Sunday, August 3, 2008

Annapolis Royal & a Charming Inn

Hillsdale House Inn

We're still on vacation, although it is winding down...nothing lasts forever, you know. After a delicious lunch in Digby we headed to Annapolis Royal, nestled in the Annapolis Basin off the Fundy Shore, at the edge of the Annapolis Valley.

If you're a history buff, it doesn't get much better than this....after all, it is the oldest continuous European settlement north of Saint Augustin, Florida. There's Fort Anne, very different to the kind of forts I'm used to seeing. I expected wood or stone fortifications, but (and of course, we went for our stroll without my camera, so check out the Vauban-style fortifications in this on-line tour. Lovely old Victorian and Gingerbread style homes abound, museums of early settlers give you a glimpse of time gone by.

The Historic Gardens are spectacular. You could get lost in them for hours...there's the quaint Acadian home and typical useful garden of the time...the formal knot garden... fountains...summer garden...winter garden...we only got a taste of it. Next time I will have the camera!

For nature lovers and athletes, there are tons of things to do in the neighborhood and lots of shops selling wonderful things made by local artists and artisans.

For the romantics...that would be about a lovely walk on the boardwalk at sunset

and stopping at the Compose Restaurant for dinner on their terrace overlooking the Annapolis Basin. Tons of beautiful flowers attracted the lovely hummingbird near our table. How awesome is that!

That's the view from the water's edge, along the boardwalk. Compose serves Viennese dishes like...

the very tasty schnitzel my Honey had.

I, of course, still hadn't had enough scallops - we are only 40 minutes or so from Digby. These were in a tasty gingery butter.

But the real highlight of our trip was the Hillsdale House Inn, a Provincial Heritage Property with lots of history. Built around 1859, the inn sits on a 12 acre estate on the site of the old garrison's exercise grounds. Unlike many lovely B&Bs that started out as someone's home, Hillsdale House started out as a first class inn

and that heritage continues today under the tender care of Val Peterson & Paul Stackhouse (busy here preparing delicious breakfasts).

Take the virtual tour (it's a slide show, so don't rush through them) of all their lovely rooms to see all the attention to detail, mixing antique furniture with 21st century amenities, like flat screen tvs. George V, Prince of Wales reportedly stayed in Room 1. We stayed in Room 6. I loved the clawfoot tub and wonderful smelling bath salts!

A full breakfast was served in the very formal, very lovely dining room, complete with candles at the table and beautiful table settings that took me back to another era.

Homemade raspberry muffins and coffee greeted us while we chose from the's options: Belgian waffles topped with blueberries, Nova Scotia maple syrup, bacon or ham

or...eggs any style (my poached were perfectly served on homemade toast), homemade jam...I chose the strawberry rhubarb, bacon or ham.

We will definitely be Annapolis Royale, and naturally the Hillsdale House Inn. Thanks Val & Paul for your gracious hospitality.

Check out the Visitor's Guide Newsletter for more Annapolis Royal news.


lalaine said...

Do we still want to come back, Ruth? The whole place looks breathtaking anyone would want to stay forever!

kitchenetta said...

Enjoy the rest of your vacation. Sounds very nice!