Mariner King Inn: Impressions and a Tasty Surprise

Update 8-28-2023: The Mariner King Inn is permanently closed.

Fit for a king

During my Nova Scotia road trip in June, I had the pleasure of staying at the Mariner King Inn in Lunenburg. There was much I liked about my accommodations: a comfortable, nicely-appointed suite; its convenient location in picturesque Old Town Lunenburg; its friendly and attentive staff; and its well-supplied and tasty breakfast buffet.

The inn has a long history going back to 1830 when Dr. Charles Bolman of Lunenburg marked the coronation of the “Mariner King”, British King William, by building a home at 15 King Street. Several years later, the property was sold to sea merchant John Zwicker and stayed in the Zwicker family until 1953. During the following years, it served in a number of capacities — apartments, a rooming house, a home for the elderly, offices, a French bakery, and a restaurant. For the past 25 years, it has been operating as an inn, and in 2007 underwent extensive renovations resulting in the lovely Victorian-style building it is today.

"Mariner King Inn, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia"

Mariner King Inn, Lunenburg

In the main building (shown above), there are three rooms and two suites, one an attic suite with an over-the-rooftops view of Lunenburg Harbor. Recently, the inn opened the newly-renovated Cranberry Suites (where I stayed) and Candy Apple additions, located in buildings on the next block. During my two-night stay at the inn, my days and evenings were quite busy with activities in and around Lunenburg, so I didn’t spend much time in my suite. But it was a pleasant place to begin and end my days.

"Cranberry Suites addition of the Mariner King Inn in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia"

Cranberry Suites addition of the Mariner King Inn

There are four suites and two rooms in the Cranberry Suites addition, each furnished in modern maritime décor. My suite was on the top floor, accessible by stairs as well as an elevator. The living area was roomy, had a window overlooking King Street, and was equipped with a fireplace. A hallway connects the living room and bedroom, which also has a fireplace. I can imagine how cozy a fire would be on a winter’s night.

The super-comfortable bed with an allergy-free pillow-top mattress and luxurious linens compared favorably with those of many upscale hotels I’ve experienced. I also appreciated the in-room coffee and tea maker — a cup of coffee before heading out of the room for the day is a definite plus for me.

"Top floor suite in Cranberry Suites addition of Mariner King Inn, Lunenburg"

Top floor suite in Cranberry Suites addition of Mariner King Inn

Although I slept with the windows open in both the living room and bedroom, I slept soundly — Lunenburg is a quiet town at night.

The Mariner King Inn is convenient to Lunenburg Harbor, restaurants, shops, and attractions. The newest restaurant in town, Rime Restaurant, is adjacent to the Cranberry Suites, and I enjoyed a delicious meal there.

Rates at the inn include a complimentary gourmet buffet breakfast in the main building. Guests can be seated in the cozy small dining room or adjacent bright and airy atrium.

"Breakfast rooms, sitting room and interior decor of Mariner King Inn in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia"

Breakfast rooms, sitting room and interior decor of Mariner King Inn

The food selections were plentiful and included local delicacies such as pickled herring and salmon. It was a pleasant start to our days spent exploring Lunenburg on foot, taking a boat cruise, and visiting local attractions.

"Breakfast buffet at the Mariner King Inn"

Breakfast buffet at the Mariner King Inn


Now the tasty surprise

Here’s something I experienced that you can enjoy — whether at home or when you get a chance to visit Lunenburg and stay at Mariner King Inn. The ginger scones baked fresh by Paterson, the inn’s baker, were a big hit with my companions and me. Paterson was nice enough to share her recipe saying: “It’s an excellent recipe, so let the world know!” And so I am.

"Paterson's ginger scone at Mariner King Inn -- Photo courtesy of Karen Schaler"

Paterson’s ginger scone — Photo courtesy of Karen Schaler

Paterson’s Ginger Scones

Preheat oven to 400°F

2-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz) All-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp (5 oz) cold butter
1 tsp dried ginger
2/3 cups chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey

Mix together dry ingredients, except ginger.

Cut butter into small pieces. Work butter into dry ingredients, flattening pieces with hands.

Add ginger.

Whip whipping cream and honey until it forms soft peaks.

Make well in center of dry ingredients. Place whipping cream into well, and fold dry ingredients into whipping cream until dough comes together.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead a couple of times, not too much. The less you handle the dough the better!

Tip: Keep the dough cold!

Roll into a 9-inch circle. Cut into 8 pieces. (This is for the large size.)

Brush tops with a little whipping cream, sprinkle with sugar.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy! Please tell me if you use the recipe to make your own scones. I’ll let you know how mine turn out, too.

