Monday, 8 June 2015
Four days ago my journey began with the Shipwright Inn, in Downtown Charlottetown, PE and now today is the day that I had to bid a fond farewell to the wonderful atmosphere, Innkeepers and staff of this most beautiful place. Each day a new experience, I feel renewed by the luxury that surrounded me, the peace that filled my senses and excited by all of the culinary discoveries thanks to Chef Shelby Spirak! With all the warmth of home, Judy and Trevor, along with their outstanding staff made me feel like a part of their own close family. I’m so glad that each and every one of you reading these posts has been able to share my outstanding experience at the Shipwright and hope it has inspired you to visit them yourselves!
Of course, I couldn’t go without a perfectly tasty send-off and so my final breakfast at the Shipwright was a perfectly sweet goodbye and as you can see, pretty as a picture!
To begin, Chef Shelby whipped up an awakening for taste buds! Her Strawberry Banana Smoothies were pure fruit blended into a sweet and creamy perfection that had a playful elegance with their bright color and presentation! While sweet and fun, these smoothies were also a healthy way to start off day! Paired with Chef Shelby’s fresh blueberry muffins, everything was “berry” delicious! Homemade and filled with fresh, juicy blueberries and a hint of warm baking spices, they were perfect stand-alone or when spread with Island made butter and the PEI Preserve Company’s fresh jams!
For breakfast’s main course, this morning was a beautiful, aromatic and simply delicious treat; Snickerdoodle Waffled with Sausage! Light and airy, I’ve never had waffled quite like this before and after having them, they’re the only kind I ever want again! Dusted with warm “Snickerdoodle” spices, drizzled with decadent caramel and topped with whipped cream, these indulgent waffles offered the warmth of spices with a touch of sweet! This marvelous flavor combination was paired with savory sausage which completed this plate with a trio of perfect flavors!
As sweet and delightful as my entire stay at the Shipwright, this perfect was a perfect representation of how pampered I felt. There are endless reasons why I could tell you to stay at the Shipwright Inn; it’s 5-Stars, promise of excellence and spectacular rooms. I could say it’s because of their central location, knowledgeable and kind staff, the way every moment is filled with peace and happiness. Honestly, even looking back and reading everything I’ve said, there’s still so much more to the Shipwright that simply cannot be conveyed with words. It’s a feeling and an emotion that you sense right away and will linger with you like a fragrance, something poetic and hard to pin a description on. Something that I hope you too will experience whenever you take a trip to Prince Edward Island.
For me, like a first love, the Shipwright Inn will always have a piece of my heart and I’m already looking forward to the day that I return to this very special place!
Thursday, 4 June 2015
The Shipwright Inn has been my home away from home for three glorious days and I’ve been adoring every moment of it! In my mind, it is the kind of Bed and Breakfast that stands apart from its peers with a distinguished style of hospitality which makes it, in a word, outstanding.
Tripadvisor and it's community agrees with me, as you can see.
Clearly ideal for many occasions, the Shipwright is prime not just for your Island-Bound vacationer, set out to experience Canada’s tiniest Province. There is a whole variety of different opportunities that you will find the Shipwright can accommodate! Its’ large number of rooms which range from sweeping suites to cozy hideaways make for diverse lodging options that embrace, inspire and above all refresh.
The very first thing that struck me was the gentle romance of the Shipwright. Undoubtedly romantic with its elegance of days gone by and well-appointed suites. Some of their special rooms feature rich woods, fireplaces and yes, ultra thermo-masseur baths. A destination for honeymooners or couples searching out their next rendezvous, the style and comfort of the Shipwright will help to spark just the right atmosphere. The Silver Champagne Tray service that they offer doesn’t hurt either!
That’s not all though, the romance of the Shipwright plays host to a the opportunity to make perfect memories of that one day which is the most romantic of all. You know what I mean, your Wedding. Yes, that very same elegance which creates romance is the ideal spot to immortalize it. Pristine and detailed with its parlor, garden and stately 1800s architecture, the Shipwright is a photographer’s dream come true. The shades of color used throughout the home are particularly flattering for brides and give an air of Victorian beauty which are unique to the Shipwright.
