Staycation 2022: Be Wined, Dined & Delighted

Staycation 2022: Be Wined, Dined & Delighted

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For this celebratory Come Home Year 2022, those in the tourism industry have kicked things up quite a few notches

Doctor’s House Inn & Spa ~Green’s Harbour, NL

Jerry Byrne is the ultimate energetic host, and his passion is on bust the day we visit as he shows new summer staff – mostly come from away university students – the ropes as well as the premises. 

While the property – acres upon acres of paths, trees, flowers and other magnificent greenery – sparkles, the real gem at The Doctor’s House Inn & Spa is the staff. There’s Stephanie and Lucas (the magical fire starter-upper on the evening we visit) and Ruby, just for starters, but the entire historic property beams with positivity and welcoming warmth.

It’s likely that energy comes from Byrne himself – an engineer turned inn owner. 

“This is a passion, and you have to be passionate about people and the place you’re welcoming them to if you are going to survive in the tourism industry,” he shared as we took a tour through the main guest house. With stunning architecture to take in as well as art work created by Byrne’s wife – the beautiful Emily Fouchard of Siren House Art Studio – throughout, the tour is more of a gloriously slow meandering about. The rooms are all named after the tree that is most pronounced from the window in each. Chestnut. Beach. The trees – and the view of them from each and every room named after them – is breathtaking. 

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The Doctor’s House Inn & Spa has it all. Nightly entertainment at times. Spa services. Tranquility. Brilliant sunsets. Spectacular weather – Byrne can proudly boast an incredible average of successful outside garden weddings to attest to that very fact. Great friendly staff. Mouth watering dining options prepared by the talented Tyler and served in the most spectacular setting – a barn designed to look like an upside down boat. There’s one of a kind (sort of) animals on the premises and the history? It’s all so incredibly much to take in on one visit. 

Peace. Quiet. Beauty. It’s all there. The windows that frame the secret garden came from an old church, Byrne explained, stressing the importance of preserving the history of this place.

Stone – collected by Dr. Body, the properties original owner – stands testament to Byrne’s commitment to preserve and protect the property’s history.  Byrne’s tour consists of tales of Dr. Body. 

“This barn, that was the original home. He kept Newfoundland ponies in the barn area and he and his wife and children lived upstairs, using the horses as a heating source in the colder months.”

Dr. Body – a  former Psychiatrist at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) in St. John’s – used the property as his retreat. 

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To truly appreciate the premises, one must visit – and you don’t have to be an overnight guest either! The dining (make a reservation) is open for all, and the sunsets are free! 

We feed the resident African Boer Goats before moving on to visit Joseph and Clara – the only two Newfoundland Heritage Rams in the province. Then, the stars of the 30-room property – Newfoundland Ponies! Monty steals the spotlight, however, as he’s actually a magical colour-changing horse! The story  involves artist and Newfoundland pony enthusiast and fellow Green’s Harbour resident Clifford George. More next week!

To connect with the Doctor’s House Inn & Spa visit them at doctorshousenl.ca

St. John’s Walking Tours ~ St. John’s, NL

If you’d like to join the tour tomorrow, it’ll be leaving at 2:00 from the bronze statue at the east end of George Street,” the message read. Having done so much adventuring outside the city limits, spending an afternoon downtown sounded grand.

St. John’s Walking Tours is proudly brought to life by Pierre Trowbridge and Melissa Hogan, two longtime friends and passionate travellers that say they are now bringing their passion to the streets of St. John’s. 

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Their journey began in January 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trowbridge was travelling by bicycle from Vietnam to Cambodia to visit friends on his winter vacation and, as his journey got underway, there were stories of an unknown virus. Pierre wound up stranded outside China and decided that the best place for him to be was back in Canada. Trowbridge and Hogan reunited and began working on the creation of St John’s Walking Tours. 

“We’re very proud of what we’ve created and the hard work we put in is finally paying off and we are excited to bring these entertaining and informative tours to visitors and locals alike,” Trowbridge, said. Some interesting tidbits. The Colonial Building, completed in 1850, was built to house Newfoundland’s Representative Government. It’s also home to a very funny story that tells us why, to this very day, the legislature in NL is unique among its kind. Wanna find out more? Book a tour! As for Jelly Bean Row, there are many colourful myths as to why houses in downtown are painted so brightly. While the truth, they tease, is ‘blander’ than the houses themselves, the tale still makes for a grand yarn. Dying to know? Then book a tour! 

For more visit stjohnswalkingtours.com or find them on Facebook

A lazy river! Markland, NL

Who knew such a thing existed? A two (give or take) hour experience on a relaxing river just outside St. John’s that appears to be deigned by nature for exactly this: a relaxing adventure on the water. 

The tubes are designed for comfort and fun and are easy to navigate through the Hodge River. 

While some areas are shallow and require a little ‘portaging’ (wear appropriate foot wear) for the majority of the ride, you can simply float along. 

A paddle is provided for anyone interested in a little maneuvering, but for the most part – float and enjoy the ride as well as the scenery! 

Great for families, including young children, this is a fun activity for all to enjoy! 

For more visit windatyourbacknl.ca or follow them on Facebook (Summer Hours Vary)

Beothuk Interpretation Centre – Boyd’s Cove, NL

The Boyd’s Cove site in eastern Notre Dame Bay on the northeast coast is situated at the bottom of a bay and protected by a maze of islands that shelter it from waves and winds, making it a perfect sport for the Beothuks to settle.

The site was found in 1981 while a survey team were out looking to locate Beothuk settlements. Visiting the Boyd’s Cove Beothuk Interpretation Centre is a great way to revisit the history that was uncovered during those excavations. Walk the trails and take in the same air and see the same sights as the Beothuk did. There’s uncovered treasures to behold. Visiting is free for Come Home Year 2022. 

For more visit Beothuk Interpretation Centre on Facebook or www.seethesites.ca

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Pam is the Managing Editor of The Newfoundland Herald. As the mother of two, she proudly writes about a life lived simply at home on 'The Rock.' When not interviewing or writing about NL's finest, Pam can be found spending her time in the great Newfoundland outdoors.

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