Exploring St. John’s East Part II

Part 2 of exploring St. John’s East takes us to the Quidi Vidi’s: the lake and road of course!

Your visit here will complete your full circumnavigation around The Battery–Signal Hill–Quidi Vidi, a most exceptional enclave of historic St. John’s.

Stay At The Sheraton Hotel

The Sheraton offers world-class hospitality and friendly service and is wonderfully situated for you to begin exploring historic St. John’s East.

A stay here provides beautifully appointed rooms, exquisite furnishings, luxurious décor and sumptuous dining. The hotel directly overlooks St. John’s Harbor, the Narrows and Signal Hill, delivering gorgeous views for you to wake up to!

There is a great fitness center in the lower lobby with a pool and Rosewood Day Spa is on site for your personal pampering and relaxation. Be sure you also stop by Lane Gallery in the hotel lobby to view world-class photography of our spectacular province.

Finally, if you’re one who never travels without your precious pooch, the Sheraton is pet-friendly!

Sheraton Dining Option 1

The Oppidan

The Oppidan is an absolute hidden foodie gem. Dining here rivals any Haute restaurant found in the city without breaking your bank. Here you will discover an award-winning menu from Chef Roary MacPherson, Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador Restaurateur of the Year.

Their meals are freshly prepared, beautifully presented and delicious. Popular selections include the pad-fried cod, seafood platter, Newfoundland screech glazed salmon and Atlantic lobster ravioli.

The ambiance is intimate and classy with spectacular city views. Seeking that romantic evening? Be sure to book a table next to their gorgeous fireplace!

Sheraton Dining Option 2

The Biver

For those with a less hearty appetite and seeking a less formal setting, you may want to consider dining at the Sheraton Biver (rhymes with shiver).

This cute foody spot at the bar is influenced by global cuisine, worldwide tradition, and local culture. They present creative, imaginative and locally relevant small plates carefully paired with local craft beers and wines.

Quidi Vidi Lake Rowing

The St. John’s Rowing Club is the only slide seat rowing club in all of Newfoundland. Located in the Boathouse on Quidi Vidi Lake, they offer many learn-to-row programs, geared towards all ages and experiences.

If you are visiting St. John’s for an extended period of time, this is a wonderful opportunity to get out on this beautiful 1,600 m (1 mi) long lake for fun and fitness!

Royal St. John’s Regatta

The Regatta is the oldest continuous sporting event in North America with its own coat of arms and the Latin motto: “Certamen Traditione Regatur” – Let the contest be governed by Tradition! It sure has, with 194 years of rowing tradition.

The Regatta is held on the first Wednesday in August (weather permitting) at beautiful Quidi Vidi Lake. All around its shores you will find concessionaires offering all types of food, treats, and games of chance.

The throngs of people who flock lakeside are also here to watch the races of course. All five crews that make up a race, begin and end at the head of the lake but not before they “turn the buoys” at the half way point on the other end, a spectacular feat of athleticism and teamwork.

The Regatta is much more than just NL’s most favorite sport but also one of the best summer social events in our fair city. This fun-filled day is not to be missed.

Tip: If crowds are not your thing, do what I have done in past years and watch the races from Signal Hill. Next to The Workers Compensation Building at 148 Forest Road is a perfect vantage point to see the rowers cross the finish line. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!

Anglican Cemetery

The Anglican Cemetery is located on the corner of Empire Avenue and Forest Road. I couldn’t imagine a lovelier place to rest for eternity than here. Morbid fascination aside, a stroll through here is a sheer delight.

Perched overlooking adjacent Quidi Vidi Lake, this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in St. John’s with countless Maple trees that serve as a natural canopy. This is a peaceful, reflective and idyllic refuge with lots of benches and many other places to sit.

Take the time to browse the many headstones and graves dating back a few hundred years. Among the identified casualties buried in the cemetery include three victims of the Knights of Columbus Hostel fire which occurred in St. John’s on 12th December 1942 and also numerous casualties from the First and Second World Wars. There is lots of history here!

Forest Road Extension & King’s Bridge Road

For a taste of old world opulence, you needn’t look any further than the heritage homes on Forest Road Extension and King’s Bridge Road.

These former British merchant houses are architectural beauties nestled beneath a dense canopy of mature maple leaf trees. A walk about here is a sheer delight that echoes of a bygone era.

Quidi Vidi Hand Wrought Pewter

This tiny studio is home to local metal artist Ray Cox. Ray is a pewter smith originally from Connecticut who came to Newfoundland in 1972 and never looked back.

His original, one of a kind works encompass both two dimensional and three-dimensional pieces. Some of his remarkable and unusual creations include “Air Cast” pewter bowls and “Natural Colour” motifs including whales and whale tails, trees and the mummer series.

In fact, one of his cast pewter bowls was given by then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles as a wedding present.

Ray works irregular hours, so be sure to contact him to set up an appointment.

Belbin’s Grocery

A visit to Belbin’s is truly a step back in time. They have been in business for over 50 years, having survived and prospered based on good ole fashion values.

At this tiny grocery store, every customer has a name.They take pride in highly personalized service (including home delivery for only $3.99).

Not only will you find the finest cuts of meat in the city here but also a wide selection of Newfoundland and Labrador products that keeps bringing back the faithful.

Alexis Templeton Studio

Alexis is a real gem to the city of St. John’s. At her lovely, unique craft studio, 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, the top Restaurant in all of Canada!

Stop by and discover exquisite treasures from her and a few other artists too. Alexis also holds classes at her studio so you too can gain hands-on experience in her exceptional craft.

International Flavours

This is a small no-frills spot that has big flavor. A fixture on the St. John’s foodie scene for over 15 years, International Flavours presents authentic home-made Pakistani Cuisine fused with Middle-east and African flavours.

There are a limited number of menu options but the prices are economical and the portions are big and delicious. The main plate is a fresh mix of fragrant basmati rice, spiced lentils, and colourful stir-fry vegetables. It is served with or without chicken or lamb.

If you are a traveler on a limited budget who loves ethnic food, International Flavours is your restaurant!

a cultural holiday must-see with harbor view of quidi vidi village with boats, blue sky, clouds and forested hills in St. John's, NL
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