Staycation: NL is Some Shockin’ Good

Staycation: NL is Some Shockin’ Good

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Newfoundlanders can boast about having the most amazing scenery plus we’re known for being some of the friendliest people on the planet explaining why tourists shout from the rooftops: ‘It’s ‘some shockin’ good’ in NL!’

The Newfoundland Herald has been out and about this summer talking to some amazing folks in the tourism industry, but some of the best conversations we’ve had have been with the tourists themselves. 

Hands down, people say that this province – and our people and hospitality– are proof we are most certainly one of a kind.

Ocean Delight Properties ~ Heart’s Delight, NL

Laurelyn Berry, owner at Ocean Delight Properties, proudly shows off her property. With four cottages – adorably named Cranberry, Cloudberry, Blueberry and Partridgeberry –  on the ocean’s edge in scenic Whiteway, and four more – the Loon, the Puffin, the Gannet and the Osprey – just a five minutes drive away in a secluded cove in Heart’s Delight-Islington, Ocean Delight cottages are breathtaking, even if only in their setting.

But that’s just the start. Each cottage has been lovingly designed and are unique in their layout, and each – while comfortable and designed to offer all the needed conveniences for a stay – are so much more. There’s also an element of elegance and romance in each and every cottage. 

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On the day we visit Berry she had been walking her two senior dogs, and one had gotten into the water. There was garden work to be completed and furry family members to tend to, yet she stood before us as elegant and as poised as a movie star. Berry was able to give The Herald a tour of almost every cottage in both locations, and while they were all stunning and spectacular inside and out, it was the view at each – created to make it appear as if your cottage is the only one on the edge of the world – that took our breath away. 

Later, we were able to stay at The Gannet and “romantic” is the only word to describe both the vibe and the setting. 

“I’m a romantic at heart and I like things to be functional yes, but also to relax and inspire. Simple can be romantic, and that’s what Ocean Delight is,” she said. As the sun began to set, we moved from our private deck area to our private garden and then, with time to spare, we took our nightcaps and wandered down to a newly created gazebo area closer to the sea and sat and took in all the beauty and wonder. 

For bookings and more visit  oceandelightcottages.net/ODC2

Bay Chalets ~ Placentia, NL

Located in the Placentia area, Bay Chalets offers some unique options when it comes to a stay-over. 

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The Cliff House is luxury personified. It’s a hot tub on the edge of the ocean and a magnificently manicured garden – waterfall included – stay. But that’s just the outside! Inside, with so many hand-crafted “bomb proof” creations by the owners, this place is worth the stay simply to experience its finery. 

Cochrane House Chalet boasts a large wrap-around deck and an incredible ocean view. Pet friendly, it’s openness and comfort encourages “settling in” instantly. Margie’s Place by the Pond is unique. With a kitchen and main floor area that is so beautiful it begs to be lived in and the design of the house – a former parish priest residence – is jaw-dropping. The newly renovated master used to be the maid’s residence. Soaker tub, luxurious shower and a bedroom to inspire, the master is a masterpiece. But take a wander through the premises and you’ll see hints of the past everywhere. 

During our stay, I swear there were ghosts exploring the place as we slept, though they were of the most friendly kind and a stay at Margie’s Place is friendly and welcoming, just like property owners Joanne Cochrane-Knight  and Jamel Knight.  

The couple both have a flair for design, and Jamel is a talented wood-worker and has created many incredible one-of-a-kind pieces. From tables to bar-tops, these vacation home rentals are unique. 

“We just wanted to make an environment that was friendly for people to really enjoy themselves. ‘Bomb proof’ is what I call what we’ve created, but yet everything is so one-of-a-kind and beautiful,” she said. 

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They take so much pride in what they do. “We start early mornings and we go until it’s done for us. A five star review is so important, not because we want the numbers, but because we want our guests to be happy,” she said. “We take it very personally when something doesn’t go right because we have put so much time and energy and effort and money and  mostly love into everything we do.”

