Be Well

Yoga on Bay of FundyGot wellness?

Yes, we do. It’s all around us in an ocean resort playground designed to make you feel good. Invigorated. Relaxed. Well.

Start after a restful night’s sleep. Breakfast and healthy choices abound. Toasted almond granola. Yoghurt. Soft fruit custards. Fresh cut fruit salad. Dried fruits and seeds. Whole grain bread. You can skip the shirred egg with aged cheddar, but we don’t think you should. You’ve earned it. And maybe enjoy a home baked croissant or two during your stay. Hey, you’re going to burn it off anyway. Perfect combination. Deliciously wholesome with earned indulgences. Works every time.

Water Lily PondAfter breakfast, bring your mat to the garden or down to the sea. Yoga, Pilates and meditation travel well. They go with you wherever you go. Even dumbbells travel well. No, that is not a comment on you or your travel companion. Just a workout suggestion. Find your bliss in one of the many fine and private places all around the inn and gardens and town. Secret: there’s Centennial Park with a water lily pond and a hand built arching Japanese bridge right by the battlement blockhouse. War is for hotheads. This peaceful place will take the combat out of your life while fostering fitness.

Biking in a KiltFeeling ambitious and needing more action? How about getting your kilt on and going for a curated ride with a cross training master. If it’s water you want, sea kayaking puts you right at the shore with a duck-eye view of the scenery once you push off. Ocean floorOr perhaps you might top off your daily step quotient on the ocean floor.

Still looking for ways to recharge and rejuvenate in our resort by-the-Sea. Try some of these:Bay of Fundy

Garden FairyWhatever you do, don’t cut yourself short on time. Saint Andrews has a wealth of wellness that dates far back to days gone by. And for days as new as tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Hatchet and A Dream

DomeWe got an email recently asking if we do weddings for two. It just so happens that we’ve done several around the property. In shady garden spots on a hot summer day. Under our playful Brunelleschi dome in the sunken garden; and high up on a third floor balcony belonging to our honeymoon suite, The Pinnacle. Were it not for a hatchet and a dream, this romantic wedding site might not exist.

More than 20 years ago when we acquired the property, we wondered what we mightHistory 1 make of the third floor. Up to that point, the attic had been outfitted with cedar closets and a darkroom used by the second owner in the 1940’s—long since abandoned. Oh yes, and then there was the squirrel that had gnawed the insulation off the knob and tube wiring strung across the rafters, which accounted for the sparks coming off a second floor radiators—but that’s another story.

We thought the third floor might make a spectacular beamed space with the best views in the house. So we asked each contractor bidding on the job if we could get rid of some of the larger beams that were in the way. One suggested we could, but might want to be very near the front door to get out of a collapsing house quickly. We hired this guy.

FieldOnce that was out of the way, we asked our new contractor to grab a hatchet and follow us up to the third floor. We picked our way across the exposed joists to the northern-most gable and pointed. “Whack a hole right here.” He looked a bit quizzical figuring this might be another practical joke, but when we insisted, he chopped a hole in the roof large enough for us to peer out into the distance. There before us was a dream view we’ll never forget. An open field, soon to become Kingsbrae Garden, spread out in every direction. Ministers Island and a bright shining sea lay beyond. It was breathtaking.

Honeymoon SuiteIn that moment, we conceived of The Pinnacle Suite, designing it like no other rooms in the house. It’s a magnificent garret rimmed by massive beams of foot wide girth, two fireplaces, one in the living room, another in the bedroom plus a granite wet bar. The draped canopy bed is layered in soft creams, bronze and gold. The bathroom sports a six-foot whirlpool tub built for two. And there’s a large flat screen TV for those who tire of looking at the view [though we doubt they ever do].

Breathtaking ViewsFor the past 20 years, guests who have been married here return for their anniversaries year after year. We like to think we’ve been good stewards of this fine old 1897 property. And we welcome our 2018 wedding parties, be they 2 or 20 or more, to share the results of what came from a hatchet and a dream.

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Highfalutin History

Archive MapFerryRecall the days when ferries and steamships plied the waters–some directly from Boston and Portland; when well-appointed Canadian Pacific Railroad Pullman cars came from Ottawa and Montreal—their passengers seeking the beauty of a peninsula surrounded by mountainous island ranges in the Atlantic Ocean. The area was thought to be so magnificent that it was compared to the Bay of Naples.

St. Andrews, the crown jewel of this resort location, boasted many things. By 1871 the Canadian press was proclaiming that the town was becoming the “Watering Place of the Dominion.” A turn of the century poster proclaimed:

The entire absence of mosquitoes and malaria, the general air of restfulness, together with the curative properties of the balsam-laden atmosphere, have made St. Andrews long and extensively known as an Elysium.

Royal Visit 1927Overstated? Perhaps. But notwithstanding, ladies and gents, many with titles like Lord and Lady and Viscount, were flocking to this resort…some to pursue the dream of building country “cottages”. IMG_7577 IMG_7573These homes, impressive though their scale, were designed to give relief to “overburdened” grandees from the rigours of running their more elaborate urban mansions.   Cottages ranged in style from whimsical to baronial, all with several master bedrooms and guest rooms, each with fireplaces and adequate space for staff to wash and iron and cook and serve them all.

