Great day in the Annapolis Valley

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and fellow blogger, Maria of The Right Coast Nova Scotia, took an adventure into the Annapolis Valley to take advantage of the lovely NS strawberries in season and have lunch at a local resto.
After a pit stop at Just Us! Coffee Roasters in Grand Pre for some coffee, we headed into Wolfville to pick up breakfast at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market. I was jonesin’ for a baked good – as per my usual Saturday morning plan – and after scoping out ‘the goods’ we both decided on a lovely stall that sold muffins, squares and all other types of fruity, chocolaty goodness. Judging from the map on the WFM website, I think it must have been Ariel’s Baking. My pal went for an oatcakey-type option with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, nuts and chocolate chips, while I decided on my favorite type of muffin – a Morning Glory, studded with walnuts, carrots and coconut. We were both full by the time we were halfway through, and put them aside for the real task at hand, the Strawberry U-Pick.
Maria’s oat cake got a little messy as the sun beat down on us and melted the chocolate chips!
We pulled the car up to the Elderkins’ s U-Pick field and proceeded to marvel at the rows of berries – shocking really, as we were fairly late in the season. As we hunched over the bushes in the hot sun, exclaiming over the bountiful red jewels, we were thankful for the intermittent rain showers that came our way. We picked and picked, and finally decided that enough was enough – we should leave some for other pickers to enjoy.
I love the way strawberries hide themselves – like demure southern belles under frilly parasoles, or geishas behind their ribbed fans…such a tease.

Our baskets full, and our bellies only slightly (I only snacked on 3 strawberries while picking!) we headed back into town for lunch. As I had hoped, my friend was in agreement, and we headed to Tempest Restaurant to sit on the patio, sip some wine, and enjoy some of chef Michael Howell’s spectacular cuisine.
We ordered wine – pronto! I sipped on a glass of Grand Pre’s Verrazano Rose, while Maria chose a Nova Scotian white.
We ordered two small dishes each, with both of us choosing the Hutten’s Roasted Beet and Microgreens salad. This was a lovely flavour combination; the tart beets and creamy cheese are a classic flavour pairing, while the sweet nuts provided a bit of crunch. While Maria started with the Dynamite Sushi Roll, I went for the cooling appeal of Tempest’s ‘Soup of the Day’, a vegan Gazpacho. Though I didn’t try Maria’s sushi, there was a fair amount of “yums” happening. I was so pleased with my choice; a savoury soup, Gazpacho is served chilled and was a refreshing pairing to my glass of chilled rose.

a tomato-based summer soup, served chilled

Dynamite Sushi Roll
Willy Krauch’s BBQ eel, avocado, red pepper & ginger slaw

Hutten’s Roasted Beet & Microgreens salad
w/ goat cheese and candied pecans

Big Day Downtown, Part 1

Bumpy shopping: Part one. Proceed with caution