The Road to Exceptional Food
Generous portions of comfort, relaxation, and delicious cuisine are all within easy reach of Ottawa.
Terre et Neige
William Jenneret, a hockey-loving wood-worker originally from France, and his wife Julia Murphy-Buske, a talented chef and Gatineau native, have created an oasis of tranquility on their 33-hectare property in Val-des-Monts, just 35 kilometres from downtown Ottawa.
Terre et Neige is a four-season destination featuring three cabins nestled in the woods, each offering privacy within a comfortable environment. A short walk leads to the first two, while the new, off-grid third cabin, constructed in partnership with local builders Entrepreneur des Monts, is about a kilometre away and close to Lac du Castor, where Terre et Neige has a dock for summer visitors. The cabins are filled with delightful touches, including petite but perfect kitchens and thoughtful amenities such as bespoke soaps and toiletries crafted by local makers Ash and Posy.
Guests receive a breakfast basket delivered to their door, including fresh-made sourdough, pastries, artisanal jams, eggs, fruit, and more. Picnic lunches and dinners are also available to pre-order; all are prepared with attention to detail.
“We developed every aspect of this business to reflect what we look for when we travel, both in terms of the destination and the level of service,” says Julia. “Hosting with heart is really what Terre et Neige is all about, and we love that it seems to be resonating with all our visitors, many of whom return to experience it in different seasons.”
Visiting Maison Maitland, near Brockville, can be a deliciously educational experience. Host Cynthia Peters, a talented chef and long-time culinary instructor, is leveraging nearly 20 years in the food and hospitality industries to offer an enchanting and luxurious boutique escape and cooking school at her grand European-inspired 18th-century home overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
Maison Maitland, open from February through December, consists of a Palladian-style manor home as well as a recently refurbished stone carriage house, which now contains two sumptuously appointed villas, each with two bedrooms. The two-hectare property includes expansive gardens, and the front portion of the lot offers a park-like setting where guests can reserve the private water-view dining pavilion. In addition, each villa has its private three-season patio. Cynthia designed the villas’ interiors, and her vision was brought to life by Ottawa’s Amsted Design-Build.
Both villas boast gorgeous, well-equipped chef’s kitchens; carefully curated furnishings and other amenities are abundant. Delicious breakfasts are included, and guests can pre-order charcuterie boards and ‘bonjour baskets’ consisting of recipes and all the needed ingredients to prepare dinner in their villa.
Villa guests can join in on one of Cynthia’s classes or arrange to have a private class. Showcasing her love of farm-to-table cooking, classes are geared to novice or experienced cooks working in pairs to prepare a full meal, learning techniques, and tips. Sitting down after to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour is another highlight of the Maison Maitland experience.
Harlem Stonegate Bed and Breakfast
At this 1830s stone farmhouse near Portland in the beautiful Rideau Lakes region, you’ll find tranquility on the menu and delicious farm-fresh cuisine. Hosts David Meyer and Alicia Ferdinand take great pride in using fresh, seasonal flavours to enhance the guest experience at their rural property, which meshes historic charm and contemporary comforts.
With an overall style of modern farmhouse chic, the three luxuriously appointed guest rooms offer gorgeous views of the 20-hectare property, which also features a well-appointed ‘glamping’ tent that sleeps six. The land encompasses three distinct ecosystems – a protected wetland teeming with wildlife, a hayfield, and an extensive hardwood forest where they tap maple trees. Wintertime guests often snowshoe and cross-country ski on the trails leading into the bush.
The appealing, healthy culinary offerings draw heavily from Alicia and David’s extensive organic gardens and lifelong love of food. A hot, plated breakfast, which varies daily, is included in your stay and features delicious, made-from-scratch fare made with care. “We do our best to accommodate food preferences and intolerances as part of our focus on making sure every guest is happy with all aspects of their experience with us,” says David.
Breakfast is complemented by an all-day refreshment station, and additional options available for pre-order include lunches, High Tea, and multi-course dinners. In warmer weather, meals are often served in the spacious screened-in verandah.