Picnics in Fairy Land! My Newfoundland “Lighthouse Picnics” Experience

Lavender and Lovage
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:23:42 +0000
Image: Lighthouse Picnics<br /><br />Dreams are made of this…….<br /><br />Bite-sized Chunks of my Culinary Adventures in Newfoundland:<br /><br />Part Five – Fairies and Lighthouses with Sandwiches on the Cliff – my last day in Newfoundland……<br /><br />Hello and welcome to Fairy Land! Well, not fairy land actually, but that’s what I thought the area was called when I heard Amy of the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Board say where we were going for our special picnic – it takes some time for a Brit to tune into the Newfoundland dialect! For those of you in the know, we were going to Ferryland of course, which is a magical place, but there were no fairies there on the day I visited…….although, they could have been hiding behind a rock or a tussock……anyway, this is the last of my Newfoundland Travel Tales, and what a fabulous last day I had in this amazing smiling land. Ferryland was originally established as a station for migratory fishermen in the late 16th century but had earlier been used by the French, Spanish, and Portuguese. By the 1590s it was one of the most popular fishing harbours in Newfoundland and acclaimed by Sir Walter Raleigh. Ferryland was called “Farilham” by the Portuguese fishermen and “Forillon” by the French—it later became Anglicised to its current name “Ferryland.” (Ferryland.com)<br /><br />Ferryland. The extensive artificial cobble “beaches” at Ferryland were constructed for drying fish. This painting is a detail from Stewart Montgomerie’s larger panoramic mural.<br /><br />Amy and I drove there early one morning at the end of May, along the Irish Loop, this area is known as the Irish heart of Newfoundland and Labrador. Irish traditions, attitudes, and music continue to thrive here and the town regularly hosts summer musical events and dinner theatre productions with a strong local flavour – and with no shortage of the famed Irish wit. The annual Shamrock Folk Festival produced by the Southern Shore Folk Arts Council in Ferryland is the ultimate Irish/Newfoundland music festival in the province and after a day of traditional dancing and entertainment, you can sit on the front porch of the museum and look toward the sea across a meadow called The Gaze.. (Newfoundland Labrador) On the day we visited, there were a couple of icebergs floating by, which only added to the experience of a picnic by a lighthouse! We arrived at Ferryland just before lunchtime, and the cold air had certainly sharpened my appetite!<br /><br />Ferryland, NL and an Iceberg<br /><br />We parked the car and made our way over the causeway and up the hill for our walk to the lighthouse, where “Lighthouse Picnics” is situated; Lighthouse Picnics is based in and around the old lighthouse, which was built in 1870 and having heard so much about their delicious food and stunning location, I was extremely exciting to be making my way there for lunch. The day was cold and bright and the walk was exhilarating – on our way we saw icebergs set against the cobalt blue sea, robins (the larger Canadian type robins, similar to a thrush), seabirds and all the time there was the gentle lapping of the waves in the distance – it was extremely peaceful and serene. Finally we arrived at the base of the hill leading to the lighthouse – the walk isn’t that long, but do be aware you need sturdy shoes and enough energy to make the last hill, as well as a walk through some wooded scrub-land – I guesstimate it took us about half an hour to get there.<br /><br />Image: Lighthouse Picnics<br /><br />We were met by Jill, the owner of Lighthouse Picnics – she showed us around inside the lighthouse, where they also sell local crafts, books and Lighthouse Picnics related souvenirs. I had already spied the menus that adorned the wall and was deciding which picnic I was going to choose – there were four picnics on offer that day as follows:<br /><br />Lighthouse Picnics Menus:<br /><br />(There is also a Puffin Picnic Menu for the little ones too!)