At Liscombe Lodge Resort in Nova Scotia, guest contributors *John and Sandra Nowlan find a relaxing hideaway in a natural setting that’s perfect for the times.
Nova Scotia’s remote and relaxing Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Centre, located along the largely unpopulated Eastern Shore, has always attracted a steady flow of guests wanting to dine on its signature dish, cedar-planked salmon.
When we stayed at this gorgeous resort with its natural seaside/riverside setting we noted that several yachters had sailed their boats up the seven-mile-long Liscombe Harbour to tie up at the lodge’s marina. Their goal? The planked salmon and other fresh seafood.
Comfortable, newly-renovated guest rooms
The restaurant is a major draw but the entire lodge, a 2-½ hour drive from Halifax and a half-hour from the nearest town, lives up to its motto “Nature For You”.
The 67 riverside rooms, 30 in the main lodge, 5 large cottages each with four rooms connected to a central living room with a fireplace and 17 luxury chalets are ideal for a step back from everyday life and a chance to embrace nature in a wilderness setting. All the newly renovated rooms in the three types of accommodation are large, comfortable and well equipped with satellite TV plus a microwave and fridge.
Our room in the lodge had excellent wi-fi and a great river view but could have included better bedside reading lights. The 17 upscale chalets, spread along a stretch of river with a few small waterfalls, include a heat pump, fireplace and veranda.
Updated public spaces
Liscombe Lodge Resort, built in 1960 as a fishing camp, was purchased and enlarged by the Province of Nova Scotia in 1976 but returned to private ownership in 2020. The new owner has put major effort into updating the resort including his passion for imaginative chandeliers, which hang in virtually every guest room and public place in the main lodge.
The popular dining room, with its own large, stone fireplace also sports a series of chandeliers to add a touch of class to its rustic interior. Since the restaurant faces the river and the forest, the lodge has wisely placed several large bird feeders close to the picture windows. During dinner, a never-ending stream of blue jays, doves, pine grosbeaks, and three types of finches – gold, purple, and house – vie for the wild bird mix. Watching the avifauna while dining is hugely entertaining.
Culinary treasures beyond the salmon
Entertaining can also describe the kitchen creations produced by the chef at Liscombe Lodge Resort. Mark Berridge began his culinary career at Oxford University, evolved his talent in hotels (Marriott, Westin), and found his niche in this remote corner of Nova Scotia with its plentiful seafood, fresh herbs and vegetables and meat from nearby farms.
In addition to the signature planked salmon (carefully smoked for three hours on cedar planks, basted in butter and maple syrup, then finished in the oven) the resort includes a variety of menu items including bison burger, elk burger and tender steaks (including a mammoth 28 oz. Tomahawk cut). Chef Mark takes great pride in his adjacent vegetable, herb and mushroom gardens and promotes fresh and local whenever he can. Connie, the pastry chef, has been making delectable desserts at the resort for 30 years.
The chef also likes to teach up-and-coming students. One innovation this year was his invitation to three promising young chefs from the Nova Scotia Community College culinary programme to spend several weeks working in the kitchen at the resort.
Every Sunday, one of the student chefs plans and prepares a special pasta dish for guests. We were delighted with Olivia Sandstra’s seafood fettuccine including scallops, shrimp and haddock. It was garnished with mussels, green dill and an edible pansy with garlic bread on the side. Full marks!
Liscombe Lodge Resort offers natural beauty and more
Kayaks are available in the area where the river meets the harbour, a full-of-stories old-timer named Chester can take you for an hour-long harbour tour. There are 16 kilometres of well-marked hiking trails (a longer one leads to the picturesque fish ladder and rugged Liscomb Falls) plus there’s a swimming pool and recreation building with ping pong and pool tables. Visitors can enjoy a tennis court and a new petting zoo where children can get close and personal to a friendly horse, sheep, chickens, a rooster, ducks and geese, perfect for multigenerational families with grandchildren.
The natural beauty of Liscombe Lodge Resort, with its seaside and riverside location, make it a unique rural hideaway. Like other resorts, it offers comfortable beds, good food plus popular wedding and convention facilities. But here in the wilderness of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, visitors can have it all, completely surrounded by nature. As Covid-19 wanes, this is the type of experience many visitors are longing for.
*John and Sandra Nowlan are travel and food writers based in Halifax.
IF YOU GO
Disclosure: The Nowlans were guests of Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Center
All photo credits: John and Sandra Nowlan (except for Pinterest pin, credit Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Center)
Previously on MoreTimeToTravel
- Read about another Nova Scotia Wilderness Resort: Trout Point Lodge
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