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There are some sugar shacks that really stand out because of their setting, the environment, the menu, the activities they offer… One thing is for sure, among the ones we’re proposing here, you’ll find the shack you’re looking for.
By Marie-Claude Masse
Pause Sylvestre, in Dudswell needs no introduction. Indeed, the success of this sugar shack, seating 22 guests, is based on its all-vegetal proteins and extremely flavourful menu; millet pies, homemade sauerkraut, red bean pie and sweet pancakes are just some of the delightful treats you can savour. With its lovely ceramics and its friendly decor, the little sugar shacks Pause Silvestre will please vegetarian and flexitarians alike. (58, 11e Rang, Dudswell | Reservations : 819 828-0049)
If you love rustic sugar shacks, you should take your family to Au Bec Sucré, in Valcourt! An absolutely delicious and traditional menu concocted by the sisters in-law, nieces and friends of the owning families, and all this in the best of atmospheres! Taffy on snow, cute sheep you can pet, carriage rides, visits to the syrup production site, traditional music, rallies through the maple grove, and much more awaits.
Born out of a collaborative project with Les Affamés de Montreal, the menu of the Érablière Shefford (erabliereshefford.com) is a gourmet delight; Really! Last year we were welcomed with a true banquet meal (Crispy blood sausages and apple maple butter, pork ribs lacquered with maple syrup, Sugar taffy whippets with maple flakes…); Plus, all their beautiful presentations. Add to this, their cocktail menu offering carefully prepared beers and wines, the taste experience is complete.
You’ll find the Cabane du Pic-Bois sugar shack inside a most enchanting setting, on the Route des vins of Brome-Missisquoi, near Brigham. Here, maple sap is gathered with great regards to nature. Almost all the work is carried out in the traditional fashion for this small-scale production. Some 1100 taps are more than enough to transform sap into delicious syrup and other sweet treats. With its irreproachable menu (green pea soup, maple sausages, green salad with the Cabane Pic-bois maple vinaigrette) is a must for whoever wishes to get away from the more commercial shacks.
Among the favourite sugar shacks in the Eastern Townships, without a doubt, you’ll find Érablière Gareau and Érablière Hilltop. The first, located in the county of Hatley, has only been serving meals since 2006, but has received such high praise that its reputation is now well established. A traditional menu, a warm and friendly atmosphere, delicious maple products for sale and fun outdoor game modules are always well appreciated by visitors.
The second can be found in Dunham and is advertised as being “The best of all the Townships” by the Montreal newspaper Le Métro. It also offers traditional meals, but the panoramic view overlooking the entire region gives it its an added value. Also, its rustic look will please visitors looking for an authentic outing.
The two sugar shack menus offered at the Vignoble du Ruisseau, in Dunham (one is a 3-course meal, the other offers 6 courses) will definitely make your mouth water! Brown beans and maple flavoured bacon, the vineyard’s cretons, Gré-des-Champs gougères (savoury choux pastry with cheese), omelette soufflés, maple lacquered chicken drumsticks, hash brown potatoes with the vineyard’s BBQ spices, marinated garden vegetables, salmon confit in maple syrup, maple flavoured marshmallows and cotton candy, and maple syrup pie… You must admit, reading this makes you quite hungry! And the surrounding decor is simply magnificent. An absolute must! Try it this spring.
While we’re still cheating a little, here’s one last proposal: The spring menu of the chic Manoir Hovey restaurant. Throughout the season, the Hatley is offering a taste experience not by offering the products of all its maple trees, but rather those of its … birch trees! Syrup and vinegar, produced on site, will enhance the amazing culinary creations of chefs Alexandre Vachon and Paul Roberts, who always keep in mind their philosophy of celebrating the ingredients Quebec offers in profusion.
This family-owned sugar shack delivers an experience that goes above and beyond: Think maple museum, maple water tasting, a fun and games trail spanning 1.2 kilometres, and so much more. Come visit and discover why this spot is a perennial favourite among those in the know.
For more inspiration, explore all of our sugar shacks here!