Last Updated on September 11, 2021 by Jim Ferri
By John and Sandra Nowlan
Nova Scotia’s remote and relaxing Liscombe Lodge is located along the largely unpopulated Eastern Shore of the province.
It has always attracted a steady flow of guests wanting to dine on its signature dish, cedar-planked salmon.
But when we stayed at this gorgeous resort with its natural seaside/riverside setting, we noted that several yachters had sailed their boats up the seven-mile-long Liscombe Harbour to tie up at the lodge’s marina.
Their goal? Planked salmon and other fresh seafood…
Liscombe Lodge: “Nature For You“
The restaurant is a major draw but the entire lodge, a 2 ½ hour drive from Halifax and a half-hour from the nearest town, lives up to its motto, “Nature For You.”
The 67 riverside rooms – 30 in the main lodge, five large cottages each with four rooms connected to a central living room with fireplace and 17 luxury chalets – are ideal for a step back from everyday life and a chance to embrace nature in a wilderness setting.
Kayaks are available in the area where the river meets harbour. There a full-of-stories old-timer named Chester can take you for an hour-long harbour tour.
There are also16 kilometers of well-marked hiking trails (a longer one leads to the picturesque fish ladder and rugged Liscomb Falls), plus there’s a swimming pool and recreation building with ping pong and pool tables.
Visitors can enjoy a tennis court and a new petting zoo where children can get close and personal to a friendly horse, sheep, chickens, a rooster, ducks, and geese.
All the newly renovated rooms in the three types of accommodation are large, comfortable, and well equipped with satellite TV plus a microwave and fridge. Our room in the lodge had excellent wi-fi and a great river view but could have included better bedside reading lights.
The 17 upscale chalets, spread along a stretch of river with a few small waterfalls, include a heat pump, fireplace, and veranda.
Built As a Fishing Camp
Liscombe Lodge was built in 1960 as a fishing camp. It was purchased and enlarged by the Province of Nova Scotia in 1976 but returned to private ownership in 2020. The new owner has put a significant effort into updating the resort. This includes his passion for imaginative chandeliers, which hang in every guest room and public place in the main lodge.
The popular dining room, with its own large, stone fireplace sports a series of chandeliers to add a touch of class to its rustic interior. Since the restaurant faces the river and the forest, the lodge has wisely placed several large bird feeders close to the picture windows. During dinner, a never-ending stream of blue jays, doves, pine grosbeaks, and three types of finches – gold, purple, and house – vie for the wild bird mix. Watching the avifauna while dining is hugely entertaining.
Entertaining can also describe the kitchen creations produced by the chef at Liscombe Lodge. Mark Berridge began his culinary career at Oxford University and evolved his talent in hotels (Marriott, Westin). He found his niche in this remote corner of Nova Scotia with its plentiful seafood, fresh herbs and vegetables, and meat from nearby farms.
In addition to the signature planked salmon (carefully smoked for three hours on cedar planks, basted in butter and maple syrup, then finished in the oven), the resort includes a variety of menu items including bison burger, elk burger, and tender steaks (including a mammoth 28 oz. Tomahawk cut).
Chef Mark takes great pride in his adjacent vegetable, herb, and mushroom gardens and promotes fresh and local whenever he can. Connie, the pastry chef, has been making delectable desserts at the resort for 30 years.
The chef also likes to teach up-and-coming students. One innovation this year was to invite three promising young chefs from the Nova Scotia Community College culinary programme to spend several weeks working in the kitchen at Liscombe Lodge.
Every Sunday, one of the student chefs plans and prepares a special pasta dish for guests. We were delighted with Olivia Sandstra’s seafood fettuccine, including scallops, shrimp, and haddock. It was garnished with mussels, green dill, and an edible pansy with garlic bread on the side. Full marks!
The natural beauty of Liscombe Lodge, with its seaside and riverside location, makes it unique. Like other resorts, the lodge offers comfortable beds, good food, plus popular wedding and convention facilities. But here in the wilderness of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, visitors can have it all, completely surrounded by nature.
As Covid-19 wanes, this is the type of experience many visitors are longing for.
If You Go to Liscombe Lodge:
Liscombe Lodge Resort and Conference Centre
2884 Nova Scotia Trunk 7
Liscomb, NS B0J 2A0
Tel: +1 800-665-6343
You may also enjoy: Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia – Luxe in the Wilderness / and Great Meals in Unexpected Places