Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Seaside Fun in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea

Glorious sun and fun awaited us on our full day in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.

Kingsbrae's formal garden and maze.
We began at Kingsbrae Garden, one of the prettiest spots you can imagine with its 50,000-plus trees, plants and flowers arranged in a variety of gardens that make the 27-acre site seem twice as large.

 Not only are the gardens artful, art plays a large part throughout. Every year Kingsbrae holds a Canadian Sculpture competition. Entries are displayed with the winner added to the sculpture garden.

 "The Lost Stone" by Dave Hind, first place in the 2014 sculpture competition.

The Artist-in-Residence program adds to the creative atmosphere. Painter Geoff Slater gave us a sample in the art studio during which we all painted a small work using a limited palette and enhanced by croissants and mimosas. The "of art" label is debatable.

The set up.

Artist Geoff Slater.



No costumes to try on here, but we did find photo-worthy locations. The selfie at the obelisk didn't work out so we tried the arched hedge.

This is one spot even kids will like. There are alpacas, goats, garden cats, ducks, peacocks and other animals...

... a children's fairyland garden with a variety of creative playhouses and a scale model Dutch windmill.

We could have spent the better part of a day at Kingsbrae - word is the restaurant is quite good - but we had a Passamaquoddy Bay tide to catch.
You see, driving over the seafloor at low tide is the way to reach Minister's Island.

Not low enough.
We waited, watching others clam in the tidal pools that were left, until the ranger gave the signal to go.
Almost. Photo by Debi Lander.

Across we go.
We held our breath and started across, a unique experience indeed.

The Van Horne home. Photo by Debi Lander.
The 500-acre half-time island was the summer estate of Sir William Van Horne, the second president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway. We toured the 17-bedroom, 11-bathroom, 50-room home of Van Horne, his wife and two children.

It would have been a wonderful place to summer, with its colonnaded front porch,

Van Horne's accomplished art work, his collection of native Canadian crafts, the charming Dutch wallpaper in his grandson Billy's bedroom,

the working Dutch windmill and the paths and trails around and through the heavily wooded island,

We hated to leave but tide and whale-watching boats wait for no one. Island Quest was the boat to catch for a whale-watching cruise into the Bay of Fundy.

We saw lighthouses,


a lobster boat that showed off its catch for us,

 sun bathing seals,

a bird rookery,

herring weirs
and marks of those incredible tides,

but no whales that I recognized. Captain Chris said a fin we saw belonged to a small-toothed whale, but it looked more like a dolphin to me. Fun, but not what we hoped.
Downtown St. Andrews-by-the-Sea;
What was fun was strolling rapidly about the town - time crunch again - and what did live up to anticipation was a tasting dinner at Rossmount Inn hosted by owners/chef Chris and Graziella Aerni.

Rossmount Inn and Restaurant

Graziella and Chef Chris Aerni.
Each course had three or more selections served family style which made taking accurate notes or usable photos difficult (delay taking a portion and you risked losing a taste of it). Suffice to say, you will find a plethora of beautifully plated, delicious locally sourced selections on the menu.

There was a clubby and cozy bar specializing in single malt Scotches across the hallway but we merely looked in wistfully.

The Sandman was calling our names. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks lovely but I have to confess that I don't know where it is. Because you mention the Bay of Fundy I'm guessing it's in New Brunswick, Canada. Is that right? I love the sculpture of the found stone - very cool!