We spent a week at the Brier View Cottage in NS and we just loved it! We wanted a quiet, peaceful cottage on the water to be able to sit and relax - to enjoy coffee in the morning and gaze at the calm water. We wanted a place to BBQ nice meals, share coctails and watch the sun set - and close enough for a short jaunt for seafood chowder. We wanted a beautiful area to hike and exercise outside, a place to dance, laugh, and to create memories. We found all of that at the Brier View Cottage! Thank you!
The owner whom we booked with, Katherine Feile, proved to be unreliable in her promises or assurances. She told us we could reach her at anytime by phone or email. We've never been able to reach her by phone and by email it took two days for a response after she received our booking and deposit. She told us she would be in touch with us weeks before our arrival to tell us what we should pack for the weather. She never did. Before I booked with her, we discussed the bikes and kayaks that were advertised on one of her many sites. She never told me that they wouldn't be available but that she recommend that we had some experience with sea kayaks before using them out on the bay of Fundy. Fair enough. When we arrived we saw no sign of bikes or kayaks. Tried to call numerous times - no answer. Even our messages were not returned. Sent her an email asking about them and after two days of waiting we finally received her response that due to her outrageous insurance conditions she decided not to provide them. Nice. We were only here for a week and with wait times of her responses cut into our week that we could have rented them elsewhere if we had known. We also asked her about a lobster pot which she said that she did have when we made the booking but we never found anywhere while we were there. The house has a privacy issue in both bathrooms where she has shuttered doors down below with gaps so that we had to put up sheets and tuck them in to provide some privacy. Upstairs had only a curtain across, so you can imagine, very little privacy as you went about your business. Odd. She wanted the food waste separated from the garbage and put into a pail which attracted a large number of fruit flies which we had to live with the entire time we were there. Even having it outside didn't rectify the problem. We felt pretty stuck and isolated at times on Long Island, Freeport. If you wanted to go anywhere it was with ferry crossings. Takes 2 hours by car to the nearest town of Digby. Over 3 hours to get to the ferry in Yarmouth. You know the pretty rock formation on the Bay of Fundy? Well, they're located in New Brunswick. It would take you 14 hours to get there and back to go see them. It took us 8 hours to drive to Lunenburg and back. I would have liked to go see Peggy's Cove but just couldn't justify the haul out there (10 hours). So all in all, not a good choice for a home base for setting out to see what Nova Scotia has to offer, which honestly doesn't seem a lot. There are no moose left - killed them off long ago. Bears are a very rare sighting in all of Nova Scotia. I did get to see my first bald eagle sighting while waiting for the ferry crossing and I was told by an old timer who lives there that he's only seen one twice in the 60 years he's been living on the island. I also saw a pod of wild dolphins in the bay across from the rental while I was out painting a picture of the lighthouse there. One other thing to be aware of is that the owner has this listing up on serval other websites and she doesn't monitor them well. We saw that our week was showing up as still available after we made the deposit and reserved it 6 months prior and that anyone could have come along and also made a deposit and reserved it. Which is why we were in such a panic when we saw that and tried to reach her by phone and email only for her to take two days to get back to us when were leaving in two days for our month long travel! Unprofessional.
The house is as it appears in the pictures, well maintained, picturesque and extremely comfortable. There were lots of games and toys for our children to use, and the owners were friendly and helpful. This is a place where you could sit back and relax for weeks... unless there is a hurricane approaching, which happened to us on the off chance.
Being on the coast, the weather is variable, perfect the first 3 days, followed by 3 days of fog, followed by the pending storm. With the fog, you do feel a tad isolated, as there is not a lot of activity around the cottage at all.
You are a good distance from major grocery shopping, so stock up in Digby. You learn quickly to time the ferries, or otherwise a 45 minute trip turns into a 3 hour tour (sorry Gilligan).
All in all, a place where if I could spend the entire summer, I would.
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