As Canada turns 150, deputy editor Alex Laws looks back on having lived a decade in this country — her 10-year Can-niversary — and reflects on seven spots that have stolen her heart. In this second instalment, she’s charmed by the quirk of Quebec City. Read other instalments in the series here.
Driving across the 12.9-kilometre Confederation bridge can’t prepare you for how far away you actually feel from the rest of the world — in the best way possible — once you arrive on Prince Edward Island.
I spent my 27th birthday eating chocolate-covered potato chips, a local delicacy, sitting atop a plaid picnic blanket on the soft white sand of a deserted Cavendish beach. Overhead was the kind of blue sky that makes you realize how the hue “sky blue” came to be, and as I soaked in glorious sunshine, I felt like I was at Canada’s equivalent of the south of France.
Islanders are generous people — with both their time and their humour — a quality that drew me to a woman from Prince Edward Island who I met in Toronto. She became a great friend of mine, and two years ago, five girlfriends and I visited her hometown and proceeded to eat our way around the island.
I tasted my first lobster roll at Richard’s, a fish shack and local institution on the north shore with views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The perfectly dressed cool meat, the slightly sweet soft bun and hot salty fries, all served in checkered waxed paper, is etched in my mind as indelibly as the view of the horizon, dotted with fishing boats, which we stared at between bites. Another utterly euphoric moment followed at the Shipwright Cafe, a time-capsule of a house with a different vintage floral wallpaper in each room. My cup of chowder was so impeccable — just creamy enough and swimming with shrimp, scallops and salmon pieces, with a warm flaky biscuit on the side — that it left me feeling giddy and my cheeks flushed.
On PEI, the food and friendliness make an enormous impact, but the beauty of the place makes it a feast for all the senses.