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Kayaking the Tusket and Napier Rivers, relaxing in the outdoor cedar sauna, and tasting acclaimed cuisine have satisfied guests of Trout Point Lodge since in opened in 2000. This year, however, a bevy of new experiences and activities await those who travel to stay at this haute rustic log building on the edge of Atlantic Canada’s largest pristine wilderness area, the Tobeatic at some 103,780 hectares.

In addition to guided fishing, kayaking, and hiking, Trout Point will have two staff astronomers for star gazing tours. The Tobeatic’s near total lack of light pollution means some of the best night skies for astronomical observation in the world. The Milky Way and meteor showers become simply captivating in such environs. Special astronomical binoculars, laser pointers, and a powerful Meade 10″ telescope will help bring into focus wonders from out of this world. A star-gazing tower that will bring you above the treeline for unobstructed views of the full night sky is also in the works.

There will be new geo-excursions to explain and interpret the unique geological and glacial features of the surrounding landscape, which was sculpted by the last Ice Age. Another topic will be the unique history of the area explaining why gold, tin, rare metal, and quartz mines dot the nearby landscape. A solar telescope will provide for daytime observation of the sun and sun spots.

Registered Massage Therapist Brendon Smith will provide in-room massage and advice on wellness when not offering guided walks on edible wild plants and mushrooms. This compliments the already rejuvenating aspects of staying at Trout Point, including spring-fed mineral water from the main lodge taps, soaking in the tannin-rich antioxidant waters of the Tusket River (that’s where the river’s distinct whisky colour comes from), enjoying a wood-fired hot tub, and the natural benefits of Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Biologists have exclaimed at the Lodge’s air quality, testified to by the rate lichens that drape the trees & landscape. Lichens are some of the most sensitive beings to air pollution. The point is that just being at Trout Point, deep in the pristine Acadian Forest (part of the northern boreal forest) has real benefits, besides just getting away from the “madding crowds” of daily life. Acclaimed research from Japan has zeroed in on the numerous benefits of forest bathing. These include enhanced fitness, accelerated healing, increased mental focus, and improved biological responses to reducing stress, and fighting disease. Nearly every guided excursion or self-motivated activity at Trout Point will involve forest bathing and more.

2014 will also see the Lodge’s alpacas put in charge of carrying lunch, snacks, and water for guests on hikes in the wilderness area. Trout Point acquired three breeding age animals in 2013, and welcomed two babies last fall. The alpaca manure is combined with kitchen waste and composted to fertilize the extensive on-site gardens, while that blanket or throw in your guest room may just come from Trout Point’s own fleece. The gardens expand every year, producing an astounding variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that see their way onto the daily menus. Those participating in a cooking experience may find themselves picking ingredients for the class as well.

The tradition of nightly live music before and after dinner will continue, with at least three lodge staff members contributing their talents at different times. Local Acadian French musician Gerard LeBlanc will play each Thursday during the summer as part of the regional Musique de la baie series. Thematic cooking classes five days a week will round out the offerings.

About Trout Point Lodge

Atlantic Canada’s sole member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Trout Point offers 5-star accommodations, dining, and outdoor experiences for up to about 34 guests. Located at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers, the Lodge touches the southwestern border of the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area, about 3 hours from Halifax and 45 minutes from Yarmouth, NS. In 2014, Yarmouth is home to the Nova Star, a daily cruise ferry operating between Maine and Nova Scotia.

Trout Point consists of the handcrafted, log & stone main lodge with eight guest units, Beaver Hall with four guest rooms in a shingle-clad chalet, and 2 lakeside cottages. The main lodge boasts a Great Room, 8 stone fireplaces, library, and various dining venues.

The Trout Point kitchen emphasizes what is fresh & local: organic produce, herbs, wild foods, and sustainable seafood. The Lodge has had its culinary talents praised by a variety of sources, including Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, and ForbesTraveler. Trout Point’s chef/proprietors previously operated one of Louisiana first certified organic farms, Chicory Farm, as well as the acclaimed Chicory Farm Cafe in New Orleans, and count among just a handful of North Americans inducted into the French Guilde des fromagers in 1994. They also cooked at Costa Rica’s Inn at Coyote Mountain and have taught cooking classes in Granada, Spain.

  • Grilled sustainable swordfish skewers on a bed of spaghettini with Spanish saffron and organic maitake mushrooms
  • Provencal lentil soup
  • Oyster and fennel soup
  • Fresh local haddock crusted with dill & sesame with a white wine, dill, & cream reduction
  • Seafood Gumbo with scallops, oysters, & shrimp
  • Saffron-scented Mediterranean chick pea soup with chorizo

    Nova Scotia cuisine

    Grilled Trout Point grape leaves stuffed w/ beef & lemongrass

  • Grilled Trout Point grape leaves stuffed beef & lemongrass
  • Haddock ceviche
  • Caribbean black bean soup
  • Creole chicken & okra gumbo
  • Scallops ravigote with wild mushrooms and garden chives
  • Local Ruisseau oyster with Brie & bacon jam from the Yarmouth Farmer’s Market

Nigel Richardson of The Telegraph has said: “In one place, decor and cuisine came together in a glorious synthesis of international quality and style. That place was Trout Point, a wilderness lodge in the western interior where refugees from Louisiana have created a Cajun-Acadian gastronomy of simple excellence. That night I dined on squash blossoms stuffed with beef and crabmeat, sat around a camp fire and watched the merest flickering of the aurora borealis in the northern sky.”

