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Travel Culinary

Taking a Chance

The First 25 Years of Fishers' Loft Inn

by (author) John Fisher, Peggy Fisher & Roger Pickavance

preface by Dame Judi Dench

Fishers' Loft Inn
Initial publish date
Jul 2023
Culinary, Canadian, Atlantic Provinces
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price

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“In 1989, we bought a house overlooking the ocean in the Newfoundland outport of Port Rexton, Trinity Bay — a place we had barely heard of, let alone lived in.”

Thus begins the story of how John and Peggy Fisher took a chance that changed their lives and made an indelible mark on the place they adopted as home.

The Fishers’ big move was the first of several more leaps of faith. The transplanted urbanites went on to transform themselves into innkeepers and to warmly embrace their new community.

Fishers’ Loft is now well established and much loved by all who dine or stay there. Taking a Chance captures the unique atmosphere of the inn, with stunning photographs of interiors, vistas, and the surrounding Bonavista Peninsula, as well as 80 lovingly produced recipes for some of the Inn’s signature dishes.

More than a quarter century after their move to Port Rexton, the Fishers have produced a love letter to rural Newfoundland, sharing their firm belief in the wonderful things that can happen when you take a chance.

About the authors

John and Peggy Fisher met in 1977 while working on the launch of the Adelaide Court cultural centre in Toronto. In 1989 they bought a small saltbox in Port Rexton as a summer home, and by 1990 they had moved to Newfoundland permanently. They opened Fishers’ Loft Inn in 1997, originally as a B&B extension of their home before expanding with additional buildings. Today the inn consists of 33 rooms and suites, an executive conference centre, dining room, bar, and library/sitting room.

John Fisher's profile page

Peggy Fisher's profile page

Roger Pickavance was raised Wales and arrived in Newfoundland in 1968, a pivotal time where the traditional way of life outside St. John's was entering a period of rapid change. But many traditional foods were still in evidence, many of which Pickavance had neither seen nor heard of before, including saltfish, cod tongues, britches, partridgeberries, and bakeapples. Seeing these in the kitchens of his new—found home opened his eyes to cooking traditions that had lasted for many generations, but which — along with the way of life — were being rapidly diluted by the modern world.

Roger Pickavance's profile page

Dame Judi Dench is an award-winning is an English actress and author. Her role as Iris Murdoch in the film Iris (2001) won critical acclaim for her moving portrayal of the writer's journey into dementia. Dame Judi is a patron of the Alzheimer's Society and an ambassador for those who help people with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Dame Judi Dench's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Reading this story full of joy, colour, and culture, where everything seems to work out the way it was intended, was as satisfying as any of the meals encoded inside.”

<i>Atlantic Books Today</i>

“A love letter to this place and those people who have made an impact in the Fishers’ lives.”

Business and Arts Newfoundland

“Personal, comprehensive, lavishly illustrated, and detailed-to-the-last-pinch-of-salt.”

<i>The Telegram</i>

“Inside Fishers’ Loft, it’s more like the way you imagine a tastefully gentrified second home in Devon to be today: cozy, low ceilings, smooth planks on the floor, Farrow & Ball on the walls. The companionable restaurant looks over a winsome kitchen garden that provides root crops and salad leaves, artistically laid with sinuous raised beds that echo the inn’s grass labyrinth.”

<i>Financial Times</i>

“These are without a doubt some of the best accommodations on the Bonavista Peninsula, with beautiful gardens and stunning views. A great on-site restaurant, large conference and events center, and art gallery make this a business and vacation paradise.”


Taking A Chance is utterly fulfilling on many sensory levels and a heartwarming inspiration from beginning to end. It is not only a deeply generous book but also, simultaneously, a love letter and an invitation.”

<i>Miramichi Reader</i>

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