Corporate vacations are becoming more and more in vogue as a means to re-center and create a sense of fraternity between colleagues. A great goal, which, executed in the right setting can make a big difference in the lives of co-workers, the Shipwright’s tranquil and professional atmosphere of comfort fosters this ideal by offering their entire Inn to groups. The Dining Room gives space to commune, while their rooms gives a quiet place to meditate on the day and refresh your mind and body. Definitely a destination for professionals seeking sanctuary in our busy world, the Shipwright Inn is a welcoming place to be renewed.
Of course the business scene isn’t the only one to benefit from the Shipwright’s diversity! Family gatherings and even reunions could find their own slice of home and happiness here. Given the warm nature of the Shipwright and their kind, knowledgeable Innkeepers, your family would be in the very best of hands during their time together. With suites that are fit for families, there is a welcoming atmosphere about its home-like charm and conveniences. Who says you can’t have the very best while feeling like you’re in your own, special slice on Prince Edward Island. You can’t pack your house, but you can certainly find a home in the friendly faces, cheerful atmosphere and pristine comfort of the Shipwright.
Also a destination for specialized visitors, such as golfers, theatre-goers, foodies and historians. Each could benefit from the expertise that the Shipwright has to offer. Their prime location, the pinnacle of service, gourmet culinary experiences and of course, those 5 Stars which are reflected by the Innkeepers philosophy of excellence. They also offer specialized packages for couples, golfers and those looking to get the full land and sea Island experience.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that no matter who you are, why you’re coming to PEI or looking to vacation, the Shipwright is simply perfect.
Salutations, Readers! Here I am from the Shipwright Inn, in heart of Downtown Charlottetown, PEI!
I would say “wish you were here”, but honestly, I already know that you wish you were here.
So I think that’s been covered~
And you’re going to wish you were at the Shipwright Inn this very morning when you hear about the breakfast that Chef Shelby Spirak served up this morning. Her sense of variety and ability to create breakfasts that defy even your taste buds wildest dreams is exactly what gets me out of my Suite’s super-comfy bed!
A sweet way to start off the morning, I was met at this morning’s breakfast table with one of the most adorable breakfast foods I have ever seen! These Victoria Sponge Cakes with Blueberries and Cream are the fanciest little treats I’ve ever had the pleasure of saying “Good Morning” to. Fanciful and absolutely as delicious as they are cute, the combination of sweet blueberry compote and rich whipped cream were sumptuous against the buttery sponge cake. Dusted with powdered sugar and a hint of vanilla in the cake, it paired perfectly with my coffee and I can say these little delights are fit for even the discerning taste of royalty!
Next, on the lighter and airier side was this lovely trio of melon garnished with the Shipwright Garden’s freshly picked mint. Colorful and refreshing, this crisp and cool assortment of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melon had the perfect flavors to match today’s bright and sunny day. Cheerful to the eye and playful on the palate with a kiss of the fresh mint’s flavor, Chef Shelby knew just how to set the stage for her next course.
With its’ tantalizing colors, stellar presentation and a temptingly complex aroma that beckoned me before it even reached the table, this morning’s Poached Egg with Roasted Tomato, Bacon and Pesto on a Ciabatta bun had stolen my heart. Which to be entirely honest, I gladly surrendered.
The harmony of the texture and flavors was a marriage of foods that could only be achived by the most thoughtful of Chefs. I could tell that every detail was planned out and it’s those sorts of meals that impress me the very most. There’s nearly a science to the way each piece comes together and the result is a flavor experience that takes up every sense. The savory, sweet and smokiness created a sense of Breakfast comfort food, that wraps you in itself. Inspired by Italian flavors, each fresh bite gave way to different sensations on the palate. Whether it be the smooth and rich yolk of the poached egg, the juicy sweetness of the tomatoes playing off of the smokiness of the thick sliced bacon, the pesto’s creamy nature or how all of it blended so nicely together and with the fluffy, fresh ciabatta. Every second was pure culinary Heaven.
Still in need of a little extra breakfast or want to start off with something very homey and familiar? Well, the Shipwright also has an assortment of cold and hot cereals, their house made granola, yogurts and toast to partake in. I highly recommend trying the toast at least once since you’ll be able to taste their collection of preserves and jams made on PEI from the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company. My personal suggestion? Go for the Lemon Ginger with Amaretto, it’s heavenly!
