Stylish seclusion awaits on a remote Canadian isle off the coast of Newfoundland, where fishing shacks, rugged shorelines, and the striking architecture of Fogo Island Inn provide the backdrop to this season’s warm winter looks.
Photographs by Alexander Beer
First settled by cod fishermen in the late 17th century, Canada’s craggy, windswept Fogo Island today harbors just a handful of seaside villages that overlook the North Atlantic’s Iceberg Alley, so-called for the massive chunks of glacial ice that drift down from Greenland each spring. Getting here is half the adventure: you fly into the Newfoundland town of Gander from Halifax or St. John’s then drive for an hour to catch a ferry at Farewell—an aptly named launching point for this edge-of-the-world experience.
Yet Fogo is also an emerging cultural destination thanks to locally born tech millionaire Zita Cobb, who’s made it her mission to revitalize the island’s economy following the collapse of the cod fishing industry in the early 1990s.
Among her projects are an artist-in-residence program, a newly minted geology center, ecological initiatives, and the 29-room Fogo Island Inn, which opened in 2013 on the granite shoreline at Joe Batt’s Arm, where Cobb grew up.
Clad in whitewashed spruce and raised on stilts like the island’s traditional fishing shacks, the hotel is evocative of its surrounds both inside and out, with furnishings by local woodworkers and quilters and a vaulted-ceilinged restaurant that showcases locally fished and foraged ingredients.
Also on hand is a community host program in which lifelong islanders offer guests insights into Fogo’s natural and cultural heritage.
Involving a range of indoor and outdoor activities, the experience bestows not only a strong sense of place, but also an intimate introduction to the people who call this faraway island home.
This article originally appeared in the December 2017/January 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Lost and Found”).