Guysborough, Nova Scotia, Canada
The romantic seacoast village of Guysborough, Nova Scotia, is about 10 and a half hours northeast of Portland, Maine, and about three hours and 15 minutes north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. (The trip from Halifax can take up to six and a half hours if you choose the smaller, much windier coastal roads.)
But travelers willing to make the trip to this remote getaway can stay in the luxurious DesBarres Manor Inn, where the current owners have been serving guests since 2003.
DesBarres Manor Inn, set on six acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of the village, provides guests with gourmet breakfasts, afternoon teas, handmade truffles, and more. Winner of the 2008 Taste of Nova Scotia Cuisine of the Year Award, DesBarre Manor serves both breakfast and dinner. Recipes available on the bed and breakfast's web site include Grilled Halibut Stuffed with Fennel and Pine Nuts, Sweet Potato Soup with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup and Garlic Chives, and Blue Cheese Crusted Beef Tenderloin.
In addition to fine meals, guests at this Nova Scotia bed and breakfast can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, whale watching, fishing and golf.
Innkeeper Audrey Firth took some time to answer a few questions about DesBarre Manor Inn for us.
Please tell us a little about your inn's history and why you decided to become an innkeeper.
DesBarres Manor Inn was built in 1837 for Supreme Court Justice W.F. DesBarres. The DesBarres family was one of the most powerful in Atlantic Canada and DesBarres’ grandfather was the author of the Atlantic Neptune, a collection of maps that served as the navigational guide for the east coast of North America well into the 19th century. We display a collection of these rare maps in the Parlour Room.
Our love affair with the Chedabucto Bay region resulted in us purchasing the manor in 2003 and following a complete renovation, offering guests luxury accommodations and gourmet dining so they would be enticed to experience this beautiful area off the beaten track.
What are some of the unique features at DesBarres Manor Inn?
So many aspects of our inn are unique beginning with the crescent-shaped pebble drive that takes people through the stone gates to our six acres of grounds in the heart of our seacoast village. Our spacious foyer is always striking for first-time guests. One guest wrote of this experience when she said, “I will never forget the experience of walking through the front door after a long day of travel and being stunned by its beauty and charm.”
The Parlour Room is our guests’ living room away from home with its overstuffed sofas and chairs, books, games and maps and is a place where people enjoy morning coffee, afternoon tea, pre-dinner cocktails and an after-dinner port. The wrap-around grand deck and gazebo with its Adirondack chairs and tables is a remarkable spot to watch the rolling hills and Manor gardens. A central focus is the dining room is the original Manor hearth which lends a magnificent warmth and romance for evening dining.
How do you make a stay at your B&B special?
We pamper our guests with a unique combination of luxury amenities and friendly country inn warmth. A guest who wrote to us recently summed this philosophy up best, "People come to Nova Scotia to stay at exactly the kind of place you represent which is just enough luxury and top notch cuisine to pamper you and enough friendliness to put you at ease."
What are some of the attractions in the Guysborough, Nova Scotia, area that guests seem to enjoy the most?
From our perch at the head of the Atlantic Coast’s largest bay, guests are drawn to the natural beauty and wildlife of the region. Guests enjoy heading off to the many secluded beaches and coves and the Manor has a selection of beach blankets and picnic baskets to match their activities. For guests who enjoy being more physical, the easternmost leg of the Trans Canada Trail passes through the back of the Manor grounds and there is a scenic trail nearby that takes people along the easternmost point of mainland North America.
As Guysborough has been continuously settled since 1604, the history of the region is also a strong draw. The Chedabucto Bay Brewing Company is located on the harbour and carries on the centuries old brewing tradition begun in Guysborough in 1659, the site of the oldest commercial brewery in Atlantic Canada.
The Manor has earned a reputation for contemporary Canadian cuisine with an East Coast flair and, as a result, has become a culinary getaway destination in Nova Scotia.
What might a guest expect to have at a "typical" breakfast in your inn?
Like our evening dining menu, our breakfast menu changes every day to take advantage of what’s fresh in the Manor gardens and with our local food suppliers. Our guests have been wowed with a variety of creations from lobster eggs benny to mile high frittata, Apple and Cheddar Crepes with Honey Battu and Banana Bread French Toast with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup.
Which is your personal favorite room at your bed and breakfast, and why?
As every room in our inn is unique, they each have their own individual charm and personality. The third floor rooms are intimate and cozy with nooks and corners; the perfect spot to hideaway with a good book or simply retreat from the worries of the world. The second floor rooms are grand and spacious, ideal for longer stays and special occasions.
What's your favorite part about being an innkeeper?
Creating a special place where people can escape from their busy lives and watching them leave rested, refreshed and happy.
What's your least favorite part?
Saying goodbye to guests who have become friends.