When you think about luxurious island holidays, Canada isn’t usually a country that springs to mind. And yet getting onto ‘Island time’ doesn’t always have to involve palm trees and azure water, as we discover with Fogo Island.
Fogo Island, offshore from Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador, is a place of contorted, ancient land and craggy, barren rock shelves. It is a calm world where brightly coloured clapboard houses dot the landscape. There are meandering sea cliff footpaths, a breathtaking coastline, and rare and beautiful scenery.
It’s a large maritime island where early, stoic settlers carved out a living by cod fishing. Fishing regulations changed the economic dynamic of this community and now an arts scene is emerging. The advent of the now-iconic Fogo Island Inn, a bold and wonderful building, has made an architectural splash amid tradition and the still waters of local buildings.
This boutique hotel soars into the sky expressing a bold move with a modern take on Newfoundland’s ‘outport’ design and decor. The rooms are elegant, intimate and light-filled, with various aspects to the sea, making them a perfect retreat from the forbidding landscape.
Summer here comes gently as the Atlantic sunshine creates a bounty of wildflowers, and locally sourced goodies to add to the menu in Fogo Island Inn’s restaurant. The chef’s focus is on ‘wild things from the North Atlantic’, which means berries, seafood and foraged plants. Fogo’s nickname is Iceberg Alley, a nod to the massive frozen monoliths that traverse the North Atlantic between Greenland and Newfoundland. Guests relaxing at the inn might very well see one float by.