Monday, October 22, 2012

Branch and the Cliffhouse

I always look forward to visiting Branch, a picturesque community nestled on the shores of Newfoundland's St. Mary's Bay. The setting for this village of approximately 300 is striking: a river flows through pasture land where horses, sheep and cattle graze. Colourful fishing boats line the apron of the small, sheltered harbour. Scattered farms draw the eye upward to the surrounding hills, and waves crash in on a broad, curving beach front. Overlooking it all, from a vantage point high on a cliff, is a charming bed and breakfast, the Cliffhouse at Red Point.
What a setting! The inn is perfectly situated to enjoy sweeping views of the village, the Wester Cove, and Hayjer's Rock, whose name seems to be a corruption of "Hare's Ears". The Cliffhouse was purpose-built as a bed and breakfast, and its three well-appointed guest rooms have comfortable beds and private four-piece baths stocked with lots of thirsty towels. The amenities and the view would provide ample reasons to stay here, but the true treasures at the Cliffhouse are its hosts, Chris and Priscilla Mooney. Priscilla is the mayor of Branch, and its staunchest supporter.
She works tirelessly to further the interests of its residents, and is a vocal advocate for the area's culture and traditions. Her husband Chris is a naturalist interpreter at Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve, a few miles away. Thanks to them, the Cliffhouse at Red Point provides an opportunity for not only accommodations and a hearty breakfast but great conversation that explores Branch's rich heritage and folklife, making a stay in this intriguing place even more memorable.

1 comment:

  1. Staying at Cliffhouse was a highlight of my trip to Newfoundland two years ago. The Mooney's were wonderful hosts and, as it happened, four other women were staying there as well. Half-way through breakfast, the five of us were talking and laughing like we'd been in the same book club for 20 years. And Cape St. Mary's and the gannetts are absolutely amazing.