QUEBEC, EASTERN TOWNSHIPS
What better time of year than autumn to sneak a quick getaway to Quebec’s Eastern Townships? This land of mountains, lakes, farms and picturesque villages is loved for its regional cuisine, quaint inns and two centuries of vibrant history. Whether you opt for the Wine Route, the Summit Drive or the well-curated Townships Trail, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are a just few of the exceptional hideaways that we discovered on our journey.
Bromont Chocolate Museum
Founded in 1993, this thematic museum will teach you everything you need to know about chocolate. Best of all, you can taste an amazing variety of traditional and local treats. Stop in for lunch on the patio and enjoy a chat with the friendly staff.
While you’re in town, wander down Shefford Street in Bromont’s Old Village. The selection of charming little boutiques and shops make this a great place to get an early start on your holiday shopping.
Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac
Having the chance to listen to morning prayers and Gregorian chanting in this bucolic setting overlooking Lake Memphrémagog is worth a visit to the Abbey all on its own. But that’s not all this Benedictine community (founded in 1912 by French monks) has to offer. The monks are quite industrious, making everything from cheese to cider—all of which can be bought from a good-size shop on the lower level.
La Grange du Parfumeur
Quebec’s first perfumer, Alexandra Bachand, is the founder and nose of La Grange du Parfumeur. A rising star on the local and international scene with a passion for her olfactory art, Alexandra and her director husband have turned their picturesque chemin des Pères perfume shop into a destination for tourists and residents alike.
When we meet Alexandra, she tell us that “We are guided by emotions when olfaction awakes a memory and that takes us on a unique journey.” She believes her perfume is a narrative medium of artistic expression. In addition to designing scents for the shop, Alexandra creates unique olfactory art installations that she presents in exhibitions.
Le Cep d’Argent
Brothers François and Jean-Paul Scieur are sixth-generation champagne makers who travelled from France to the Eastern Townships almost 20 years ago to launch their grand adventure—the planting of grapes and the creation of a winery in Canada. The brothers bought a 46-hectare plot of land with the right ingredients: A gentle western slope, a microclimate suitable for grape growing and a lake 200 metres above sea level. The rest is history.
Today, true to their family roots, the Scieurs’ sparkling wines—including the Sélection Blanc de Blancs, Sélection Royale and Sélection Rosé—are favoured by sommeliers across the country.
The duo have also been involved in founding the Magog-Orford Grape Festival, which attracts more than 80,000 food and wine lovers to the region each year.
Taste wines à la carte!
Every day from June to September and less frequently at other times of the year, the Scieur brothers invite you to create your own tasting menu from their 11 different wines.
The must-tries on our list: La Réserve, Le Cep d’Argent and the brothers’ Vidal ice wine. Cheers!