Heritage, Comfort and Class...
That’s ThistleDown House Bed & Breakfast

by Jane & Brent Cassie
Contributors to Travelink Publishing

Tucked behind trailing ivy and towering firs, was the welcoming covered verandah of ThistleDown House Bed and Breakfast Inn, where period piece wicker chairs emitted visions of a bygone era. We imagined what it would have been like for the Scottish immigrant who created this gracious dream home more than eighty years ago, from milled timbers on nearby Grouse Mountain. We’d heard that many Scot families had since resided here and wondered whether their related origin was due to an act of fate or coincidence. For the past three years, Rex Davidson, of Scottish descent and Swiss-born wife, Ruth Crameri, have kept this heritage alive, and by combining his worldly entrepreneurial skills with her sensational designing expertise have achieved the mastery in providing exquisite accommodation and hospitality.

The vibes of promised relaxation were evident as we stepped over the ThistleDown House threshold into the soothing comfort of its Craftsman-style interior. Walls of soft chamois invitingly contrasted with white finishing touches, and fine Persian carpets warmed oak floors throughout. A wood-burning fire from the living room’s period-crafted hearth was enhanced by neighboring iron candelabra, and bordering this focal point were generously arched doorways leading to other finely appointed rooms. "Everything was created with balance and harmony in mind," explained Rex about the symmetrical architectural features. We soon understood that there was truth to this subliminal message, and whether totally due to the elements of design or in combination with the congenial hospitality of our gracious hosts, there was definitely a feeling of comfort emulating from this great ‘us’cape. We surmised that it was the result of both after enjoying afternoon tea and getting to know the couple who created ThistleDown House. Cushioned by soft leather couches and surrounded by fine antiques, we were treated to Ruth’s fresh fruit pastry delectables served on gold rimmed fine china. Her talents extend from this role of ‘high tea’ pastry chef to morning meal magician where creative breakfasts include such offerings as mouthwatering creamed smoked salmon in a tender vol-au-vent and fresh rainbow trout complemented by tasty tips of asparagus. All is served in the formal Craftsman dining room and all with polished silver-service.

Rex gave us a tour of ThistleDown’s five romantic guest rooms which are uniquely decorated and symbolically named. Starting with the three upstairs, we were introduced to ‘Sweet Tibby’s’ where heritage has been renewed by paying homage to this poem by Robert Burns. Here, couples are spoiled with its cozy pine sleigh bed and an intimate sitting area. The second, with its assortment of fine antiques and dainty printed wallcoverings, revive Ruth’s ‘Memories’ by replicating this large gabled space in honour of a favourite room in her grandparent’s inn in Switzerland. Sun rays flow through the third room’s bay window where ‘Mulberry Peeks’ private balcony views manicured gardens below. For even more seclusion, Rex led us downstairs toward the back of the home where a new architecturally designed addition combines sky lights, stain- glass pieces and warm earth tones to successfully complement the flavour of the era. Here, the secluded ‘Snuggery’ in sensational sage possesses a cozy ambiance with its built in gas fire. Last, but not least, is the creme de la crop in romance. ‘Under the Apple Tree’ spoils with a jet tub for two, cozy fireside sitting area and other ultimate luxuries that even Adam and Eve would delight in. Although all rooms are unique and personable, all pamper guests with the same down or mulberry silk duvets, fluffy terry robes, divine European soaps, and upon request, the modern amenities of TVs and phones.

We later sat with Rex and Ruth in the peaceful bliss on the back garden’s multi-tiered deck, where vines of wisteria provide abundant summer blooms. Once, a one hundred acre orchard, this now half acre manicured setting still boasts two producing apple trees. It was hard to believe that the metropolitan North Vancouver bustle lay just beyond the pristine parameters, where the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, fish hatchery and year round Grouse Mountain activities were just a five minute drive away.

It was obvious that promoting comfort and maintaining ThistleDown’s heritage is of prime importance for Rex and Ruth, and we were once again reminded of that when saying our good-byes and receiving a farewell wag from Talla, the B&B’s friendly Scottie.

If You Go:

ThistleDown House
3910 Capilano Road,
North Vancouver, BC Canada V7R 4J2
Phone: 604-986-7173 or 1-888-633-7173
Fax: 604-980-2939
E-mail: davidson@helix.net
E-mail: info@thistle-down.com
Web site: www.thistle-down.com

ThistleDown House can also be discovered through

For our State-side Neighbors: Through Blaine, taking either the Douglas or Pacific border crossing.

Vancouver and other lower mainland travelers: Take either Lions Gate or Second Narrows Bridge.
Follow signs to North Vancouver.
North on Capilano Road.
ThistleDown House is about two blocks past Capilano Suspension Bridge

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