Welcome to The Belgravia B&B!

 

Please stop in often to find out what is new at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast, in downtown Truro, the Central Nova Scotia Area, and around the Province of Nova Scotia! Please click here to find out all about us or here to read guest comments and reviews.

Photo credit: Portraits by Johanna

Real hands-on learning

One of the core values at NSCC is hands-on learning. Rather than just teaching the learners in our classrooms how to do something, we actually get them to do it. Last night was hands-on learning on a grand scale. Our tourism and culinary teams fed 292 people at a Tribute to the Honourable MP Peter MacKay, with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (or “Ben’s Dad” to some of the students) featured as keynote speaker. Tickets were $300 per plate and it was an event that many of them may never experience the likes of again.

One of the things we teach in our program is confidentiality, so I won’t go into too many details, but I will say that it was a lovely -but long - evening. The Final Touch in Stellarton did a beautiful job of transforming our campus gym into a ballroom, and the tourism class set the tables in blue & white. Attendees began the evening in the cafeteria where the volunteer fire department ran a bar and we served hors d’oeuvres with some live jazz setting the mood. Dinner was a mixed green salad with balsamic vinagrette, boneless cornish game hens stuffed with cranberry rice pilaf and a wild mushroom sauce served with tomato veggie baskets, then lemon meringue cheese cake with creme anglaise and raspberry coulis for dessert.

Some of us did get to meet the former Prime Minister (he came over to me and shook my hand!) and both Jamie Baillie and Peter MacKay were kind enough to join us upstairs in private after the celebration to chat and take photos. Each student will receive a letter from Peter MacKay to put into their Portfolios.

When people ask me what the best part of running a B&B is, my answer is always the people we host. We never know who we will have sleeping in our home, or having breakfast at our table. Over the past 11 years, we’ve had many interesting and accomplished people stay with us and we welcome each and every guest with equal enthusiasm. We had the conversation with our learners that regardless of their own political stripes, each guest needed be treated with respect and discretion. We needn’t have worried. The event went very well and the team rose to the occasion.

Hands-on learning at its best!

Nostalgia in Central Nova

Nostalgia in Central Nova

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The lights are up and Kelsey adds final touches to the tables before the guests arrive.

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Chef Gilles Godin oversees his learners.

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While tourism was prepping the dining room; culinary was prepping the food. (I couldn’t believe how calm it was in the kitchen – what a team!)

Margaret (Office Admin), Heather (Business Admin), Samantha (Office Admin) at the coat check. Photo credit: Deanna Belliveau, Business Admin

Margaret (Office Admin), Heather (Business Admin), Samantha (Office Admin) at the coat check. Photo credit: Deanna Belliveau, Business Admin

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Table settings before rolls, salads, dressings, menus, etc. were added. The culinary students made NSCC chocolate bars as a take-away favour for each guest.

Michaela, Tourism Management, gets ready to serve. Photo credit: Deanna Belliveau, Business Administration

Michaela, Tourism Management, gets ready to serve. Photo credit: Deanna Belliveau, Business Administration

Plating 300 desserts

Plating 300 desserts (Photo credit: Deanna Belliveau)

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Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, had to leave after his keynote address, but took the time to come and acknowledge us.

Part of the Tourism and Culinary team with Jamie Baillie, Leader of the Provincial Conservative Party

Part of the Tourism and Culinary team with Jamie Baillie, Leader of the Provincial Conservative Party and Senator Tom McInnis

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Most of the Tourism & Culinary team (along with Business & Office Administration volunteers) with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Senator Tom McInnis and his wife, Brenda. I made it into this one!

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Chef Gilles Godin and the Honourable MP Peter MacKay

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Chef Gilles Godin with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

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We are a learning facility. It’s unconventional, but we manage to get the job done. Students, faculty and the Academic Chair working on getting the dishes cleared! (The automotive shop became the dish pit!)