I hope to stay at Mariner King Inn on future visits to Lunenburg. There are also special deals available such as spa, dining, kayaking, and tour packages with local businesses. I’d like to try those as well … and, of course, a few more of Paterson’s ginger scones.

For more information: Mariner King Inn

Thanks to my travel companion, Karen Schaler of Travel Therapy, for the mouth-watering ginger scone photo.

Thanks to Nova Scotia Tourism Agency and Taste of Nova Scotia for making my Nova Scotia Road Trip possible, but my opinions and perspectives are totally my own — as always.

I’m contributing this post to Nancie McKinnon’s Budget Traveler’s Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday. Enjoy other links to photos and stories on her site, too.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

42 thoughts on “Mariner King Inn: Impressions and a Tasty Surprise

  1. Nancie

    I laughed when you said that Lunenburg is quiet at night 🙂 I’ve been inside the Mariner King, but have never stayed there. The renovations look lovely. I’m also familiar with the Cranberry building as well. Nice to see it being renovated and utilized as well. The scone recipe sounds delicious.

    My grandmother was a Zwicker from that part of Nova Scotia. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t related to John Zwicker.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      A Zwicker — no kidding! Definitely bring that to the attention of the Mariner King Inn staff when you get back that way. Indeed, Lunenburg is rather quiet most of the time, isn’t it?

  2. Suzanne Fluhr

    I wonder which came first—the name “Cranberry Suites” or the very cranberry colored paint. The Inn does look very cozy. After seeing how much butter is in that scone recipe, there goes my head in the sand consumption of said treat. This is not to say I won’t still be consuming them—I just won’t be able to pretend they’re low cal and low fat anymore.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Pretend that you never read that recipe, Suzanne. Just enjoy your scones! Good question about the name Cranberry Suites. I’m guessing that the name came first in recognition of the cranberry bogs in the area. But that’s just a guess.

  3. Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    It’s always interesting to stay in a place with so much history. I think I’d like to stay in the Cranberry Suite; It looks like a giant doll house. How charming! The scone looks sumptuous and I could smell it delicious aroma as it makes its way out of the oven.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      It’s very nice that the rooms in the Cranberry Suites maintain a historic feel, yet have updated modern amenities and furnishing. I’ve got to make those scones pretty soon, because I’ve been having a craving since publishing this post.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      The attic was the perfect place for women of days gone by to watch for the fishing boats come back from the sea. The inn has a ghost story about that, too. But that’s for later…..

  4. Leigh

    I’ve got a photo of the inn but hadn’t appreciated how lovely it looked inside. I just love the architecture of all the old houses in Lunenburg – and the scone recipe sounds really good.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Since you’ve been to Lunenburg, you know just how beautiful and charming it is. I’ve got another post about some of the buildings that I particularly liked — A Glimpse of Lovely Lunenburg.

  5. Michelle

    Nova Scotia is an area I would like to visit. Thank you for sharing the wonderful accommodations. It seems the more I travel, the pickier I am about where I stay. Everything about the Mariner King inn seems perfect.

  6. Donna Janke

    Lunenburg is such a picturesque town. I was there on a day trip, but if I should go back and stay overnight, I will definitely consider Mariner King Inn. And I may have to try the ginger scone recipe. Sounds delicious.

  7. Linda

    Going back I think now about 10 years there was a programe on the Travel Channel called Tall Ships Chronicles (I think, something similar if not) which had me totally hooked. Long story short, the ship was based in Lunenburg,and I’ve been hankering to go there ever since, in a serious way, which is one reason I found your trip so fascinating! And now – I know where I want to stay too!

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Ships and ship building have a long history in Lunenburg and it is home to the Bluenose II, a replica of Canada’s beloved and historic fishing/racing schooner the Bluenose, which was built in Lunenburg.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Go ahead, give it a try. I’m not much of a baker either, but I’ll be gathering ingredients very soon to make a batch.

  8. Sophie

    Wow, you stayed in one of those fabulous houses I remember taking lots of pictures of in Lunenburg. Wondering why there’s an American flag? Was it because you were there, perhaps? Looks like a very comfortable room, indeed. And I do like the ‘share it with the world’-attitude rather than ‘it’s my secret recipe’ that so many seems to have.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      I was quite impressed by the willingness to share the recipe, too. Very nice of Paterson. About the flag… I’ll have to get back to you on that. I made an assumption that it was for the American visitors, but one should never assume, should they?

  9. Gillian Semple

    What a beautiful place. The breakfast looks scrumptious! I plan to visit Lunenberg in October while on my East Coast Adventure. Will be staying with a friend at her home near Peggy’s Cove but will make a stop to visit Lunenberg! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Pingback: Touring Canada, Part 3: The Maritime Provinces | Swirls and Spice

  11. Pingback: Lovely Lunenburg Buildings - Traveling with Sweeney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.