Say "Hi" to this awesome family at the table next to me!
Foodies, keep your eye on this place, because it’s the perfect spot for those with an adventurous love of gourmet food to enjoy while on Prince Edward Island. You don’t have to look any further than your Inn’s front door for the best culinary experiences while staying at the Shipwright and that’s something very special indeed.
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
It’s a lovely day in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and I feel like I have the whole Historic Downtown core at my fingertips since I’m located in the heart of it all at the Shipwright Inn! Since I arrived at this fantastic 5-Star Inn, I’ve been able to take advantage of its exceptionally convenient location. A short stroll away from the most popular attractions that Charlottetown has to offer, it’s easy to go for a walk and spend a day taking in the hub of PEI’s Capital and the cultural treasures it has to offer.
After a delicious start to my day with breakfast in the Dining Room I like to go for a walk on the Boardwalk, which follows along some of Charlottetown’s most picturesque shoreline and where the sun gives a beautiful show both at rise and setting. At 1.2 kilometers it’s an ideal setting to take in the ocean, wander the Victoria Park and enjoy Government House, home to PEI’s Lieutenant Governor since 1834. Touring the Beaconsfield Historic House was also a thrill, with my love of all things antique and beautiful.
Once I had had my fun outdoors, it was off to the Confederation Centre of the Arts, which is home to PEI’s Charlottetown Festival, Public Library, Mavor’s Bistro and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, one of Canada’s nationally recognized galleries. It’s also hosting something very unique this Summer, which is a replica of the Confederation Chamber. A very special room to Canada’s history, it’s where over 150 years ago the Father’s of Confederation convened and began to form the idea of our Country’s birth. This replica is an exact copy of the room you can find in Province House, a distinguished colonial style building directly next to the Confederation Centre. Currently closed for renovations, there’s no way the Centre would let visitor’s miss out on experiencing this very special place. I was incredibly impressed by the Chamber and how accurately it portrayed the real place. You can’t miss it, along with the special Park’s Canada film seen there, “A Building of Destiny”!
Of course I couldn’t help but stop at some of the local shops on my way. The obvious suspects were Cows, the Anne of Green Gables Store, Moonsnail Soapworks and other special eclectic boutiques that are so characteristic of Downtown Charlottetown. Small art galleries, artisan shops and cafés serving local specialties are always in vast supply and can offer a feast for the senses that will only be found on Prince Edward Island.
The Warf makes for a great spot to spend some hours, with free music in the afternoon, more interesting local shops and even spirits. Also stopping by the Visitor’s Information Centre to check out their interactive museum “Founder’s Hall”, which leads you through the history of Confederation and how Canada came to be with fun and hands on methods.
All of this is easily accessible from the Shipwright Inn and makes it easy to scoot back for Afternoon Tea, which is a tasty way to take a break from all that fun before heading out for Dinner in the evening.
And where to go for Dinner? So many options! There is a wealth of restaurants boasting local culinary delicacies, but I think for tonight I’ve got my eye on Terre Rouge, a Bistro that boasts a true farm to table philosophy served with flair and is centrally located on Queen Street! See you there~
Good Morning, once again, from the beautiful Shipwright Inn!
Having had a tranquil sleep in the Crow’s Nest suite, I’ve awoken to feel so refreshed that I’m ready to take on the day. Well, take on the day after I have an incredible breakfast, that is. There’s no way I could ever miss out on Chef Shelby’s Breakfast. Here at the Shipwright, part of their 5 Star experiences includes the kind of breakfast you want to wake up early for. Gourmet, creative and fit for royalty; my morning wouldn’t be complete without partaking in this marvelous morning ritual.
This morning I got a chance to chat with Shelby as the put the finishing touches on her breakfast masterpiece and found out that her talent is fueled by a genuine passion and love for her work. A certified Red Seal Chef with extensive experience, her creativity is outstanding and she has the magic touch that elevates breakfast to a truly higher level.
