My Travel Savior Was The Chatterbox Cafe.
Have you ever felt like you might NEVER find the coffee you so desperately need - only to be finally rescued by the best cafe imaginable? The Chatterbox Café is the kind of place that is the heart and soul of a community and, in this case, “community” spreads far behind municipal boundaries to cover an entire county.
Sitting in the heart of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, The Chatterbox is not so much a café as a hybrid of every kind of service and environment a visitor (and especially a travel-worn writer) can desire. It’s a used bookstore, where floor to ceiling bookshelves line the walls and offer up everything from hardcover Margaret Atwood bestsellers to inexpensive John Grisham paperbacks for just a few bucks. It’s also an internet café, with a public computer available and free, fast, easy Wi-Fi – an absolute rarity for this part of the world. It’s also a bit of an art gallery, with some funky, bright paintings lining the walls. And if this isn't enough, it’s also a live music venue during summer weekends!
The café menu is simple but offers substantial sweet and savory fare. They pull real espresso shots and to the best of my research they may just be the only place along Routes 6 & 366 that does so. I highly, highly recommend the “Seafoam Latte", a traditional vanilla latte with caramel and sea salt drizzled on the top. Gourmet tea fans will also be pleased to find Chai Lattes and London Fogs on the menu.
Complimenting your only-latte for-100-miles is a great selection of baked goods. The perfect complement for the Seafoam Latte is the Scotcheroo – a Maritime favourite of a peanut butter Rice Krispie bar with a thick chocolate topping. Extremely rich and very delicious!
Breakfast options are limited to muffins, bagels, bagel breakfast sandwiches (with fresh sliced tomato), smoothies, and cereals. Lunches are a bit more diversified, with different sandwich and sharing options as well as a daily special and a fresh soup. During our visits, potato leek, harvest vegetable, and seafood chowder soups were all being prepared.
I was in a near panic when my rented cottage came not with the promised Wi-Fi but instead a herd of goats (yep, that’s a story for another time!) and I was swamped with internet based work that I had to do on deadline. I stumbled upon The Chatterbox Café by chance and the Wi-Fi alone was enough to earn my undying gratitude. But the hours I spent there, day after day, transformed it from a mere convenience to a home away from home. I loved the fun filled, cheerful atmosphere and the friendly banter between the locals. At first, it was merely my savior, providing desperately needed caffeine and connections, but now I can’t imagine the area without. The dearth of community focused cafes promoting local cuisine, literature, and the arts means that The Chatterbox Café is needed more than ever.
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