Where can I find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast ??

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 5.54.56 PM

Finding a good plate of fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast is relatively easy, but I’m searching for something great and that narrows the options.  So how do I define great?

The quality of the cooked fish and fries are obvious, but the ambience of the location, and then the price should be considered when choosing where to satisfy that elusive craving.

Molly's Reach

Lower Gibsons, originally a fishing settlement, has three places worthy of consideration. Molly’s Reach, the iconic cafe of Beachcomber’s fame, has the show piece location, together with outside tables offering a great view looking over Gibsons  Harbour.

Molly's Reach

$14 gets you a 1-piece halibut and chips with a small side of coleslaw and tartar sauce. They are also licensed, offering a good selection of brews and beverages to accompany your meal.

smitty's outside plank table

Smitty’s Oyster House is just down a flight of metal stairs from Molly’s. Outdoor seating is communal on a long wooden plank table that is literally just a few feet from the salty brine, scoring greatness for the location factor.

fish and chips on the sunshine coast

For $17 you get a definite step up on your plate – tempura battered halibut pieces with a malt vinegar reduction and yam frites… yumm!! They’re also licensed, offering a selection of craft brews and wine. The added bonus is their menu of other seafood dishes and as somebody said to me “why just limit yourself to fish and chips?”  

the codfather

Codfather’s is just around the corner, along a busy little street with several small cafes and gift shops. Fish & chips have been served at this location for 58 years.  Codfather’s has a loyal following and are always busy, with seating limited to a few tables set out on the sidewalk.

Codfathers

$14.95 gets you a plate filled with more fries than you can eat and a meaty piece of ling cod. The dish came with a freshly prepared cole slaw and a most interesting tartar aoli.

Sharkey's

Locals in the know have long headed to Sharkey’s for their favourite dish. Tucked away in upper Roberts Creek, it can be hard to find. If you’re coming from Gibsons, turn right at the traffic light and watch for this small sign on your left. It’s take-out only so the location factor suffers. However, there are two wondrous waterfront locations within a short five minute drive – Roberts Creek beach and the Davis Bay Seawall.  Bring your own beverage of choice,  find a big, bleached log to sit on, and enjoy your meal. It’s the most splendid location ever.

Sharkey'sJust $6 will get you all this – 4 oz of chipped cod, lightly battered and cooked to perfection, plus the piece de resistance, a side of chips, “twice cooked,” as they were meant to be.  The cole slaw is fresh and the tartar sauce, tangy. These are the greatest of the great.

Lighthouse at Davis Bay

Further down the highway, at Davis Bay, where the road runs along beside the ocean, is the latest entry into the competition. Lighthouse on Location has re-appeared under new management. This location, along the popular seawall is absolutely outstanding, especially at low tide which exposes a large sand bar.

Lighthouse at Davis Bay

$8 gets you a small plate of fish and chips, strait-up with no cole slaw or tartar. They’ve just opened up so I’d give them a few weeks to work out their menu. They do offer other choices, so if you’re already at the beach, you may want to give them a try.

Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt gets top location marks for its large outdoor deck and amazing views looking up Sechelt Inlet. You’ll be entertained by the parade of colourful boats and float planes coming and going in the busy little marina.

Lighthouse

$13.75 gets you a delectable plate of craft beer battered halibut, galley fries and a generous serving of slaw.  It’s a licensed pub so you also get a full choice of beverages, including a few tasty local craft beers.

I live in Sechelt, so the Lighthouse is my #1 choice, especially if I want to have a couple of pints. But if I’m in Gibsons, I’ll choose Smitty’s for their unique presentation. Then again, if I’m on the road and I’m not too fussy about location, then it’s Sharkey’s, hands down!!

I’m sure I’ve left out other favourites so please feel free to add your comments and let’s get a dialogue happening. The whole purpose of this blog is to give visitors and locals a bit of insider information on where to find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast.

Follow this link to return to Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite

Dwellable

 

Posted in Favourite Places to Eat on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Where can I find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast ??

Where to eat in Sechelt? The Lighthouse is a great waterfront option

 

Lighthouse in Sechelt

It doesn’t get much better than this – dining on the deck on a beautiful sunny day at the Lighthouse. It’s one of my favourite places to go and I definitely speak from experience when I recommend my guests to have at least one meal at the Lighthouse.

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 9.55.49 AM

It’s casual dining, and the place to be is on the deck, where you can watch all of the action.  Porpoise Bay is a busy waterway with small work boats coming and going and float planes landing and taking off throughout the day.

