Monday, 8 August 2011

Enchanted by La Scie, Newfoundland

by Keith and Heather Nicol
The Tea Room is known for its food

We enjoyed an impromptu kitchen party
We were finishing our pea soup and dumplings when we could hear some accordion and guitar music coming from the “kitchen” of The Outport Museum and Tea Room in La Scie. The cook and waitress, Valerie Whalen said they were going to play some music in the “kitchen” of the museum and would we like to join them. “Sounds perfect to us” we chimed in so we joined a handful of other visitors for an impromptu kitchen party. Before long the group had us up playing the spoons and the ugly stick and everyone had a grand time. As we were leaving, Jack Clarke a visitor from Ontario told me “Where else could you arrive for a meal and then get invited to a party?” he said. It turns out Jack and his partner Judy have been coming to Newfoundland for the last 5 years for their summer holidays and especially love coming to the smaller outports. “We are always treated so well” he said. 

       We recently visited La Scie, which is located at the eastern tip of the Baie Verte Peninsula and echo Jack’s comments. The La Scie area is a gem and we certainly recommend a visit here for anyone interested in great coastal scenery, walking some well marked trails and eating at The Outport Museum and Tea Room , which has been listed in “Where to eat in Canada” since 2006. “We are the only place listed in the Baie Verte Peninsula and we specialize in home cooked Newfoundland style meals” Valerie told us. We definitely recommend the delicious fish cakes and the pea soup and dumplings. Also be sure to go the Basques Lookout (49 58.130 N and 55 36.304 W) to check out the interpretative signs and amazing viewpoints. This area has some of the most rugged and scenic coastline we have seen in the province. If you like hiking then be sure to check out the Boone’s Hill Trail (49 57.644 N and 55 35.324 W) which gives a superb view of La Scie and its harbour. This trail is just under 1 kilometer (1 way) but has many steps leading to the lookout platform. Allow about 30-45 minutes for the return walk depending on how many pictures you take. This is just one great hiking trail in the area so ask at the museum for other ideas if you like to walk. 
The Boone's Hill Trail gives a good overview of La Scie

        The area also has a rich history and the museum is a good place to start for anyone interested in learning about this part of the “French Shore” in Newfoundland. “La Scie was named for the ragged hills that look like a saw blade” Larry Whalen told us. Evidently Martin de Hoyarsabol gave it this name when he was describing the sailing directions for this port in 1579! There are also many interpretative signs around the community describing important aspects of it’s history. You could easily spend a weekend in La Scie and in the surrounding area and if you are like us you will leave very impressed. 

The coastal scenery is superb from the Basques Lookout Viewpoint
Where to stay:
We enjoyed staying at Roger’s Bed and Breakfast (709-675-2505). Gord and Norma Rogers are great hosts with lots of suggestions about where to explore in the local area. We also met Celeste Colbourne who has started the Fair Haven Retreat Bed and Breakfast (709-293-2976) and she also offers weaving, spinning and rug hooking demonstrations. The Outport Museum and Tea Room can be reached at 709-675-2720.

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