Feeling Irish? This Quebec Inn at Mont Tremblant has a Celtic Lilt
By Rochelle Lash
Bonjour. Hi. Dia duit. Hey, no pressure for St. Patrick’s Day. The Plumes et Glisse B & B in the sporty Tremblant area north of Montreal has an Irish lilt year-round.
Think a drop of Bailey’s, a splash of Guinness and a shot of Jameson. As they say in the Emerald Isle, céad mile fáilte — a 100,000 welcomes.
Jenny Pearson hails from County Donegal and her husband Craig Millar arrived long ago from Country Antrim, and they bring an Irish accent to their B & B in mostly French-speaking Quebec. They’re a sociable team. Before inn keeping, Craig was a banker in Toronto and Jenny (her name in Gaelic is Sinéad Nic Phearsigh) ran a top restaurant in Belfast.
THE INN: Plumes et Glisse (French, roughly, for “feather-bedding and slide sports”) is a pretty, petite cottage tucked into a forest of birches and maples in the community of Lac Supérieur.
It’s an inviting, modern three-room getaway with queen beds, private bathrooms and tiny flat-screens. It’s prized for its tranquillity – I once reached a rare state of mindfulness gazing out the window at blue jays and chickadees flitting around a snow-laden tree.
And the luxury factor is Jenny’s excellent cuisine. She trained as a Cordon Bleu chef in London, England, and prepares succulent French fare with Quebec and Irish accents.
THE CUISINE: “I want guests to be wowed by the region’s beauty and incredible produce,” says Jenny. “Our menus mix classical French and contemporary Celtic and I sometimes give local ingredients an Irish twist.”
She seeks out the best local meat, game, vegetables, cheeses, fish, maple syrup and eggs from small producers, as well as wild foraged forest treasures like spruce tips, mushrooms and garlic.
It’s a bring-your-own-beverage establishment and you can pick up imported wine or Quebec beer at the local dépanneur (convenience store). Once settled, you might try one of hundreds of Irish toasts: Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo! (Health to the men and may the women live forever.)
Jenny serves a five-course feast with amuse-bouche, sorbet or salad. Delectable appetizers might be cheese soufflé or wild mushroom and chestnut bisque, and main courses could be lamb shank braised in red currant-and-Port-jus, or North Atlantic cod with shrimp from eastern Quebec.
Sweet tooth? You’re not alone. Craig lives in constant hope of Jenny’s bruléed lemon tart with raspberry-blackcurrant sauce, or her strawberry soufflé crêpes. Irish-themed sweets include a Guinness and ginger cake with toffee sauce and brown bread ice cream, or a deep apple tart with oat and walnut crumble. By now, you’ll be raising your glass to Erin Go Bragh (Ireland Forever).
Breakfast is a tour de force, as well. Starters could be plums baked with saffron and vanilla; or steel-cut oatmeal with blueberries, almonds and a whiff of Bailey’s Irish Cream. And on many mornings, the breadbasket includes wheaten (aka brown soda) bread.
And then a divine morning main course: perhaps an Irish potato pancake with smoked salmon and poached egg; or Irish whiskey bostock — a better-than-French-toast brioche, with orange and almond frangipane.
DOWNHILL ACTION: Plumes et Glisse B & B is a half-mile from the North Side entrance to Tremblant. This is one of the most comprehensive resort areas in the northeast, encompassing extensive skiing and riding, uphill Alpine touring, sleigh rides, dog sledding, ice-climbing, helicopter rides and snowmobiling.
Insiders know that this North Side portal is more convenient than the main South Side Gondola area, which means easy-access services: parking, lifts, ticketing, cafeteria and rentals, all within 50-to-100 feet of each other.
NORDIC SKI: Plumes et Glisses also is about three miles from Parc national du Mont-Tremblant, a splendid four-season nature preserve that is organized for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat-biking and hiking. Visitors can use the welcome pavilion, which has snacks, trail maps and an information agent.
TRAVEL DETAILS :
Parc national du Mont-Tremblant : 819-688-2281, www.sepaq.com; trail fees apply.
Plumes et Glisse B&B: Lac-Supérieur/Tremblant; 819-688-3444 or book at www.plumesetglisse.com. Breakfast daily, included; dinner, approximately $50 U.S., on Tues.-Thurs.-Fri.- Sat. , with 24-hour-in- advance reservation. Children 12 and over welcome. Price: approximately (depending on currency fluctuations) $126 USD for two, or $119 USD for one.
Brrrr…it’s -22 F in this ski photo! Rochelle Lash is a passionate skier who lives in Montreal, Canada, and enjoys the many mountain resorts throughout Quebec and New England. A career news editor and lifestyle columnist, Rochelle writes a weekly travel/hotel column for the Montreal Gazette and Postmedia affiliates across Canada, and also has written business, lifestyle and travel for The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Robb Report, International Herald Tribune, National Post, Skiing Magazine and Town & Country Magazine.