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Cheese, cider and snowshoeing: Where to spend 2 days outside Montreal?

Elsewhere on this board, I've been getting advice about where to eat with my brother during a week's stay in Montreal. Well, we're also planning to spend a couple of days outside the city, snowshoeing by day and eating good cheese and drinking great cider by night. Ah, who am I kidding? We'll be eating cheese and drinking cider by day as well.

Anyway, we're not quite sure where to base ourselves for this. I've read that Mont-Megantic has great snowshoeing, but I can't quite figure out how the food and drink is thereabouts. Is there one perfect location—maybe even at some grand old country hotel—that will satisfy our cravings for Québécois deliciousness amid the great outdoors?

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  1. you might want to try the laurentian area, too! lots of great hotels. ste. adele's nice. great new resto there--bar a vin tony et nicole? tony and somebody....anyone? it's really excellent. right behind the movie theatre?

    1. Check out L'Eau a la Bouche (mouthwatering). Great location, even better cuisine. http://www.leaualabouche.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: RhondaB

        Looks delicious! An aptly named restaurant. But...

        What about food over near Mont-Mégantic? The snowshoeing looks amazing over there, and some nice places to stay, but any great food spots too? Doesn't have to be fancy or high-end—a tavern-style place with hearty food and good cider works for us!

      2. If you're coming during sugaring-off season (usually around late February-March-April, depending on when the sap's running) a really fun thing to do is to go sugaring-off, especially if you've never been before. AKA - going to a cabane à sucre. Hearty, traditional québécois fare - and everything drenched in as much pure maple syrup as you want. ;-) There are sugar shacks all over Quebec (Laurentians, Eastern Townships, Montérégie, etc.), so depending where you end up staying we can point you to some of the good ones.

        1. I can't say much for the bit about snowshoeing, but the areas surrounding Sherbrooke are pretty outdoor activity friendly. And there are a couple of microbreweries here that are freaking astounding.

          1. You could head 1hr 15mins south to the Montebello region where there are lots of snowshoe trails and enjoy hot cider and aperitifs in the historic lodge hotel bar at Chateau Montebello. Wherever you end up this timeof year, there will not be much in the way of culinary exploration outside of the city unless you aim for the Laurtentians restaurant circuit. It might be more interesting to simply pack a picnic lunch (there are many options to source from the markets to artisinal shops) and just head out to enjoy the snow and fresh air. Or if you were less interested in "wilderness" and just wanted to spend a day outside of the city, you could skip the country and spend an afternoon snowshoeing around Beaver Lake on Mount Royal. You'd be minutes from the core of the city, food, markets, etc. but in a very nice outdoor park area with picnic areas also.

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            1. re: OliverB

              First thing that popped to my head was Chateau Montebello. The food from what Ive heard is overpriced yet solid. But a short walk to bar central gets you a strangely great small (friendly) quebec feel Also ask the local farmers if they have fresh meat around the area, they will usually cut you a piece and charge you next to nothing!