In September, Drew participated in Nova Scotia’s first Gran Fondo cycling event. It was a welcome excuse to return to la Baie Sainte-Marie, a culturally rich region of Nova Scotia with breathtaking water views, a beautiful beach, charming homes and a lot of history.
After a quick stop in Digby for some world-renowned scallops and a visit with a 20lb lobster, we pulled into the driveway at Chateau Sainte-Marie.
The newly re-opened B&B is located in Little Brook, right on Route 1 (The Evangeline Trail), the road that runs along the Baie Sainte-Marie. Owners Chris and Gina came out to greet us and give us a tour. As it turns out, Drew and Chris knew each other (a not-so-rare occurrence in Nova Scotia).
Chateau Sainte-Marie is in a Victorian-style home built in the 1920s. It was once a doctor’s office, but had been a B&B for a number of years before Chris and Gina took over the space and re-invented the interior.
It sits on Saint Mary’s Bay, and when we arrived the sun setting over the water gave the house and surrounding grounds a romantic glow. We got a tour of the property, including a peek at three of the seven newly renovated rooms. Each room was spacious with a private bath, and comfortably furnished. No antiques, no sterile white spaces, just comfortable, classic furnishings that made us feel at home.
We especially loved the view. Chateau Sainte-Marie has a front row seat to some stunning sunsets over the Baie Sainte-Marie.
We got cleaned up and headed to the Gran Fondo welcome party. There was Acadian music, dancing and rapure, and our favourite interpretor, Wayne, led a good cheer ceremony dressed as Samuel de Champlain.
It was late by the time we got home, but some of the other guests had gathered in a large sitting room at the front of the house. If you’ve read our blog before, you’ll know we have a love of third spaces when it comes to accommodations. We became fast friends with our fellow guests, and stayed up late chatting.
Once we went to bed, we fell asleep fast. The bed was comfy and it was still warm enough to leave the windows open for some fresh air off the bay.
Chateau Sainte-Marie comes complete with breakfast each morning, but I was helping film interviews and footage for a series of teaser videos for Gran Fondo. Chris had offered to get up early, but I declined. No one should get out of bed before 5 am unless absolutely necessary.
The day flew by. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day and you could feel the energy and excitement of the participants and volunteers.
Chateau Sainte-Marie is open seasonally (April – October) and room nights start at $110 per night. They’re already sold out a number of nights this summer and fall (including during the 2016 Gran Fondo) so book early.
In addition to being a great place to stay, it is close to a number of great attractions and eateries, including the famed Cuisine Robichaud (get the creamed lobster – above), Kitzuana Sushi (so good!), and so much more! You can read about some of our favourite Clare adventures in the posts below:
$10 Clam Digging – Belliveau Cove, NS
Smuggler’s Cove – Meteghan, NS
The Bangor Sawmill – Bangor, NS
Église Sainte-Marie – Church Point, NS
La Cuisine Robicheau/Musique de la Baie – Saulnierville, NS
Hiking Trails of Baie Sainte Marie
Mavillette Beach – Mavillette, NS
Le Petit Bois Tours – Church Point, NS
Le Restaurant Cape View – Mavillette Beach, Clare
Rendez-vous de la Baie – Church Point, NS
The 2016 Gran Fondo takes place September 25th. Learn more about the event and register here.
Season: April – October
959 Highway 1
Little Brook, NS
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