26 August 2012 Chambly, QC - Burlington, VT

This is why we leave the waterways to those who are gainfully employed and have to get their boating over with in a hurry.  We tuck into a safe spot with a view and then on Mondays we resume or trek.

The flower above the Y is comprised of 2 different kinds of succulents

The small village of Chambly was so appealing!  As usual, we spent longer than than we'd planned inabling us  to do quite a bit of exploring by bicycle.  The town is actually much larger than it appears at first glance and the economy is alive and well.  New homes and very up-scale condos by the dozens are under construction.  
Chambly City Hall

One of City Hall's hanging baskets

One of the local residents said if we'd really like to indulge in a dining experience, they'd suggest a particular French restaurant located on the shores of the Richelieu River and housed in a mansion built in the 1920's and decorated in the New France style.

The main dining room is named after a pioneer of New France who was also one of the first brewers in North America.  It's decorated with antiques and ornaments reminiscent of the brewing traditions and native culture of Quebec.

The view during our meal

The building looks as if it might have been a church because of the columns, Gothic arches, sculptures and the Quebec quarry stone floor.  Dominating one end of the room is a carved wooden bar and at the other end a 17th century pulpit.  It's a room that honors the monks' contribution to the art of beer brewing.

The recipes created are from traditional and Native Quebec cuisine and are made with dark, rich beers and spices such as star anise, juniper berries and allspice for marinating strong meats.  When light beers are used, they also incorporate grated orange zest and coriander seeds into their recipe.

In the 30's, the beer market was one of the most flourishing in Quebec.  Because other Canadian provinces and the US were still enforcing prohibition, the beer legally sold in Quebec became a smuggled product very much sought after elsewhere.

Until the late 70's when alcohol laws were amended, beer was consumed in taverns, places strictly reserved for men.  Toward the end of the 80's, micro brewers sprouted up in Quebec, promoting different local beers in line with European taste.

For almost 3 hours we immersed ourselves in the lost era of New France and its native culture.  This was a meal that demanded leisure.  The herbs, spices and fruits used in the preparation tantilized our taste buds causing us to try and identify the ingredients and made our experience a gastronomic delight.

That was our last evening in Canada.  We have loved immersing ourselves in the Canadian culture and getting acquainted with the residents.  It's been an exciting month and we look forward to returning to Canada.

We cleared customs in NY and cruised a bit east to Burlington, VT, where we currently are in a slip and cycling the beautiful and hilly university town.

It's time for more "Laura Observations".  Bill said that the first 2 things I seem to notice about people are their feet/shoes and their teeth.  This probably isn't true but that's what he maintains!  If so, since being in Canada I have seen an astronomical number of Keens and Birkenstocks---particularly the thongs---more than I've ever noticed in the states.  No comment on teeth.

Sales of bicycles must be massive in Canada.  Not only bikes but panniers and bags--seems all bikes have them.  It makes me very happy to see helmets on noggins.  Rarely do we see a cyclist (adult or child) riding without one.  Are these people more fit and healthy than Americans or are they taking full advantage of their brief summer weather---or both?  We've seen legions of cyclists all over Canada.  In Chambly we counted more than 20 in a pack riding past our boat.  Runners are pretty dominant here, too.  

Back in the USA and will soon be nearing familiar waters.  This trip has been over the top for us!  We have interfaced with hundreds of people and have not had one single negative experience.  The Canadians are surely among the most wonderful people!!!


Sylvie said…
What is the name of this wonderful restaurant in Chambly?

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