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Aylesford, Nova Scotia
Last week four of us hopped into the car and took off to Aylesford, Nova Scotia, a farming community about 40 minutes east of Annapolis Royal at Exit 16 on Highway 101. Welcome to week 367 (5/3/2018) of Travel Photo Thursday. I hope the title intrigues you enough to read on to find out exactly what transpired in this historic village (population 2, 401), off the beaten path in Nova Scotia.
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Off the beaten path in Nova Scotia
If getting off the beaten path when you travel is your thing, then Nova Scotia is your perfect destination. I learned a few months ago there’s a “cheese lady” in Aylesford, who makes fantastic feta cheese. Last week my wish to visit her shop came true. However, we were having lunch before making the drive up the mountain to the Holmestead Cheese Shop. My friend informed me that we were going to a “really good” Thai restaurant in Aylesford. I was glad that she told me this over the phone. I think I croaked when she said “really good Thai restaurant”. I did say (as I rolled my eyes and giggled inside) okay, I’m game. Although, truthfully I could not imagine a “really good Thai restaurant” anywhere in rural Nova Scotia. But, how bad could it be? Maybe I was being a bit of a snob after spending a lot of time in Thailand over the past 17 years and eating countless amounts of “really good” authentic Thai food. None of that mattered. I was game for this adventure.
We rolled into Aylesford about 10 minutes before our reservation (yes, we had a reservation.) Now the Thai Memory Restaurant is not hard to find. First, it’s the only restaurant in the village and it’s in the old red brick Royal Bank building moments from the highway exit. I was captivated as soon as I walked in. Thai Memory is an authentic Thai restaurant. The tables and chairs are made from teak. The walls are covered with Thai pictures. They even have the famous photo of the King and Queen of Thailand with Elvis Presley, on one wall. If you’ve never seen it, click here.
I’ve eaten at restaurants in Thailand with the exact Thai tablecloth and cutlery. If you’ve ever been to Thailand you know the Thai’s usually do not use a knife because most of the ingredients are bite-size. Thais also eat from their spoon. The fork is used to push the food onto the spoon. The hanging lanterns are commonplace in Thailand, and also the wall hanging.
Thai Memory Restaurant
The Thai owner greeted us in perfect English. I asked him what city he was from, and he answered Bangkok. We quickly learned he has been in Canada since 1999, and had just moved his restaurant from Hamilton, Ontario to Aylesford, Nova Scotia this past January. He quickly provided us with menus, apologizing that a few of the ingredients may not be traditionally Thai since he sources everything locally. Like most Thai menus, we had lots to choose from. I finally chose the spicy chicken deep fried spring rolls and the chicken Khao Soi. Khao Soi is a northern Thai dish and when I’m in northern Thailand I am always on the lookout for good Khao Soi.
The spicy chicken spring rolls arrived piping hot with a generous dish of homemade Thai chilli dipping sauce. The perfectly fried wrappers were stuffed to almost bursting with a spicy chicken mixture. I have never eaten a better spring roll in my life. I am going to learn how to makes these savoury morsels of goodness!
It was time for the main dish, Chicken Khao Soy. Oh, my. It tasted every bit as good as it looked, and the aroma wafting up from the bowl was divine.
We were all happy with our lunch choices, and can hardly wait to return to Aylesford, Nova Scotia and the Thai Memory Restaurant.
Hours of Operation
Hours of Operation
MONDAY – SUNDAY ( CLOSED TUESDAY)
Mon-Sat Lunch Hours: 11 AM to 2 PM
Sun Lunch Hours: 1 PM to 4 PM
Dinner Hours: 4 PM to 8 PM
(kitchen closed 15 mins before the closing time)
Holmestead Cheese Sales
Now it was off up the mountain to visit the “cheese lady”. Follow the blue signs and you can’t go wrong. From the restaurant its a quick 10-minute drive to Holmestead Cheese.
Then we were inside, ready to explore all the cheesy goodness on offer. The owner greeted us with a smile. We were made to feel at home, and explored every inch of the store. They are well known for their feta cheese, made onsite.
Other cheeses are available, and I came away with a large chunk of extra-old white (made in France). I’ve been nibbling on it all week and it is over-the-top good. In fact, I haven’t yet had the chance to dip into the Feta. That will probably happen tomorrow. I have it on good authority from my friend, who purchases a large pail every 3 months, that it is fab.
I fell in love with the homemade olive bar. I succumbed to the garlic stuffed olives, and I was not disappointed.
Finally, they import all kinds of goodies from Greece; olive oil, olives, canned stuffed grape leaves, etc. I bought a bottle of olive oil. Probably not as good as the oil my friends produce from their olive trees in Greece, but I’m willing to bet it would still be good. Sadly, the olive oil had a little accident in my parking lot, so I’ll be buying another bottle on my next trip to see the “cheese lady”
First-time customers are gifted a package of ricotta cheese, which I’ve often included in recipes like lasagna.
How to get there:
Take Exit 16 off Highway 101 and head South towards Aylesford, onto Victoria Road.
Turn left onto Evangeline Trail (Nova Scotia 1 Trunk) for 2km.
Turn right onto Aylesford Road (about 5km)
Turn right onto Harmony Road (1km)
Destination will be on the right.
Open 7 days a week. Phone 902-847-9034 for open times.
What do you think? Would you like to experience Thai and Greek off the beaten path in Aylesford, Nova Scotia? Let us know in the comments.
Please welcome our co-host this week: Rachel from Rachel’s Ruminations
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This is the 368th edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.