In the last four years, we’ve done a nice bit of travelling: Six weeks in NYC, 3 trips to Europe, five weeks in Australia/New Zealand, and a few visits to Canada’s West Coast. Every single time we go on a trip, we’ll tell our new friends that they “NEED to visit Newfoundland & Labrador”. And then they’ll ask us where the nicest places in the province are. And we’ll start listing a bunch of towns that WE’VE NEVER SEEN, haha. I was starting to feel like a hypocrite. We decided it’s about time we started giving credit to our beautiful corner of the World.
We started with Bonavista. It’s only a three-hour drive, but still far enough to warrant an overnight stay. Is it hard to believe we’ve never, ever been to Bonavista? (Probably. Right before we hit the road, we stopped at the garage to get my car. I told them where we were headed and that we’d never been there. The reply I got: “You’ve traveled to all those places and you’ve never been to BONAVISTA?!?!” Haha.)
We hit the road for our overnight stay with triple the amount of stuff we had taken on our recent 12-day trip to Europe. Oops. Funny how that happens. Road tunes were provided by James Bay, The Arkells, Purity Ring, and Fifth Harmony. And we couldn’t drive past McDonald’s without stopping to get ourselves some $1 Iced Coffees.
If you’ve ever made the drive to Bonavista, (or if you’re lucky enough to be from there), then you don’t need us to tell you how beautiful the town is. If you’ve never been, then we’re telling you it’s beautiful! It’s not exactly a tiny town–we were told the population was around 4,000–but it still has lots of that old-town charm that I’m a complete sucker for. Especially so in the stretch of road from the Ryan Premises to Swyer’s Grocery Store. I understand that keeping up with modern times can have its advantages, but there’s something to be said for preserving history. (We didn’t actually go into Swyer’s Grocery Store–but our Dad can’t drive through Bonavista without stopping in for a pack of tea buns, haha).
We had a super comfortable stay at Lancaster Inn–probably made even more so by the fact we had just spent a bunch of nights sleeping in hostel bunk beds, haha. And well, breakfast the next morning was actually perfect. Eggs, bacon, and homemade bread.
While we’re on the subject of delicious food, we absolutely have to mention the Bonavista Social Club. We were told we HAD to eat here. So, we did. We were not disappointed. This place is an absolute gem, and we will tell anyone visiting Newfoundland & Labrador that they NEED to visit it. It’s not right in the town of Bonavista, it’s actually a short drive away in Upper Amherst Cove. Never been to Upper Amherst Cove? Not surprising, haha. According to wikipedia, the population of the town is 35. Yes, you read that right. The town population basically doubles when the Social Club is full. (Which is probably every time the doors are open–the place was full by the time we had finished eating.) We chanced it and didn’t make a reservation. If you’re planning a visit, call ahead to be on the safe side. The menu is small, but when you want to try everything on it that’s actually a blessing, haha. Homemade breads and pizzas made in their own wood-fire oven, a Moose Burger with Partridgeberry Ketchup, Roasted Parsnip Pasta, and soups, salads, and desserts. And talk about locally sourced ingredients! They have their own goats, lambs, chickens, and gardens. If you’re still not sold, the view is just as delicious as the food.
Any time not spent eating was spent driving and walking around, haha. We tried to see as much as we could in one evening and one morning. I think we did alright. Anything we missed we’ll save for our next visit.