Immediately after our backyard wedding, I slipped out of my dress, packed a to-go box of the leftover Sucre macaroons and homemade melomakarona (Greek honey cookies) from the reception and grabbed my suitcase for our epic honeymoon adventure in the Maritimes. After a one-night stopover in a small Bar Harbor B&B, we boarded the Cat Ferry, car and all, and headed across the Atlantic to the rugged shores of Nova Scotia. The ferry landed in Yarmouth, where we grabbed a buttery lobster roll before driving along the misty, lush southwestern coast to our modernist beachfront cottage designed by Halifax-based McKay-Lyons. The Sai Beach House sits on top of a hill overlooking a private white sand beach nestled in a cove framed by pine trees and granite boulders. A perfect blend of glass, concrete and stone, the house made us feel like we were living in the landscape–but with really nice furniture. My favorite example is the window headboard–a 12-foot horizontal piece of glass–giving us long, rectangular views of the lichen and moss covered rocks, trees and wildflowers every morning. A week of admiring the coast from our glass perch and taking day trips, and it was off to the Keltic Lodge, a grand Canadian resort on the precipitous cliffs of the Cape Breton Island. After exploring and hiking the Cabot Trail and taking in some fiddle and folk music, we left the Scottish roots of Nova Scotia and headed west towards the French Acadians.
The Trout Point Lodge is part organic garden, part cooking school, part nature retreat–the dream setting for three Louisiana restauranters that wanted to find the roots of Cajun cuisine. Their search landed them in western Nova Scotia, where the French Acadians were eventually exiled from the island by the British, many ending up in New Orleans. Beyond the obvious nature stuff–canoeing, fishing and hikes through the woods–this place is all about the food. Candlelit dinners in the lodge with meals made from primarily all on-site ingredients, from fresh seafood (salmon, sole, lobsters, mussels) to baked-daily breads, organic produce grown in the gardens, even wild chanterelles foraged in the forest.