Random Tuesday thoughts in April

In the drafts section of this site, I have a number of unfinished posts. I start to write with good intentions, but then don’t end up publishing them because I don’t have time to write them with the detail I’d like to. It occurred to me tonight that life is busy for everyone, and sometimes snippets are fine.

I’m at the end of the semester at school and we’re all feeling the stress of being down to the wire. With the weather this semester, everyone seems behind and we’re all scrambling to get outcomes finished and work-terms secured before the last day of classes. My 2nd year Business Administration students filled out their “intent to graduate” forms today. These students are special to me because they are my first class from Pictou. I’ve had them for Communications in 1st and 2nd year, Contemporary Business Issues, and some of them in Intro Sociology and Intro Psychology. I’ve gotten to know them pretty well and will miss having them on the campus next year. I’m nostalgic already, so can only imagine how I’ll be by the time graduation rolls around!

I found time in my day to meet with a 1st year BA student and be interviewed about what it’s like to own a bed & breakfast for her Management Principles course. I think the interview was good for both of us. It’s always fun to reflect back on your beginnings and where you’ve come …

We celebrated 50 Years of Learning at Pictou Campus this afternoon and the event was wonderful! We had former staff, faculty, principals, and students attend from over the years. The student council president from 1963 made a speech that was a delight to listen too – everyone was laughing and smiling. Chef & his culinary students had cooked up an amazing variety of foods and four of us who teach in the Tourism Management program provided tray service. I absolutely adore serving people and had a lot of fun!

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My “work husband” Rankin, ready to serve. My only photo of the evening as I had no pockets and left my phone in my office while serving.

It was so nice to celebrate all the good things that happen at our campus!!

D’Arcy came to pick me up and we drove home through teaming rain. We’re looking forward to Spring. My mother had fed the children and we had eaten at the reception, so it was an easy supper night – love those!!

I counted my blessings as I listened to the girls reading in their beds and Olivia was spelling the words she didn’t know so Sarah could help her with them. Then, after lights were out, they told knock knock jokes and giggled. I giggled listening to them.

Life is good. Back to work…

 

 

 

 

Farewell

Sexta-feira, Março 21          (written by D’Arcy)

Today was scheduled as a Free Day with family or school.  This is the tough day where  we have say all the Goodbyes that will be said as we near the end of our trip.  We know that we must return home, but many friendships have been formed and it will be difficult to leave them.

Kristen and her class at Crescimento.

Class at Crescimento.

Tonight we had a farewell dinner with the host families at La Pizzeria, a restaurant in the Historic part of the city.  Walking through these streets on a Friday night is quite an experience in itself.  The streets are narrow and full with people.  If you want food, there are vendors selling.  If you want crafts, there are many different crafts available.  If you want live music, there are three or four bands playing.  The buildings in this section of town are 350 – 400 years old and are covered with the porcelain tiles that we learned about in our art class. It was amazing.

São Luís at night.

São Luís at night.

La Pizzeria

La Pizzeria

Kristen, Hanna, Alex and Jiimmy.

At the farewell dinner

Lori and Silvania.

Lorieann and Silvania.

After we finished eating, the students each received certificates for completion of the exchange program. Seloina Sell, from via Mundo, handed out these certificates.

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Alex and Selonia

Now it is time to complete packing, or for some of us, to start packing and begin to say goodbye to São Luís.  Tomorrow, we need to be at the airport for 11:40 am.  Our flight to São Paulo is scheduled to depart at 2:40 pm.

As far as this blog goes, we will wrap it up after the trip is complete.

Until then, farewell.

College, Cooking, Capoeira

Quinta-feira, Março 20              (written by Lorie)

A CHANGE IN PLANS…

Today began with a change in schedule. Students were to have one last full day of classes at Cresimendo but instead visited a school similar to our NSCC campuses. Students there learn various technical trades.

Maria Clara's Dad welcoming us to Senac campus.

