Eastern Townships

Eastern Townships with charm and passion

Yves Lafontaine
Commentaires

Montreal and Quebec City are not the only places in Quebec where one can find specifically gay hangouts. Sherbrooke, the Queen of the Eastern Townships, has one gay bar and Granby has one gay nudist Inn.  Who would have thought of it in such area?

Sherbrooke is also the birthplace of Quebec’s own Clémence DesRochers, an openly gay artist. But Sherbrooke is not the only point of interest in the Eastern Townships. The region has some of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, such as Frelighsburg, Knowlton, Marbleton and Standstead, whose anglo-saxon charm and victorian architecture tell a story written by loyalist settlers. There we find picturesque cafés, art galleries and antique shops. These charming villages are surrounded by a prosperous countryside. Wine lovers will also want to go to the Fête des Vendanges Magog-Orford, where they will be able to participate in the pressing of the grapes and taste the many delicacies of Quebec’s countryside in a festive atmosphere, People who enjoy good food will be able to satisfy their healthy appetites at the Comptonales, which showcases local farmers, food producers and restaurateurs from Compton and the Coaticook River valley.

The countryside of the Eastern Townships offers more than just great food. It offers bucolic landscapes of mountains and valleys, made perfect for cycling by more than 300 miles of bicycle paths. The wilderness of the Eastern Townships is also open to those who enjoy hiking. The Sentiers de l’Estrie is the most ancient hiking trail in Quebec and its 120 miles of trails run alongside the frontier with Vermont. Wilderness also means lakes. The many lakes of the region (Memphrémagog, St-François, Massawippi, Mégantic) offer all sorts of aquatic activities: fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and more. Legend has it that an aquatic monster lurks in the depths of Lake Memphrémagog.

But this amusing legend does not scare away the swimmers from all over the world who come to compete at the Traversée internationale du lac Memphrémagog. This sporting event is also a cultural festival showcasing many artists and artisans from all over the province. The Eastern Townships are an interesting destination for culture too. The Orford Festival has nine weeks of jazz and classical music concerts. Amnd art circuits offers visits to the studios and workshops of artists and artisans from the region.



From May 17 to 25, 2014

La Fête du Chocolat de Bromont

Bromont T. 450-534-4078
www.feteduchocolat.ca

Gourmets and people with a sweet tooth alike are invited this May to the Fête du chocolat (Chocolate Festival) in Bromont. Bromont, home of the Chocolate Museum, has for several years been a choice destination for chocolate lovers and connoisseurs far and wide.


From July 26 to August 3, 2014

Circuit des arts de Memphrémagog

Magog T. 819-847-3698
www.circuitdesarts.com

The Circuit des arts Memphrémagog (Memphrémagog Art Circuit) invites you to visit the workshops of dozens of artists and artisans who will amaze you with their talent and originality.


From July 26 to August 3, 2014

Traversée internationale du lac Memphrémagog

Magog T. 819-847-3007 /
1-800-267-2744
traversee-memphremagog. com

The Traversée internationale du lac Memphrémagog (International Crossing of Lake Memphrémagog) is an aquatic marathon where swimmers from around the world come to compete. The objective: to cross Lake Memphrémagog along a 25 miles-long course! There are also competitions for amateur swimmers, and all sorts of other water sports. This sporting event is also a cultural festival, featuring line dancing, arts and crafts, children's games and outdoor concerts.

From August 30 to eptember 7, 2014

Fête des vendanges Magog-Orford

Magog & Orford T. 819-847-2022 / 1-888-847-2050
www.fetedesvendanges.com

On this 19th edition of the Fête des vendanges (Festival of the Harvest), close to 150 food growers and artisans, including many winemakers, will proudly present the fruit of their labour. Local chefs will give cooking workshops in the communal kitchen. Also, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the pressing of the wine grapes.


From september 26 to october 5, 2014

Les Comptonales

Compton T. 819-835-9463 www.comptonales.com

Gourmet tours that take you right to the farms themselves, with tasting sessions and demonstrations of agricultural, culinary and artistic skill. Visual artists at work outdoors; photo exhibition/contest with a professional jury and many prizes. A real Thanksgiving feast as regional chefs pool their talents, inspired by the harvest.


