Musician Meaghan Blanchard’s Favourite Spots in Charlottetown

Insider tips that will lead you to Leonhard's Cafe for the best coffee, Victoria Row for nightlife and Tea Hill Beach for warm waters
 

Photo by Heather Ogg

Singer-songwriter Meaghan Blanchard has called Charlottetown, P.E.I., home for the past nine years thanks to its music scene and inspiring landscape. “There’s no lack of music in the city. People—even big acts—seem to want to play here,” she says. These are some of her favourite island spots.

For Celtic music

“A ceilidh [kay-lee] is a collaborative music sharing that everyone can take part in. The Old Triangle downtown is a Celtic pub and they have open jams on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons. People can take their instruments, play, sing along or watch.”

Where to eat

Cedar’s Eatery is a great Lebanese restaurant if you like garlic, falafel and shawarma. It’s dimly lit, romantic and has a beautiful atmosphere for an evening meal. They also have steak-cut fries, which are to die for.”

Warm waters

“Tea Hill Beach is a 10-minute drive outside Charlottetown, and it’s a little hidden secret. It’s not a sprawling white-sand beach, but it’s the warmest water I’ve ever felt anywhere in P.E.I. It’s clay and it’s very shallow. You can walk out for days [when] the tide is low.”

Best coffee

“I’m a huge coffee person and I think the best place to go is Leonhard’s Café [and Restaurant]. It’s a German restaurant downtown on Great George Street. They have fresh food and European-style coffee you just can’t find anywhere else on P.E.I.”

Music-buying  

“We have one record store called Back Alley Music. They’ve got tons of vinyl and the owner is always getting new and classic albums in.”

Bike trip

“There were train tracks that once went from one end of the island to the other—when the train became an irrelevant way of travelling, the tracks were turned into biking and walking trails. You can rent a bike down on the Charlottetown waterfront and take a great two-hour trip to Mount Stewart, a tiny [community]. There’s a music venue there called The Trailside Café, they get huge Canadian acts and it’s a great restaurant.”

Island treat

“We’ve got a fabulous P.E.I. ice cream brand called COWS. There’s a store down on the waterfront and everything in there is cow-themed. It’s hard [high-butterfat] ice cream and they’ve got new flavours every year. It’s so good.”

Lively nightlife

“On Victoria Row, there’s lots of music to check out during the summer. There are pubs and restaurants in a row, with live music.”

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