Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Bonavista Social Club

Bonavista 4After winding up my visit to Bonavista, I decided to return to Trinity via the Lockston Path, and on the way stop in Amherst Cove to check out Paterson Woodworking.

I found the idea of running a wood working business from a small outport very interesting, even appealing. If Mike Paterson can make a go of it in Amherst Cove, then surely this bodes well for a revival of outport Newfoundland? I wanted to see his operation for myself.

Amherst Cove certainly fits the bill of a "small outport". There were likely only a handful of houses there anyway, and with the cod moratorium, there is not much to keep people there. Unless the Paterson Woodworking is a model that works, that is, and one that others can emulate.

Bonavista 5

I was out of luck. When I got there, the workshop was closed.

Fortunately, the detour was not a waste of time because right next door was the Bonavista Social Club. They offer fresh baked goods made in a wood-fired brick oven. In the interest of science, I had to stop and sample their fare.

Bonavista 2

As luck would have it, I got my chance to check out Paterson's work (if not his workshop), because he designed, built, and furnished the place. Katie Hayes, the owner of the Bonavista Social Club, is his daughter. Mike had done a great job, using large exposed beams, wood walls, and wooden floors. Katie had also had him make solid wood furniture, as well as wooden plates, bowls and spoons.

Bonavista 1

The front step is large and inviting, and overlooks the bay. Since the sun was out, I just had to sit outside while I sampled my grub. The food was excellent and a very pleasant surprise. As I was eating, I couldn't help but overhear some mainlanders talking about whales they had seen out in the bay just a little earlier. I got out my big lens and looked through my camera to see if I could spot them, but all I saw was a goat further down the hill.

Bonavista 4

Good food and a great view is a hard combination to beat, so if you are anywhere near Amherst Cove, I'd recommend a swing by for a mug up. Maybe you will be in luck and the workshop will be open, too!

Edit Feb 21, 2013
My friend Trudy put me on to this Land and Sea show about the Pattersons. A good show that really goes to answer my questions about why and how.

Many of my images from Newfoundland are available to purchase as fine art prints from my web gallery.

If you would like to read some of my other posts about Newfoundland, click here and use the "Older" and "Newer" links at the bottom to scroll through the posts.

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