A Very Vegan Vacation

Finding food on the road when you follow a specific diet/lifestyle can be challenging. But it can also be exciting when you discover delicious gems. Charlottetown is a small city but boasts some amazing options for vegans. Non-vegans listen-up too! If you’re looking for top-notch quality eats, i.e. the freshest, best, made from scratch, seasonal, organic, local produce look no further than Charlottetown’s vegan restaurants!

Let this be your handy guide to the tastiest vegan eats in the city! For more local vegan scoop be sure to follow @theveganlocal ‘s instagram and ask her all of your vegan travel questions.

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My Plum, My Duck

This place is a big deal – opening in 2017 it was PEI”s first vegan restaurant. It is 99% vegan (there is one fresh fish option on the menu). MPMD is the lovechild of the amazing Chef Sarah Forrester-Wendt. It’s small, cheerful, quiet and has a naturally hip vibe. Slide into church pew seating, admire the vase of fresh flowers on the table, listen to cool tunes and check-out great local art on the walls. Local Kombucha is on tap by Heartbeet Organics. Sip on it or another local beverage (the kimchi caesar with local vodka is a revolution). Our favourite special is Thursday nights’ 2-for-1 Veggie Burgers. It’s a crazy good deal for crazy good food. Homemade everything: sourdough bun, garlic aoili, tomato jam, bean burger served with fresh greens and a raspberry vinaigrette and roasted veggies with more garlic aoili for dipping.

Hot Tips:

*Order an item from the to-go lunch menu and take it with you. Tomorrow’s healthy & delicious lunch/beach picnic is sorted. Isn’t that what vacation is all about?! Banbridge staff favourites include spicy tahini noodles and kale salad.

* For dessert buy a tub of INDULGE coconut ice-cream (it is vegan, dairy-free, uber-creamy and just what you need to celebrate being in PEI).

*Follow MPMD’s social media for daily specials.

*They offer delivery through skip the dishes.

Stir it Up

Owners Aurora and Kevin started up this bangin’ take-away cafe in 2018. It’s safe to say islanders have been in love ever since. Stir-it-Up is tucked away at the back of Back Alley Music (the coolest record store). It’s a takeaway cafe except in the summer when you can eat on picnic tables in the back yard. They’re inspired by the Caribbean, grow their own greens and the menu changes seasonally.  The house salad and dotty’s burger are staff favourites. Amazing grab n go salads and mooless macs (tastes like a big mac). They also serve an assortment of very yummy vegan baked goods and locally roasted receiver coffee and kombucha by heartbeet organics.

Hot Tips:

*Browse records while you wait

*Call-ahead and place an order for pick-up (they also deliver).

*Check out their instagram for current info and foodie fan photos!

Groceries, grab ‘n’ go, sundries

For vegans (and people with other special diets) traveling can be challenging which is why many guests take advantage of the well-equipped kitchens in our Banbridge Apartments. Cooking on your vacation can save you money and is a fun way to try local fare. There are plenty of options for every diet that will have you feeling like you’re in foodie paradise.

The Rootcellar, PEI’S number one health store, a beloved island hotspot since the 70s. You’ll find a wide range of natural vegan snacks, beverages, and grocery items not to mention a wonderful selection of best-selling natural and vegan cosmetics, skincare, supplements, essential oils, etc.

Hot Tip: Stock up on cases of La Croix sparkling water, Califia Farms cold brew coffee snack bars and bags of cheezies for your beach cooler. Don’t forget to top up on natural sunscreen and mosquito spray (PEI summer necessities).

Riverview Country Market

Riverview Country market has fresh produce and an assortment of local and gourmet imports. They have a neat selection of vegan groceries and frozen vegan meals made in house. They usually have at least one vegan to-go option (sandwich, soup or salad). Check-out their instagram for current offerings.

Hot tip: Get a coffee while you shop by locally roasted Caledonian Coffee. They have dairy-free milk alternatives and you can get fun specialty coffees too like a spirulina london fog, golden mylk latte, raw cacoa hot choc or a bullet proof coffee!

Kettle Black Marché

The new sister to the popular Kettle Black Cafe has great baked goods and grab ‘n’ go options.  They serve up great specialty coffee too.

The Charlottetown Farmers’ Market

For the very best of PEI’s fertile red soil get your groceries at the Charlottetown Farmers Market. Local, organic produce at its finest. Get a bag of greens or organic PEI new potatoes…. better than any potato you’ve ever tasted!) and your supper is set. Find everything from a yummy lunch (a variety of world food vendors), sweets, bread, herbs, kombucha, preserves, coffee and fresh flowers.

Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am-2pm

Queen Street Market

Find some different vendors here that you won’t see at the Charlottetown Farmers Markets. From farm stands to Afghani cuisine and vegan doughnuts!

Sundays 11am-4pm

 

 

 

June 2019

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June is one of our favourite months in Prince Edward Island.

To celebrate travel during this beautiful, peaceful month we are offering Banbridge guests amazing special rates for June!

Visit our home page and BOOK NOW to save up to $90/night on stays in our one bedroom Apartments in June. When booking simply enter the promotional code: JUNE

The longer you stay, the more you save! Select our “Short Break” or “Weekly” Specials for stays of 3 nights or more.

Why we love June in P.E.I.

  1. Peace & Solitude. There are not as many tourists around which makes it a great time to be one!
  2. Easy Adventuring. Less tourists mean less traffic and no traffic jams. P.E.I.’s roads are yours to explore.
  3. Budget-Friendly! We strongly recommend anyone traveling on a tight budget to travel during low season (June, late September and October). These months are just as beautiful but at a fraction of the price. There are still many businesses, awesome activities and exciting events that are open during low season and we are happy to help you plan your itinerary!
  4. Spontaneity. The perfect month to embrace the unknown (and the unpredictable June weather). Do you spot a seat sale? Or even better, do you live within driving distance of PEI? Now is the time to grab a great deal and take Northumberland Ferries from Nova Scotia or the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to the island. Bring your bathing suit, a rain jacket AND a sweater – if you’re lucky you’ll get to experience true PEI – all different kinds of weather packed into one month!
  5. Abundance. Farmers’ Markets are  bursting with the best of delicious local food and the Spring lobster season is in full swing!
  6. The Colour Green. Rain or Shine – the island is at its most verdant in June. Island winters are often very harsh so Spring can be slow (or non-existent). June is when everything suddenly comes to life. This explosion of green has likened PEI to the Emerald Isle itself! Indeed there was more than one reason that the island was at one time going to be called New Ireland. The rush is on for us to recover from the winter; paint, polish, pull-out the BBQs, cut grass, landscape, and plant flowers at the Banbridge. As you explore PEI you’ll see islanders all doing the same. Being a largely agricultural province June brings with it an explosion of green, busy farmers and happy islanders.

Fall Harvest Hamper

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In the spirit of Prince Edward Island’s Fall Flavours Festival we are offering Banbridge guests the opportunity to savour the very best of local, seasonal, organic produce.

The great thing about our Apartments is that they have a wonderfully well-equipped kitchen complete with everything you need to make meals. Not only is this a very cost-effective way of traveling but its also the perfect opportunity to indulge in island fare.

Cooking while traveling may not be for everyone but if you want to experience excellent local food in the privacy of your apartment at a fraction of the cost of dining out or if you simply enjoy the process of cooking a delicious meal with local ingredients,  this is the package for you! (For guests who’ve sworn to stay away from the stove while on vacation we have great recommendations for dining-out or take-in)!

Our Fall Harvest Hamper is available to any guests who book an apartment direct (on our website or over the phone). When booking select or mention Fall Harvest and the additional cost of the hamper ($15) will be added to your reservation. Upon arrival you will find a beautiful hamper of scrumptious island produce in your apartment refrigerator.

 

Getting Around the Island

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Prince Edward Island is Canada’s smallest province. You won’t find any freeways here. The Trans Canada Highway will get you where you need to go but the island’s coast is traced with stunning coastal routes and criss-crossed with secondary roads through pastoral landscapes. The heritage road pictured above is the Peters Road and is located about 15 minutes from the Banbridge. Roads like these are one of the many joys of island living.

Depending on your interests, we can suggest wonderful day-trips, beautiful scenic drives, and short-cuts! The Banbridge is centrally located in Charlottetown, the capital city. Charlottetown is located in the middle of the island: 1 1/2 hrs from the most Easterly point and 2hrs from the most Westerly point. This makes Charlottetown an ideal base for exploring every part of the island. If you’re ever unsure what road to take, please ask us, we are very happy to share our local knowledge with our guests.

CAR RENTAL

We highly recommend renting a car to explore Prince Edward Island. If that is not an option, there are alternative methods of transportation (see below).

GPS

GPS often does not work well in P.E.I. So pick up an Island Road map and a City of Charlottetown map as soon as you can. You can have them mailed to your home address by contacting Tourism PEI. Or can pick them up at a Visitors Information Centre and our front desk.

