As we prepare for our annual Newfoundland Family Road Trip, I realised I had never shared the time we spent in Grates Cove last August. We were looking for a place just a couple of hours away from St. John’s since Miguel was just a few months old. We also wanted a serene, almost remote, spot where we could unwind after a summer packed with visits from my Portuguese family. Once we read the Overcast article that my friend Emily wrote about Grates Cove Studios Café we knew that the most northerly community on the Avalon Peninsula was what we needed to recharge our batteries.
Almost immediately an email was sent to the owners of Grates Cove Studios, the lovely Courtney and Terrence, and we rented their Snug Harbor House. The Café was closed the day we arrived but we were able to get their signature Cod Etouffe and Sesame Coleslaw delivered right at the house by Terrence. We were starving and the richness and burst of flavours of the etouffe really hit the spot. This was just a small sample of all the delicious food we would be having at the Café the following days. Terrence is from Newfoundland and Courtney from South Louisiana, and they both lived in South Korea. Their menu is myriad of dishes and flavours reminiscent of their roots and travel experiences. All pretty tasty!
The Café is also a great spot: Part restaurant, part gallery for Terrence’s artwork, and a stage where they occasionally host music events. Lots of space and some toys to keep kids entertained while waiting for food.
Then there is nature! The Big Hill boardwalk that takes you to one of the best views of the community. Or follow the Walled Landscape of Grates Cove and pick blueberries until you reach one of the rocky beaches. The Walled Landscape of Grates Cove is 150 acres of stone walls that demarcate what was once small gardens. In 1995 it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
Grates Cove is rugged, friendly, and as remote as you can get that close from town (very patchy cellular/internet service). It is ideal if you want to be still, unplug, and just take nature in.