A gem hidden among the Eastern Townships, Sutton is a small and unassuming town that has recently become a popular getaway for Montrealers and Bostonians alike. While mainly inhabited by affluent cottagers, the tourism boom has encouraged the town’s independent shops to expand, not only improving the economy but building a downtown core that’s at once charming and busy. A mere hour and a half outside Montreal, Sutton is perhaps the most understated destination for weekenders this winter. It’s nevertheless one of the only few you should consider. Here’s why:
What’s a winter getaway without hitting the slopes? The Mont Sutton resort facilitates snowshoeing and park snowboarding, and everything in between, including a glades course that leads skiers through beautiful, snow-swept forests. As of tomorrow — and going through to early April — the on-site bar, Bar le Tucker, hosts a free jazz night starting at 4 p.m. 671 Maple CP 1580, 450-538-2545
As far as “hip” goes in rural Quebec, we can attest that Le Cafetier is on trend: terrace and iced Americanos in the summer, gourmet bistro and hot cocoa for the winter. Its cozy and welcoming interior is matched by a surprisingly thorough variety of coffee blends, also supplying free WiFi for those needing to shoot off a few emails. 9 Principale St. N., 450-538-7333
At the Sutton Curling Club you have one of two options: the self-explanatory curl, or leisurely ice-skating. While these sports are obviously not unique to the township, the club can easily be rented out, including the bar. Tossing back cold ones while shuffling around stones on ice? Sounds like a recipe for fun or, at the very least, disastrous hilarity ($10/head). 26 Pleasant St., 450-538-3226.
La Rumeur Affamée has perhaps benefited the most from Sutton’s newfound stardom. A former general store, the boutique delicatessen sells fresh-baked goods as well as over 150 local and imported cheeses. While it might not be worth the trek just for the food, it’d be a crime to miss out while in town. 15 Principale St. N., 450-538-1888
There are few things more enticing than a snow-covered B&B. Even if you’re not a romantic, you must acknowledge that a 26-acre property surrounded by mountains, also home to an indoor tropical swimming pool, is damn close to dreamland. Immaculate rooms, mouthwatering breakfasts and proximity to all of the aforementioned highlights, La Domaine Tomali-Manityn is the exact balance of convenience and quality you want. 377 Chemin Maple, 450-538-6605
Image courtesy of Le Tour Flash.