IMPORTANT: Book your car rental well in advance (they are very limited during peak season) and be sure to book direct with the car rental company (avoid online travel agencies).

PUBLIC TRANSIT

Public transit exists, but it is very limited in its routes. There is no public transit after 6:00PM or on weekends. Click here for Bus Schedules. TIP: Conveniently, there is a bus stop at the Banbridge driveway (105 Capital Drive).

TAXIS

Taxis are easily accessible and affordable within the city. A taxi from The Banbridge to the waterfront area of the city will cost about $10, one way. Taxis can also be hired for drop off and pick-ups in rural areas. Try Co-Op Taxis at 1(902)628-8200. Prince Edward Island does not have Uber or Lyft (yet). Please note: Taking a taxi from the airport is more expensive and will incur a flat-rate fee of about $20+

TOURS

If you’re without a car and want to experience rural P.E.I. and our famous beaches there are many tour companies to choose from. You can day-trip with larger bus tours, shuttles and smaller custom tour companies.

CYCLING

We have a long way to go to make our roads cycle-friendly. There are some designated bike lanes within the city and in some National Parks (Brackley Beach – Dalvay). We are lucky to have the Confederation Trail – a great network of trails across the island. You can pick up the trail nearby at the Charlottetown Mall. Mountain biking trails can be found at Bonshaw Provincial Park and Robinson’s Island in the National Park (both are located about 15 minutes from the Banbridge). There are several companies that rent bicycles.

 

By the Banbridge: Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site

By the Banbridge: Short Road Trips

Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst National Historic Site is a 20-25 minute drive from the Banbridge. This National Park is rich in Mi’Kmaq, early French, British, colonial and military history of the island we now know as Prince Edward Island. Enjoy great scenic views of Charlottetown from across the harbour, walk the shore and extensive network of trails. Perfect for walking, cycling and a picnic. Skmaqn–Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst is also a must for lighthouse lovers – the park has a couple of its own lighthouses and neighbours beautiful Block House Point lighthouse.

Want to make a day of it?

Love to Golf? Countryview Golf Club is on your way.

Continue through Cumberland towards beautiful Argyle Shore Provincial Park – a long stretch of sandy beach and rock red cliffs. Entry is free and there are picnic and washroom facilities.

Not tired yet?

Drive past Argyle Shore to the sweet historic village of Victoria-by-the-Sea. Check out our Banbridge ISLAND GUIDE 2018 to see our #banbridgebest recommendations on where to enjoy a great dinner here.

 

 

 

 

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Point Prim Lighthouse

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G’day! It’s PEI History Guy here. Some might also know me as caretaker (and resident historian at the Banbridge Inn). I am blogging today for the Banbridge Inn to highlight the historic Point Prim Lighthouse, one of our #banbridgebest and a true gem of island history.

This beauty of a beacon was the province’s 1st sentinel of the sea, built way back when in 1845.

One of only a very small number of round brick lighthouses in Canada. It’s construction was overseen by Isaac Smith the noted architect who built both Province House and Fanningbank, home of the Island’s lieutenant governors. Also involved was the steam lion Sir Samuel Cunard, as well as 3 future fathers of confederation: George Coles, Edward Palmer, and Thomas Heath Haviland Jr.  A climb to the top is rewarded with a commanding view of the Northumberland strait, and once you’ve worked up an appetite be sure to hit up the Point Prim Chowder House if top notch local seafood is your thing! This renowned resto is a must.

Until next time,

Isaac Stewart

PEI History Guy

P.S. If you love of lighthouses is limitless check out my article Point Prim Lights the Way   at www.peihistoryguy.com for a more in depth look at Point Prim Lighthouse.

Celebrating Canada Day in P.E.I.

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National Parks

In Celebration of Canada’s 150th “Birthday” all entry fees to Canada’s National Parks are waived. Check out Historic sites (like Green Gables in Cavendish) and Beautiful beaches (like Greenwich) across Prince Edward Island for Free in 2017.

Tall Ships

June 30th to July 2nd, Charlottetown Harbour

As part of the Canada Day celebrations nine Tall Ships (replicas of historic wooden ships) have docked in Charlottetown Harbour.

Tour the ships for free June 30th from 2-4PM at Port Charlottetown and Queen’s Wharf and from 4-7PM at Port Charlottetown. On July 1st deck tours are available from 10AM to 5PM at Port Charlottetown and Queen’s Wharf.

Fireworks

When the sun goes down take in some fireworks – our favourite viewing spots are at Victoria Park in Charlottetown or in Rustico.