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 10.17.21 AM

…there’s all sorts of things passing in and out of this amazing vista. The view is constantly changing, keeping you entertained while relaxing on the waterfront deck

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Even when it’s a cloudy, misty day, your table is protectively tucked under the retractable roof and you’re still able to enjoy the ever-changing view. And if it’s one of those “rare” west coast rainy days you can move inside and sit beside the warm fireplace.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

The Lighthouse is all about enjoying one of the most amazing views on the Sunshine Coast and their expansive outside deck has plenty of seating.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

They’ve got a good selection of brews on tap, including some great craft beers. My favourite… Total Eclipse of the Hop, a strong IPA brewed with six varieties of hops, produced by nearby Howe Sound Brewing. If you like a beer with some character, then I would recommend giving this one a try.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Yesterday’s special was the Warm Seafood Salad and as you can see the serving was extremely generous, with fresh prawns, mussels, salmon and whitefish served over a bed of mixed greens. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the dressed mixed greens were fresh and crisp.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Some of my other recommended choices: Seafood Curry Hotpot, Baha Fish Tacos, Braised Lamb Shank, anything with Mussels, and of course their Fish & Chips… and if you’re feeling a bit more carnivorous I’ve heard their Pile Driver is pretty unbelievable.

Follow this link to learn more about Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite and more of our Insider Tips for the Sunshine Coast.

Posted in Favourite Places to Eat on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Where to eat in Sechelt? The Lighthouse is a great waterfront option

Searching for trolls along Chapman Creek

 

Brookman Park, SecheltLast winter, heavy rainfalls overloaded Chapman Creek, causing it to spill over its banks in some sections and washing out part of the trail. That section of the trail has now been bypassed, with a new pathway and a serious set of well constructed stairs leading back down to follow the creek.  While I was curious to see what had been done, I was even more interested in planning an adventure for my grandchildren, looking for trolls, hiding in the forest.

IMG_2883If you’re coming from Sechelt, the trail is accessed just past the big sandy beach at Davis Bay, and just before the small bridge you’ll find the parking lot and a small playground.

IMG_2884You’re never too far from the creek and soon after I had started, the sounds of traffic were replaced by flowing water and the plaintiff call of a Swainsons Thrush hiding somewhere in the brush.

IMG_2882The trail is well maintained with this footbridge recently built over a perennial wet spot.chapman creek gnomes

I was on the look-out for trolls and was soon rewarded with this pair carved into the aged stump of an old growth cedar that had been logged decades ago.

IMG_2873

…and then, just as quickly, another appeared right in front of me. These stately faces were carved several years ago by Terry Chapman, using a chainsaw. Terry started carving at a very young age, making boats and figures from bark found along the riverbanks of the Fraser River. He now lives in Ladysmith where he has his own gallery.

IMG_2880

I had heard that there were several trolls along the trail, as many as seventeen. Some are quite obvious and others… well, they’re hiding so you keep your eyes open and sure enough I was rewarded with another pair further off the trail, and then two more. trolls

IMG_2885

My time was running out and finally I had to turn back. I’d had a great walk through the woods, took a few pictures and had spotted a few trolls. All in all, not a bad outing. My count for the day – seven, but I’ll be heading back with my grandchildren to see if we can find a few more.

Follow this link to return to www.coraclecove.com

 

Posted in Favourite walking trails on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Searching for trolls along Chapman Creek

Summer Days on the Sunshine Coast – your first day

The Sunshine Coast is an easy and affordable option for anyone needing a few days away from the daily grind. Imagine taking a stunning ferry ride to another world where the pace is slow, the scenery is breathtaking and the people are friendly.  The  Sunshine Coast is on Vancouver’s doorstep, and it’s only a scenic 40 minutes away, waiting to welcome you to BC’s best kept secret. In this series of seven blogs we’ll unlock the secrets and share some of our best insider tips to help you get the most out of your precious time away.

BC Ferries – Mini Cruise

Our first piece of advice is to get an early start to the day. There’s less traffic on the early morning ferries and you’ve just gained some extra hours for your getaway. Once you’ve boarded the ferry, grab your camera and head up to the outside deck. You’ll get some great pictures as the ferry winds its way through several small islands.

Lower Gibsons is our first destination, so break away from that pack of cars, turn left at the traffic light and follow this quiet country road. Lower  Gibsons was originally a fishing settlement and still holds some of that maritime charm.  There’s a good variety of galleries, coffee shops and some great gelato. Mike’s Gelato was recently named by Vancouver blogger 604 Pulse, as one of the Ten Best Places to get Gelato in the Lower Mainland.

