Last year in Newfoundland, we stayed in my dream home - a small, century-old cottage that sits directly on the bay.
It’s like a miniature Green Gables, complete with a deck for wave-watching, a living room that actually begs you to sit down and drink tea in it all day,
and an old stone fireplace in the downstairs bedroom.
In last year's post, I described it as being "so quaint I nearly passed out upon entering.” And it’s true. How often do you get to inhabit the space of your dreams?
After our stay at The Doctor's House, we returned to our beloved cottage and used it as our home-base for the Roots, Rants, and Roars food festival in Elliston. It’s part of the Artisan Inn in Trinity, where we were made to feel so welcome during our last visit last year, it felt like we were ‘coming home.’
Trinity is a place of straight white picket fences, churchyards with tipping gravestones, streets called “Dandy Lane,” and colour.
Its well-maintained homes are bright against the landscape, and occupy the hilly space between two bays.
This year we had more time to explore the town itself, and we headed out one evening to see Trinity at dusk.
Our wandering took us near the theatre, the imposing Parish Hall,
into a small Catholic Church and into the belly of a boat,
and past this immaculately-kept war memorial, inscribed with the names of those who left Trinity to fight and never returned home.
Fortunately, this year we also visited when the Two Whales Coffee Shop in nearby Port Rexton was still open. They run a busy operation from Spring to Fall - the tourist season - then cozy up for the winter and take a much-needed break.
The café operates out of a two-storey heritage home, with a beautifully-fenced garden in the back that provides much of their fresh vegetables.
The rest of their ingredients are organic when possible, and vegetarian. No meat at all, which I must say is a bit of an anomaly for rural Newfoundland.
Two Whales serves a huge number of tourists throughout the summer, but it’s also a hub for locals. In fact, the very first time we dropped in, we ran into two people we’d met last year at the kitchen party Marieke threw for us.
The appeal of this café is immediately obvious; there always seems to be light pouring in from the three walls of windows, they have good coffee (Jumping Beans' beans + local well water is their secret), hearty food, and an entire glass case of baking, which we sat in front of so we could watch it like a TV. Netflix will never entertain me more than cake-watching.
And you think I'm joking.
We ordered paninis that came with soup, green salad, and coleslaw,
then finished off with a massive date square and a partridgeberry-studded brownie.
On our second visit we tried the salted caramel brownie (boo-ya!) and cream cheese apricot square. Everything was wonderful, and made tastier by the fact their business philosophy values respect for employees, customers, the environment, art in its many forms, and the community. You can read more about it by following this link, then clicking on "Two Whales Mission Statement."
This year, we also caught Aunt Sarah’s Chocolates before they closed for the season; it’s about a ten-minute walk from the Artisan Inn, on a lane that runs down to one of the town’s docks.
It’s run by Sarah and Adam, a couple from Ontario who visited Trinity on holiday and decided they couldn’t leave (we get it).
Sarah learned the chocolate trade from her father, and they’ve now been selling bags of her silky truffles, bars, chocolate-covered nuts, and butter crisp for two years.
The shop they work out of has been in their landlord’s family for generations, and in its past life it served as a general store.
The space still has an old-fashioned atmosphere, and it’s easy to imagine the shelves once lined with jars of striped candies, black tea, and molasses.
In the winter, Adam and Sarah usually head back to Ontario, where their Italian hot chocolate is a favourite amongst the skaters on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.
We left with a bag of their best seller - the chocolate-covered butter crisp - and despite planning on enjoying it for a while, we ate it in one sitting. Do not regret it.
Next up: THE FESTIVAL BEGINS!