Fitting in at the Shipwright Inn as if it were her very own home, Chef Shelby told me that she finds it just as relaxing and inspiring to work at her craft from the Inn as it is for the guests who stay here. Her contentment and how her heart is so involved in the Shipwright family is truly inspiring to me and speaks to how wholesome and inviting this Inn is for everyone who enters it. Innkeepers, Chef, Staff and Guests are all a part of its charm and draw.
Working with local ingredients and creating her fare from scratch, Chef Shelby’s commitment, integrity and downright ingenuity is a unique treasure. Making herself a Breakfast specialist, Chef Shelby explained that she find a true freedom of creativity from this most important meal of the day. That makes each meal as unique and diverse her as her imagination can conjure up. Sweet or savory, rich or airy, she takes the adaptive nature of Breakfast and uses it as a sort of canvas to make her own special mark on breakfast. Really, she makes the most important meal of the day, your most important meal of the day!
To start off, I’m once again spoiling myself with the Shipwright’s signature coffee and was so excited to see that this breakfast’s first offering was a Braided Blueberry Danish! Perfect with the slight spiciness of the Shipwright’s coffee and a sumptuous was to start off my day, this delectable pasty is just like breakfast cheesecake. With the fresh, juicy blueberries nestled inside a tender pasty and blended with sweet creamed cheese, I couldn’t get enough!
To follow that was one of the most pleasant breakfast surprises I’ve ever met my spoon to. Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt! That’s right, this smooth and creamy delight was a part of this morning’s breakfast, which just proves that nothing it too good to be true at the Shipwright! I could taste the goodness of pure fruit right away and in a word, it’s got to be the most gourmet (and fun) method of eating healthy. Topped with chopped strawberries, the taste of creamy yogurt and hint of sweet peach all combined to create an irresistible interlude during this morning’s meal.
I have to take the opportunity to make another shout out to both Meagan and Beverley for being such fantastic and sunshiney waitresses. The pair fill the dining room with their smiles from the very first cup of coffee and are so accommodating to each and every guest that they make you feel like family. Here they are with a sweet couple from Australia, serving them the main course from today’s breakfast!
The main course this morning was a savory Spinach and Tomato Quiche with a side of Rustic Potatoes. Created on the base of a perfectly flakey and buttery crust that your Grandma would be jealous of, this generous slice of quiche was a definite crowd pleaser. Velvety, smooth and rich eggs housed garden fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes. With the slight hint of cheese, the earthy spinach and juicy tomatoes, every bite was bursting with flavor! The tomatoes were thick sliced with just enough cheese and delicate spices to flavor them into making the Island and it’s potato farmers proud. I’m firmly convinced that this is now the only way to eat potatoes in the morning. Or anytime, for that matter.
This morning the Dining Room was practically glowing with the fantastic energy of well-rested guests like me, everyone was excited to begin their day and were all enjoying one another’s company in such a friendly atmosphere. I personally met some wonderful fellow guests from across the globe! These delightful new friends come from Alabama, Rhode Island, Alberta and even as far as Australia! Each with our own exciting goals for the day ahead and already looking forward to swapping stories over breakfast tomorrow morning, I have a feeling we’ll each be inspiring one another to try out different places surrounding the Shipwright! It’s lovely to see how the Inn fosters such happiness and congeniality between guests, that’s one of the things that make Bed & Breakfasts a special place to stay. None more special than the Shipwright!
Now I’m off on my own sightseeing trip, walking throughout Historic Downtown Charlottetown, which surrounds the Shipwright! I can’t wait to share my day’s experiences with all of you and maybe even to make an excursion to one of Canada’s most famous literary sites!
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Good Morning from the Crow’s Nest at the Shipwright Inn!
Yesterday I spent my day telling you all about my first experiences at the exquisite Shipwright Inn, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Having arrived and been welcomed into the delightfully warm atmosphere in the Inn, I couldn’t wait to see what my own little piece of the Shipwright would be like during this stay. Nestled on their second floor, the Crow’s Nest is a suite that offers all the comforts of home in a refined setting.
Stepping inside, you’re greeted by a cozy sitting room which gives way to a combination of contemporary and antique décor, playing off one another in a most tasteful and well-appointed manner. The see-through fireplace provides a gentle ambiance against its’ character mantle while the relaxing tone of the walls is cheerful and yet soft enough to soothe. You can see the salt cabinet next to the couch, this antique piece being original to the home and retaining all the captivation a piece from the 1800s does.
