Tag Archives: acadian

Enjoy an Acadian Lunch in Pomquet

 

 

Pockets of Acadian life are found throughout Nova Scotia. Pomquet is a small village just 20 min from Antigonish and just off the Trans Canada. It has a strong community spirit and beautiful setting.

You can enjoy an authentic Acadian Lunch at Chez DesLauriers in Pomquet village during the summer months. Every week has a different menu which you can find posted on their website. http://www.pomquet.net/en/chezdeslauriers.html

The setting is spectacular with Chez DesLauriers, a white heritage home on Monk’s Head having a view over St. George’s Bay and Pomquet Beach with a view to Cape Breton. Old photographs and antique home items provide the décor in the tea room. There is lively atmosphere from visitors and locals enjoying the food and company.   We enjoyed a great lunch of Fricot or Pate’ – both traditional Acadian dishes that I remember from my childhood.

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Next door the Interpretive Centre describes the history, geology and formation of the area and the people who have lived here and their way of life.   In the area behind the house the Pomquet Acadian Walking Trails are well marked and take you across the grassy cliffs with views of the ocean, wending through the forest, or down along the beach.

In August there are two special Lobster Roll dinners to look forward to.

Grand Pré – Acadian History

 

 

Grand Pre church

Grand Pre church


Grand Pré is situated at the north east end of the Annapolis Valley.  It borders on the Minas Basin and the tidal lands of the Bay of Fundy.  The area was settled in the 1600s by French settlers from Port Royal who reclaimed the lands from the tides and made a fertile land.

Now we see the low meadowland and dikes and on the hills above, vineyards and wineries commanding a view of the area.

The history of Grand Pré is dramatic with the land being fought over by the English and French during the 1700s and the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in 1755.  The story is well told in the multi-media centre at the  Parks Canada National Historic Site.  The grounds with the sweeping willow trees and wandering stream are peaceful and commemorate the deportation.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem Evangeline to bring the story to light and the statue of Evangeline and bust of Longfellow are featured in the garden.

Sunset from Beach Breeze Motel Grand Pre

Sunset from Beach Breeze Motel Grand Pre

The church, built on the site of the 17th century Acadian village (Eglise Souvenir Memorial Church) depicts life in the village and scenes of the deportation.  Be sure to listen to the audio stories from the voices of 2 children.

The path off to the left of the church goes to the blacksmith forge with a lovely view of the dikes and fields below.  You can bike or walk along the dikes.

Just 10 minutes from Grand Pré National Historic Park there is a large and well kept campground and the lovely Beach Breeze Motel.  We stayed here and had a wonderful view of the sunset and sunrise over the vast changing tides of Fundy.

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Directions

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For More Information

Hike the Acadian Trail

The Pomquet Acadian Trail and Chez Deslaurier

Acadian Trail - Wildflowers

Colorful Wildflowers on the Acadian Trail

This October day was a perfect day for a hike with crisp clean air, deep blue sky with spectacular ocean views from a grassy meadow high above the ocean looking over St. George’s Bay and a view of Cape Breton in the distance.   The sunlight shone on fields of wild flowers in purples, yellows, golds, reds and orange with even a few butterflies and dragon flies humming around.

Chez Deslaurier is a tea house set in an old farm house on high ground, not

Chez Deslauriers

Chez Deslauriers – Pomquet

far from Pomquet.  This is an Acadian French area of Nova Scotia where French is spoken and Acadian traditions are still celebrated.

From the farm house you overlook Monk’s Head and a series of islands and islets and Pomquet Beach.  With the sun and cloud playing over the land and the sea you could sit for hours and watch the changes in the light and shadow.

Behind the farm house several old farm implements are set off in the grassy meadow.   Keep walking along the grassy track with the water to your right and you will come to the trail head for the “Acadian Trail”.

Pomquet Acadian Trail

Pomquet Acadian Trail – Map

The trail is well marked and has maps of the area with a choice of several loop trails. The trails wind  through a variety of natural areas. Numbered markers along the trails are linked to a self-guided interpretive brochure, available at Chez Deslauriers.  The walking is easy and suitable for families.  A longer trail continues along the water and along Monks Head.

The first part of the trail is along an old cart road through a grassy meadow

Acadian Trail

Acadian Trail

area.  In fall this was thick with wild flowers of all colors – Queen Anne’s Lace, wild roses, clover, daisies, asters and grasses.  Off to the right were the views of the deep blue ocean below and towards Cape Breton.    This grassy trail is along the cliff top with open fields and hedged with evergreens and the occasional fruit tree.

The path then descends with a choice of going to the right down to the beach.  We took the left fork which heads down into a beautiful forest area with a well kept trail.  There were many varieties of mosses in greens with patches of reds,

Acadian Trail Forest Path

Acadian Trail Forest Path

evergreens and many types of mushrooms.     The light filtering through the forest was cool and inviting and great for exploring.   This is a great place to go with your camera and bring along a book about trees or mosses.  You will definitely find lots to investigate.

A left turn at a small pond takes you back to the open old farm land and leads back up to the Chez Deslaurier house in a circle route.  The whole short loop route took less than an hour.    You can easily spend a day in the area exploring the different trails or head down to Pomquet Beach.

The Chez Deslauriers property is maintained and administered by the

Mushrooms and Mosses

Mushrooms and Mosses

Pomquet Development Society, a volunteer organization aimed at promoting the Acadian culture and encouraging tourism in the community.  According to Collette Rennie of the Pomquet Development Society,  “The trails are open year-round. [The Society] will be performing maintenance on these trails before the summer ‘walking’ season as winter along the coast can create much damage. The tearoom will be open each Friday beginning on July 8 from 11 AM to 2 PM.  We serve a different traditional homemade Acadian meal each Friday, along with traditional Acadian meatpie ($8 per meal). “

Chez Deslauriers Tea Houase

Chez Deslauriers Tea House and Interpretive Centre

“The interpretive centre will be open during those times as well. As well, we will have two lobster roll dinners during the summer – on August 14 and September 11. Both will be from 3-6 PM and include local entertainment, BBQ and a delicious lobster roll meal. The interpretive centre will be available to visitors as well during these two events. This information will soon be posted on our website.” (http://www.pomquet.net/en/trails.html )

Photo Gallery

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How to get there

To get to  Pomquet, take either Exit 35 or 36 north off Highway 104.  Then turn right at the north end of Monk’s Head Road and follow the gravel road for approximately 1.5 km.  It is approximately a 25 minute drive from Antigonish or 40 minutes from the Canso Causway if you are coming from Cape Breton.

Antigonish to Chez DesLaurier


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