Trout Point started planting seeds for this season’s garden more than a month ago and the results have been fantastic! The Lodge now has three major garden areas: at the main lodge, at Beaver Hall, and the largest garden off the East Branch Road. The 5 Lodge alpacas plus organic waste from the kitchen provide for world-class fertilizer.

Here’s a partial list of what has been planted so far:

Sea Kale
Asparagus
Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes
Heirloom Black Cherry tomatoes
Heirloom Giant Valentine
Heirloom Italian Bruschetta tomato
Heirloom Violetta di Firenze eggplant
Heirloom Vittoria long eggplant
Cape goose berries
Cardoon
Artichoke Imperial Star
Artichoke Green Globe
Kale Russian White
Atlantis Borkali
Sage
Rosemary
Basil, Lime
Basil, Opal
Basil, Thai
Basil, Sweet Aroma
Basil, Nufar
Basil, Lettuce Leaf
Italian Parsley
Dill
Fennel
Lovage
French Thyme
Leek, Large Musselburg
Leek, American Flag
Leek, Varna
Leek, Swiss Zermatt
Leek, Lyon Prize
Celery
Sweet Pepper gypsy
Sweet Pepper Red Bull Horns
Hot Pepper Thai red
Hot Pepper Jalapeño
Hot Pepper Early Jalapeño
Hot Pepper M Jalapeño
Marjoram

Heirloom Red Oblong Onion

Mmmmmmmmmm.

All this bounty will be appearing in the Lodge’s dining rooms soon enough! No wonder Trout Point has a 3 Star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Starting May, 2014, a luxurious sea-to-forest vacation experience awaits travelers as Nova Star Cruises will commence daily service from Portland, Maine, to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, with a brand new cruise ferry offering a variety of accommodation, seating, and dining options, including stunning ocean-view cabins and a casino. 5-star Trout Point Lodge lies about 50 km from the Yarmouth International Ferry Terminal, and will offer select packages including transportation from the dock to the shores of the pristine Tusket River.

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Nova Star Cruises estimates that more than 100,000 passengers will step aboard the brand new, 161-meter cruise ferry, Nova Star, in the first year of operation. The cruise ship will offer superbly appointed cabins, including:

OWNER’S SUITE:
These premier, spacious corner suites feature two large portholes, one facing forward, one to the side. They have a comfortable sitting area, plus a work desk and chair. In-room bathroom with shower. Sleeping for 4 adults; 1 double bed, 2 fold-down single bunks. Dimensions: 15 ft 9 in x 15 ft 9 in (4.8 m x 4.8 m).

DELUXE OCEAN VIEW CABIN:
These spacious cabins are located across the bow and feature a large porthole facing forward. They have a comfortable sitting area, plus a work desk and chair. In-room bathroom with shower. Sleeping for 4 adults; 1 double bed, 2 fold-down single bunks. Dimensions: 13 ft x 15 ft 9 in (4 m x 4.8 m).

Nova Star will leave Portland each evening at 9 p.m. EST and arrive in Yarmouth at 9 a.m. AST the next morning. The ship will depart two hours later and arrive back in Portland at 6 p.m. local time. The service is expected to start in May, 2014, and conclude on November 2, returning in May, 2015.

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Trout Point and Nova Star will join forces to benefit Boston public broadcaster WGBH during its Spring, 2014 benefit auction, with the Lodge offering a 5 night all-inclusive stay, and Nova Star providing round-trip passage, including a vehicle, and an ocean-view cabin.

Trout Point Lodge is a member of both Small Luxury Hotels of the World and  Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America. Both prestigious accommodation organizations have  numerous member properties in New England and their web sites provide for easy vacation planning. Travelers can now easily experience charming New England inns, a fantastic cruise across the Gulf of Maine, and the haute rustic charms of Trout Point Lodge, one of Canada’s premiere wilderness resorts.

Created by Conde Nast Johanses to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across its roster of recommended properties, the world-renowned Awards for Excellence are a trusted mark of quality recognised by consumers and travel professionals alike!

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“A global collection approved by local experts”

From the publishers of Vogue, GQ, Traveller, and Glamour, Condé Nast Johansens is the leading reference guide for independent travellers.

Whether you’re searching for a luxury hotel, spa, country house, boutique retreat, celebratory venue or somewhere by the beach, we provide inspiration and assistance in finding the perfect place for every occasion.

Each property is annually recommended by one of our team of local experts. If a property is recommended by Condé Nast, you can trust you’ll have an exceptional experience.

Here’s a draft recipe from the next cookbook.