It’s important to mention as well that the couch, while perfect for lounging (or cuddling for couples), also doubles as a pull-out couch. With the ability to accommodate another guest and its’ own well equipped kitchenette, it’s like having a slice of home with you on vacation. Families, I’m looking at you. Romantic on one side of the coin and with the size and comfort of home on the other, the Crow’s Nest is as versatile as it is luxurious. Amenities like a large bathroom with stand up shower, romantic Ultra Thermo-Masseur bath in the bedroom and kitchen that has a fridge, microwave and two stove burners will make you want to take this suite home with you. Too bad it can’t fit in a suitcase!
Aptly named, the Crow’s Nest, this suite’s view second-floor view is sweeping and prepossessing. The century-old oak trees stand tall and brush close to the graciously sized deck with their refreshing breezes. Down below, the tantalizing shades of a variety of perennial flowers wake the senses and say “Good Morning” in their own very special way.
A retreat away from the world and amongst the world, the Crow’s Nest is placid when you need the repose of your own sanctuary and can liven you with its’ central location and stimulating view. A beautiful lookout in the center of Historic Charlottetown that’s all your own, from check-in to check-out.
Speaking of “Good Morning”, let’s talk about what leads to good mornings…a good night and a good night’s rest! That’s exactly what I got on the comfy, king sized bed that makes the Crow’s Nest the perfect place to roost. The see-through fireplace’s other half is in the bedroom, directly in front of the bed which makes it’s delicate flame the perfect way to relax into a peaceful warmth. Soft blankets enveloped me to snuggle in for a dreamy sleep that was quiet, peaceful and made me want to stay in bed late to relax!
Of course, there was an irresistible incentive to getting up at the proper time and that was breakfast. The Breakfast side of this B&B was something I looked towards with anticipation and quite literally, dreaming of. So with the lilting scent of the morning’s fare pervading my senses, I let my good taste guide me downstairs to something that even my overactive imagination could dream up!
On my way down to breakfast, I couldn’t help but take a snapshot of this incredible flag that drapes against the wall of the stairway landing. Another historic touch, it dates back to the home’s birth era of the 1800’s and is believed to come from a Canadian Merchant Ship. Some of those emblems should look familiar if you’re Canadian, because those are a few of our provinces early insignia!
The Shipwright’s elegant dining room was open for guests to take a seat and prepare to have their day’s start go from good morning to a morning of unrivaled excellence.
As welcoming as Innkeepers Judy and Trevor, their two breakfast hostesses Meagan and Beverley made sure I got the perfect seat and started off my morning with a cup of the Shipwright’s own signature coffee. As lively and welcoming as the Inn’s atmosphere, this coffee is blended exclusively for the Shipwright by PEI’s Roasting Company and embodies what a fresh start feels like. A balanced medium roast, my palate picked up delicate spices and slight floral notes in this coffee, which to my discerning tastes was very impressive. Just remember, you won’t get this special blend anywhere else! Not as amorous towards coffee as I am? That’s alright! The Shipwright provides juice, local teas by Lady Baker’s Tea Company and specialty hot chocolates for those who want to start their day off sweetly.
The star of breakfast at the Shipwright is certainly Chef Shelby Spirak, who I got the opportunity to sit down with and who you’ll be introduced to in one of my near future blog posts. She’s a jewel of the kitchen and created an inspiring breakfast. (I can’t wait to see what she’s got for afternoon tea!)
Chef Shelby’s passion and commitment to use locally sourced ingredients as often as possible is the base on which the Shipwright’s breakfast is built. Some ingredients are so local you can find them right in the Inn’s backyard, which you’ll find out more about as you continue reading.
Beginning with Orange Zest Muffins, I want to tell you that if Heaven was a Muffin, it would be this one! Airy on the inside with a pleasantly glazed exterior, the delicate sweetness and fragrant nature of the orange comes through immediately. You couldn’t get any better in the best bakery in Paris, in my opinion. They’re so yummy that cupcakes are jealous of these muffins. Shelby’s history as a pasty chef shows through in the gourmet nature of her delightful muffins. Topped off with preserves from the PEI Preserve Co., there was a selection of Lemon Ginger with Amaretto, Wild Blueberry and Raspberry with Champagne and Very Berry Cherry. All delicious and all, once again, local!
