The sun is rising over the Atlantic, coaxing you out of bed. Looking to live out your chef fantasies? Drive east 45 minutes to The Old General Catering House, located in a charming, century-old general store in Murray River. Chefs Christine Dickey and Paige Hart offer lively cooking lessons for beginners and more experienced cooks. You and a friend (or three) can learn how to make sourdough pizza, seafood chowder, lobster rolls or a fresh pasta meal from scratch, then dine on your creations.
Or, if tasting tours are more up your alley, make a few stops along the 5/15 Fermentation Trail, featuring craft meaderies, distilleries and wineries all located within 15 minutes of each other just a stone’s throw from Charlottetown. At Island Honey Wine Company, for example, you’ll tour a working farm by tractor-drawn wagon, cruising past sheep, cows, beehives and rolling hills while sampling award-winning mead and honey. At Deep Roots Distillery, you’ll tour through the apple orchard while enjoying a beverage, then get a closer look at how the company makes their fruit-flavoured spirits, liqueurs and ciders.
At the conclusion of your tasty afternoon, embark on a scenic drive to North Rustico, a charming seaside town on the north shore located about 30 minutes from Charlottetown. Rustico is one of PEI’s six Francophone regions and a centre for Acadian history and culture (Acadians are the descendants of the original French settlers in the Maritimes).
Travel back in time with an immersive, traditional Acadian meal at Maison Doucet in South Rustico (available until the end of September). In the cozy, circa-1772 log kitchen, you’ll learn about Acadian history while making time-honoured recipes with cast iron cooking tools in an open stoneware hearth. You’ll make banik (also known as bannock) in an outdoor oven and churn your own butter. Then, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labours, feasting on hearty chicken fricot (soup), meat pie, râpure (potato pie with pork or chicken) and fresh, creamy ice cream you made yourself.
With your senses fully satisfied, stay the night in luxury next door at the elegant Barachois Inn. This five-star operation is a meticulously decorated bastion of art, antiques and Victorian splendor. Or in nearby Cavendish opt for one of the Fairways Cottages, where you’ll get all the comforts of home (including spa tubs and cozy fireplaces) on PEI’s scenic North Shore.