R.H. Downs – No Place Like Home in Newfoundland & Labrador

A.K.A: Renée

Occupation: Writer & full time Program Coordinator for Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine

Place of Birth: Springdale, Green Bay, NL

Currently Resides: Lower Sackville, NS

Where’s your favourite place in Newfoundland & Labrador to grab a coffee?

At the Tea Room on Long Island where I was raised. Everyone knows my name and how I like my coffee, usually with Carnation Milk, but only when I am in NL.

Where’s your favourite place in Newfoundland & Labrador to grab a pint?

There are many but I somehow always end up at O’Reilly’s on George Street in St. John’s.

Where’s your favourite place to shop in Newfoundland & Labrador?

I love visiting all the little mom and pop shops along the way in search of something locally crafted. Anything homemade from Newfoundland and Labrador is a unique and wonderful thing. “From mitts to mutton,” mudder use to say. There are several Heritage shops all over the island that carry a verity of crafts, art and even books.

What's the one meal you miss the most when you're away?

This is hard; I don’t often have to eat out at all when I am home. From squid casserole at Aunt Dulcie’s to a spread like no other at Aunt Hope’s. I am spoiled rotten every time I visit. But the fish and chips at Seaside in Conception Bay South are hard to resist, even if I can never finish it.

Where in Newfoundland & Labrador would we stand to see your favourite view?

Now this is easy. On the tiny island where I grew up there is a view like no other. Where you can see the ocean stretch for miles. When I was a kid I had to climb over some very unsteady rocks to get there but now there is a marked trail leading to a gazebo where anyone can safely enjoy its beauty. I wrote about this spot in my book, Sisters of Avalon. It’s where the twins take Joseph for his first ever wiener roast.

Name 3 things we’ve gotta do when we visit Newfoundland & Labrador:

1. Attend a good old-fashioned kitchen party. You know it’s a proper NL party when there are musical instruments, lots of rum, and everyone is having a good “scuff.”
2. A boat ride out to a rocky beach for a “scoff”, not to be mistaken for a “scuff” which means doing a jig. A “scoff” is a cook up out where smart phones are dumb and the only thing you can see for miles is beautiful blue sea.
3. And the third thing you absolutely gotta do when you visit Newfoundland & Labrador is “watch out for moose”. The best thing to do in Newfoundland and Labrador is drive, and drive all over it if you can. There is something in every nook and cranny of that province and it is truly wonderful. But when you drive you do have to watch out for those darn moose.

What makes Newfoundland & Labrador such a special place on earth for you?

It is the place where I can just let go of everything and relax. But the accent, the saucy tongue, all come back as soon as I get home. My cares and worries take on a new genre, as the only question I have to seriously consider is what I would like for supper. My boys get to experience a freedom that cannot be felt any place else. They too love to explore and discover the magic that is Newfoundland and Labrador. “Dere’s nothin like it any place else.”


SABS On-Line Hook-UPs for R.H.Downs

Website: www.rhdowns.com

Twitter: @E11ephantRoom


SABS Note of Noteworthiness

Sisters of Avalon coverR.H.Downs is in the midst of writing a series of books collectively entitled Bride Family Trilogy.

The first novel in the series Sisters of Avalon is out now and if you're in Halifax, NS on December 11, 2014 be sure to drop into Just Us Café (5896 Spring Garden Road)

Ms.Downs will be there for a reading and booking signing too 6-7pm!

The author will also have copies on hand for purchase.


good-luckWe gave away a copy of R.H.Down's book "Sisters of Avalon" in our Countdown to Christmas Contest.

Click on the picture below to see how you can get in on the winning!

dec 15 Sisters of Avalon by RH Downs winner Alice Ketchum Barrie, ON


  1. Wonderful memories and the novel is an addictive read!

    Comment by Lora Lee Rowsell — November 30, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

  2. Congrats Alice! I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks again Stephanie for including the Sisters of Avalon.

    Comment by R.H. Downs — December 16, 2014 @ 8:30 am

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