The three tenements of Roots, Rants and Roars are simple: great food, scenic hikes and amazing local music. It’s no different with My Food Hike, the newest offering from Roots, Rants and Roars, except you are in the driver’s seat. You pick the picnic offered by more than 20 restaurants, you pick the hike you want and you get to choose your fave song from a curated Spotify playlist. And the best part? It lasts all September long.
Here are the five steps to the perfect My Food Hike in Elliston, the birthplace of Roots, Rants and Roars.
Step 1: Pick up your picnic
Using Elliston as a home base for the Bonavista Peninsula rendition of My Food Hike, we opted for the French-inspired picnic from the Peace Cove Inn in Trinity East. It was ready and waiting for us when we pulled up on a sunny September Saturday, all packed into the now-iconic Roots, Rants and Roars picnic pack!
Step 2: Pick your hike
The Skerwink Trail is a no-brainer option on the Bonavista Peninsula and the trailhead is less than a minute’s drive from the Peace Cove Inn. It’s just one of the amazing trails in the region.
The Hike Discovery network is full of great options, like Murphy's Cove to Lodge's Pond Trail in Port Union and Fox Island Trail in Champney’s West. Or take the usual pilgrimage along the coast in Elliston if you really want the traditional Roots, Rants and Roars experience.
Step 3: Ogle gorgeous trail views
Even though Newfoundland’s rugged coastline is blessed with dozens of scenic trails, I’ll argue with anyone that Skerwink is one of the most breathtaking treks in Newfoundland. Take the time to stop and enjoy those views!
Step 4: Get the tunes going
Like the eats and the hikes, music is an integral part of Roots, Rants and Roars and with My Food Hike, it’s the same. To set the party picnic mood, download the Spotify playlist curated by Roots, Rants and Roars for your dose of local Newfoundland musicians from Sherman Downey to The Once.
Step 5: EAT!
The best part of My Food Hilke — the food! Peace Cove Inn’s French picnic was more like a fancy French feast, filled with homemade baguette and whipped thyme butter, an Alsatian quiche for two filled with caramelized onion and bacon, the best chicken cordon bleu I’ve ever tasted, not to mention the mountain of delicious Nicoise potato salad. What could be better than cracking the top of a blueberry creme brulee while looking out over the ocean?
Where to Stay:
Now, those who aren’t lucky enough to live on the Bonavista Peninsula will need a place to sleep after their personalized My Food Hike, and you can’t beat Elliston for a cozy saltbox to lay your head. We chose a gorgeous saltbox vacation home with stunning ocean views: From the colourful kitchen and snug living room to the fancy bedding and fluffy towels, you can’t ask for more.
Where to Dine:
As if you needed more food, by dinnertime you might be looking for a bite to eat, and Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen in Elliston will do the trick. It was raining when we left to trek over to Nanny’s, but luckily it was only about a minute walk from our accommodations.
Nanny’s offers up all of the traditional Newfoundland favourites. We devoured the chunky food chowder, perfectly crispy fish and chips and ooey-gooey bread pudding with rum sauce for dessert.
Gabby Peyton is a food writer, restaurant critic and culinary historian based in St. John’s NL. Gabby is the city’s restaurant critic for The Telegram and her other bylines include CBC, Atlantic Business Magazine, USA Today, and Eater. Her series on Food Bloggers of Canada‘s website explores the history of iconic Canadian foods and she is passionate about community cookbooks. A long-time sufferer of persistent wanderlust, Gabby is always planning the next big trip. She has visited more than 15 countries, spent three seasons working on an archaeological dig in central Turkey and surfed on the Gold Coast of Australia. She is passionate about architecture, spaghetti carbonara and Newfoundland food.