A Little Cafe With A Big Heart
Glorious Day, Friends!
It’s another beautiful day here and we are so thankful to have this sunny and warm weather as we have been waiting all summer long for it! I’m glad you came by just as I’m about to pour up a huge glass of lemonade. Come, let’s sit out for our chat. It’s so nice outside – just the perfect summer temperature with a pleasant breeze…it would be a shame not to soak up every second.
If you happen to be touring in and around the historic coastal town of Placentia, Newfoundland this summer (very near where I grew up), Philip’s Cafe is a must-visit place on your list of things ‘To Do’.
This ‘tasteful’ spot was once an old house that I would pass by many times during my younger years, but today I hardly recognize it! Lovingly and creatively restored by its new owners, it is now a hub at peak times with visitors, both locals and tourists, piling in for some delightful eats.
CLOWN ABOUT TOWN Phillip Meade, the saltbox-style cafe’s talented chef and co-owner, told me that he has lived in many places and has held many and varied jobs in his lifetime. He has been a long-haul truck driver, an off-shore oilrig worker, an artist, a pastry chef and even a clown – a REALLY GOOD clown. 🙂
I was fascinated by the latter occupation and asked him the secret to becoming a GOOD clown. He quickly responded, “Passion – passion for everything you do in life!” Phillip told me that his‘clowning around’ had a humble beginning – he was simply asked to dress up as one for his company’s children’s party. But Philip told me that he did not want to be just any ol’ clown. He had to be the best clown that could be – so, off he went to’ clown school’ to study how to become a clown – a real clown.
WORK OF HEART And, it seems, everything Philip Meade does comes from the passion in his heart – from running a charming B&B; to restoring a house that had seen better days to his now new and beautifully-unique cafe; and producing the renowned delectable breads, pastries, quiche and desserts that disappear as quickly as they make it out of the oven!
Phillip and his co-owner in the cafe, Linda Grimm, who hails from Vancouver Island, seem to well complement one another for Linda is Philip’s partner in life as well as his business partner. Together they also own and operate Rosedale Manor, a ‘sweet’ heritage waterside Bed and Breakfast (within ten minutes of the Argentia ferry terminal), and where Philip serves as the Manor’s pastry chef host alongside Linda who, too, is a passionate and artistic soul – a sculptor. Although, I have not yet seen any of Linda’s works personally, I am told they are quite beautiful.
The couple’s ‘Rosedale’ guests eat a hearty breakfast at Philip’s Cafe located mere minutes from the Manor. Along with ham and free-range eggs, fresh homebaked toast of several tasty varieties and other traditional breakfast fare, Philip proudly serves up his own ‘house recipe’ porridge made with a mix of millet, flax and oats, along with fresh Newfoundland berries and crunchy nuts! He generously offered me a sample and, let me just say, it was NOT my grandmother’s porridge! It was really very good and oh-so good for you! Next time, I will have a bowlful of Philip’s granola made from a creative mix of multi-grains and dried fruits with yogurt – a whole lotta delicious goodness. Yum!
SWEET SERENDIPITY I asked Philip how he and Linda came to settle in the tiny sea-side town of Placentia, all the way from Vancouver Island, British Columbia where they had lived for many years prior. Philip relayed that he and Linda had come back to Newfoundland on the occasion of his grandmother’s 90th birthday about six years ago. They stayed at Rosedale Manor during their week-long visit and liked it so much that they decided to buy the place! And the rest as ‘they’ say is history…
The atmosphere of their friendly and cozy cafe is a warm and inviting blend of the best of both world’s – decidedly a welcoming mix of hearty west coast-to-east coast flavour!
Philip’s quiche are delectably rich and fluffy like an omelot. You can see and taste the goodness that so caringly goes into making each one.
On the three consecutive days I was there (yes, it was that good), five beautiful quiche varieties were fresh-from-the oven each day….I tried several different quiche in as many days – all were hands down THE BEST quiche I have ever tasted! And, I thought I made a nice quiche!
PHILIP’S CAFE IS SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT Interestingly, Philip loves, and has a fascination with, crows and all manner of crow-inspired decor! There’s even a large handsome painting of a crow hanging on the washroom wall, and you’ll happen upon the odd crow perched here and there atop curio cupboards and in bookcases around the store.
And, it seems, the couple have a great sense of humour. You can buy T-shirts and specialty soaps featuring the Philip’s Cafe “Surrender to Your Cravings” logo! The tees are a good quality and we purchased a couple before leaving on our final day there.
A TISKET, A TASKET, ‘PHILIP’ YOUR PICNIC BASKET Philip bakes up fresh artisan breads daily for his gourmet sandwich menu – the fillings he uses are wonderful and generous. If you’re on your way to Castle Hill National Historic Park, or the Cape St. Mary’s Seabird Ecological Reserve, you won’t want to miss stopping here to fill up your picnic basket – I think you will be very happy with its contents! :- Philip doesn’t sell his bread by the loaf, though (sadly) – he can’t keep up with the demand for it in his mouth-watering sandwiches.
What a treat! Life is sweet!
And, my sweeties, thanks for stopping by ‘Beautiful Ideas’ today! I hope to see you again very soon. I am crossing my fingers that this burst of glorious weather will last for awhile. Wishing you all a beautiful day!