The Eastern Townships of Quebec is a blend of France and North America that provides visitors with fine cuisine and hospitality. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Even the cows are bilingual in Canada’s Eastern Townships, one of approximately 20 regions that make up the province of Quebec. The Eastern Townships is a sprawling expanse of rolling hills and farms, located just over the Vermont border and an hour southeast of Montreal. It's an area that has a certain "je ne sais quoi."
"That's something that you can’t describe," says Patricia Gerard, the innkeeper at Auberge des Appalaches. "You have to feel it. Something French about Quebec but something North American for me, being French. That’s something I can’t find in France at all."
As owners of a country inn and restaurant, Patricia and her husband John are part of a culinary commitment to the region.
"'Chefs createurs,' basically meaning restaurant and chef creating dishes with local products grown, raised and prepared in the Eastern Townships," Gerard says.
The Eastern Townships has three different themed driving routes that take you past vineyards famous for ice wine and through more than 100 towns including Sutton, at the base of a ski resort.
Downtown Sutton is also the location for another French-style import: Privately-run cafes.
"We launched the circuit of cafe villages last year," says Danie Beliveaux with Tourism Eastern Townships. Now there is 16. Those are café bistros where people can have their coffee but they can also have their sandwich, their soup or salad or a light meal. It's really the place to go if you want to meet the local people."
The Eastern Townships is sprinkled with a variety of accommodations. In Sutton, packages that include two nights' stay with breakfast, access to hiking trails, a vineyard visit and other extras start at $109 per person, double occupancy. For more information, visit www.infosutton.com.
And for more information on the Eastern Townships, head to www.easterntownships.org.