Let it snow! Over the Christmas holidays, I set aside…
There are two things that stood out right way upon arrival at Auberge Les Pignons Verts in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. The first is that the lovely Georgian home reminds me of the Atlanta mansions from the movie, Gone With the Wind. The second is this view across the street of the beautiful Saint Benedict Abbey in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac.
Hospitality in a Serene Setting
The Auberge Les Pignons Verts (translates to Green Gables Inn) is located in the tiny village of Austin, Quebec, an ideal base for exploring the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
This is a region in southeastern Quebec that features rolling hills, pastoral farmland, quaint villages, wineries and gourmet food experiences. Austin is roughly in the centre of the region, along the shores of the beautiful to see, but a mouthful to pronounce, Lake Memphremagog.
There’s a nice story behind the history of the Auberge. It was once the retirement home of Lily Butters, who founded a hospital in her family’s farmhouse in Austin to look after children with intellectual disabilities. In the mid 1970s, it hosted 435 children. Now, there’s a suite named after this amazing woman.
In these elegant surroundings, hosts Ginette and Alain dedicate themselves to ensuring that everything about your visit is exceptional, even beyond your stay at the Inn. On the first evening, Alain drove me and two other guests to a nearby restaurant. At breakfast the following morning, Ginette provided me with a map, on which she had marked out a route to places I had expressed interest in seeing, along with a few suggestions. These are just a couple of examples of their warm and outstanding hospitality during my two-night stay.
Of course, one of the things that should stand out at a Bed & Breakfast is the breakfast and at Auberge Les Pignons Verts, it does. It starts with the lovely and tranquil dining room, and that view of the Abbey and the lake. That’s followed by tea or coffee, orange juice and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. There are several choices for breakfast ‘main course’, my favourite being the omelette with fresh herbs and smoked Fontina cheese, made by the monks at the Abbey. Other options include traditional bacon and eggs and French toast.
Ginette also serves up a special dessert of home made cranberry and chocolate loaf cake, but I was too full at that point to eat it. She wrapped it up for me, and it was a wonderful treat later in the day.
I stayed in a standard room, called “La Paisible”, which means “peaceful” in English, and so it was. The room was flawlessly clean, comfortable, and tastefully decorated with charming touches. It overlooks a sizeable garden, which provides some great spots to while away the afternoon, if you’re so inclined.
All in all, it made for a relaxing getaway, but it was the charm of the property and the hosts that really set this place apart. I would love to see the Eastern Townships is the autumn and would definitely return to the Auberge Les Pignons Verts.
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