Smitty’s Oyster House

Hungry for lunch? Head down the stairs beside Molly’s Reach where you’ll find Smitty’s Oysterhouse.  They offer the freshest of seafood and you’ll be seated at a communal table just a few feet from the salty brine. After lunch, walk along the boardwalk or head out onto the wharf to look at all the boats. There’s even a floating garden.

Sechelt is only a 25 minute drive from Gibsons so you’ve still got lots of time before your 3:00 check-in. You might even want to pick up a few supplies before-hand so that you can fully relax on our waterside deck after you’ve checked-in. There’s an IGA store along the highway, and a good wine selection at the Lighthouse Wine & Cold Beer store, just as you come into Sechelt.

dinner at the Lighthouse

Keeping with the relaxation theme, our dinner recommendation for tonight is casual and there’s no need to get dressed up. The Lighthouse serves good pub-style food and has a large variety of seating areas, including two large waterside decks offering great views of the busy little harbour and Sechelt Inlet beyond.

After dinner head back home and return to your favourite seat on your other waterside deck. As the evening sets in you’ll be treated to an amazing display of stars set against the dark, dark country skies. Are you starting to feel relaxed…. wait till you see what we’ve planned for tomorrow.

click here to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer Days on the Sunshine Coast – your first day

Kayaking on Sechelt Inlet

Pedals & Paddles celebrated their 21st season on the Sunshine Coast with an Open House this weekend at their fabulous new location on Lamb Bay, just 5-minutes away from Coracle Cove. This is a perfect location to put in a kayak with its protected bay and several nearby islets to explore.

Owner, Laurie Reid is delighted with her new location, situated at the base of Mt. Richardson, saying it has allowed her “to put the pedals back into Pedals & Paddles” as the 78 acre site is riddled with a network of old logging roads just waiting to be explored. Her staff are just in the process of finishing a one-hour green level loop for novice riders and in preparation they’ve added mountain bikes to their line of rentals.

Pedals & Paddles offer rentals for kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards and the latter has become an extremely popular water sport on the protected waters of Sechelt Inlet. They also offer a number of guided tours, both in the morning and evening, as well as once a month under a full moon.

The staff is extremely professional offering personal instruction for new comers to the sport. They provide all of the regulated safety equipment and take the extra time to ensure that you are properly prepared before you set off. The protected waters of Sechelt Inlet are appropriate for beginners, yet also enjoyed by experts for its easy access and spectacular scenery.

Imagine going from city to wilderness in just 2 hours. Sechelt Inlet offers abundant opportunities for viewing wildlife on the water, land and in the air. In the short time I was there I saw eagles soaring in the sky and seals bobbing their heads at the water’s surface. A few weeks ago, while in my own boat I saw a black bear at the shoreline and have been hearing recent reports again this year of dolphins frolicking in the water nearby.

Pedals & Paddles is just a five minute drive from Coracle Cove making it a great option for our guests looking for some outdoor adventure, and whether you’re just a newbie wanting to try something new or a seasoned expert, there’s a variety of choices to meet your needs.

Follow this link to return to www.coraclecove.com

 

Posted in Getting out on the water on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kayaking on Sechelt Inlet

Hummingbirds at Coracle Cove

As a novice birder, I’ve approached this new-found interest with enthusiasm, and one of the great things that I’ve learned about birding is that it has a season. Migratory birds set off from distant points south, and arrive here on a schedule that has been in place for eons. The arrival of the Rufous Hummingbird is a much anticipated event among local birders here on the Sunshine Coast.

Hummingbirds are of course, are extremely hungry after their migration, which could have been up to 9,000 kilometres long. They’ll stay for most of the summer, providing us with lots of entertaining moments and opportunities for taking pictures like these. It’s one more reason why you should bring your camera when you come to stay at Coracle Cove.

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast, More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Hummingbirds at Coracle Cove

Spring Birding at Coracle Cove – Part 2

Spring is here and as you can see from this image, we’re having a little trouble keeping our bird feeders filled here at Coracle Cove.

IMG_1320

spotted towhee at feeder

I took this photo from the outside deck off the suite and caught this Spotted Towhee in the act. He’s a bit bigger than most of the others and has a real preference for these black oil sunflower seeds.

Song Sparrow belting it out

We have a large variety of LBJ’s (little brown jobs) mostly from the Sparrow family. This male Song Sparrow has one of the most beautiful mating songs which they sing upon arrival in the Spring to establish territory and attract a mate.

