“Would you rather spend a weekend here in Quidi Vidi, or in New York City?”, I asked my children as we hiked to the summit of a hill overlooking this picturesque harbourside village in Newfoundland. “Ummmmmmm, obviously here mom.”, they replied in unison, one rolling his eyes. I tended to agree. Quidi Vidi was our perfect kind of place.
After over a dozen years of traveling with kids in tow, I have come to the realization that all we need for a perfect day, is a hill to climb, a great view, and some good food and drink. In the case of Quidi Vidi, we had planned to stay only for lunch, but ended up madly changing our plans so that we could take it in a little longer. Sometimes, you just need to go with your gut.
Take a quick peek at our short video of Quidi Vidi, or just read on.
The Mallard Cottage – Quidi Vidi
Our reason for visiting Quidi Vidi in the first place was to dine at the famed Mallard Cottage restaurant. Opened in 2013 by chef Todd Perrin, his wife Kim Doyle and sommelier Stephen Lee, this special dining establishment located in a lovingly restored 18th century fishing cottage, has won many accolades for the unique spin they put on traditional Newfoundland and Labrador fare. We were fortunate enough to visit for Sunday Brunch — a lively affair accompanied by talented local musicians (which happened to include some members of the Juno nominated Dardanelles). The Mallard Cottage is also renowned for their Monday night Lobster Boil, but be sure to make reservations so as not to be disappointed. Learn more at: http://mallardcottage.ca
The Inn by Mallard Cottage – Quidi Vidi
As we sat in the airport awaiting our flight to Newfoundland, my husband looked up from a magazine and said “Were you aware that the Mallard Cottage just opened an inn 3 days ago?” Instantly, I was on the phone. As luck may have it, we were able to make a small adjustment to our travel plans and squeeze in a short stay at the inn. This boutique hotel is a natural extension of the restaurant, providing a perfect place for a travelers to enjoy a luxurious, yet immersive Newfoundland experience. What could be better than enjoying a fine meal at the Mallard Cottage and then crossing the road to a gorgeous room? The spacious accommodations are thoughtfully styled, combining both traditional and modern design elements. Even better, with the morning light, guests are presented with a beautiful basket of coffee, tea, juice and baked goodies outside their door (from the Mallard Cottage, of course). Learn more at: www.theinnbymallardcottage.ca
Room Tip: While all the rooms are beautiful, rooms 3,4,7 and 8 all have vaulted ceilings.
Note: Typical of the hospitality that Newfoundlanders are famous for, both Laura and Stephen from The Inn were incredibly helpful in fine tuning the rest of our Newfoundland vacation. Not only did they dial us in to some other fantastic places to stay and must-visit restaurants, Laura even helped me create my Newfoundland road trip playlist (Fortunate Ones, The Dardanelles, Alan Doyle and his former band Great Big Sea, Amelia Curran and more). The music greatly enhanced our hours on the road to and from Trinity, Twillingate and Fogo Island, with my kids learning all the words to such classics as Great Big Sea’s The Night Pat Murphy Died.
Things to do in Quidi Vidi
While in Quidi Vidi, pop by the award winning Quidi Vidi Brewery for a tour and a tasting, and admire the work of talented local artisans and craftspeople at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation incubator for emerging artists. Hike the trails around The Gut, as the Quidi Vidi harbour is also known, enjoying views of the village and the expansive Northern Atlantic Ocean. It was on this hike that we were able to see our first iceberg off the coast, which had been the primary impetus for our trip to Newfoundland (Iceberg season generally runs April to June).
Getting to Quidi Vidi
Quid Vidi is a 10 minute drive from downtown St. John’s (15 minutes from St. John’s International Airport) and can easily make a good base for exploring this capital city. Please see also our guide to visiting St. John’s with Kids.
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I will admit, however, to having fallen deeply and head-over-heels in love with Newfoundland. Our travel experience was greatly enhanced by heeding the advice of locals, in this case Laura and Stephen from The Inn at Mallard Cottage. What’s my point? Take the time to chat with the locals, (who are already famous for their warm hospitality) and allow yourself the flexibility to adjust the plan. It just might make and otherwise good trip, exceptional.