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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Embrace Winter in Cantons-de-l’Est


4. Insider’s Tip

Buy cheese and find solace at Abbaye Saint Benoît-du-Lac, a Benedictine monastery that houses 48 monks on the shore of Lake Memphrémagog.  

Restaurants and shops throughout Quebec sell the blue-veined L’Ermite cheese, made by the monks at the stately, white-granite Abbaye Saint Benoît-du-Lac, which rises over the lovely Lake Memphrémagog. Avoid the retail markup and buy a pungent wedge ($2.85) direct from the source, where you can also purchase bottles of the excellent Cidre de l'Abbaye sec (dry apple cider; $11). Time your visit for the daily Gregorian chanting (usually 11 a.m.), peer out over the vast lake, and, if you’re enchanted by the monastic life, stay in one of the abbey’s single-sex budget hostels ($50 for room and board; 819-843-4080 for men, 819-843-2340 for women).

Published on Jan 20, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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