Quebec’s Enchanting Eastern Townships

Everyone has heard of Montreal and Quebec City, and if you live in the Northeast, it’s likely you have made the trip to one of these beautiful cities, not far from our borders. I have made several visits to Montreal, but until a few weeks ago, I never gave any thought to the countryside in the province of Quebec. I received an email from Tourism Canada regarding their road trip itineraries for the Eastern Townships (Cantons de lEst) of Quebec, and I was immediately interested in exploring the region.

They very generously invited us to be their guests on a road trip to the Eastern Townships, and since we had never even thought to visit the area, we were more than excited to start exploring.

The drive from Boston through New Hampshires mountains, into Vermont, and across the border into Quebec was absolutely breathtaking. I have not made this drive before, and I just don’t know why. We live in a stunning part of the world!

Quebec Eastern Townships

The Eastern Townships border the US, making them a quick 4-5 hour drive from Boston. But the feeling you get when you are there, is like you are worlds away from the city, and that is just what we were hoping for. Everything is more relaxed in a setting like this, and with a warm welcome from our Québécois hosts.

Eastern Townships of Quebec

We learned that the Eastern Townships are a prime location for outdoors activities, year round. Cyclists by the hundreds filled the shoulders of the country roads, braving steep hills to take in the vistas. Clean, sparkling lakes and rivers made ideal places for boating, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. And in the winter, of course, there is skiing, snow-shoeing, skating, and raw natural beauty of snowy mountains dotted by inns. And of course maple everything.

Sutton

Quebec’s Eastern Townships’ natural beauty makes its way into the cuisine of the region as well, making it a gourmet destination. An emphasis on fresh, local food is prevalent and is evident as you drive through the beautiful country passing orchards, honey stands, cideries, and various types of farms. One must-visit location in the sleepy, charming town of Sutton brings all of these things together in one place. Once a general store, La Rumeur Affamée now focuses on food, and only the best food at that.

La Rumeur Affamée

The outside of the store, on a warm summer day with blue skies, was akin to a farmers’ market with local produce in abundance.

La Rumeur Affamée

Inside, a cheese case stretched for ten feet or more and was stocked with local cheeses as well as cheese from France, Italy, Switzerland, and even Ireland. Meats, jams, spreads, olive oils, vinegars, and pates round out half of the store.

La Rumeur Affamée

The other half of the store, was of course, devoted to gorgeous breads and baked goods. La Rumeur Affamée is the perfect place to grab a picnic to bring along for a wander in the Eastern Townships’ countryside and more importantly, the Wine Route.

La Rumeur Affamée

The Vignobles of the Eastern Townships make quality wine, served in rustic settings in the countryside. Places like Vignobles Les Trois Clochers are sprinkled along the Route du Vins serving locally grown and made wines that are a delightful surprise to the palate.

Vignoble Les Trois Clochers

We tasted several wines at Les Trois Clochers and enjoyed them all but fell completely in love with their Métis, a Rosé made with Chambourcin, Sabrevois, and Seyval Noir. This wine is dry and peppery with a definite kick from the spice in the Chambourcin.

I loved how rural the wine region of the Eastern Townships is. Again, it added to the feeling of relaxation and the people’s connection to their natural surroundings.

Quebec

The people of the Eastern Townships are living life to its fullest, and they invite all of us to join them!

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Tags: Canada, Eastern Townships, Food, outdoors, Quebec, Travel, wine

  1. Daisy’s avatar

    what a fun trip! I have been to Montreal and I agree, that drive is gorgeous.

    Reply

  2. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Gorgeous photos! I loved making the drive last year from MA first to Burlington, VT and then up to Montreal. That food shop looks like a dream. I’m definitely going to look into visiting the townships.

    Reply

  3. Michelle’s avatar

    It looks like you had a beautiful weekend roadtrip!

    Reply

  4. Charlene’s avatar

    Wow your photos definitely bring out a sense of enchantment there! I’ve been to Montreal a few times and to Quebec City only two years ago… I apparently missed a lot in not exploring the Eastern Townships. My husband and I were planning a roadtrip for late fall so I’ll have to show him your post for some inspiration!

    Reply

  5. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    I bet that drive was amazing. What a nice trip idea!

    Reply

  6. Megan’s avatar

    What a nice little getaway! I went to Quebec about 16 years ago! I still remember the sugar pie we had there.

    Reply

  7. eric’s avatar

    great photos – inspiring place to go this time of year!!

    Reply

  8. Alaina’s avatar

    I love Quebec!! These pictures are definitely making me want to go back.

    Reply

  9. Raija’s avatar

    I had a weekend retreat in Sherbrooke, QC, which must not have been too far from where you were. It is amazing how close it is, and so beautiful. What a great reflection.

    Reply

  10. Michelle Collins’s avatar

    All those cheeses, breads and fresh produce look amazing!

    Reply

  11. dustin’s avatar

    I live in Ogden qc and love it. I’m next to lake Memphremagog, one of the nicest lakes anywhere surrounded by mountains and clean clear water and big being 40km long and 4km wide. love it. I cycle a lot from my home and love hills as there is no flat at all anywhere in the entire region. Coaticook is a nice town and the country side is the largest milk producing region. Good Coaticook ice cream.

    Reply

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