19 June 2015
A rare affordable option a short walk from the central Queen Street (15 minutes or less depending on the pace of your meander), this charming house named after Prince Charles’ residence is presided over by the kind and welcoming Bruce who opened the B&B 16 years ago with his late partner of 40 years. The couple decorated the house with treasures from their travels, designing custom Chinese furniture for the suite, purchasing unique stained glass for the stairwell and lining the walls with work from local artists as well as international finds. Every piece has a story so be sure to pepper Bruce with questions.
Most of the Highgrove guests are regulars, returning year after year whether their tradition is winery visits or Shaw Festival performances. On my first trip this year, I shared the breakfast table with a mother and her two daughters who live on opposite sides of the country but reunite every year at Highgrove for their Shaw tradition. We chatted about classical music, Ibsen, and why Morris Panych and Kelly Nestruck just can’t seem to get along as Bruce served delicious egg dishes, fruit plates and an ever-changing bread basket. Tea and coffee are available from 7:30 on and breakfast is at 9 each morning.
Highgrove is quiet, warm and lovely from the small patio in front to the large, romantic garden out back to the cozy sitting room with its coffee table covered in Hello magazines (the royal family is a theme at Highgrove, hence the name). It’s also really safe, something that Bruce takes into careful consideration with individual room keys, private bathrooms, and a front door code that changes every few days when new guests arrive. The only cause for trepidation comes from the occasional skunk you may meet on your walk back after an evening performance of Peter & the Starcatcher.