My husband and I were planning for our trip in the Gaspe, Quebec, Canada, and were deciding where to stop for the night (based on driving times and distances) when we found Manoir Hamilton in New Carlisle online and decided to book it.
We had an extremely pleasant surprise when we reached the manor. It turned out not only to be just a B&B, but a museum!
The entrance takes your breath away. The owner greeted us with "Welcome to the 19th century!" There is a free standing (sorry, I don't know the proper term for this) staircase (i.e. no support) in the foyer and on the right, you can get a glimpse of the library and the left, the tea room.
You can visit/take a tour of the manor/museum (it is classified as a museum) for a small fee, or you can just have afternoon tea there, or do both. We were lucky. We spent a night there!
The furnishings in the house are almost 90% original. The rooms are upstairs and all of them are furnished beautifully.
We had a lovely iron wrought bed, comfortable mattress and the decor went perfectly well with the style of the manor (as was all the other rooms). We were provided with the usual towels, but a nice touch were the bathrobes and the bedroom slippers.
There are 2 common bathrooms - one upstairs and one downstairs. There is an extra water closet upstairs though. The owner took us round the manor and we even visited the huge kitchen and saw the traditional bread oven.
There is ample space for parking and there is a restaurant/cafe (reasonably priced) next to the manor. There was no TV in the room - but that didn't bother us - and actually, if I'm not mistaken, they can run films/movies for you (Academy award winning ones) in one of the rooms for the guests, should they want.
We had a lovely breakfast the next morning, served in the lavish dining room. It was not a buffet and what was good was that there was a choice of items (3, to be exact), unlike some B&Bs where the breakfast is standard. The portions were just nice.
What we liked about the place was the lovely hospitality, the step back into time and to be able to spend a night in a place that had so much culture, history and character. The owner also managed to answer all our questions we posed with regards to the various types of furniture/decorations, etc - e.g. what this or that was for, why was it built like that, etc. I mean, hey, we were living in a museum. How cool is that?
We also liked the village/town New Carlisle a lot because we noticed that the people were effectively bilingual. New Carlisle is one of the few anglophone towns in the Gaspe and it was so interesting to see a silver haired grandmother at the restaurant speaking in fluent French at one table and in fluent English at another, and even the regulars at the restaurant were effectively bilingual.
I would definitely recommend New Carlisle as a stop in the Gaspe. All the fire hydrants in the town are also colourfully painted - with cute characters - and it can be fun to try and identify some of them (e.g. Tasmanian Devil, Ronald McDonald, Homer SImpson, Snoopy, Carebears, etc to name a few).
All in all, an extremely pleasant experience.
Coupled with the quirky sense of humour on the fire hydrants, Manoir Hamilton and New Carlisle is a must stop for anyone - regardless of whether you spend a night at the manor or not. But if not, at least visit the place.....you won't be disappointed.
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