Signal Hill National Historic Site in St. John’s Newfoundland is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike for several reasons, no matter what the weather or time of day or time of year.
The hill provides a spectacular view of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Narrows, the small channel that allows ships and small vessels access to the port. Military history has been made here over and over again.
It was from this point in December 1901 that Guglielmo Marconi and team first sent a radio message to Europe, basically launching this addiction we now have to our cell phones and other wireless technology. Bad Marconi! 🙂
But the most important reason to visit is the Newfoundland Chocolate Company that has a cafe in the Signal Hill Visitors Center.
Newfoundland Chocolate Company at Signal Hill
There’s much to love about the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. First and obviously, it’s chocolate. But other than the cacao beans that come from warmer climates, everything else is locally sourced – the milk, the fruit flavors and much of the sugar. A chocolate fountain bubbles continuously in the cafe.
You can learn a lot about Newfoundland and St. John’s by a visit to this shop. Many of the candies are named for streets in St. John’s or famous people. The Danny – a caramel, milk chocolate and sea salt combination – is the most popular. It’s named for Danny Williams, a well-liked former Premiere of the island.
The wrappings on a number of their candy bars include some of the unusual parlance unique to Newfoundland, little colloquial sayings that breathe life into this culture. For example, “Stunned as me Arse” means the person you are talking about is not very bright.
“Some Day on Clothes” references a pretty, sunny day, or a good day to hang clothes on the line. Almost everyone seems to hang their clothes outside in this part of the world. I love it.
“I dies for you” basically mean you are funny, as in “you crack me up” or “you make me laugh.”
There’s another one – “Lard Tunderin.” I can’t remember exactly what that was all about, but I think it is basically OMG or Holy Cow or some other generic explanation. At least that’s what I’m going to use it for.
Picnic on Signal Hill, St. John’s
The Newfoundland Chocolate Company cafe at Signal Hill also sells, gelato, soups and paninis and has a license to sell wine and beer. They’ll pack up a picnic lunch for you that you may enjoy at any of the picnic tables or hiking trails around the hilltop.
At the main location on Duckworth Street in St. John’s, you can watch chocolatiers actually making the product and pick up a few goodies not available at the Signal Hill location. We also like the candy bars wrapped with the image of the colorful jelly bean houses that are common throughout the older part of St. John’s.
We bought a bag full to share with friends and family when we got home.
Ya right, like that’s gonna happen!