For more see baychalets.ca 

Frozen in Time Winery & Ironberry ~Markland, NL

Located in Markland, Frozen in Time is a place one must see to believe – a phrase I used over and over while being given a tour of the store and restaurant area of the premises by manager Liz Collins. 

A proud family based business dedicated to producing premium berry wines and spirits using quality, clean ingredients, minimal processing and no added sulphites, Collins explained that there’s also quite the history in the building we were standing in. 

“Visiting our winery is like taking a step back into a slice of Newfoundland history,” she said. 

The Markland Cottage Hospital was built in 1935 and was one of 19 cottage hospitals built in Newfoundland and Labrador to serve rural communities. The overnight stay rental above the winery is spectacular in its preserving of that history. The architecture, windows, space and setting is again one that must be seen and experienced to be believed. But it’s the people that really make each place special. Collins glows as she showcases all the renovations lovingly done to the premises. Owner Marek Krol is passionate about the place, Collins explained. Even though Newfoundland isn’t his home by birth, he’s felt an instant connection to the place from the start, something he shared with The Herald when we spoke. Twenty years after immigrating to Toronto from his native Poland in 1988, Krol saw the benefits of establishing a business in Newfoundland and Labrador after one visit. “It was the people. The people from Poland are friendly, and Newfoundlanders give off that same feeling.. And many of the places I’ve seen in Newfoundland, it looks like home… It’s the closest I’ve felt to home since I left Poland,” he explained warmly. 

Krol said he purchased the winery (formerly Rodrigues Winery) because he “had faith in the people and in the place.” 

“The province of Newfoundland has so many opportunities for the people to do something beautiful and different. We all are a team there and we have a vision to put trails, lit by night, where people can come and sample food and fine wine and stay in the woods in a natural setting. The people of Newfoundland love the woods, and we have so much of it to offer at the winery,” he said. 

The pride in his staff and in the products they produce is uplifting. 

“We lift ourselves up. We are proud to show the world the possibilities. We have something special with our products and the future looks bright,” he shared. 

With flavoured maple syrup – a unique product in Canada great on its own or for cooking – their Ironberry line which produces powders made from berries: blueberries, cranberries and sea buckthorn, a berry that contains more than 190 different nutrients, as well as protein and fatty acids;  they have it all. 

Krol added that one teaspoon of Ironberry powder is equivalent to eating around a half a cup of berries. And the taste? Amazing! 

The pub area of Frozen in Time fills as we hang out with the fun and friendly staff. We’re there to eat  and taste the wines of course – but also to have a laugh with those working. It’s karaoke night and the place is on wheels with locals and come from aways alike. 

Come Home 2022 has been a joyful one for all. And the bonus?

“Our products are so pure, there’s no hangover. No chemicals. 

It’s all organic,” Krol said. And yes, tasting great is fabulous of course, and all the wines and liqueurs are incredible, but knowing that in the morning the only regret might be one’s karaoke performance is a great feeling too! 

For more visit  frozenintimeltd.com

Dildo Dory Grill

Laura March-Crocker  has her hands full on the day we visit. With sea food chowder and cod au gratin and fish cakes on the menu, it’s a kitchen day for this chief and business owner. 

The main courses – from fish and chips to chicken burgers – are all amazing, but of course when you are in Dildo it’s all about the people and the scenery. Captain Dildo is a great draw, of course. “Everyone that comes through, you’ll see them take their camera out for a picture,” she said with a smile.   

But with all the love and passion March-Crocker puts into every bite, it’s little wonder they draw a crowd. “We love it when someone enjoys themselves. I love to cook for a crowd, and you certainly get to do that here,” she laughed. 

March-Crocker says “that’s the way it is here. Dildo just makes everybody happy.” And that it does! 

For more visit  dildodorygrill.com/index.html or follow them on Facebook

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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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