Pre-season plans were feats of organization. The privileged had custom clothes stitched up by seamstresses and wondered who would come to St. Andrews this year. Housemaids and servants brought down the high steamer trunks, wardrobe cases and hat boxes with round mesh forms from the attics in grand homes across Montreal and Boston and New York and Philadelphia. These they filled with outfits and jewelry, linens and towels and even fine silver and copper cooking utensils. And then on the appointed day, it was off to St. Andrews for the season. The town was just beginning to stir from the last remnants of winter. The lilacs were in bloom. And it was time for the town locals to go down to the train station to watch the swells disembark with their domestic retinues in tow.

Foyer ChandelierCountry houses set in motion a swirl of house parties. There was good food, fine wine and bright talk of politics, industry, and the arts—as well as the urgent gossip of whether Ellin would marry Irving Berlin (she did); or if Marguerite had danced with H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (ditto). And while there were pretensions—it’s reported that one society dame complained she wasn’t able to throw a late season dinner party because all but nine of her servants had returned to Montreal—the true lure of St. Andrews was the healthful salt air setting amidst the natural beauty of the surrounding islands and sea. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt often picnicked at the shore of their nearby Campobello Island cottage in the company of their friends and the curious seagulls to escape the rigours of public life and the heat of the city.

Z TopsideSince it was built in 1897 Kingsbrae Arms has been a part of this history, lore, and romance. Writers, poets, musicians and artists have been frequent guests in these public rooms and gardens.

archive photoOver the years, change has come. Most recently, a renaissance has been sweeping the town giving new life to gardens and golf courses, galleries and harbour. Many of the country houses of the past have been rescued from neglect and restored. In this re-vitalized setting Kingsbrae Arms is something of a dream—a splendid country house once again receiving guests in a more egalitarian atmosphere of warmth, friendly hospitality, and conviviality. And as always the tug of dazzling natural beauty, the promise of a restful visit, brings guests back again and again.

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What’s for Supper?

LionSomething new this season. We invite you to join us for supper on the day you arrive. We look forward to each and everyone who visits us and we’re letting them know that that we now offer light suppers with wine. They’re perfect for arrival days.  After a long journey we can offer a friendly welcome, of course. And then a comfortable spot at the inn or in the garden where you can unwind and prepare for your maritime adventures ahead. AperitifBegin with one of our own inventions…perhaps this chia aperitif.

We offer three light supper options.

 

Smoked SalmonSmoked Salmon Platter for Two–Includes two 75g portions of fine cold smoked Atlantic salmon, house crostini, capers, chopped onion and egg, cream cheese, lemon, seasonal fruits and salad picked from our garden.
IMG_0994Charcuterie Board for Two–A savory supper of smoked ham, hard salamis & rustic pate along with whole grain mustard, cured garnishes, crusty bread and garden greens.
CheesesFive Cheese Tastings for Two–Sample five generous slices of cheese accompanied by gourmet crisps, dried fruit medley, savory jams, grapes and our homegrown micro green garnish.

Light Supper and Wine for Two
Including a bottle from our Wine List
$75.00
Or a bottle from the Proprietor’s Collection
$115.00
Or buy a rare imported bottle of fine Cabernet and supper’s on us.
$300.00

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Tea and Madeleines

Baked goodsWhen’s tea time? Around Kingsbrae Arms it’s anytime…as long as you’re spelling it “tea”, not “tee”. And that includes coffee and all sorts of baked goods as well. We decided not to limit your moment of pleasure to a set time, so our refreshment station is ready to satisfy your needs 24 hours a day. Well, certain needs anyway. Mid-morning slump? Your cuppa Joe is waiting. Mid-afternoon or late night jolt. Choose your weapon with or without indulgence. IMG_0986Our daily bakes provide a wealth of options. Toasted coconut almond macaroons. Oatmeal raisin & chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Orange cranberry biscotti. Pepper Parmesan crostini. Then we have muffins. Rhubarb ginger. Honey crisp apple cinnamon. Strawberry coconut. Banana walnut. And wait for it. Cheddar bacon corn. [We’re working on the ice cream version.]Daily Muffins We’re thinking up new flavour combinations all the time. Let us know your favourite. And if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, pick a fine and private place somewhere nearby to experience a deluge of memories with one of our almond Madeleines. Here’s a Proustian refresher of that famous Madeleine dipped in tea.

“No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me.”Madeliennes

We can’t guarantee seven volumes worth of memories, but whatever your experience, we hope it’s extraordinary during your stay with us.

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Just Now in the Garden

IMG_0979Magnolias aren’t known to thrive this far north, but this one didn’t get the memo. We’re thrilled to see her blossom every spring. After a rain or a light wind, the lawn underneath is carpeted with petals. For a while it was touch and go. We thought we’d lost her a few times after a harsh winter.

