Gastronomy and Nature at its best
Road Diary update from PEI (Prince Edward Island). Click here to read the previous Road Diary update from this Maritime Canada road trip.
Our last couple of days on PEI might have been the best of the trip! Yesterday we had some fun stuff planned, but the weather had other ideas. We had planned to spend a good portion of the day exploring Greenwich PEI National Park, but it had started to rain, so we decided to see if we could wait it out by having an early lunch. We stopped by this hole-in-the-wall called Rick’s Fish and Chips. There was only two other people in the restaurant and they too seemed to have the same idea about seeking shelter for the time being. Funny enough, we would run into this couple later in the day (more on that in a moment).
We were thankful for making the decision to forgo our hike of the National Park as the rain intensity had increased substantially. Given that we were in a restaurant with “fish and chips” in the name, I decided to go that route. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed by my selection. I am a bit of a fish and chips connoisseur, so I have plenty of experience to draw from. Regardless, it was still nice to be out of the rain. After we finished our meal it was evident that we could not return to the park, so I suggested we head toward Georgetown and see if we could check into our accommodations early.
We were staying in Georgetown for an annual event called, “The Taste of Georgetown.” Chris and I were both a bit dubious that such a culinary event would take place in an off-the-beaten-path place such as Georgetown, but we were holding out hope that it would be a fun event. We stopped by the Georgetown Historic Inn to see about checking in early, but there didn’t appear to be anyone around. I called and found out that they were still preparing rooms as the Inn was fully booked, likely due to the event in town. The rain was still coming down, so we went to a neighboring town where we found a coffee shop to sit and try and get some work done. An hour or so later we headed back to Georgetown where we checked into our accommodations. We were warmly greeted by the innkeepers and shown to our rooms. We had about an hour or so to get freshened up before the festivities of the evening. Since we were filming at the event for an upcoming video, we wanted to get there a bit early.
The venue for the Taste of Georgetown was just up the street. The rain had since stopped and it was looking like it was going to be a wonderful evening. When we reached the venue we heard live piano music being played. Chris and I both grabbed a beer and perused the facility at King’s Playhouse, which is located right in the MacDonald Memorial Gardens. Inside there were several vendors, artists and other activities going on, along with food stations providing some delicious appetizers. As we made our way outside, we discovered more live music and a large tent set up, where there was even more food being served. It was a cornucopia of gastronomy.
The Taste of Georgetown is a pretty special experience, with celebrity chef’s Paul Rogalski and Michael Smith taking center stage, however several other local chefs were also a part of the ensemble. Some of the dishes we tried included:
- Amuse-bouche of seared scallop with lime aioli on micro greens
- Oysters and Eel
- Chilled Snow Crab Roulade
- Bar Clams
- Chunky home-made seafood chowder and biscuits
- House smoked island trout on top of a bed of greens
- Char-grilled beef filet
- PEI Blueberry Cobbler & baked PEI Orchard Apple rosette in a puff pastry with caramel sauce
A couple of the dishes were created impromptu with ingredients and flavors that celebrate the terroir of Prince Edward Island. After the outdoor appetizers and entertainment, everyone was invited back inside for a formal sit-down, where chef’s Paul and Michael described some of the food, the inspiration, etc. We also enjoyed some fantastic musical entertainment on the main stage. Interestingly, the couple we saw earlier in the day at lunch sat right next to us for dinner. All in all, it was one outstanding event and evening.
GEORGETOWN, NATIONAL PARK AND A SCENIC LIGHTHOUSE
The next day we woke to a bright blue sunny sky. After a lovely breakfast at the Georgetown Historic Inn, we checked-out and went for a walk around town. We didn’t get much of a chance to see the MacDonald Memorial Gardens since it was dark the night before, so on this day we took full advantage of a morning stroll.
The Greenwich PEI National Park was high on my list of things to do since we missed out the day before due to the rain. We arrived and parked in a lot that did not even provide a hint of what was to come. With camera gear and other supplies in hand, we began the walk along a well marked trail. Along the way we saw dense forest full of different kinds of trees and fauna. We came upon a fork and veered right (which was without question the right choice). As we continued we soon stepped upon a wooden boardwalk within a canopy of trees. It wasn’t long before the trees gave way to a large and lush marsh with a floating bridge that zigzagged through the water. It was a spectacular sight, made even more so by the perfect weather.
After a fair walk across the floating bridge, we came to a sand dune with a set of stairs. As we ascended, an ocean view with expensive beach was revealed. It was a really beautiful beach and a suburb walk to get there. I quickly sat on the sand to absorb the tremendous beauty before me. I really did not want to leave, but time was in really short supply given that the day before was sort of washed out.
Our next stop of the day would become my favorite of the Maritime Canada Lighthouses on PEI…Prim Point Lighthouse. Built back in 1845, the Prim Point Lighthouse is the first and oldest lighthouse on PEI. With a large football sized grass park surrounding the lighthouse and stunning shoreline, it was easy to spend a couple of hours here.
Chris and I were famished and there was no place nearby to eat except for the Prim Point Chowder House. To be honest, I did not have high hopes of having a good meal, but boy was I wrong. This scenic restaurant not only serves some wonderful gastro food, but they also have terraced outdoor seating at the edge of the shore to take in the views, including the lighthouse just down the way. It was really a sensation end to our time on PEI. Unfortunately, our time had come to an end and we needed to head to Wood Island’s to catch a ferry back to Nova Scotia.
Over the months to come I will be producing videos, road trip guides and more on PEI, so I hope you will check back, especially if you’re interested in doing a similar road trip of Prince Edward Island. In the meantime, click here to read the next Road Diary post on this Maritime Canada road trip.