Part two of exploring St. John’s East takes you to the Quidi Vidi’s: the lake and road. Your visit here will complete your full circumnavigation around the Battery, Signal Hill, and Quidi Vidi, three exceptional enclaves of historic St. John’s.
Stay At The Sheraton
Each room is beautifully appointed with exquisite furnishings, luxurious décor, and sumptuous dining. A fitness center and pool are situated on the lower lobby, as well as, Rosewood Spa, in the hotel lobby, for personal pampering and relaxation. Lane Gallery is also located in the hotel lobby to view world-class NL photography.
Oppidan is an absolute hidden foodie gem. Dining here rivals any haute restaurant in the city (without breaking the bank) with an award-winning menu from Chef Roary MacPherson, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s “Restaurateur of the Year”.
Meals at Oppidan are freshly prepared, beautifully presented, and delicious, with popular selections like pan-fried cod, seafood platter, Newfoundland screech glazed salmon, and Atlantic lobster ravioli. The ambience here is intimate and classy with spectacular city views.
Biver (rhymes with shiver) are for those with a less hearty appetite seeking a less formal setting. Creative, imaginative, and locally relevant small plates are carefully paired here with local craft beers and wines.
Row Quidi Vidi Lake
Note Situated inside the boathouse, you shall also find the Royal St. John’s Regatta Museum.
Attend The Royal St. John’s Regatta
The Regatta is the oldest continuous sporting event in North America with its own coat of arms and Latin motto “Certamen Traditione Regatur”, meaning “Let the Contest be Governed by Tradition”.
Held on the first Wednesday in August (weather permitting) at beautiful Quidi Vidi Lake, the Regatta is much more than NL’s most favorite sport, but one of the best summer social events in the city. Here you will find concessionaires offering all types of food, treats, and games of chance with throngs of people flocking lakeside to watch the races.
Five rowing crews make up a race, beginning and ending at the head of the lake, but not before they “turn the buoys” at the halfway point on the other end, a spectacular feat of athleticism and teamwork.
Tip If large crowds are not your thing, perch yourself hillside, adjacent to Workplace NL on Forest Road, for that perfect vantage point to watch the races. Do not forget to bring your binoculars.
Stroll The Anglican Cemetery
Anglican Cemetery, located at the corner of Empire Avenue and Forest Road, adjacent to Quidi Vidi Lake, is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in St. John’s with countless maple trees that serve as a natural canopy. This peaceful, reflective and idyllic refuge is a sheer delight to stroll through. Take time to read some of the many headstones and graves dating back hundreds of years.
Among the identified buried here include Newfoundland Prime Ministers, victims of the Knights of Columbus Hostel Fire, which occurred in St. John’s on 12th December 1942, as well as numerous casualties from the First and Second World Wars.
Walkabout Forest Road & King’s Bridge Road
For a taste of old world opulence, look no further than the heritage homes lining Forest Road and King’s Bridge Road. These former British merchant houses are architectural beauties standing beneath a dense canopy of mature maple leaf trees. A walkabout here echoes a bygone era.
Visit Quidi Vidi Pewter
Quidi Vidi Pewter is home to local metal artist Ray Cox, a pewter smith originally from Connecticut who came to Newfoundland in 1972 and never looked back. Inside this cute studio, on Quidi Vidi Road, are original, one of a kind, works that encompass two dimensional and three-dimensional pieces.
Ray’s remarkable and unusual creations include “Air Cast” pewter bowls and “Natural Colour” motifs including whales and whale tails, trees, and the mummer series. One of his cast pewter bowls was even given by then Governor General Adrienne Clarkson to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles as a wedding present.
Shop At Belbin’s Grocery
Belbin’s, on Quidi Vidi Road, is a neighborhood grocer that has been in business for over 50 years, having survived and prospered based on good ole fashion values. They take pride in highly personalized service, including home delivery for just $3.99. Some of the finest cuts of meat in the city can be found here, as well as, a wide selection of local NL products that keep bringing back the faithful.
Stop Into Alexis Templeton Studio
Alexis is a real gem for the city of St. John’s. At her lovely craft studio, on Quidi Vidi Road, she makes magnificent pottery beautifully finished in several distinctive glazes. Her celebrated creations can be even found adorning the fine dining tables at Raymond’s on Water Street, one of the top restaurants in all of Canada.
Note Alexis also holds classes at her studio, your hands-on experience in her craft.
Grab A Bite At International Flavours
A fixture on the St. John’s foodie scene for nearly two decades, International Flavours, located at the corner of Signal Hill Road and Quidi Vidi Road, presents authentic homemade Pakistani Cuisine fused with Middle East and African flavours.
Menu options are limited, but prices are economical and portions are big and delicious. Main plates are a fresh mix of fragrant basmati rice, spiced lentils, and colourful stir-fry vegetables served with or without chicken or lamb. This is a small, no-frills spot that has big flavor.