Lobster Gumbo
(serves 6 as a main dish or soup)

This recipe using Atlantic Acadian primary ingredients also draws on tried-and-true techniques of New Orleans, with its use of the classic “holy trinity” of bell pepper, onion, and celery, combined with a special mix of aromatic spices and herbs. Toast some of the spices in a dry saute pan over medium- to low heat until they turn aromatic, before adding them to this dish.

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour (organic, non enriched, all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup sunflower oil (grape seed oil or peanut oil are also possible)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped bell pepper (green is usual; red or orange can be used)
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion (any onion except red onion)
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 large bay leaf (preferably fresh)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp dried mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp toasted cumin seed
1/8 tsp toasted coriander seed
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. (at minimum) lobster (add additional lobster if serving as a main dish, or to taste)
6 cups stock derived from steaming the live lobsters and boiling their shells
A handful of okra or green beans

optional: 1 tbsp white wine or cognac added to the stock.

Technique
1. Steam the whole, live lobster, reserving the steaming water left in pot. Allow the lobster to cool; shuck, and then cut the meat from the lobster into bite size pieces. Reserve.

2. Keep the head and shells for making the stock.

3, Place the lobster head and shells into stock pot along with the reserved lobster cooking liquid; add enough water to get a total of 6 cups of liquid; bring this to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off and reserve. You may want to filter the stock before using in the step below.

4. Heat the oil in a soup pot or large sauce pan until hot, but not smoking.

5 .Add the flour to the hot oil; stir constantly on medium heat until the mixture turns the color of a brown paper bag,

7 .Add the chopped fresh vegetables (except parsley and okra or green bean) into the oil & flour mixture, stir and cook for about two minutes.

8. Add the spice and seasoning ingredients, stir and cook for about a minute.

9. Add the lobster stock to the pot and bring to a simmer; cook for about 12 minutes (do not let soup boil; otherwise you will have to skim the foam off the top before serving).

10. Blend all the ingredients except the bay leaf in a blender on high until creamed, return the contents of the blender to the pot and bring to a simmer.

Note: Everything before now can be done in advance before moving to the next step. The following steps should be done 5 minutes before serving.

11. Once the blended mixture has reached a simmer, add a handful of cleaned okra cut into 1 inch size pieces or green beans cut into 2-inch size pieces (for the okra remove heals and tips, in the case of green beans remove side strings). Simmer for about 3 minutes.

12. Add the reserved lobster meat and cook only enough to warm the meat over medium-low heat, about two minutes.

11. Add fresh parsley, taste for salt. Serve, garnished with coarsely chopped green onions (including the green parts) .

By: Vaughan Perret & Charles Leary

The Seafood Cookery Cookery course focuses on the use of different fish and shellfish, including selection & freshness, various cooking techniques, making ceviche, and home smoking methods. It also exposes participants to Mediterranean, Creole, Acadian French, and Cajun cooking styles. During the class the instructors and students will together create seafood-based meals, from appetizers and soups to entrees, breads, and desserts. This unique cooking vacation will introduce participants to the culture and history of French New World cuisinesImage as well as the principles of Mediterranean Cuisine, including the cooking and culture of the Mediterranean region and southern Spain, where the instructors have perfected techniques and recipes at the Granada Cooking School in Granada. Dishes and techniques may include making couscous, paella, stuffed mussels, and seafood grilling.

The Nova Scotia Seafood Cooking School is a Signature Experience of the Canadian Tourism Commission!

2014 Dates:

MAY 23-25

JUNE 6-8

OCTOBER 10-12

The cost, per person, for Seafood Cookery is CAN $899 for 2014 sessions. The program includes two nights’ accommodation in a Deluxe Junior Suite or Deluxe Room (double occupancy; upgrades available), all meals, and the culinary instruction and field trips (if offered).  There is also a 9% service fee. Those not wishing to participate in the culinary program can stay at Trout Point Lodge using the normal room and meal tariffs. A signed copy of Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine from New Orleanns to Nova Scotia is included.A 50% deposit is taken at the time of reservation, subject to refund as per Trout Point’s usual cancellation policy.

For information and reservations, please call (902) 761-2142 or e-mail.

A typical weekend culinary vacation schedule:

Friday
3-4:00 pm: Arrival & check-in

4 pm: Introduction,main dining room (wine & cheese)

4:30 pm: Seafood quality and selecting seafood; sustainability

5:30 pm: break

7:00 pm: Cocktails in the great room

7:30 pm: Dinner in Chez la Tousquet

Saturday
8:00 am: Breakfast

9:15 am: Field trip (coast near Yarmouth)

1:00 pm: Lunch at Trout Point Lodge

3:00 pm: Non-heat seafood cookery and seafood smoking; kitchen

4:30 pm: Acadian Rappie Pie; kitchen

7:00 pm: Cocktails in the great room

7:30 pm Dinner

Sunday
8-9:30 am: Breakfast

10:30 am: Elegant and simple seafood cookery (hands on)

11:30 am: Lobster and fresh squid ink pasta making

1:00 pm: Farewell Lunch

Those wishing to arrival a day early or extend their stay are welcome to do so at the regular Trout Point Lodge room rates.

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