Are you ready for the feast? Not a feast. The feast. It’s on Prince Edward Island, the Canadian Maritime Province that’s known as a giant green farm. It’s at the Inn at Bay Fortune, a luxurious summer home that was turned into the island’s only five-star inn. It starts with a tour of the grounds and freshly shucked oysters. Plus it features a menu that changes daily and food that’s cooked in a 25-foot, custom-built, wood-burning fire.
Since the feast doesn’t begin until 6 pm, you have plenty of time to explore the inn and Bay Fortune before you eat. The inn overlooks the Fortune River, where it flows into Bay Fortune and, eventually, the Northumberland Strait. It’s owned by an award-winning chef and his innkeeper wife. They took a charming summer retreat and turned it into one of, it not the, best dining spots on the island. Flower beds, herb gardens, and an organic farm dot their 46 acres. Fire pits and walking trails are hidden among the property, as well.
As for the buildings, their shingled roofs look weathered by the salt air. Your room, in the North Tower, has a cathedral ceiling and a propane fireplace. You’ll appreciate the latter after the sun sets tonight. The room’s sand and turquoise accents match the colors you see outside. There’s local artwork, antique furniture, and fresh flowers, too. FireWorks, the restaurant, features wooden beams, a wraparound veranda, and views of the river. It’s where homemade bacon will be served for breakfast in the morning.
Beyond the inn, you find Bay Fortune Beach. The quiet beach has red sand and is known as one of the best beaches on the island. Bay Fortune was once an artists’ colony, so galleries and studios still line the bay. Distilleries, such as Myriad Distillery, also dot the coast. You can watch small fishing boats, followed by a flock of seagulls, returning to the wharf. Or you can try your own luck by going bar clamming or fly fishing with a local guide.
Just be sure to return to the inn in time for oyster hour. It starts with an introduction to the gardens, the kitchen, and what the chef calls the fire-breathing beast. Stations are set up with food and beverages. Briny Colville and Fortune Bays oysters are being shucked right in front of you. Hot-smoked salmon, straight from the smokehouse, is being added to an island charcuterie board. Cocktails, mixed with the gin and the vodka that you tasted earlier, are being shaken and poured into chilled glasses. While beer from a new local brewery is offered, as well.
Keep in mind: This is only the beginning. In an hour, you’ll move to the long wooden tables on the veranda. Freshly baked bread, local seafood chowder, organic salads, and roasted fish, meat, and veggies will soon follow. It truly is a feast—and the best introduction to Prince Edward Island for which you could have asked.