Food Tourism; Lighthouse Picnics, Ferryland, Newfoundland
Lighthouse Picnics was one of the best and utterly unique meal experiences I’ve had. An old lighthouse that sits on a crest of rock overlooking the tattered coast of Newfoundland was restored recently and made into this great restaurant by two women – one of whom went to organic cooking school in Ireland, and the others’ family had been the lighthouse keeper’s years before. The food is fantastic, though there is not a huge selection – each day there are three specials and three cakes.
What makes this place incredible is its location and its concept. You go into the lighthouse to order and then they give you a picnic blanket and a patterned flag that symbolizes your order, saying, “Go find a place.” You ask, “Anywhere?” They respond, “Yes.”lighthouse picnics Then you go out onto the greenest grass and look for your spot on the rolling hillside or the rocks, lay your blanket out and relax. Someone brings you a large picnic basket with the food served on real plates with real silverware and the drinks in Mason jars with screw on lids so they don’t spill. Ferryland has a fairly deep bay, so frequently you can see whales breeching and blowing right from your cozy spot on the shore.
We had the crab cakes and freshly squeezed lemonade – which were both delightful. For dessert we tried the luscious chocolate cake and a lemon-lavender-pistachio loaf – again, delicious and indulgent. The food is very fresh, tasty, and even healthy (OK, maybe not the chocolate cake). Another lovely thing about Lighthouse Picnics is the walk in and out of the peninsula. It’s a calming 25-minute walk to the spot through beautiful scenery, so you really get the whole outdoor experience in a meal. Guided walks to the lighthouse can be arranged, which explain the rich history of the area. Ferryland was one of the oldest settlements of North America, so you could also combine a visit to the archeological site ‘Colony of Avalon’ further up the road with a fabulous lunch along the rocky shore. lighthouse picnics
Lighthouse Picnics is close to the East Coast Trail – and if you’re hiking up or down it you must stop here for a good meal. We were hiking the trail for a few hours beforehand and happened to end in Ferryland, where we were told about this place. It was quite a find. Just be sure to come early, for lunch or afternoon pastries, as they close at 6pm. Special events such as the Ferryland Lighthouse Reading Series, pirate picnics, and ghost stories nights are held in the evenings. If you’re staying in St. John’s it’s about 1-1 ½ hours drive to Ferryland, then you drive down a dirt road to the parking lot.