Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Adventures in Port Williams

published in the South Shore Breaker December 7, 2016 and "Navigate Nova Scotia" - Chronicle Herald February 11, 2017
Finding places for day tripping is easy peasy when you live in Nova Scotia. Beaches, forests, hiking trails, you name it. It's within easy driving distance no matter where you live. But if you include the challenge of "off season" in the mix, it becomes more difficult to add eating and shopping to your list of activities.

And I'm not referring to fast food restaurants or mall shopping in the city.
Two of my day tripping buddies live 100 kilometers apart, so we try to come up with places where we can "meet in the middle". Our most recent excursion had us heading to Port Williams.  

With the slogan "The biggest little port in the world", the village is set in an agricultural community surrounded by the beauty of Minas Basin tides and dyke lands. We had a full afternoon planned, and started with a meal at The Noodle Guy. It's always important to feed your stomach before heading out for an afternoon of walking and shopping.
Located in an old building, The Noodle Guy Restaurant in Port Williams has lots of character and charm.
I had heard about The Noodle Guy from several people, and we were not disappointed. Located in an old building, the restaurant has lots of character and charm. Fresh pasta made right on site, the menu was varied and the food was delicious. Also available for purchase was whole bean coffee from T.A.N. Coffee, olive oils and balsamic vinegar, fresh pasta packaged for home cooking, jams, jellies, maple syrup, and custom local sausage. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now. My only regret is that I don't live a bit closer, but maybe my waistline is thankful.
Fresh pasta is made right on site at The Noodle Guy, with a varied and delicious menu. Many locally made products are available for purchase.
After such a good meal, it was time for a walk and we headed to the parking lot just across the bridge so we could venture out on the trail along the dyke. I am not an historian by any means, but according to information on the internet the area around Port Williams and Wolfville was largely marsh before the arrival of the Acadians and the New England Planters. Much of the water was drained away with the construction of the dykes that date back hundreds of years. Overall, more than two thousand acres of prime farmland were created with the construction of the dykes.
There is a walking path along the Bishop-Beckwith dyke that extends from Port Williams to the edge of the Wolfville Harbour, and makes great walking for people and dogs alike. Pictured here is Sooki.
There is a walking path along the Bishop-Beckwith dyke that extends from Port Williams to the edge of the Wolfville Harbour, and makes great walking for people and dogs alike. We headed out shortly after high tide and there was a remarkable change in the water level by the time we returned forty five minutes later. We could have walked for much longer, but started to head back earlier than we wanted so we would have time to do more exploring before heading back home.

A short drive from Port Williams, the Fox Hill Cheese House has a huge variety of cheese made on site using milk from their own cows, as well as delicious gelato and other products.
A quick drive down a couple of roads, and we found the Fox Hill Cheese House. While we were there, the most frequent thought that kept running through my mind was that I am glad I live an hour or so away, otherwise I would be gaining weight a lot faster than I am now. I treated myself to a waffle cone with maple gelato. Mmmm, bliss. We learned that gelato is made with milk, not cream so no need to feel guilty about any calories. Not at all. While munching on my cone, I selected several types of cheese made right at the farm as well as some exotic chocolate made in Eastern Passage. Shopping local is getting easier, and quite tasty.

Housed in a multi storey barn built circa 1860, Country Barn Antiques is filled with every type of antique and collectible you can imagine.
Our next stop had us looping back to Port Williams for Country Barn Antiques, situated right in town. Four, or was it five, storeys of a barn built circa 1860 filled with every type of antique and collectible you can imagine. Eye candy for a photographer, and a good source for any person interested in reducing our footprint by repurposing all kinds of items. One of my friends was on the hunt for glass insulators to make a unique hanging light fixture. Another friend bought a very large bottle to build a terrarium. I wasn't in search of anything, but unexpectedly stumbled across a perfect Christmas gift just before we left.


I honestly could have spent hours browsing through all the items and talking with the owner, such a gentleman filled with all sorts of information and entertaining stories. And I would just love to head back there with my tripod and camera to take interesting still life photos.

Even though it's a small village, there are other things to see and do in Port Williams. Maybe I'll convince my husband to visit the Wayfarers' Ale Society or the Port Pub and Bistro. And a stop at Daisy Roots Vintage clothing store is probably in order. But that's a focus for another day.

1 comment:

K&B by the Sea said...

Port Williams was an awesome adventure and a great place to celebrate my birthday with two great friends :-) And two lovely dogs! Definitely need to go back for more noodles and gelato :-) Yes, shopping local is VERY tasty!