<br /><br />ALL menus are served with a Lighthouse Salad, Dessert of your choice and home-made lemonade<br /><br />~ Lighthouse Salad:<br /><br />Orzo, Red Onion & Peppers dressed in White Wine Vinegar, Honey and Parmesan<br /><br />~ Dessert<br /><br />(a choice of cakes and tarts)<br /><br />~ Fresh Lemonade<br /><br />~ Seafood Picnic ~<br /><br />$26<br /><br />~ Newfoundland Shrimp and Smoked Salmon, Sweet Peppers and Avocado  served on Home-made Bread<br /><br />~ Ham and Brie Picnic ~<br /><br />$25<br /><br />~ Chutney glazed Ham, Brie and Green Apple served on Oatmeal Bread<br /><br />~ Curried Chicken Picnic ~ <br /><br />$25<br /><br />~ Chicken breast, Celery, Green Onion, Sliced Almonds and Mango in our Curry Dressing served on Oatmeal Bread<br /><br />~ Veggie Picnic ~<br /><br />Sundried Tomato, Goat’s Cheese and Organic Greens on Home-made Bread<br /><br />$23<br /><br />The Lighthouse Picnics Newfoundland Seafood Picnic<br /><br />I chose the Seafood Picnic and we were then issued with a large plastic-backed rug and a flag! The flag was to mark where we were sitting, so the Lighthouse Ladies would be able to find us and deliver our picnic to us! Amy and I made our way outside and found a lovely sheltered spot on the cliffs overlooking the sparkling sea……the weather was bright and sunny, but extremely cold and I think I had about FIVE layers on in the following photo! Our picnics were delivered to us about ten minutes later – all laid out in a newspaper lined basket. My seafood sandwich was packed full of plump fresh shrimp and smoked salmon – the seafood was perfect with the sweet peppers and tangy dressing;  the home-made molasses oat bread was delectable and was thickly cut, just the way I like it! The Lighthouse salad was tangy with a cheese dressing and the orzo (pasta) was perfectly cooked. My lemonade had a citrus punch, but was sweet with fresh lemons and was served in a Kilner Jar (Mason Jar) with a lid – the whole meal and picnic experience was fabulous – amazingly tasty and freshly prepared food lovingly made and served against the magnificent backdrop of the Newfoundland cliffs and ocean……it was a picnic experience of a lifetime and one I will cherish forever.<br /><br />Me! Waiting enjoying my Lighthouse Picnic<br /><br />Amy and I opted to have our dessert inside the lighthouse, with a cup of tea, and if the weather is inclement, then there is ample space in the lighthouse (with lots of cosy corners) for people to enjoy their picnic, albeit an indoors picnic! The dessert choice of the day was: Chocolate Fudge Cake, Gingerbread Cake with a Buttery Molasses Sauce and an assortment of locally picked Fruit and Berry Tarts – Blueberry, Bakeapple (Cloudberry) and Rhubarb. I opted for the gingerbread cake and Jill very kindly served us with an assortment of three mini fruit and berry tarts too! The desserts were ALL served with pretty little edible flowers, sourced from a local organic farm in Portugal Cove. We sat inside the lighthouse watching the Lighthouse Ladies prepare and serve more picnics, as well as afternoon teas with home-baked scones and home-made jams, whilst the fragrant scent of newly baked bread permeated the whole tea room……..it was heavenly!<br /><br />Lighthouse Picnics Desserts<br /><br />After a peruse around the shop, we made our farewells and started our walk back to the car and Ferryland, with tummies full and heads full of memories……the whole Lighthouse Picnics experience had been just magical with fresh air, fine local food, excellent service and a very unique way to dine out – if I am lucky enough to be in Newfoundland again, I am beating a path back to this amazing place for the food, friendship and location.