My great grandfather Neil Macdonald first came to PEI in 1840 and we returned here 38 years ago. We have shared this exquisite secluded home with thousands from around the world. We hope you will come as guests and leave as friends.
Our personal life is eclectic, as it is centered on our family, guests and church. Our daughter, Megan, and son, Ross, both grew up at Elmwood and attended the local schools until going off to university. Our family has a connection with five universities. Cornell in New York, Mount Allison in New Brunswick, McGill in Montreal, Tübingen in Germany and the University of London in England.
Carol and Jay met and studied at Cornell University in the late 60’s. They lived in Ithaca, NY for a further four years after school before immigrating to PEI in 1974. Both worked at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in the 70’s, Carol in the theatre wardrobe department during the summers and Jay as Director of Patron Services full time.
In 1979 we became hospitality entrepreneurs, purchasing By The Bay Cottages in Stanhope, PEI. We had an owner’s unit and eight rental cottages overlooking Covehead Bay on PEI’s North Shore. We made hundreds of friends in those years and learned the importance of good beds, plenty of hot water and scrupulous cleanliness. We also found the joys that we received in helping to make our guests vacations something special and memorable. Our children benefited from those summers and developed their own philosophy of hospitality in those years also.
Our son, Ross, 35, is a professional musician in Victoria, British-Columbia, a graduate of the Jazz Performance program at Montreal’s McGill University, with his principal instrument the upright bass. In 2009 he won a position as the bassist for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, which is one of the six full-time Regular Force bands within the Canadian Forces.
His musical skills have taken him around the world, playing music in Dubai at the 7 star Burj al Arab, the tallest hotel in the world, and cruising on the world’s only “residence ship”, The World. Previously based in Québec, then Charlottetown, Ross has toured extensively with cruise ships including contracts on board Holland America and Princess Cruises. He has recorded albums and appeared with several East Coast Music Award winners, and played in the Confederation Centre of the Arts Charlottetown Festival, along with numerous gigs for restaurants, hotels and CBC TV productions. One, titled “summertime” featured opera singer Measha Brueggergosman in 2008 and one was aired summer 2012 “Just Bidin’ My Time” a tribute to singer songwriter Gene MacLellan (Snowbird, Put Your Hand In The Hand and others)
Megan is the elder at 39 (some day she will object to this public exposure of her age) and graduated from Mount Allison University with a double major in Drama and German. She has completed her Doctorate in the study of Theatre Performance, with Distinction, in England at the University of London’s Queen Mary College. She was Assistant Professor at that school as she completed her Doctorate thesis on the Performance of Belief.
Before deciding to spend all her time in libraries and theatres, she worked for the Canadian Government in Protocol and State Ceremony in Ottawa. The highlight of this job was planning the 2002 Golden Jubilee visit of Royal Visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II to Canada. In addition to six years in England, Megan has lived and studied in Germany for most of 3 years, beginning with a Rotary Youth Exchange opportunity following high school. She has moved back to Canada and is again based in Ottawa and again working with Canadian Heritage, this year shepherding the Royal Visit of HRH Prince Charles and Lady Camilla. Regardless of the country and what she is doing, meeting new people and cooking delicious food are the pre-requisites for feeling at home.
Carol (and Jay) love the Inn kitchen renovated in 2008-2009. As chief menu maker, and baker, the expansion to 20′ by 24′ with 7 burner gas cook top, two ovens, and five well designed work areas, has made cooking a joy. “Everyone wants to be in the kitchen!” She loves flowers and enjoys designing interesting arrangements in all seasons of the year. Over the years, renovations and interior design work at the Inn have given Carol and Jay the opportunity to combine their love of historic architecture with contemporary comfort. Each unit has been uniquely designed with Carol’s love of fabric and colour evident in the quilts and attention to detail which is one of our hallmarks. She is called on for her skills in design and decorating as she teaches occasional workshops and consults. She is a tenor in the church choir, a member of Parish Council and on the Property committee.
Jay is an ordained Anglican clergyman in a volunteer role at church. He also is an active Rotarian and was president of his club in 1995. He develops many new recipes. His Grand Marnier Orange Butter Sauce is a guest favourite! Our love of food, wine and travel is reflected in our cooking. We have several published recipes which we are pleased to share with our guests. We are looking for more opportunities to travel whenever possible and we see China on the horizon this year. The Queen Mary II in 2010 and Israel and Jordan in 2011 were recent highlights. Jay is also a wine educator (he was Area Secretary for the PEI Opimian Society for 8 years) and a speaker for the local hotel and restaurant industry and groups. We are both committed to Cursillo. DeColores!