My Big Day Downtown


Downtown Baby!

It is not very often that I get offered money to use for fun and frivolity. I was recently asked to spend $100 in downtown Halifax by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission; a task I thought would be a cake walk, but after agonizing over how and on what I would spend my big bucks, I realized that there is much more to our fair city than what meets the eye. But after putting some thought into what I would do, I decided to show you the places that are my favorites, and that put a smile on my face.

Having two kids under the age of two, and being a busy bee, I decided to stretch my big day into two; first a day of “adult” activities, and then a second day involving my brood.

It all began on a sunny Friday afternoon when my better half, Doug, met me down at the ferry terminal at Alderney Landing and we took a leisurely ride over to downtown Halifax on the ferry ($4.50 return) before we made our way to the Five Fishermen Grill for their Oyster Happy Hour.  Both of us are crazy for these slippery little suckers, so at a buck a piece (between 4;30-6:30pm daily), we each ate a dozen ($12 for me) and paired it with a glass of  Tideview Cider ($6.75). After eating our little hearts out, we made our way to Bishop’s Cellar for one of their “After Dinner Drinks” nights which happen on a regular basis (check out their website for dates, times & events). These events are a great opportunity to sample some wines or beers, not to mention the fact that they usually have nibblies to munch on just in case you’ve come from directly from work (admission is $10). With some wine and food in my belly, we walked the boardwalk and stopped periodically to check out the boats and to people watch, which one of my favorite activities! We then ventured up to The Carleton for another drink before heading back to the ferry terminal (add another $10 for drinks).  We finished the evening off with a sunset on the ferry ride back to the Darkside (sunset was free!) .

The next morning we were up and at ‘em early in eager anticipation of checking out the Seaport Farmers’ Market. Zoe, Philippe, Doug & I packed into the car and crossed the MacDonald bridge with fabulous farm fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese in our sights. We entered the beautifully restored building to find it flooded with tons of natural light and hundreds of energetic market shoppers! Our first stop was Ted Hutten’s stand for zucchini blossoms ($8 for 2 pints) and teardrop tomatoes ($6 for 2 pints). After quick conversation with the man himself about a “brown” tomato that he wanted to show me in the coming weeks, we were off in search of Foxhill Cheese so that Zoe could get her gelato on. Rick Rand and his wife, Jeanita, run this family operated dairy farm in Port Williams, and have been a mandatory stop for us in the past few years. A market visit is not complete  without Zoe’s “kiddie cup” of gelato ($2.50). With a spoonful of strawberry gelato safely in her mouth, we were permitted to continue on our quest. Boulangerie La Vendeenne was next on the list. Their Honey and Apricot Sourdough Loaf ($4.75) is a must in our house and we cannot go without it under any circumstances. We braved the usual line up, as Jean-Marc’s bread is something that should never be missed. Next on the list was Roselane Farm where Manfred Bauer makes German deli delicacies. We always walk away with some sliced “grain loaf”, merguez sausage and even a few spicy pepperettes ($20).  We made a quick stop at Riverview Herbs for their 3 bags of herbs for $5 deal. Choices for this week were chervil tarragon and mint. We were able to squeeze in one more stop before the kids hit the point of no return, and that was at That Dutchman’s Farm stand for a piece of “Old Growler” ($8). Bags in hands, and kids ready for a nap, we headed home to enjoy the fruits of our morning and saw that we could spend $100 in downtown Halifax and have enough for two fun filled days!

After doing the big tally, I ended up spending about $98 on my “Big Days”. Not bad considering I managed to do tons of things – eat out, socialize and walk away with a weeks worth of groceries. Whether you spend $100, $5 or even less, there are many jewels and gems to be found in downtown Halifax. There is something for everyone!

Thanks Downtown Halifax Business Commission for including the Feisty Chef in your Big Day Downtown.
View My Big Day Downtown in a larger map

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2 Responses to “My Big Day Downtown”

  1. Lynn @ The Next Chapter Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Looks like you had a wonderful big day downtown! Like you, I was pretty impressed with how far I was able to stretch my $100.

  2. @5FISHERMEN Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Great post, glad you had a good time. Love those oysters!

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