August 10th, 2012
Quebec's local food scene goes so much deeper than cheese and maple syrup. Choose your own adventure through the Lanaudière and Mauricie regions close to Montreal for a picnic lunch worth Instagramming.
Sample a certified table champêtre – "country table" meal – at Domaine des Trois Gourmands, featuring ingredients from local producers including carpaccio from the farm's own highland cattle.
In nearby village Ste-Marcelline-de-Kildare, confiturier Simon Turcotte has set up shop with his range of jams and jellies made of local fruits with a gourmet twist. The strawberry and Chinese five spice goes especially well with a baguette and soft cheese.
Lawyer Desneiges Pepin and her husband started Bergerie des Neiges in 1985 with a flock of 11. Almost 30 years later, they're known for their lamb and mutton charcuterie and kid-friendly self-guided tour.
Pick up a tasty selection of organic cheese and other local food products at the boutique of Fromagerie F.X. Pichet; book ahead to visit the farm and cheese factory as well.
For a prime picnic spot and a walk through the fields, head to lavender farm Passion Lavande, where you'll find oils, beauty products and home scents as well as lavender lemonade, chocolate and (our favourite) fudge.
Book a room in the spa building at Auberge Le Baluchon for easiest access to treatments and the Nordic spa's outdoor sauna, hot tub and cold plunge pool. Treat yourself to a four-course meal featuring 75 percent local ingredients in the on-site restaurant, then make up the calories with a morning trail run or ride around the expansive grounds. —Kat Tancock
October 22nd, 2009
The days are short and the air is crisp, but that’s no reason to turn into a hermit. Rally up the girls and head to the hottest city in La Belle Province for a weekend of food, fun and frivolity.
Spoil yourselves with plush duvets and Frette bathrobes at Hotel Nelligan. The perfect mix of traditional charm and modern convenience, this Montreal favourite is sure to please. Plus, the location, among the cobblestones of Old Town is ideal. 106 Rue Saint-Paul W., Montreal, www.hotelnelligan.com
Montreal is known for it’s playful street style, but if it’s your inner diva you want to indulge, head to Mona Moore. This glam shoe boutique boasts the sexiest styles in the city. Go gaga over Rick Owens black leather woven boots ($2595) or splash out on a pair of Dries Van Noten cognac leather pumps with black stamped crocodile heels ($745). Stepping into these on Monday morning will make the trek back to work almost pleasant. 1446 Sherbrook St. W., Montreal, www.monamoore.com
A day of hopping from shop to shop calls for a deluxe dinner. Pamper your taste buds with a trip to L'express, the ultimate French bistro. Kick off with a bottle of red and a jar of cornichon followed by its famous steak-frites topped with salty herbed butter. Save room for dessert. The rich chocolate tart is to die for. 3927 Rue St. Denis, 514-845-5333 (Reservations recommended).
Spend an evening watching the best in new French-language cinema at Cinemania Film Festival. The annual rendez-vous of film buffs takes place November 5-15. This year’s lineup is still under wraps, but previous years have featured works by both acclaimed filmmakers and up-and-comers. www.cinemaniafilmfestival.com
December 19th, 2008
Spoil the foodie in the family this holiday with a stocking stuffed with edible delights.
At new food retail store A Taste of Quebec you’ll find masses of Québécois goodies like wild meats, artisanal cheeses, rum infused maple syrup, honeys and gourmet breads.
By night, the 2000-square-foot Distillery District space turns into a tasting salon led by top chef, J.P. Chalet. Indulge your food lover in a wine tasting, lecture or private tutorial, or gather a group for an intimate dinner prepared by Chalet, Jennifer Decorte and Peter Tsang.
A Taste of Quebec, 55 Mill St., Building #36, 1st Floor, Toronto, 416-364-5020, www.atasteofquebec.com