To follow, came Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait. Yes, you read that right. Apple Pie. This combination of creamy vanilla yogurt, fresh diced apples, apple compote and crisp granola, it’s breakfast pie that’s good for you! The warm spices of cinnamon were kissing the tender apples and the velvety yogurt giving it the impression of being a la mode. I’m waxing poetic about yogurt parfait! It was seriously that good. So great in fact that I propose this is better than the pie it’s named after and that the pie should be named after the parfait, not the other way around!
The main course in this morning’s breakfast, which is designed each morning by Chef Shelby’s culinary imagination, was Lemon Curd Crepes with Sausage. A beautiful crepe all dressed up with powdered sugar, fresh berries, whipped cream, drizzled with semisweet chocolate and garnished with mint from the Shipwright’s own patch makes this a superb way to begin the morning. Not only did it look impeccable but tasted just as impressive as its’ plating! Absolutely decadent, the way the house made lemon curd and fresh berried blended together with their sweet and tart dynamics created the impression of art on the palate. The crepe itself, which believe me is not easy to achive, was just perfect. The right ultra-thinness, the flavor, the way it presented it’s contents and added it’s own gentle flavor. All amazing, all gourmet. Next to it, the tender sausage was a great selection with the savory that could balance this plate’s flavors ideally.
All in all, with every restaurant I’ve been to and breakfast I’ve partook in over the past twenty-four years of my life, I have never been so treated and so impressed by anything before. I await tomorrow morning’s offering with so much anticipation, that I can almost…taste it!
Monday, 1 June 2015
The Shipwright Inn has a welcoming heart that can be found as soon as you walk through the front door. Judy and Trevor Pye are the Shipwright’s Innkeepers, but even more than that they’re also your extended family while visiting PEI. I knew this from the very first “Welcome” and tour of their home, which proved both the discerning taste and genuine caring of this delightful couple. It’s true that PEI is known across the globe for its’ gracious hospitality, it’s long been an object of admiration on account of its’ ‘salt of the earth’ people. Judy and Trevor are exemplary of that philosophy, giving the prime example of what experiencing PEI at its’ best is. They view their Inn as a family, taking that principle and letting it be a characteristic that fosters a very special environment for everyone
You can see Judy and Trevor above, standing next to one of the many historic and charming pieces in their home. In one of their parlors, this mantle is a special piece brought from an orphanage in Bunbury. You can feel the aura of history everywhere you turn at the Shipwright.
Having hosted for 12 years and continuing to host guests from every corner of the world, both are experts of making every moment a treasure for their guests. Whether the goal be a relaxing getaway to soothe your sense of an exciting journey to discover Canada’s smallest, but culturally robust Province, the Shipwright is equipped with the perfect hosts to make all those dreams a reality. Details that give off purely elegant touches that represent some of the Island’s finest offerings are brought directly to their guests. Using local specialties and overlooking nothing with a keen eye for the exceptional, saying that the Shipwright is the best is an understatement. It’s extraordinary.
Author Henry Van Dyke once wrote “Every house where love abides, and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home, for there the heart can rest."
I believe this truly embodies the wonderful home that Judy and Trevor have made the Shipwright Hall into. It’s warmth and peace becomes every guest welcomed in and this is all thanks to the hearts that created a place for those who are from away to have a sense of belonging. This is coupled with the luxury of the Shipwright’s 5-Star service to make for a singularly wonderful place in a league of it’s own.
Yes, Judy and Trevor’s passion for excellence and drive to make others happy shines through in every aspect of the Shipwright. I feel grateful to be starting my journey in a place such as this that nurtures the true spirit of what being a guest is.
A rare and valuable blend of perfectionist and down to earth personality colors their presence and to me, that's a charm which is invaluable. They pair so nicely with the Shipwright's presence that the house and they feel very much a part of one another. Their guests all become a part of this as well through the memories created herein that fill each room, hall and line of their guestbook.