The Laurentians + Montreal
We spent some peaceful days in rural Quebec over New Years, followed by a few days in Montreal with friends who love to eat as much as we do. We layered and bundled and stoked the fire through -30C and a flash ice storm, trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as our dogs do.
I'll let the photos do the talking and list off some recommendations in case you find yourself craving a frozen fairy tale French Canadian-style, instead of an escape down south.
Stay: At Valérie's "Suisse du Nord" cottage in Ste-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson.
Provisions: Nearby 'depanneurs' and grocery stores in Sainte-Adèle will have everything to make your own home feasts. Or take a chance on locals selling wood & other goods in their front yards (there are laughs and deals to be had).
Outdoors: Skate on Lac Masson, it's beautiful, maintained and near empty. Ski at Saint Saveur. Hike (snowshoe, or cross-country ski) Parc régional de la Forêt Ouareau.
Pit stop: Café (and health food store) O'Marguerite is a good place to warm up with tea and local fare.
Stay: Plenty of AirBnB options in the Plateau and Mile End neighbourhoods.
Eats: So many good options nearby... Breakfast: Lawrence,The Sparrow or the charming diner Patati Patata. Dinner: shareable small plates and stiff cocktails at Majestique and Santa Barbara. Brew Pubs: Reservoir or Dieu du Ciel for the countless local microbrews.
Outdoors: If you can eat no more, a sweet spot for skating and old-timey music is on a lake in La Fontaine Park. And for your canine pals, unofficial off-leash spot Parc Jeanne-Mance.