Maria Clara’s Dad welcoming us to Senac campus.

Being welcomed to Senac.  Many thanks to Maria Clara's Dad for inviting us to his Campus.

Being welcomed to Senac. Many thanks to Maria Clara’s Dad for inviting us to his Campus.

Julio, a coordinator at Senac campus, provided a lot of the translation for us today.

Julio, a coordinator at Senac campus, provided a lot of the translation for us today.

Students watched while one of the culinary students prepared two different salad dressings. Our students were then asked to come up in pairs to prepare a salad. Once they had finished preparing their salad they were then asked to present it to their closest friend here on the trip. They had to explain why they were giving their salad to the friend they had chosen.

On the right, is the head Chef and Instructor at this campus.  On the left, is the student who took us through the process of preparing our plates.

On the right, is the head Chef and Instructor at this campus. On the left, is the student who took us through the process of preparing our plates.

Student Chef.

Student Chef.

Attentive, or hungry, audience.

Attentive, or hungry, audience.

Giving us instructions on choosing who we make our salad for.

Giving us instructions on choosing who we make our salad for.

Alex and Baily

Alex and Baileigh.
Alex made his salad for his Brazilian mom.

Alex made his salad for his Brazilian mom.

After the salad the culinary students had prepared for us several local dishes which included beef wrapped in bacon, rice, rice mixed with a local plant (we were told of a story about an injured native who was left while his companions went off to war. He was able to survive by eating this plant.), a type of fish and a shrimp pie. Everyone enjoyed the meal a lot.

Beef wrapped with bacon.

Beef wrapped with bacon.

Fish, ready for the oven.

Fish, ready for the oven.

Food preparation.  The smells were incredible.

Food preparation. The smells were incredible.
Getting ready for the main course.

Getting ready for the main course which included fish, shrimp, beef and rice.

The chef was very passionate about the value of good food and the value of experiencing new foods from a different culture.  Here he is telling the class about a particular herb that is sometimes added to the rice.

The chef was very passionate about the value of good food and the value of experiencing new foods from a different culture. Here he is telling the class about a particular herb that is sometimes added to the rice.

Most of the students decided to attend classes that afternoon even if they weren’t normally an afternoon student simply because they realized time is running out and they will soon be on a plane home. (I’m sure most parents reading this find it hard to believe the students were asking to go to class but they were.)

In the evening we had a capoeira workshop. Capoeira is a Brazilian art form, which combines dance, music, and acrobatics with martial arts. Known as the secret dance of Brazil, capoeira is an astonishing display of acrobatics, breath-taking kicks and self-defense tactics performed to the music of the Berimbau (an ancient stringed bow-like instrument) and drums.

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While it was very hot and some students hadn’t brought a change of clothes due to the change in plans and not knowing they would be going straight from school. I think they all had a great time. While there were a few minor bumps and possible bruises they did a great job with the “fighting”. They were also taught the history of capoeira, and then about the instruments involved and how to use each.

Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be . . .

Quarta-feira, Março 19

Today is Saint Joseph’s Day – Dia de São José.  St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and in some Brazilian communities it is a holiday. It was explained to me that if it rains on St. Joseph’s day then it will be a good year.  Well let me tell you it rained pretty hard here today.  A good year lies ahead.

Dancing is a great way to celebrate the prediction of a good year and today we were fortunate enough to learn the basic steps to a Brazilian style of dance.  The students were keen to try and the steps were sometimes hard to follow.  But, by the end of it, our guys had the basics down.

On our way to Dance class.

On our way to Dance class.

One, two, three, four ...

One, two, three, four …

Our instructor.

Our instructor.

five, six, seven, eight, ...

five, six, seven, eight, …

Heavy rain. It's going to be a good year.

Heavy rain. It’s going to be a good year.

How it should look.

How it should look.

After.

After.

After with more expression.

After with more expression.

Maybe when we return, Alex will teach you a few moves.