Far Far Away in Mahone Bay
If you are from Halifax you know one of our biggest pride and joys is the fact that the ocean is just a step away. Even if you are on the mainland, chances are, there is a body of water somewhere close by. It’s a pretty normal thing for Nova Scotians to have a cottage or camp gear for stay-cations. More than ever, people are looking for a little escape any chance they can get. Here & There Magazine takes you along for a quick trip to Mahone Bay and Martins Point.
Our trip begins with a quick one-hour drive, passing by Hubbards and Chester to Mahone Bay.
Adorning the streets are colourful homes transformed into small cafes, markets, and storefronts. Inside one of the more new establishments, Here Nor There, are local artisan goods from jewelry to incense. We stopped at Oh My Cod! for a break to enjoy some local fish and chips, sat outside and enjoyed the view.
About 9 minutes just down the road, is where we get to our stay.
The “Across the Cove” Beach House is placed within a row of properties that share the ocean as their backyard. We meet up with Jay, the owner, and creator, of Far Far Away Cottages, a south-shore exclusive collection of rentals.
It is a perfectly sized, semi-two-floor home with three options for beds, including a pull-out couch, with a generously sized kitchen for gatherings. The kitchen is where we settled to speak to Jay about his journey into developing his company. His journey started out as a slow-building passion project, with all of the properties within 3-4 minutes away from one another. “The other properties belonged to my great-grandparents and my grandmother was renting them out as long-term accommodations,” He eventually took them over and lived in one while renovating the other. “Over the Way was the first cottage that felt like home in my adult life.”
Jay started out on VRBO, which brought forth many European guests. Eventually, Airbnb became the go-to for short-term rentals, and locals started to come forth for stay-cations. Eventually, he saw repeat visitors. “I want every guest to return, and know exactly what to expect,” he states that having repeat products, and cohesive interior design throughout each stay brings comfort to attendees and encourages other hosts to do the same. “Repeat guests know what to expect. Just like using the same kinds of coffee, and coffee maker. People love seeing something familiar.” Experiencing the cottage for just one night, we can understand how those little things make a difference in a stay.
After renting his spaces for a while, Jay noticed the potential to develop his own brand, which includes a variety of household wares and items. If you peek closely, you’ll see Jay placed his products throughout the space, which brings a cozy charm. In the kitchen, you’ll find his tea towels. After the brand was developed and selling well, his clothing line Nor’Easter Apparel was born.
Jay’s local recommendations to explore the area further include Gaff Point, Green Bay, and Broad Cove. “The Biscuit Eatery in Mahone Bay makes fresh scones every day, with a brand new flavour each day/week .” Jay also pointed out that Oak Island was very close to the properties, and encourages people to avoid droning within the area, “I have heard stories of drones going missing,” he says, “it’s best to avoid that area altogether unless you can get in for a visit.”
With so much to discover, it’s understandable that people and locals alike keep returning to Jay’s cottages.
Words by Kristen Reid
Photos by Aleyah Solomon