On a recent visit to the beach on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, we decided to have lunch at Dalvay-by the Sea instead of our usual picnic. Dalvay draws us once a year into its late 19th century charm. It conjures up images of Downtown Abby-like characters walking down the stairs, fans in hand, hats on, ready to take tea in the garden.
Dalvay is in the National Park along the central north shore of Prince Edward Island. It was built in 1895 by a Scottish American industrialist, Alexander McDonald.
He named it Dalvay-by-the-Sea after his Scottish home and brought his family there every summer.
Eventually it passed out of the family’s hands when their fortunes changed. After a number of owners, it was sold to the federal government around 1940 as part of the National Park. The hotel is beautifully maintained on the shores of Dalvay Lake, across the road from a spectacular beach.
The dining room, which attracts us, has great food. It is famous for its sticky date pudding, which we tried the last time we visited. This year, my husband tried the chocolate mousse which he enjoyed just as much.
The semi-circular shaped restaurant has great views of Dalvay Lake and the gardens.
The lake is frequented by Canada geese. The spacious lawn has lots of seating and the geese conversations are the only sound breaking the quiet.
Across the road, a beach invites footprints.
One can walk for kilometers and depending on the time of year, not meet another soul.
This same beach belonged to the McDonalds a century ago. Today it is available to everyone.