Navigating Around Nova Scotia

travel

Lobster Nova Scotia

Lobster Nova Scotia

Their herd of just 50 Holstein cows provides the milk on the six generation farm. It is a family business owned by Jeanita and Rick Rand and daughter Melissa is the cheesemaker. They use non homogenised full fat milk for their products which include a range of cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk.

Lobster Nova Scotia

The cheeses are interesting and the picks were the parmesran (sic) a play of the word parmesan and their last name "Rand" which is a less dry version of reggiano. Their flavoured quarks are also excellent. Their milk is sold in traditional glass bottles and the chocolate milk is very good indeed. The gelatos are made from fresh fruit.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Back in Grand Pre, one of the three UNESCO world heritage sites is the very intriguing shop called "The Tangled Garden". Walking into their store is like entering another world where chairs are reserved for fairies and elves and dried herbs scent the air.

Lobster Nova Scotia

The business started in 1985 and commenced with just one acre of land and five products and now almost 30 years later they've expanded to five acres and sixty five products. All of the herbs are grown on site and 90% of the ingredients are local. Beverly shows us many of her products ready for tasting - they are best known for their beautiful savoury jellies suspended mid jelly with herbs and hot, spicy jellies.

Lobster Nova Scotia

We try a radiant raspberry jelly with a touch of rose, a zest spring onion and one of my favourites a horseradish jelly. But really, they're all superb.

Lobster Nova Scotia

All of the jellies are made in small batches-and they mean small batches as there are just 6-9 jars's worth in a batch. They make their own pectin and the jellies are a soft set jelly. The lemon thyme ice cream is also gorgeous as are their alcoholic popsicles with whole raspberries lodged inside their icy exterior.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Our hotel for the night is the Blomidin Inn, one of the prettiest buildings in the area. A former Sea Captain's mansion built in the 19th century, it has been beautifully restored.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia was famous for its wooden boat building and this was built during that time. It's regarded as one of the best places to stay in Wolfville and pulling up to the grand building causes excitement in the car.

Lobster Nova Scotia

I'm in the Canard room - each room is named after a ship as befits the hotel's history. Each room is individually decorated with vintage furniture and my room has a four poster bed, antique wing back chairs, a toile bedspread and tapestry chair.

Lobster Nova Scotia

There are modern touches too like an enormous flat screen television. My favourite part would have to be the bed with a little footstool to help you up on the high bed-it was very princess and the pea!

Lobster Nova Scotia

The bathroom is sizeable with a spa bath and amenities in a small bowl. The towels are soft but not especially large but the bath is large with spa jets to soothe tired travelling muscles.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Wifi is free and easy to connect to and I settle in to do some work. When I look around for tea making facilities I'm unable to find any. They make the tea for you and it arrives quickly and just as ordered with a smile. Afternoon tea is offered in the downstairs drawing room from 3-4:30pm and features tea, coffee and cakes.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Dinner is at Le Caveau at the Domaine Grand Pre Winery, about 10 minutes drive away. Set up by Hanspeter Stutz who purchased the property about 20 years ago, the restaurant and winery is a family affair.

Lobster Nova Scotia

His son Jurg is the winemaker while his wife Cacilia runs the wine shop. Hanspeter's daughter Beatrice runs the restaurant with her partner Jason Lynch as chef. Le Caveau or "The Cave" was also voted in the world's top 20 winery restaurants by Wine Access magazine. Despite this, prices remain reasonable.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Lobster and Scallop Chowder $10CAD/$10.35AUD

This lobster chowder is done slightly differently from others in that it is made Spanish style with ground almonds that give the soup a different consistency. I have to say that this is the best chowder of the trip so far-it is smooth and rich but never cloying or too thick. The lobster and scallops inside are plentiful and the seasoning is spot on but the star is the creamy texture that isn't too thin or too thick.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Green onion and cheddar soup $10CAD/$10.35AU

It was a cold night so soup was the order of the day. The soup is excellent with a similarly creamy texture but with tiny melted crumbles of cheddar cheese dispersed throughout it.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Pate tasting, piccalilli, shallot compote and spiced bread $16CAD/$16.56AUD

After my lobster fest, I didn't want an enormous meal so I went for the pâté tasting plate. There is a chanterelle mushroom pâté, a chicken liver pâté and a duck terrine. All three are excellent and moreish and I particularly enjoy the last two with the whole baked caramelised shallot. But the thing that brings this all together is the spiced nut bread which is heady with spices and chunky with nuts and fruit. It's so good that we ask for extra bread and the recipe from the chef.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Caramel Nut Tart with malt marshmallow ice cream $10CAD/$10.35AUD

The pick of the desserts for me is the caramel nut tart. Thick and requiring both a knife and a fork, this is sweet, studded with nuts and absolutely tooth stickingly good, like a version of a pecan pie. The ice cream is interesting with the texture of marshmallow and served frozen as a ball of ice cream.

Lobster Nova Scotia

White Coffee Ice Cream with a shot of espresso $12CAD/$12.42AUD

This is another favourite, an affogato made with white coffee ice cream to double the coffee flavour.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Milk Chocolate and Vietnamese Cinnamon Pot de Crème $14CAD/$14.49AUD

This is a light chocolate moussey style of dessert which has a layer of orange ground Vietnamese cinnamon on top.

Lobster Nova Scotia

Cheese Tasting $12CAD/$12.42AUD

There are three cheeses on the cheese board and they are a local Dragon's Breath blue cheese which has the flavour of blue cheese but in a distinctly different texture, almost wet and moist. There is also a Spanish Bonvallis cheese, a triple cream cow, sheep and goat's cheese which is lovely and dry and an Avonleigh Clothbound Cheddar from nearby Prince Edward Island. They're served with a house chutney, raincoast crackers and local honey.

See Dear Reader? It's not all about lobster! ;)

So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever ask chefs for recipes when you dine at restaurants?

NQN travelled to Canada as a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Destination Halifax and Nova Scotia Tourism Agency.

Fox Hill Cheese

1660 Lower Church, Wolfville, NS Phone: +1 902-542-3599

The Tangled Garden

11827 Hwy 1, Grand Pré, NS B0P 1M0, Canada Phone:+1 902-542-9811

Blomidin Inn

195 Main St, Wolfville, NS B4P 1C3, Canada Phone:+1 902-542-2291

Le Caveau

11611 Highway 1, Grand Pré, N.S., BOP 1M0, Canada Phone:+1 (902) 542-1753