggy’s Cove when you are heading from the Halifax side, in the village of Indian Harbour. It would be easy to miss it but watch on the water side. On first site it just looks like a big shed. However this is a lobster pound with the fresh seawater flowing through a huge tank of live lobsters. We ordered our lobsters, weighed them out and Ryan popped them into the cauldron of boiling water. While we waited our 20 minutes we enjoyed delicious oysters on the half shell with tabasco and fresh lemon.
What a feast! Around the back there are picnic tables with a fantastic view of the harbour. The lobsters came fully cracked and easy to open but still all in a piece. Lobster bibs, picking tools and an incredible sweet taste of fresh lobster. This was the real thing! Just as good as at home in the backyard or on the beach. Unfortunately no license so if you want a beer you can take them home with you or to your picnic spot.
Ryer Lobsters is open year round. So if you are craving a lobster feast on your Nova Scotia travels head there for the real thing.
Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque fishing village with a lighthouse that is one of the most photographed sites in Canada.
The village of Peggy’s Cove was originally settled in the 1700s as a fishing community. Settlers also had cattle and did some farming in the small areas not covered with granite rocks. The setting is beautiful but you can imagine the difficult life during the storms and winter. This tiny community (2009 population: approx. 46) is a working fishing village and home of artists and artisans.
The weather is changeable – as anywhere in Nova Scotia. Our visit was on a sunny spring day with a calm ocean. However fog and storms are common and do be careful as you explore the granite rocks that you pay attention to the waves. Bring layers and windbreakers. During heavy seas and storms the waves crash up over the rocks.
The red and white lighthouse was built in 1915 and set out on a rocky point with views of St. Margaret’s Bay. The entire area has large rounded granite slabs and it is fun to clamber over the rocks for spectacular ocean views and views of the village weather and safety permitting.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Sou’Wester restaurant and gift shop which has a delicious selection of local seafood, salads, soups, burgers and local deserts such as Blueberry Grunt. The restaurant is open year round. The gift shop is a great place to browse for interesting art from local artists, photographs, clothing and gifts.
The Visitor Information Center is open from May to October. Over 750,000 tourists visit Peggy’s Cove in a year – most during the tourist season.
A walk through the village is picturesque. Homes of the fishermen, small arts and gift shops and the wharf are all set off by the ocean and the granite rocks of the area. Be sure to see the 30M granite wall carving by William E. deGarthe depicting the fishermen and their families of Peggy’s Cove. The deGarthe gallery is open during the May to October season.
The drive from the Halifax Armdale Rotary is 45 KM and passes lakes and coves along the way. The road is winding and give yourself time to enjoy it. You can return on a circle route passing the memorial for Swissair Flight 111 and then either continue on to Chester and Lunenberg or loop back to Halifax.