Newfoundland

newflartgalleryWe were fortunate to conduct at wine tasting on a boat in the harbour of St. John’s a few years back….but this info might still come in handy should you find the urge to visit our new favourite place.

The Friday party led to the Saturday party which led to the Sunday supper. Seamless, as they say. We conducted a client appreciation wine tasting in there somewhere for finance guy Jeff and that led to another party. I’ve always heard that Newfoundlanders were like the Irish and it’s true – sociability is their way of life. Conversation is their bread and butter. And we met lots of new friends! Hosts extraordinaire Jeff and buddy Brian shared tunes, tales and tips, Bern and Bev showed huge hearts and hospitality…

“DID YOU KNOW that when you retire in Newfoundland, you get a piece of art, not a watch?”

Did manage a little about-town research in St John’s and for what it’s worth:

• The new ART GALLERY called ‘The Rooms’ is a must visit. It’s also a museum, has a café, and great vistas of the harbour and neighbouring buildings.

• The HARBOUR-SIDE WALK up to Signal Hill is also a must. So intimate it takes you across someone’s front deck.

• AUNTIE CRAE’S, 272 Water St, is a charming, old world meets new world, high-quality food store and café. Excellent espresso counter at the back.

• The LIQUOR STORE on Water Street doesn’t look like much but go exploring and you’ll find one of the best wine offerings anywhere. Every great French or Italian wine you ever read about is not only on the shelf, but often in several vintages and, in different bottle sizes. And at reasonable prices. Excuse me Mr LCBO, your Summerhill flagship is a great building, but the wine selection cannot hold a candle to this. And it’s in a town of less than 100,000 people.

• Yes, it’s true that George Street does have more bars than anyone could visit. Including the just opened, YELLOW BELLY BREW PUB. Canada’a best brewer, LIAM McKENNA is back in action here after his Dublin experience where his beer was good that Guinness paid bar owners not to stock it.

BLUE ON WATER is a smart, modern boutique hotel, restaurant, bar right by the harbour.

• THE BAD AND THE UGLY: Hotels and office towers built in the past couple of decades are totally unsympathetic to St. John’s simple, colourful box, maritime architecture. When will North American cities learn that it’s style, not volume, that makes a place rich! Thankfully the new art gallery sets an example for future development.

“WHEN WE DRIVE TO MY BROTHER’S PLACE IN MANITOBA, WE JUST PUT THE FREEZER IN THE VAN AND WE’D BE ALL SET FOR FOOD.”

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