Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A Good Night's Sleep and Great Morning's Breakfast at the Shipwright Inn

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!

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