If you’re after a busy day with a jam-packed schedule, this isn’t the place for you. At A Little Cup of Sea, a delightfully peaceful day-rental cabin on a private rocky beach around 45 minutes outside of St John’s, in Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada’s east coast, the goal is to do as little as possible.
Originally, owner Lacey Pike built this diminutive hut to be the base for a kayaking and paddleboarding operation in her peaceful cove, which regularly hosts seals, otters and minke whales. But the allure of spending four calm hours in blissful solitude – spotting wildlife, listening to the waves, sipping tea and breathing in the fresh salty and kelpy air – became the main attraction and now the hut is rented by peace-seeking visitors in four- or twelve-hour blocks (no overnights).
“Even when you’re on holiday, it isn’t always easy to slow down,” says Pike. “But no matter how much you have on your plate, a space like this allows you to prioritise rest and relaxation for an afternoon. One guest recently told me: ‘I came in, sat down and my body just took a physical sigh.’”
You’ll arrive in a quiet space with a large circular window and a reading nook on one side and a feature wall of local art and artefacts on the other: painted coastal scenes, needlework, dangling shells and vintage photographs from communities around the bay.
The table will be set with lavender and chamomile tea that was foraged from up the road and a plate of fresh “waffletons” – bread dough cooked on the waffle iron and filled with strawberry preserves. If it’s chilly, the wood stove will be burning and it’s up to you if you want the glass doors open or not to let in the breeze.
You’re also welcome to venture further afield. “There’s another cove nearby with no road access,” says Pike. “You can only get there by boat, foot or quad bike, and you can pick blueberries with the ocean in view. Probably only a handful of people know about it. It’s wild.”
When the wind is calm, you can hop in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard, maybe even catch a fish. “One time we were out on the kayak and we could see birds circling around. So we followed them to find thousands of small capelin [fish] jumping out of the water with huge cod following them. It was a feeding frenzy. Another time my husband could hear the squid squirting water around the beach.”
Pike’s home is just steps from the cabin and she is there when you need her. “If you want a chat or tips on what to do, I am here. But if you would prefer to read a book, walk the beach, meditate, crochet, whatever… the time is yours.”
A Little Cup of Sea, located in Colliers, Newfoundland and Labrador, is available for day rentals year round, with paddling available between June and September. The cabin is suitable for up to four guests.
Spend more time in eastern Canada
Find rugged beaches, charming towns, fresh seafood and abundant wildlife on the east coast.
Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador
The Bonavista Peninsula is one of the island’s best places to spot puffins and icebergs. Its windswept landscape doubles for Neverland in scenes from the 2023 film Peter Pan & Wendy.
Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
On the west coast of the island of Newfoundland, this 1805-square-kilometre UNESCO World Heritage site is where landscapes as diverse as Norway’s winding coasts and Nevada’s arid deserts meet. Western Brook Pond is a glacier-carved inland fjord lined with towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls, while the Tablelands have a striking terrain of rust-coloured rocks where the earth’s mantle has been exposed – a truly rare geological phenomenon.
Lighthouse Route, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s shores are dotted with lighthouses and one of the most picturesque stretches is along the south coast, between Halifax and Yarmouth. The iconic lighthouse sitting atop granite rocks at Peggy’s Cove is said to be the most photographed in Canada and the colourful town of Lunenburg is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
Prince Edward Island’s Culinary Trails
It’s famously the setting of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables books but an abundance of seafood and farms also give Prince Edward Island the title of Canada’s food island. Book the FireWorks Feast at The Inn at Bay Fortune (May to October) for a culinary farm tour, all-you-can-eat raw oysters plus fine dining in front of an open fire.
St Lawrence River, Québec
Connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, this nearly 1200-kilometre waterway is home to a staggering 13 species of whales, including blue whales. On the north shore, travelling north from Québec City, you can visit one of the world’s longest fjords, while heading out along the south shore of the St Lawrence takes you to the charming seaside village of Percé and the 88-metre-high monolithic island that is Percé Rock.
SEE ALSO: Why Toronto is the New Food Hotspot
Image credits: Supplied by A Little Cup of Sea