From my ground-floor queen bedroom, I can hear the early evening final calls of the birds outside in the trees. Such a blissful moment, particularly after a late afternoon spring shower.
We’re checked in at The Halliburton House Inn for a night, and I’m happy with everything in this room, from the cozy bed to the period furniture and fireplace.
A coffee maker sits on the desk in a corner. A wing-back chair will serve as the perfect spot to relax before dinner at Stories Restaurant next door. As I step outside the room, my eyes are immediately led upward to the curvy wooden staircase.
Back in the room, I begin reading about the history of this place, dating back to 1809, when Sir Brenton Halliburton, a soldier, lawyer, and ‘brilliant politician’ purchased the lot, with the house’s construction beginning seven years later.
Halliburton presided over the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, retiring from his role as Chief Justice when he passed away in 1860. The siltstone home contained a library, wine cellar, drawing room, dining room, plus seven well-appointed bedrooms. In 1885, the house went up for auction.
In that same year, the Dalhousie Law School was also looking for a home, purchasing the building to use as its Law School. And through the years, the building was sold, rented, converted, and eventually became an inn.
In the mid-1980’s, the building again changed ownership and underwent a complete renovation into the Halliburton House Inn. December 1985 saw the building’s registration as a Heritage Property. In 1992, the Inn went on the market, and was purchased by Dr. Bruce Petty and his son Robert (currently the General Manager).
The hotel is well-situated near the waterfront, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Pier 21 National Historic Site, Halifax Citadel, and the Old Burying Ground, where I snapped photos one sunny morning of a few of the city’s first citizens, including men of the British Army and of the Royal Navy.
High-speed internet access and a printer can be found in the charming library next to main lobby. A garden courtyard serves as a relaxing green space for guests. A self-service continental breakfast is included with your stay, enjoyed in Stories Restaurant.
I can’t say enough great things about Stories. Our group dined there on the evening of our stay. Executive Chef Scott Vail always uses local, fresh ingredients in his dishes that range from breast of guinea hen to Yellowfin tuna grilled rare. Starters range in price from $11 to $16; mains from $28 to $33. The menu changes daily.
Freshly-caught Yellowfin tuna was brought in only a few hours ahead of our meal. Pan-seared, rice paper-wrapped sea scallops are gorgeous, served in a ginger sesame vinaigrette.
Stories has a a few Nova Scotian aromatic white wines on their menu: Jost Vineyards (Muscat Prost), Blomiden Estate Winery (Tidal Bay), and Nova 7 (Benjamin Bridge).
International reds, whites, sparkling wines are also available. I enjoyed a Propellor Brewing IPA with my meal.
Desserts are equally beautifully presented and delectable. Our table ordered a flourless chocolate cake and panna cotta to share. Specialty coffees, port, dessert wine, and Fair Trade coffee complete the dessert menu.
The Halliburton and Stories at Halliburton Restaurant are located at 5184 Morris Street in Halifax.
We were guests of the Halliburton Hotel through Destination Halifax. All views expressed here are my own.