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McNabs Island

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Penny-Cameron

Penny Cameron is the Regional Secretary for Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic Region and was the first female concierge in our region to receive the golden keys. After 30 years with The Prince George, she is now part of the concierge team at Parkland at the Gardens, a luxury retirement residence in Halifax.

Q: What’s your pick for Halifax’s can’t-miss August event?
A: In August, the waterfront is alive with action. From August 1 to 6, the Halifax Busker Festival offers 300 shows at various stages on the waterfront with performers from all over the world. If you are here during the first week in August, you’ll also catch the Halifax Natal Day Festival, celebrating the city’s birthday. There’s great beach weather in August too; check out the Clam Harbour Sandcastle Competition taking place on our Eastern Shore.

Q: What’s a great way for outdoor adventurers to spend the day in the Halifax area?
A: The Halifax Harbour is a stone’s throw from the downtown and a great way to see Halifax from the water is by sea kayak. Kayak Halifax—at Sands at Salter on the waterfront—offers two-hour and full-day tours with professional guides enabling you to explore the second largest natural harbour in the world. Or join Kattuk Expeditions in Fisherman’s Cove for the Sunset Kayak Tour to McNab’s Island.

Q: How can a family make a rainy day fun in Halifax?
A: I always recommend the Discovery Centre to families visiting Halifax, a unique experience offering four floors of interactive exhibits including an immersive dome theatre. It’s open from 10am to 5pm daily in a new beautiful facility on the waterfront.

Q: Where should diners go to experience unique Nova Scotian wines?
A: Visitors are often surprised to learn of Nova Scotia’s thriving wine industry and if you have time, a visit to the wineries in the Gaspereau Valley is well worth the trip. Tour companies such as Grape Escapes Wine Tours offer excellent day trips to the award-winning wineries. Many restaurants support local wineries and offer the best of Nova Scotia wines. Obladee Wine Bar has an extensive wine list along with small plates and charcuterie boards. They also offer private tastings for small groups. Make sure you try our Tidal Bay wines, unique to Nova Scotia and learn more about Nova Scotia wines at Bishop’s Cellar.

Q: Where can travellers find a unique memento of their visit?
A: Head to the Hydrostone Market on Young Street and take home a unique gift from Made in the Maritimes Artisan Boutique. Lady Luck Boutique nearby is also a great spot to purchase locally made jewellery and art. Downtown, Amos Pewter offers beautiful locally-made pewter crafts, frames, and gift ideas.

Concierge Q & A

Concierge_Phil-Osborne

A member of Les Clefs d’Or, Phil Osborne holds a diploma in hospitality management from the Irish Tourism Board and is the current delegate-experience team supervisor at the Halifax Convention Centre. Originally from Manchester, U.K., Phil lived in Ireland, New York, and Vancouver before settling in Halifax.

Q: What’s your pick for May’s top events for visitors?
A:
 On May 2, the Halifax waterfront (at 1549 Lower Water Street) hosts the all-ages outdoor East Coast Music Awards Kick-Off Concert. This free show features some of Atlantic Canada’s top musical talents.

Q: What Halifax-area spot do you recommend for a relaxed weekend brunch?
A: 
My favourite go-to spot for brunch is usually Robie Street Station. Since 2014 it’s been serving a great all-day breakfast and brunch. My favourite dish is the Remedy: two eggs with potatoes and a biscuit, plus your choice of pork belly, bacon, pulled pork, or fruit. It’s a great start to your day!

Q: What’s your pick for a lively night on the town with friends?
A: 
Well that would be Durty Nelly’s, especially when there’s live music. In the heart of the downtown (and just steps from the Nova Centre and Scotiabank Centre), this Irish pub is a great spot to have a few drinks, have a laugh, and meet some new friends. The menu features burgers, wings, nachos, and Irish-pub favourites like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, and curry.

Q: Where do you suggest for a romantic dinner for two?
A: 
For a romantic dinner, I would always recommend Gio at the Prince George Hotel on Market Street. Don’t think of it as a hotel restaurant; it’s a restaurant with its own identity, a great globally-inspired menu, creative cocktails, comfortable private seating, and top-notch service.

Q: What’s the best thing about May in Halifax?
A: 
The changing weather and then the patios beginning to appear around the downtown core. When the patios and beer gardens open you know summer is just around the corner and the vibe in the city changes, becoming even more upbeat and welcoming.

Q: What’s a great day-trip destination for visitors to Halifax this month?
A: McNabs Island 
is an overlooked gem of a tourist spot for a day trip. Take the Harbour Taxi (harbourtaxi.ca) out to the Island and spend the day on the trails. Kattuk Expeditions (kattukexpeditions.com) offers a popular McNab’s Island Sunset Kayak Tour: you can kayak to the island and then sit, relax, and watch the sunset over chocolate fondue with fresh fruit.