Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Halifax & Area Delights

I've actually been meaning to write more about this lovely city and our explorations in Nova Scotia. A number of people have written to me and asked me to recommend places for their upcoming visits.

First, remember that I am truly a newbie here. Yes, my daughter has basically lived here for 15 years, more or less; and yes, we have visited before, but mostly we've stuck close to home. Although we have visited the Annapolis Valley ....

(my Princess picking apples)

Last September I wrote about apple picking in the Annapolis Valley. It's only 90 minutes or so from Halifax and very beautiful, very lush - they call it the Bread Basket of Nova Scotia, where most of the produce comes from....fruit orchards, vineyards, berries (there's a wild blueberry festival in August that I'll be writing about for FoodTV).

(this is the same orchard we picked apples at last year)

Earlier this month I wrote a post for's blog - Food for Thought about the Apple Blossom Festival there. We might even head back that way this weekend, because there is so much more to see. Actually, we plan on going to wherever the sun shines. So we won't really know which direction to take until we wake up Saturday morning. I love spontaneous adventures, especially when I get to share them with someone.

We've visited Peggy's Cove along the South Shoreline - very rugged, very stark, very beautiful But I digress and I promise to share some more photos of our journey(s) soon....

But back to request about Halifax....again, let me reiterate...I am a new arrival! - but here are some restaurants I've eaten at that I've enjoyed immensely....Economy Shoe Shop - no shoes (too bad!) but a great bar/restaurant. I had the most delicious seafood chowder and my friend had delicious bouillabaisse that I kept "tasting". Opa Taverna is on the same street - Argyle (lots of great looking restaurants and not far from the Harbour either). Opa's Greek food is as good as any I've eaten in Greektown in Toronto. The Five Fishermen is a bit more upscale. We took our friends and family there the night before Joanna and Ezra's wedding, 5 years ago. I also took her there when we came to check out Dalhousie University 15 years ago. She ditched me for a cute busboy at the salad bar that has all you can eat mussels. But don't pig out, because the lobster and other seafood is just fantastic. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Phil's Fish & Chips on Quinpool. It's been a must stop every time we've come to visit and now at least a couple of times a month.

Last weekend we did the family thing and went to Point Pleasant Park. You can see the shipping cranes in Halifax Harbour and behind us is the Atlantic Ocean in all its splendor. The park was practically destroyed by a hurricane about five years ago and is just starting to recover. Still, it's a beautiful place to stroll along the water, stop for a picnic or meander through the trails.

And of course there's ice cream at the convenience store just outside the gates. Toronto has some amazing ice cream and gelato parlours. I know, I've written about some of my favorites. But convenience stores there only sell ice cream bars, pop sickles, ice cream sandwiches. They don't sell cones or offer a bazillion flavours. But don't get me started, that's for another post.

Ezra had maple walnut and some funky cotton candy ice cream, Joanna had some fudge brownie delight, and my Honey (taking the photo) and I had ginger ice cream....YUM

We did the "tourist thing" a couple of weeks ago and wandered around the Harbourfront.

Took the usual photos and read all the plaques. Halifax Harbour has an awesome history, but you'll just have to come down for a visit and see for yourself. Lots of restaurants, shops, (I will be heading back to a few I had my eyes on) and condos plus Pier 21 - famous entry port for many Canadian immigrants including my own grandparents in the early 1900's.

And if you're around on a Saturday morning, the farmer's market is just a block or so from the Harbour. It's in the old Keith's Brewery, which has its own story to tell.

But now it's time to start thinking about dinner. We're having a salt cod (very popular around here) dish. Check back tomorrow.

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traveller one said...

I'll be in the Valley in August so I hope I can make it to the blueberry festival!

Ginger ice Cream?? WOW YUMMMMMMMY!

robotii said...

Some of those pictures are darn good. Its good to see that you had a good time.

Nora B. said...

Hi Ruth, sounds like you all had a lot of fun. I've never picked apples before. And the ice cream flavours sounds yummy! I have never cooked with salted cold but eaten it at restaurants, so I would be curious to see what you've cooked up.

Ruth Daniels said...

Traveller one, Blueberry festivals from Aug 17- Sept 1 all over the place and Digby is having Scallop Day Aug 9th. I sound like a tour guide. Hope you have a great visit.

Thanks robotii.

Nora, picking apples is really fun. The salt cod dish, was only enjoyed by the real Haligonian at the table - my son-in-law. The rest of us decided the recipe was not the issue...salt cod is the issue.

Booklogged said...

Ruth, thank-you for this informative post. I added the restaurants to my list as I already had the sights you listed on there. That seafood chowders sounds so yummy!

We're also going to be visitng Toronto so I'm going to read some of your earlier posts.

Ruth Daniels said...

Booklogged, not sure if by now you've already gone vacationing...if not have a great time...if so, I'm sure you did!