I recently, wrote about my trip to Quebec City for to celebrate the new years. One of the joys of going there is the opportunity to stay at one or more of the country inns in the Quebec country side of the Eastern Townships region. There are several nice ones just over the Vermont border about half way between either Boston or New York and Quebec City.
The Ripplecove Inn is my favorite and the one we stayed at this time. It is located on the pleasant small Lake Massawippi. In the summer there is a beach, tennis, and boats to use. In the winter you can watch ice fishing or whatever else crosses your mind. The stay includes dinner and breakfast. They also offer lunch. Dinner is a wonderful experience. This time for starters we had potato and goat cheese charlotte with sun dried tomatoes. And a wonderful smoked oyster chowder that had chanterelle mushrooms on an oyster shell on the side. The main courses included a rack of lamb encrusted with gremolata and a pruee of roasted salisify that was excellent. The other was several quails with winter vegetables. This was followed by a silky crème bruelee with pistachios and chocolate curls and a molten chocolate cake with spiced red wine reduction. It was fortunate that you do not have to go far to find your room. The wine list is also quite nice with many reasonable French reds. It is located at Auberge Ripplecove, 700, rue Ripplecove, Ayer's Cliff (Quebec), Canada, J0B 1C0 phone: (819) 838-4296
The Manoir Hovey is another fine place close by that I have stayed at in the past. It is also on Lake Massawippi with opportunities for summer and winter sports. The food is also a reason to go. Appetizers included a Calamari confit, Pan-seared scallops and Townships bacon lardons, mousseline of potatoes smoked over hickory shavings, carrot confit with star anise, as well as a Terrine of duck foie gras from the Périgord farm. Main courses included: Seared supreme of Brome Lake duck, sauce of wild cherries picked by Mr. Garcia, polenta with fine herbs; Pan-seared loin of venison from the Highwater farm, roasted baby vegetables, reduction of blackcurrant liqueur from Île d’Orléans; and Roasted grain-fed squab from the Miboulay farm, in the heart of Québec’s Montérégie farming region, seared Mulard duck foie gras, King Oyster mushrooms. Nice to know where the stuff came from. Hovey's restaurant recently got the 2004 DiRoNA (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) award. The wine cellar claims over 900 labels and earned the 2005 and 2004 Best of Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine. It is located at 575 chemin Hovey in North Hatley. Phone: (800) 661-2421 - (819)842-2421