Having moved to this beautiful Island just two years ago I still have the luxury of feeling like a tourist, in fact my husband likes to say that I am probably the only person in history that can get lost in downtown Charlottetown! This gives me a unique perspective: I am still discovering this beautiful Island, yet I have been here long enough to uncover some gems.
My parents are Italian and they instilled in me a love of food, so it’s no surprise that my perfect day on Prince Edward Island includes lots of culinary delights. Here is how I would spend my perfect day in PEI.
Lazy Morning at the Beach – Stanhope Beach. Having lived in Nova Scotia I am used to cold ocean waters and I was surprised to learn that you can actually swim on PEI while still feeling your toes! PEI has the warmest waters north of the Carolina’s. I find the Stanhope water particularly warm and inviting and I love passing by the beautiful cottages along the way. A little “insiders tip” if you are out for a full beach day, stop into Richard’s Fish & Chips in nearby Covehead Harbour for some fresh catch for lunch – it is a busy spot, but all good things are worth a little wait.
Lunch & Shopping – The Dunes Studio Gallery & Café, Brackley. Located in Brackley Beach, I take all of my visiting guests here because it is a must-see and must-taste Island treasure. The Dunes is an eclectic mix of local and Asian arts and crafts (the owners visit Thailand every year) in a lush garden setting serving Island fusion fare. A mouthful isn’t it? Yet it is all executed so seamlessly that it feels natural to eat Pho (a Vietnamese soup), peruse Island pottery, and lean on an authentic Thai fountain. The dinner menu is also excellent, especially the Lobster Pad Thai – you’ll end your day slumped into a delicious seafood coma!
Evening Stroll & Dinner – Terre Rouge Bistro Marche, Charlottetown. I moved to Canada’s tiniest Province wondering how I would satisfy my inner foodie, but quickly learned that great things come in small packages. I have lived in big cities around the globe and travelled extensively, yet the level of culinary excellence on this Island still surprises me. Terre Rouge Bistro Marche is one such place. They are using local, in season ingredients to create out-of-this-world flavours (like pork belly with popcorn oysters – pure foodie ecstasy). The menu changes often but you will always find a daily mac n’cheese that raises the comfort food bar and homemade, hand churned, gelato that will make you feel like you have been transported to the streets of Florence.
My perfect day requires a large appetite, but hey its vacation after all! Everyone I meet that has visited PEI has fallen in love with its sights and people. I was instantly smitten and every time I cross the Confederation Bridge onto my new home in PEI I feel immediately calm and at ease amongst the delicate shores. Even as a full time resident now, the infatuation hasn’t worn off -I still get the feeling that this place has magical qualities. Prince Edward Island is famous for its beaches, golf courses, seafood and potatoes, but for me the true gift is the authentic world class culinary experiences – it’s an Island fit for a foodie.