titre en français
Throughout the majestic mountains and never ending fields of Eastern Townships are scattered numerous Victorian towns, villages and farms that reflect New England heritage. The roads are scattered around the countryside surrounded with barns often colored in red and fields of grain that are behind the next curve quickly replaced with vineyards or apple orchards.
Being located just about an hour out of Quebec City (photos) and less than hour southeast from Montreal (travel notes) in Eastern Townships we have discovered mix of Quebecois and Anglo-Saxon history, cuisine, culture and everyday life.
Upon arrival to our destination, B&B “Domaine des Chutes” near Frelighsburg in the southern part of Quebec, we realized that our hosts are also great artists and chefs who had prepared a delicious breakfasts every morning during our stay at their B&B. They were also very helpful as guides who helped us with local maps, pinpointing on them places of interests and directing us to at the moment ongoing events in Eastern Townships.
That got as quickly on the road since we left for the next morning exploration of paths behind the B&B, leading through the forest to Pikes River bellow and the Hunter Falls.
What followed is one picturesque town after another with great variety of restaurants, craft shops and everything in between that included specialty farms and entrepreneurial spirit among people who run them, as well as numerous orchards and spectrum of products they make.
In some of the local restaurants menus are prepared with fresh produce from local farms, orchards or purchased in the local boutique stores. Some of the must try local specialties, among others, are Blue cheese, Cider – apple wine as well as locally made honey for an example.
Life evolved around farms in Eastern Townships but there are many innovative entrepreneurs in the region and it’s not long before one stumbles upon a chocolate museum – Musée du chocolat in Bromont for an example, or ends up on a goat farm making soaps containing percentage of a goat milk in unlimited number of scents. Golf courses, numerous lakes, food festivals and art galleries are scattered around the region as well.
There is for every taste something and beside learning “Bon Jour” it is easy to find a gift for someone back home so they too can enjoy a bit of that part of La Belle Province.
Just with the knowledge that region has a large number of artists we ended up being lucky that during our visit there was one of a few organized studio tours happening throughout the Eastern Townships. Very well prepared map was our guide from one town to another with artist’s homes or studios open to the public to view and purchase art work.
Spend a weekend in Eastern Townships, especially in Summer or in Autumn, explore the region by car or on bike, alone, with family or with group of friends discover local apple orchards, try local produce, pick a pumpkin or two for a pie or Halloween, visit local towns, search for antics, take that perfect photo, relax by staying in some of local B&B’s, enjoy tranquility of quiet life not so far from a big and “loud” north-American cities.
After two or three days, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be planning your next trip back.
B&B Domaine des Chutes: 6 chemin des Chutes, Frelighsburg
Your hosts may be able to provide you with a local map or two, suggest and pinpoint interesting, tasty, artsy, historic and fun places to visit.
Every new town, every new lake or hill is often another history lesson especially if you start talking to local inhabitants.
One can quickly learn that from the late 18th to early 19th century, after American War of Independence, the first wave of American immigrants arrived wanting to stay loyal to the British crown. They were first settlers in the region. French Canadians started to settle in the second part of the 19th century and today French make majority of population in the Eastern Townships, in French language called Cantons-de-l’Est.
Hope you’ll enjoy Eastern Townships – Cantons-de-l’Est as much we did.
More photos in Cantons-de-l’Est / Eastern Townships photo gallery…
Hiking on Mont Sutton…
Discover Quebec city…
Montreal (travel notes)…