<br /><br />So, my time in Newfoundland was nearly over – with a brief trip back to St John’s and Signal Hill, as well as a photo opportunity to take some more shots of the “jelly bean” houses, my flight to Halifax in the afternoon beckoned, with new adventures to unfold on Nova Scotia – do pop back to read all about my Nova Scotia weekend AS WELL as my FIRST Newfoundland Recipe! Words cannot accurately sum up my love for this island province, and so, I would like to finish of my Newfoundland Odyssey by sharing part of the “Ode to Newfoundland” anthem, which is wonderfully poignant and epitomises this beautiful corner of Atlantic Canada as well as its wonderful people. Karen <br /><br />Ode to Newfoundland<br /><br />When sun rays crown thy pine clad hills, And summer spreads her hand, When silvern voices tune thy rills, We love thee, smiling land.<br /><br />We love thee, we love thee, We love thee, smiling land.<br /><br />When spreads thy cloak of shimmering white, At winter’s stern command, Thro’ shortened day, and starlit night, We love thee, frozen land.<br /><br />We love thee, we love thee We love thee, frozen land.<br /><br />When blinding storm gusts fret thy shore, And wild waves lash thy strand, Thro’ spindrift swirl, and tempest roar, We love thee windswept land.<br /><br />We love thee, we love thee We love thee windswept land.<br /><br />Next stop Nova Scotia! <br /><br />Luckett Vineyards, Nova Scotia<br /><br />Disclaimer: I was the guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and  Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism and all my flights, accommodation and meals were included, as well as all trips, excursions and special cookery sessions with local chefs. With profound thanks to all the people and organisations that looked after me and made my trip so memorable and exciting. <br /><br />Links to my other Atlantic Canada Eats Posts are here:<br /><br />Fiddlehead Ferns, Foraging and a Traditional Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner<br /><br />Cocktails, Puddings & Madeleines: A Nocturnal Tasting Tour of Newfoundland – Old & New<br /><br />Cloudberries, Tea Buns & Chocolate Shoes: A Postcard from Newfoundland, Atlantic Canada<br /><br />Icebergs, Cod & Beer: A Postcard from Newfoundland, Atlantic Canada<br /><br />A Photo Diary from Newfoundland: Chocolate, Buns & Cod Tongues…..<br /><br />Atlantic Canada Eats: Newfoundland & Beyond with Recipes that Jumped the Pond!<br /><br />PLEASE do follow my adventures around Newfoundland and Nova Scotia! The hash tags once again are: <br /><br />#AtlanticCanadaEats<br /><br />#ExploreCanada<br /><br />See my posts and photos on:<br /><br />Twitter: @KarenBurnsBooth<br /><br />Face Book: Lavender and Lovage<br /><br />Instagram: Lavender and Lovage<br /><br />Pinterest: Atlantic Canada Eats<br /><br />The Food The Lighthouse Ladies make all the food fresh at the lighthouse each day – the molasses oatmeal bread, the orzo & fresh mint salad, the freshly squeezed lemonade and the list goes on and on.<br /><br />The minute you walk through the door you’ll be greeted with the sweet smell of fresh baked scones, chocolate treats and fresh berry jams simmering away.<br /><br />They care about the quality of their ingredients. Local and organic products are used as much as possible. Their sprouts, fresh herbs, greens and edible flowers come from the Organic Farm in Portugal Cove. Newfoundland is known for its seafood, so of course they use cold water shrimp, salmon and crab from their waters.<br /><br />Fair trade coffees, it goes without saying…..they love their tea in Newfoundland and are delighted to offer a large selection of speciality teas – from dandelion, to a special blend of Earl Grey/Green blend that has its origins ‘steeped’ in Newfoundland history (Just ask them as they’re pouring it for you…)<br /><br />Examples of items from the Lighthouse Picnic menu:<br /><br />Chutney-glazed ham & brie on lighthouse bread Warm gingerbread & custard sauce Crab cakes (in season) Orange crumble square Curried chicken with mango and sliced almonds on lighthouse bread Peach shortcakes Orzo, pepper and fresh mint salad Strawberry Rhubarb fools Cranberry scones They also offer a children’s menu as well – the Puffin Picnic is a special treat for little ones.<br /><br />Lemonade Image: Lighthouse Picnics
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