Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on June 26, 2024 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment

A Tor Bay Treasure


There are hidden treasures in every nook and cranny of Nova Scotia.

When I was younger, I was always in a hurry to get from point A to point B. I rarely chose the secondary highways in my haste to get to where I was going. These days, I have shifted gears and now I crave slower speeds and “the road less travelled”.

I was eager to see my daughter perform with Shiretown, a band based out of the town of Guysborough. Jess and Greg Favaro are well-known locals who have been performing and teaching music for decades. I have discovered (once by accident a few weeks ago when I took a wrong turn after getting off the Country Harbour ferry) that one can get to Charlos Cove a number of different ways. On this particular day recently, we chose to drive down Highway 16 through the unspeakably beautiful Boylston, hugging the shores of Chedabucto Bay, the town of Guysborough and onwards towards Larry’s River.

Perched on the rugged shoreline of Tor Bay in Guysborough County, sits a little slice of paradise. In a setting that can only be considered idyllic is the iconic Seawind Landing Country Inn.

I only knew of Seawind by reputation. Many locals (and international travellers) go there regularly for a quiet getaway, a fine meal or a concert. Or you can do as I did and go for the whole package.

The first sensation one gets is tranquility. The property is immaculate and expansive. I can’t imagine that it ever feels crowded.

We were given a warm welcome by co-owner Ann Marie Bagnall and her dog, Teddy. Our room was well appointed and cozy. Prior to dinner, I walked around the grounds and found several small paths leading through the woods to bluffs overlooking the Bay. I hummed a few bars of “Peaceful Easy Feeling”.

Ann Marie and David discovered Charlos Cove seventeen years ago. It might have been a case of “love at first sight”.

Many years ago, the couple were living in Edmonton with challenging jobs. Ann was working as an accountant for an oil and gas company while Dave was in radio. Both jobs were demanding.

It all started with the purchase of a bell.

When Ann Marie and Dave started dating, they bought a bell at a gift shop in Kingston saying that it would look good gracing the front desk at an inn, a la Bob Newhart. When the stress and demands of work became too much, Ann Marie started scouring the net looking for an inn for sale.

“When we came out to see Seawind Landing, it was one of those beautiful September nights. The moon was huge and hanging in the sky over Tor Bay, creating a moonlit path. The buoy was doing its bong bong in the water, the seals were barking on the far shore, a gentle breeze was blowing – we were hooked. We looked at each other and could hardly believe that this could be ours. So, we dove on in.”

A recent addition to the Inn is a fabulous new dining room which doubles as a performance venue for musicians. My friend and I got to sit with the band for dinner. How good was that! Entering the dining room, we got to meet the other part of the ownership team. Ann Marie’s husband, David, is a warm, gregarious chap and a hell of a cook to boot! The food was simply sensational. I had the fennel arugula salad with red onions, glazed pecans, crumbled feta and zesty orange vinaigrette. For my main, I chose the breast of duck with Blackberry Chambord sauce. Succulent and very tasty. The dessert bordered on sinful! I chose the Bailey’s Irish Cream Crème Brulee. I happen to be a crème brulee fanatic and this was easily one of the best.

The food and company were exceptional. At an adjacent table, I spotted Jeff Adams, distinguished paralympic athlete. Someone told us that he has a quiet getaway in Guysborough County. I would have loved to have had a chat with him and congratulate him on his many gold medals but realized that he probably chose Guysborough to be “far from the madding crowd”.

As a senior, one of the things I appreciated most about the dining experience was the exceptional wait staff. They were all older women who know exactly what clients of the Inn desire. Their attention to detail was unparalleled as was their quiet, unhurried manner. Not a lot of texting on cell phones or drama from these experienced women.

After a delightful dining experience, we were treated to a fine concert. The opening act was Kyle Delorey. He strutted onto the stage wearing a black cowboy hat. He didn’t say much but let his music do the talking.

There weren’t any young women in the crowd which might have been a blessing because Kyle might have caused a “swoon fest”!

Shiretown, the headliners, did not disappoint. They had a delightful mix of original tunes and oldies, including some from the legendary Neil Young. My daughter peered out at me from the stage when they sang “Old Man”.

A quiet night of rest was followed in the morning by a delicious breakfast. I’m a sucker for Eggs Benedict. After one bite, I knew with certainty that the Hollandaise sauce was homemade. My waitress informed me that this was one of David’s creations.

Great location. Exceptional service. Terrific value.

Put this one on your “must go” list.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost.

Have a great Canada Day weekend.

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