Gourmet road trip for the long weekend
On the left, the Lacroix orchard. On the right, the Rivière du Chêne vineyard.
A little getaway outside Montreal to better digest the start of the school year, anyone? With its many vineyards, orchards, gardens and farms, the Lower Laurentians have everything you need to fill up on gourmet stops and nature. All this less than an hour from Montreal. Enough to organize a great roadtrip… or spend a whole long weekend there!
Orchards and cider houses
In this apple season, the orchards are an obligatory stop this weekend during your roadtrip. And we are spoiled for choice to pick your own: Labonté de la pomme, Jude-Pomme, Verger Méli-Mélo , À la Croisée des pommes, Verger Joannette Bio… impossible to name them all there are so many!
Then when it's aperitif time, we stop at the cider houses. Don't miss the Verger Trottier whose new Cidrerie des Générations has embarked on artisanal production, and which offers a magnificent view of Lac des Deux-Montagnes. At Cidrerie Lacroix, let yourself be tempted by the gourmet table, which offers a menu inspired by orchard products in a modern and bright decor.
Le Verger Trottier/Photo: Courtesy
As for Domaine Lafrance, there is even more than an orchard and a cider house. It is also a vineyard and a distillery. These fruity artisans notably produce apple, pear and grape brandy, vermouth, apple brandy, gins, and even limoncello and orange liqueur. We leave with bottles, their ready-to-drink and their delicious pastries.
You are more vino< /em>what cider? Well, vines also proliferate in the Lower Laurentians. Picnics, brunches and pizzas are featured at La Bullerie, where five grape varieties are grown to produce their six different products.
At the Vignoble Les vents d'ange, it's a story family that has lasted for nearly 25 years; two of the wines bear the name of the daughters of the couple who founded the house. This weekend, during your roadtrip, you can also stop at the bar to enjoy a gourmet basket filled with Quebec products.
Les Vents d’Ange Vineyard/Photo: Courtesy
On the side of the Rivière du Chêne vineyard, you can do a quick pop in shop or a short stroll in the vineyards, but you prefer to take the time to stop at the bistro for the five-course menu with pairings. Arancini, tartars, ceviche and duck breast are accompanied by local wines, including Gabrielle, a terrace rosé that can be drunk without thirst. A little extra: in season, you can become a picker for a day!
If Nid’Otruche, a well-established farm in Saint-Eustache, sells ostrich meat and even body products made from ostrich oil, Alpagas Belarroyo has instead chosen to be a family farm without slaughter. You can take a guided tour to see the animals and learn more about the alpacas, which are accompanied by goats, sheep and even a llama.
In the he workshop of Alpagas Belarroyo, we discover how the wool is treated in an artisanal way to become felt or a ball. This is where you become aware of all the work behind the products in store, which are almost all made on site, with a few exceptions.
Another farm in the area, Intermiel immerses us in the world of beekeeping. There is honey, of course, but also mead and treatments based on beeswax, royal jelly or even propolis, a resinous material produced by these important pollinators.
The flowering period is over at Maison Lavande, where you can always stop to pop into the shop, but activities continue until the end of the month at La route des gerbes d'Angelica, where 680 varieties of plants decorate the 14 thematic gardens.
At the Jardins Michel Corbeil, the pleasure continues until October… So you can stop there this weekend during your roadtrip! A true reference in perennials and native plants in Quebec, the place is one of relaxation and pleasure, yes, but also of education and conservation of ecosystems, as evidenced by the monarch sanctuary where the eggs of these too rare migratory butterflies.
Across the 9,000 square meters of land, there are around twenty thematic gardens, including one dedicated to indigenous cultures and another designed for pollinators.
A nice plus: the Michel Corbeil Gardens are working to ensure that the site is fully adapted to people with reduced mobility, a rather exceptional kind of attention.