White-crowned sparrow

I think this White-crowned Sparrow is a particularly handsome chap with his black and white stripes, and he’s a pretty good singer as well.

IMG_1339

This is another of those LBJ’s that are sometimes difficult to identify. It looks like a sparrow but the yellow wing and tail feathers ID it as a Pine Siskin, one of the flock of Siskins in the opening image of this blog.

All of these images were taken just a few feet away from our feeders so be sure you bring your camera when you come to Coracle Cove.

Follow this link to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast, More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Spring Birding at Coracle Cove – Part 2

Summer Days on the Sunshine Coast – a day for relaxing

DSC00756 - Version 3

When I hear the Vancouver traffic report on the radio, I often chuckle, thinking how fortunate I am to be on the Sunshine Coast. This morning, as I was enjoying my coffee down on the dock, I thought it might be fun to send out my own traffic report, and this is the picture that I posted to my Facebook account.

As you may have guessed, today’s blog is all about relaxation and taking time for yourself. This is the fifth in my blog series, Unlocking the Secrets of the Sunshine Coast, where I share my best insider tips to help you get the most out of your getaway.

There’s nothing better for relaxing than a Yoga class and my favourite studio is Yoga by the Sea.   The drop-in rate is only $15 for a two-hour class and they’ve got all the gear you need. The instructors always provide a great mix of both mental and physical activity; the classes are small; and you get as much attention and help as you want. So don’t worry about anything – give it a try.Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 10.12.46 AM

My dinner recommedation for tonight is the Old Boot in Sechelt.  This is an easy and relaxing dining experience – the food is good, the servings plentiful, and the prices reasonable. The menu is just the right size with a selection of pastas, steak, ribs and seafood. After dinner head back to Coracle Cove and down to your favourite waterside seat on our dock. You’ve had a good day, feeding both the body and the mind, so take some time to remind yourself of how much you have to be happy about.

click here to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

Posted in More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove, Suggested Itineraries for the Sunshine Coast | Comments Off on Summer Days on the Sunshine Coast – a day for relaxing

Birding at Sechelt Marsh

 

IMG_3749
The Sechelt Marsh is a great place to stretch your legs with its winding trail around a small pond. The pond is fed by both fresh and tidal water, offering a rich habitat, and an abundance of ducks, mostly Mallards together with other common species. IMG_4850

There is a small island in the middle of the pond offering protection to new arrivals, and many rarer ducks have appeared including this Canvasback.

IMG_3776

Springtime is wonderful for seeing new young life, paddling closely by the mother, with the male species nearby keeping a close watch for any danger.IMG_8076IMG_9314

The winding loop passes through trees and bushes surrounding the Marsh and can be good for a wide variety of passerines at any season, including Black-capped Chickadees, and White-throated Sparrows.IMG_3751

I always enjoy making several loops around the Marsh, both for the exercise as well as the opportunity to see something I may have missed.

Sechelt Marsh is located north of the town centre on Wharf Road, at Porpoise Bay. More information about birding on the Sunshine Coast can be found at http://www.sunshinecoastnature.com/

click here to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast, Favourite walking trails on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Birding at Sechelt Marsh

Coracle Cove – hot tub offers more than a great view

A recent Trip Advisor review for Coracle Cove was headlined “Best view from a hot tub in BC!”  We’ll let you look at the accompanying picture and you can judge for yourself, but as you read this blog, we hope that you’ll learn that there’s more to a good hot tub than a great view.

We brought our hot tub in by a barge and used a crane to set it up on our waterside deck, just a few feet from the briny ocean.  There is an incredible view throughout the day and well into the night – a variety of work boats, sail boats, motor boats and kayaks pass by during the day; the water changes from flat calm in the early morning to gentle ripples as the first sun strikes the water; lights from the distant shore twinkle across the water as the evening sky darkens.

We know that our hot tub is an important part of the Coracle Cove experience and we take extra steps to ensure that the water is professionally managed to ensure that it is a completely pleasant experience.

Typically, hot tubs are treated with a mix of harsh chemicals which can irritate sensitive skin. Instead, we use an enzyme based spa conditioner which is an environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-allergenic compound. Each week, we have a water sample computer analyzed to ensure that it is sanitary and properly balanced.

We want our guests to have a completely enjoyable experience at Coracle Cove and we understand that a hot tub should offer much more than a great view.

Follow ths link to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

 

Posted in More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Coracle Cove – hot tub offers more than a great view