IMG_0982At the same time the crabapples are now flowering profusely in deep vermilion and the parade of spring colours continues all around. The whites of the Bradford pears, the pale pinks of the Arctic willows, the magentas of the lucky magnolia and the scarlet of the Japanese maple that once again survived the attention of our marauding deer population. IMG_0321 (2)As if not to be outdone, our feathery neighbour pays the occasional visit dressed in finery that challenges nature’s usual restraints while dazzling the eye hungry for change in this wintry clime.

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The Colors of Spring

SpringWe’ve been plotting and potting and preparing and planting throughout the last several weeks, eager to get the dark browns and greys out of our visual colour palette all the while searching for signs of life. In that way, the green house is the most promising place to be during the cruelest months…especially when the skies open up with torrential April showers. That’s when the green house roof plays a keyboard of percussive sounds all the while protecting plant and animal kingdom from the ravages of high winds and possibly hail. Now in this safe space there is evidence of somethings to eat and somethings to see. At this moment, the window box plantings are basking in warmth and light, and all manner of lettuces and herbs and greens and micro greens are developing their unique flavours each day… reassuring signs that spring can shove winter offstage every time.

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So You Want To Be An Innkeeper

Spring GardenHere is a rare career opportunity. Are you the right candidate?

Position:
Assistant Innkeeper
Seasonal:
Mid-June until late-September, 2017
Compensation:
Weekly salary pegged to experience & qualifications
Room and Partial Board
Earned Income Gratuities

This is a job for a highly motivated professional considering a career as an owner/operator of a fine intimate country inn serving a discriminating clientele. Growth & learning opportunities will include practicing the fine art of guest services, earned income development, marketing strategies, bar and light kitchen duties. Preference will be given to candidates who are either mature in years or temperament. The position is intended for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who wants to learn about being an owner, not an earner.

Parlor at Kingsbrae ArmsCandidate must be self-paced and willing to work to client demand. Work routines are responsive to the demands of guest needs on weekdays after business hours and all day weekends. Personable & gracious guest relations during these on-call hours include but are not limited to welcome & accueil, check-ins, guest room prep, development of welcome & farewell gift bags, concierge planning, preparing and serving breakfast. Candidate will have an opportunity to propose & develop streams of earned income for the inn incorporating such services as wine sales, bartending, light meal preparation for late arrivals and others. A pleasant demeanour through periods of calm and chaos is a must.

The right individual must be capable of performing a variety of duties at the front desk, in housekeeping & kitchen—multi-tasking with the ability to prioritize & complete each challenge with excellence; shouldering responsibility for the smooth operation of a charming inn; and adding value to the stays of each and every guest.

Late Arrival MealThis position requires a thorough knowledge and practice of wine service, bar tending, light meal prep, inventory control, maintenance of public areas, and all guest needs from check-in to checkout.

The successful candidate will possess a keen sense of detail, order, reliability, responsibility, and initiative. Superior appearance, grooming and manners are expected; excellent spoken and written English—bi-lingual French preferred. Competent computer skills, a laptop, and local cell phone are all job requirements as important as a suitable wardrobe. Your own vehicle is desirable since there is no public transportation in the area.

Please send CV, photo and cover letter detailing why this position is right for you to:

Pamela Rigby, Innkeeper & Reservation Manager
reservations@kingsbrae.com

Kingsbrae Foyer

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Throwback in Time

Glorious GardensYears back when this historic property was rescued from the passage of time, tangles of brambles & overgrown weeds, the original garden plat was discovered. The landscape design featured long perennial borders, knot garden parterres & terraced lawns for the enjoyment of the original owners at the turn of the 20th Century. Today, the garden is groomed once again and shared with our guests along with more recent additions of pergolas, fountains, herb gardens & a fanciful folly built to the proportions of Brunelleschi’s 14th C. cathedral dome in Florence. This dome has been the happy location for many garden weddings. 10-12 copyWith the passing years the garden stitches together the waxing and waning seasons of growth and respite adding another dimension to the inn’s throwback to another less hurried era.

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Suite Breakfast

One Bedroom SuiteThis leap year all throughout our 20th Anniversary Spring, we’re adding more than one extra day. We’re adding one extra perk. Book a cozy ground floor room any dates between April 8 and June 11. Or pamper yourself with a luxurious one bedroom suite. Continental BreakfastNot only will you enjoy our lowest pre-season rates, but we’ll include a delicious breakfast at no extra charge…buttery pastries, homemade jams, piping hot coffee, juice and more. Begin planning your spring days in our lovely resort town.

Area NSt. Andrews is a quiet place in spring, but always stunning surrounded by dazzling water, expansive parks, walking trails and a wealth of natural and social history.  We’ll be busy in the greenhouse and vegetable garden getting ready for the growing season. tender greensAnd just as our restaurant opens on June 11, we’ll be ready to provide tender early crops for the table. Booking is easy. Done in just four easy steps. Leap year comes but once every four years. You can start your leap year reservation here:

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