Lifestyle & Parenting


April 24, 2008

If you really want to relax, you need peace, quiet and brushes with
nature. Take a drive to Québecs
Eastern Townships
and we promise youll find your zen without
roughing it one bit. Herewith, our Easter Townships itinerary (part 1 of

If you think glamping is too rustic, book
yourself into North Hatleys five-star Hovey
. This glorious inn is a member of the prestigious Relais
& Châteaux
association (it takes years to be accepted). Do
ask for a Treetop room with four-poster bed, giant bathtub, and
wood-burning fireplace, over looking Lake Massawippi. Nicole Kidman and
Johnny Depp have both bedded here (presumably not together) and the
views at sundown are enchanting. Rooms from $130 per person, per day,
Hovey Manor, North Hatley, 1-800-661-2421,

While staying at Hovey, youll want to spend a
good portion of your time eating. Whether its cream
tea and scones in the library or dinner
by the roaring fireplace,
youll be treated to locally sourced ingredients by award-winning chef
Roland Menard.

We suggest tuna tartar followed by Québec lamb with roasted artichoke
and sweet pepper broth. Do not leave the table until youve tasted
something from Hoveys famous cheese plate, arguably the biggest and best

Once youre belly is blissful, get in symbiosis
with nature. Jacques
is North Hatleys very own horse whisperer and his riding
workshops are more than techniques in walk and trot. Robidas philosophy
is that stressed-out riders lead to cranky horses, so his lessons start
with breathing and balance techniques, followed by soothing rides
through the forest. Private lesson $85/hour, Les Randonnées Jacques
Robidas, 1-888-677-8767,

soak and meditate
Soothe your achy thighs with a dip
in the hot and cold thermotherapy baths at the Nordic
spa in nearby Magog. 285 chemin des Pères, Magog,
1-866-414-5200, $38/day for Nordic baths, $96/1hr massage,

Finally, end your weekend-of-zen at the Saint-Benoit-du-Lac
where you can buy monastic-made cheese and apple cider, then
lose yourself in the monks Gregorian chanting (11 a.m. daily).
Saint-Benoit-du-Lac Abbey, 819-843-4080,

North Hatley and Magog are about 90-minutes by car, east of Montreal,



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