Camden is, without doubt, the premier of the towns on the mid-coast. Incredibly busy in summer, much of the same shopping and lunching is available in winter. A wander around the town will bring you to three businesses that we enjoyed very much… all on Bay View Street. For artwork, try the Duck Trap Bay Trading Company (37 Bay View). There are a number of galleries in town, but it you are looking for a wide selection in all price ranges, this is the place. With two floors of exhibition space featuring everything from reasonable watercolours to expensive oils and some sculpture thrown in for variety, the Duck Trap has something for you. Next door, you’ll find ABCD Books(23 Bay View). Old, high-ceilinged rooms are packed with an eclectic collection of used books - mostly in hard-cover. The strength is in history, literature and fiction with a nice collection of children’s books. Prices aren’t particularly low and first editions demand a premium. Buy or not, it’s a great visit for the book-lover (I know, bibliophile). Across the street, you’ll find the lovely Once a Tree (46 Bay View). The large shop features beautifully crafted woodworks, everything from salad bowls to jewellery chests, as well as pottery and any number of tasteful and attractive things. Just a wonderful shop.
If your visit has you feeling peckish, then you might try Cappy’s which is highly recommended. We arrived only to find out that it was closed on winter Wednesdays and settled for the Village Restaurant next door (5 Main Street). The restaurant is a bright attractive room with a fantastic view of Camden harbour through the large windows. You’ll find appetizers including clam chowder and lobster stew, salads ($7.95-$16.95), sandwiches, wraps and burgers ($6.95-$13.95), seafood, chicken dishes and salmon ($8.95 - $13.95). To our dismay, both clams and salmon were unavailable and we both chose the fried scallops ($12.95)… it was a big meal, all very nice and quite well done. If you’re from away, this is an opportunity to try Belfast Bay Brewing’s Lobster Ale. Not bad, at all.
Belfast may not be the most attractive town on the mid-coast, but its little Main Street features some interesting shopping. Two businesses that grabbed our attention were The Green Store and The Clown. The Green Store calls itself a general store for the twenty-first century and for a while, I wasn’t really sure what it was trying to be, but if I were and environmentalist or survivalist, I would have to check it out. But it’s so much more than that… eclectic and interesting. The Clown is your place for wine and olive oil… there’s more than that, but it does have a good wine selection and the place just makes for a nice visit.