Welcome to the Writer's Retreat! If you love breathtaking scenery, beauty & serenity inside and out, abundant wildlife, kayaking & hiking, fresh lobster & Celtic music, you've come to the right place. Everything you'll need for a perfect getaway is here waiting for you.
Nestled on a private 18-acre peninsula with sweeping views of Breen's Pond, St. George's Bay, and the Cape George lighthouse, this contemporary three-story home is an idyllic and inspiring retreat. Every room and deck has such a lovely view of sky and water, it's like living in a watercolor. And you're only four minutes from the village of Havre Boucher, where you can buy fresh lobster (in season) off the boat, ten minutes from Cape Breton with its famed Cabot Trail, Celtic Music Interpretive Center, whale watching, and Gampo Abbey, and twenty-five minutes from the charming university town of Antigonish with its fine restaurants and dining.
Outdoors, you’ll be welcomed by an extraordinary array of birds and wildlife that share this serene and unspoiled place–-bald eagle, arctic tern, marsh hawk, kingfisher, blue heron, rabbit, and deer, just to name a few.
Indoors you’ll be welcomed by warm birch floors, elegant furnishings, original art, and the stunning Nova Scotia sea-blue concrete countertops, hearth, and Celtic mural. The high-end kitchen has everything you'll need for entertaining–-even a wine cooler. The dining room seats 8 around the antique round pine table and lazy susan. The living room has a comfy fold-out couch (in case of overflow) and a glass-front Jøtul woodburning stove. Interior glass French doors lead to the family room/2nd bedroom with its sunny window seat, L.L. Bean queen-size sleeper sofa, leather club chair and ottoman, and a 32-inch flat-screen TV. Sliding doors lead to the screened porch, complete with porch swing, glider, and a bistro table and chairs.
On the upper level, you'll find the spacious sky-lit master suite. The master bedroom has a carved Caribbean four-poster queen-sized bed and its own private deck. The master bath has a two-person jacuzzi with a gorgeous view. There's office space, too, and a large upper deck--the perfect spot to bird watch or count shooting stars.
On the lower level, the turquoise concrete floor flows to the third bedroom with its antique mahogany sleigh bed and dresser and walk-out water view. There's a fully-equipped laundry room on this lower level, too.
Inside or out, it’s a wonderful place to enjoy the surrounding natural beauty, entertain your family and friends, or just relax. In the morning you can sip your tea or coffee on one of the decks and watch the mist rising on Breen's pond or the lobster boats coming and going on St. George's Bay. In the afternoon, you can walk down the path to the water's edge where a kayak and canoe are waiting, or you can walk the private trails or out to Cape Jack Beach where the swimming is excellent. In the evening you can watch the fire, the sunset, the lingering twilight, the Cape George lighthouse, and the constellations overhead.
As our guests have said many times, it truly is a magical place.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Writer's Retreat, a place I love--and love to share with others--and my darling maltipoo, Belle. I've done some of my best writing here (I'm the author of the memoir STIFLED LAUGHTER: ONE WOMAN'S STORY ABOUT FIGHTING CENSORSHIP, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the inaugural PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award. My text CRAFTING SHORT SCREENPLAYS THAT CONNECT is now in its 3rd edition, and my novella A CHRISTMAS BELLE, written with my long-time writing partner, Matt Stevens, is a sequel to Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Matt and I are now working on a musical version of A CHRISTMAS BELLE. I'm a member of the founding faculty of the Florida State University Film School where I still teach The Feature Workshop every fall via Skype, which means I can teach from the Writer's Retreat!
I bought this private, unspoiled 18-acre peninsula and built the Writer's Retreat because I fell in love with the serenity, beauty, astonishing views, sunsets, and long Celtic twilights. The starry nights aren't bad, either. I love the peace and quietude and the many critters who share this peaceable kingdom--bald eagles, arctic terns, bobolinks, kingfishers, herons, ducks, deer and other wildlife. I also love the convenience of hiking the private trails and kayaking right off my backyard on Breen's Pond. And I love how close I am to Antigonish and Cape Breton (I love Celtic music!). But most of all, I chose to settle in Nova Scotia because the people in the Province are uncommonly kind, creative, authentic, and just plain wonderful to be around.
Staying at the Writer's Retreat is like living in a bright, cheerful art gallery. In the morning it's such a pleasure to walk down the stairs and see the Nova Scotia sea-blue concrete counter tops in the kitchen and living room harmonizing with the Nova Scotia sea-blue water outside. The skies are spectacular, too -- like living in a watercolor! And I love the layered view from all the rooms and decks--the wildness of Eagle Island and the traditional houses and barns on Cape Jack, as well as the beauty of Breen's Pond, Cape George Beach, St. George's Bay, and Cape George and its lighthouse. I love entertaining, and it's such a great party house! Great flow through the house and onto the decks. I love all five decks, but at night my favorite is the upper deck where friends and I can watch the sunset and Celtic twilight and count shooting stars (there are plenty). I also love building fires in the wood burning stoves that make the place especially cozy on cool days and nights. And I feel incredibly lucky to be able to buy fresh lobster off the boat for roughly $5.00 a pound at nearby Havre Boucher during the season (May and June) or go whale watching in St. George's Bay. I'm crazy about Celtic music, so it's a privilege to be so close to Cape Breton with its world-famous musicians like Natalie MacMaster and the new Celtic Music Interpretive Center with its frequent ceilidhs, fantastic music, and great lobster rolls. I love being close to the theatre and restaurants in nearby Antigonish, or toodling to Halifax for a day in that wonderful city.
Buying fresh lobster off the boat, whale watching, Celtic music and driving or biking the legendary Cabot Trail on Cape Breton.
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