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Posts Tagged ‘Trout Point Lodge’

Recognised as a Top Performing Inn as Reviewed by Travellers on the
World’s Largest Travel Site

Kemptville, Nova Scotia – June 11Print_Logo_COE2015_UK, 2015 – Trout Point Lodge today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great l reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honourees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travellers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

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Travel & Leisure magazine has just published its list of the world’s top 12 stargazing locales, including Trout Point Lodge in the Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands Starlight Tourist Destination, as number 6. Author of the  article and online slide show entitled “Ready to Feel Small? 12 Otherworldly Locales Perfect for Stargazing,” Lindsey Olander, works as an editor at the magazine, including coordinating entries for its annual Global Vision awards. Now owned by Time, Inc., Travel & Leisure has 6.6 million readers.

The article identifies Trout Point as the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, an honour it received from the UNESCO-backed Starlight Foundation in 2014. The Lodge was among just 2 accommodations mentioned in the article as superb astro-tourism destinations, the other being Ayers Rock Resort in Australia.

Trout Point Lodge has offered guided astronomy outings for the past few years, and in 2014 built a special stargazing platform also noted by Travel & Leisure. The Lodge’s owners Charles Leary and Vaughan Perret spearheaded the effort to have the surrounding area contiguous with the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Tourism Region, declared a certified Starlight Tourist Destination. Leary & Perret are officers of La Societe Touristique Bon Temps d’Argyle, which officially sponsored the certification effort. Acadia First Nation helped sponsor the project. Olander noted: “The area was once the home of the indigenous Mi’kmaq nation, whose stories about constellations explained the changing of the seasons and other universal phenomena.”

Trout Point lies immediately adjacent to the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area, which is now a Starlight Reserve. There are no sources of light pollution anywhere within the 104,000 hectare reserve, making for splendid dark skies at night.

Other places on the top 12 list include the Atacama Desert in Chile, Galloway Forest Park in Scotland, and Jasper National Park, also in Canada.

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Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia will be the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, a distinction given by the Starlight Foundation headquartered at the Canaries Astrophysics Institute in Spain. The Starlight Initiative is backed by UNESCO, the International Astronomical Union, and other international organizations.

“We believe it is fair to give special consideration,” wrote Foundation Managing Director Luis Martinez, to “establishments whose owners have been pioneers in promoting a Starlight Destination in their area.”

The new stargazing platform provides unobstructed views of the sky

The new stargazing platform provides unobstructed views of the sky

Located in a particularly dark night-time zone of southwest Nova Scotia, Canada, Trout Point has developed astro-tourism offerings, including having a permanent astronomer on staff, over the past four years. This year the Lodge added a 16’x16′ star gazing platform and new telescopes, including a solar telescope for daytime use. The Lodge lies adjacent to the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers.

To be certified as a Starlight Hotel, Trout Point had to submit an extensive application and data on sky quality.

Lodge proprietors Vaughan Perret and Charles Leary have spearheaded the effort by a local non-profit society to have the region surrounding Trout Point declared a Starlight Reserve and Tourism Destination. This included visiting the Canary Islands to view best practices and meet with Foundation officials. Last year, the Lodge’s astronomer took the numerous scientific measurements of sky quality necessary to achieve regional certification. The application was done by La Société Touristique Bon Temps d’Argyle, of which Perret is the Chairman.

The Lodge has hosted numerous guests anxious to get a glimpse of unpolluted night time skies filled with stars, an increasingly rare possibility in most urban areas.

Martinez said: “The Foundation aims to bring Rural Hotels and Houses into the movement for ‘Astronomical Tourism’ as an efficient way of spreading the joys of contemplating the starry skies among the customers and to encourage them to learn more about the marvels and mysteries of the Universe. This is why we attach so much importance to building a network of establishments which are qualified and accredited as ‘Starlight Rural Hotels and Houses’, beginning with the most representative.”

Perret and Leary have worked tirelessly to gain support for the project from the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, the Southwest Nova Tourism Task Team, the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, Acadia First Nation, and the Municipalities of Argyle, Clare, and Yarmouth.

This region of Nova Scotia has a pronounced lack of light pollution, lending it some of the darkest and clearest skies for astronomical observation in North America.

About Trout Point Lodge & The Starlight Foundation
Founded in 2000, Trout Point Lodge lies immediately adjacent to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area. Rated 5 stars by Canada Select, the Lodge is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The web site is http://www.troutpoint.com.

The Starlight Foundation is the body in charge of the operational management of the Starlight Initiative, providing human resources and means for its development and promotion. The Starlight Initiative was launched in 2007 from a proposal of the IAC supported by UNESCO – MaB Programme, UNWTO, IAU, and other international conventions such as UNEP-CMS, SCBD, and Ramsar Convention, and is designed as an international action in defense of the values associated with the night sky and the general right to observe the stars.

The final aim of this Initiative is to promote the importance of clear skies for the humankind, emphasizing and introducing the value of this endangered heritage for science, education, culture, technological development, nature conservation, and tourism. The web site is http://www.fundacionstarlight.com.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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