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Wine and Whisky

Mabou, Canada

Well it's true to say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I'd noticed that there was a plaque from the Nova Scotian tourist board in the hall when we arrived for culinary services to the island and when we looked through the room folder we found that they operated a restaurant, though it wasn't clear whether this was just for guests. We were tired and thought we would give it a whirl. Our hostess, who wasn't around when we registered, asked us if we had booked. As we hadn't, she wondered if we would be ok without the four course menu and did we eat pork? She could prepare more vegetables and do us a stir fry in 45 minutes time. This was fine by us as even two courses can be challenging with the generous portions that are offered over here. The dining room was immaculate with white linen table cloths and pretty tea lights flickering on each table. Would we like to pop out to the local off licence or,if we had brought some wine with us we were welcome to use it. Rick hopped upstairs to collect the blackberry wine we had bought in Lunenburg. It was surprisingly a great accompaniment to the amazing food. We were brought a large serving platter with a bowl of rice flanked with tender pork, stir fry vegetables and king prawns in a light but flavoursome sauce. Would we like a dessert. There was Tiramasu or Pavlova – again wonderful.

What would breakfast bring? A huge platter of eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, muffins and fruit bread washed down with as much tea or coffee as we could drink. An interesting chat with our host and hostess a lovely couple. He was Nova Scotian by birth. They had met in Toronto while she was studying and had gone to Australia to join several members of her Chinese family who had already settled there. They were in Brisbane for some time returning eight years ago to be with his side of the family once her mum and dad were no longer alive.

On the road to Jost winery a short drive away. Purchase made and another brief drive to Tatamagouche Farmers Market, recommended by our hosts last night. By the time we got back to the car it was beginning to rain. As we drove on the Trans Canada Highway past Pictou along the coast towards Canso Causeway the rain steadily increased. We stopped off at the Tourist Office to pick up a detailed map having crossed to Cape Breton and headed on for another half hour to the Celtic Interpretive Centre at Judique, which we had been told was the first eatery on our route. Well heaven help them if they ever have a full house as they found it difficult to cope with ten of us in there. A half an hour after arrival we were presented with our snack. The first place this holiday where the waitress only got a 10% tip! The rain had stopped and the mists disappeared and we began to fully appreciate the beauty of this place.

We reached the Distillery at Glenora at 3.55pm just in time for the last tour of the day! The 1st single malt distillery in N America and only one in Canada. In operation from 1990 the location was specially chosen, using the sweet, clear and untainted waters of the stream which flows through its heart. A walk through the fermenting and processing rooms ended with 2 samples for Rick (yours truly being the driver). Not much of a hardship as I'm not a whisky fan. If it had been cognac we might have had to toss for it!

A short drive to the Inn at Glendyer. A note pinned on the door – 'come on in. I've gone for supper at the Red Shoe Pub. You're in room 1. Make yourselves at home.

Well what more of a recommendation could you have. We had passed the pub on our way to the distillery and had, in fact, been recommended it by our host at Murray Harbour on PEI. Great place. Good food and, according to Rick, a good beer too! The music, to be performed by one of the Rankin family (the sisters own the pub), wasn't due to start until 10pm. With a long drive on the Cabot trail in the morning we decided to call it a day and sample the Rankins on Google. The CD might be waiting for us when we get home courtesy of Amazon!

permalink written by  rickandsuejohnson on August 11, 2012 from Mabou, Canada
from the travel blog: Go West then go East
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