Wine route Eastern Townships and Montérégie


www.laroutedesvins.ca

The Wine Route is the first official tourism route in Québec. Discover 18 Eastern Townships wineries, particularly in the Brome-Missisquoi wine region. And 21 wine producers in the Montérégie. Along the way, become acquainted with the grape growers-they'll be pleased to share the fruit of their passion with you! If you are planning a vacation or a romantic getaway, a number of packages and cycling tours are available. Depending on the season, the vineyards can offer: guided tours, tastings, grape harvests, ice wine. Stop in the picturesque Eastern Townships village of Dunham, where a large number of wineries, cider makers and local products await you.



LODGINGS

AUBERGE AUX 4 SAISONS ORFORD

4940, ch. du Parc, Orford
Québec, Canada, J1X 7N9
819 868-1110 1 877 768-1110
www.4saisonsorford.com

Located directly at the foot of Mont Orford, a five-minute drive from Magog, this inn is the ideal spot for an elegant nature getaway where pleasure and comfort join forces to enhance your visit. You'll be charmed by the warm atmosphere and personalized service. Located at the base of Mont Orford, this restaurant offers simple yet refined cuisine with a European flair, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., in a warm and casual atmosphere. Whatever the season, Chef Antoine Rheault and his team will tantalize your taste buds.


Le Foyer rond

400, ch. George-Bonnallie, Eastman
Québec, Canada, J0E 1P0
T. 450 297-2648
www.foyerrond.ca

This family-owned establishment located in the heart of the Eastern Townships, an hour from Montréal, is the perfect venue for private group events and outdoor activities in a peaceful country setting. Includes 27 rooms, a 30-acre site, gymnasium and pool. Hiking and downhill skiing nearby (Mont Orford is 10 minutes away).



Gîte Bain de nature

127, rue Lussier, Saint-Alphonse-de-Granby.
T. 450-375-4765. www.baindenature.qc.ca
POUR HOMMES SEULEMENT / men only

Located in lush nature with beautiful gardens The Gîte Bain de nature is a B&B for men only. This location will tempt you to do nothing, to relax and maybe even take a swim naked in the lake, yes, it’s allowed ! Here we like it the natural way… Le Pavillon des étés offers you a suite with a bedroom and an all equipped kitchen. The continental breakfast is included in the price. And you can also take advantage of the site and spend a nice day there for a $15 fee if you don’t want to stay.

ATTRACTIONS

Train touristique Orford Express
Orford Express Tourist Train

806, Place de la Gare, Marché de la gare de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke Qc, J1H 0E9
T. 819 575-8081 1 866 575-8081 (Canada, USA)
www.orfordexpress.com

Laissez-vous transporter, le temps d'une escapade gourmande, à bord de l'un des plus beaux trains touristiques. De mai à décembre, l'Orford Express propose des randonnées animées en train, à travers les magnifiques paysages des Cantons-de-l'Est, avec repas gastronomiques servis à bord. Que vous optiez pour le Brunch, le P'tit plaisir gourmand de l'après-midi ou le Souper à la brunante, vous reviendrez la tête pleine de merveilleux souvenirs et le palais comblé! De mai à la fin décembre.

Let yourself be carried away by the pleasures of a gourmet escapade aboard one of the loveliest tourist trains anywhere. The Orford Express offers outings through the scenic countryside of the Eastern Townships with entertainment and gastronomic meals onboard. Whether you choose the Brunch, the P'tit plaisir gourmand (life's simple gourmet pleasures) or the Souper à la brunante (dinner at dusk) format, you'll return with loads of marvellous memories and a satisfied palate! Reserve now for Christmas Trains! Limited seating, reservations required. From May to December.


BAR

L’Ôtre Zone

252, rue Dufferin, Sherbrooke. T. 819- 565-5333

Cool place to hang out. Regular shows, themed nights and popular happy hour.