10 October, 2012

DesBarres Manor - A Hidden Gem


10 October 2012

R. Linda:

After a rather stressful drive on the gravel road we came out to hard pavement with a line down the middle. We wanted to jump out and kiss the tarmacadam such was our relief, but the day was ending and we needed to get to our inn. We had no idea if there was another gravel road in our immediate future so with slightly heavy hearts we turned onto the hard pavement and started forward.

Luckily, the inn wasn't far and no more gravel roads for us! At least that day anyway. We arrived at DesBarres Manor which from the outside was looking like another nice place to stay. After the opulence of the Waverley, we were sure it would be all downhill from there, but pleasantly we were surprised that we had gone another notch uphill.

DesBarres Manor

The Manor is an Egyptian revival style building built in 1837 for lawyer, legislator, and jurist, William Frederick DesBarres (pronounced DeBar), who became Nova Scotia's Solicitor General on the Supreme Court. DesBarres came from an illustrious family and the history is fascinating, but for our purposes, the Manor itself is what interested us more.

Walking in the front door we smiled at each other, that yes, this stop looked as good as our last one, and we did not think we'd be disappointed. The front hallway was as light and airy as the one at the Waverley, but it seemed more welcoming. Yes, the decor was more colonial than victorian and that suited us perfectly. The staircase to the second floor Tonya said would make a perfect photo opportunity for any bride descending it on her wedding day. She must have been psychic because we found out we, and another couple were the only guests at the Manor. A wedding was coming in the day after we left and the Manor was getting ready for it, so they had booked down.


Front doorway

A peek at the kitchen from the front hall

Our room can only be described as the room you want to wake up in on Christmas morning. It was beautiful! While understated compared to the Vanderbilt Room, this was an entirely different setting and extremely well done. We had what we were told, was the best room in the house and I can attest it was. We had General Wolf's room which is a rather large room in the front of the house.
King size bed - VERY comfy

Sitting area with telly and fireplace - cozy

Large bath - it doesn't get more perfect than this room

The downstairs had a small dining room, a larger one called the Hearth Room, a bar room, and a front parlour where we enjoyed whiskey before dinner, and across from the front parlour was reception.

Room with bar
Front parlous
Hearth Room where we had dinner for two

Dinner was the most memorable dinner ever. A table for two and we were the only ones! We had been welcomed earlier in the day by Chris a vibrant young lady who's smile lights up a room. She's fantastic in that talking with her makes you feel like you've known her, and that made us feel more at home at the Manor than anywhere else. She seemed genuinely interested in us, and she was most knowledgeable in answering any questions we had. She served us whiskeys in the bar, which we took to the front parlour to await dinner. We had just the right amount of time to sip our drinks without feeling rushed (something that doesn't always happen).

Tonya said her dreams came true to stay in castles in Ireland, but dinner in a beautiful room, just us two, being served so splendidly, was another dream come true. It was romantic just the two of us, but the dinner was all that and more! We even got to meet executive chef Joe McLellan who is truly a culinary master. This young man uses local produce to create authentic Canadian dishes that made our taste buds smile, if taste buds can smile. He served us the soup portion of our five course meal and spent some time chatting with us, which made us feel even more special he'd do that. How many times can you count you met the head chef of any place you've had dinner? So Joe's appearance was an amazing perk in our estimate.

But let's talk dinner for a minute. Never have I had such delicious food, with such beautiful presentation. Unfortunately, we were too busy tasting and eating to stop and shoot photos. You'll have to take my word for it, that each dish was presented beautifully. You could taste the freshness of the fare, there was an even balance of flavours and a harmony if you will, to the dishes served. Chef McLellan certainly is an artist in the culinary world, he prepares well thought out gourmet foods with finesse. Bravo to Chef McLellan! Tonya wanted to take him home with her. Yes, she did and she hasn't stopped praising him. I was hoping she'd get inspired and start cooking, LOL, but she'd rather talk about the DesBarres Manor and the man behind the wizardry of preparing delectable foods. Yes, I think she's got a crush going. 

After the superb feast we sat outside on the large deck/porch finishing our wine. This was truly a magical stay. The Manor has beautiful views which only enhance everything about it.
Six lovely acres to look out upon
Back deck gazebo where we sipped our wine the night before under faery lights

Table for two on the deck overlooking garden
Longer view of back deck/porch

As you can see it rained the next morning and as dreary as that was, it made being inside the manor more cosy. We wished our stay could have been longer in Guysborough, but we were due in Glenville so we reluctantly left. Now that our trip is over, we can say without any reservation THIS was the place to stay and the highlight of all the inns we stayed in.

Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved


Fionnula said...

i am loving this. i even got my husband to read these. also that you are including alot of pictures helps get a sense of the place.

mobit22 said...

I don't think the head cook at Burger King comes out to chat. SIGH


Gabriel O'Sullivan said...

Only you would think of something like THAT, LOL

mobit22 said...

I don't know what fine dining is! Burger King is as close to royalty as it gets!LMAO

Dew said...

It's just like my house. NOT!! Lol. No, seriously it's absolutely lovely.

Gabriel O'Sullivan said...

Uh huh mine too! Don't we all wish?

Myra mac Isaac said...

I stayed there also! Absolutely fabulous! I haven't tasted Chef Mac Lellan's delish food, but heard about it and him many, many times. They are so very lucky to have him that's for sure!
I can't wait to visit again and have his wonderful food!
Regards, Myra

Gabriel O'Sullivan said...

Myra, of all the places I stayed, DesBarres is number one. There was not a single negative to anything about it. The food though, is worth shouting about. Chef McLellan is a young man who has a talent you usually find in older chefs. He will go far.

Anonymous said...

where is this .

Gabriel O'Sullivan said...

It is located on Church Street in Guysborough, NS. Here is the website for you.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone - the DesBarres Manor is fabulous! (and Guysborough is a beautiful little village)...

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

Gabriel O'Sullivan said...

I don't know what you mean by a paid theme. The layout is a Google template, one of many available. I do appreciate the nice words about my writing and the blog. Thank you.