Auberge du Lac Taureau Lake Resort, Quebec, Canada

Friday December 21, 2012 at 5:05 AM | 3 Comments

View of the Auberge du Lac Taureau

The Lanaudière region is like a fine wine, it should be sipped and savored over time. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Auberge du Lac Taureau in Saint-Michel-des-Saints.

The 100 room, four-star, family-friendly resort offers hotel rooms with forest and lake views. If I were traveling with my family, I would recommend a classic condo rental, complete with kitchen and lounge area.

My room, #1221, rented for $409, which included breakfast and a four-course gourmet dinner for two persons. The room featured a queen bed, a view of Lake Taureau with outdoor balcony, fireplace, television and a ceramic shower in the bathroom.

The pool at Auberge du Lac Taureau

Indoor and outdoor activities at Auberge du Lac Taureau

Summers in Quebec are meant to be spent on the lake. At Auberge du Lac Taureau, there are plenty of activities to keep adults and children entertained; from kayaking, canoeing, and bear viewing, to taking a hydro plane ride over the Saint-Michel-des-Saints region.

Winter time activities include dog sled rides, snow mobiles, ice fishing, winter hiking, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and ice skating on the Auberge pond.

For year round relaxation enjoy the indoor swimming pool or schedule yourself a spa treatment. I tried the Maple Exfoliation & Scrub ($75. for one hour spa treament) and my skin felt as smooth as a silk sheet. Check the website for current pricing and details.

Gourmet dining at Auberge du La Taureau

Fall had arrived during my early October visit and the menu reflected the seasonal change. From cream of mushroom soup, to local Quebec cheese and elk sirloin, the menu shouted hunter/gatherer, but in a good way. Of course, vegetarian and seafood options were also available at the restaurant.

"Classic Condo"

Auberge du Lac Taureau Classic Condo #1221

In addition to trying the regional specialties, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to taste Domaine Le France, and ice cider after dinner drink. Magnifique!

The breakfast buffet is served daily from 7 – 10 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Teepee"

Auberge du Lac Taureau massage teepee

Insider tips 

 

Have you ever wanted to have a massage over the water, in a teepee? You can in the summer time at Auberge du Lac Taureau Resort in Quebec, Canada.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Auberge du Lac Taureau Resort on Twitter.

Check in: 4:00 p.m.

Check out: 11:00 a.m.

What are your favorite things to do in the regions of Lanaudiere and Mauricie, Quebec, Canada?

 

If You Go:

Auberge du Lac Taureau 450-833-1919 or 1-877-822-2623

1200, chemin Baie du Milieu
Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec
CANADA J0K 3B0

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Auberge du Lac Taureau  and Tourism Quebec.

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Botanical gardens and nature inspired trains bring holiday cheer

Thursday December 20, 2012 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

"Krohn Conservatory"

Cincinnati’s Krohn Conservatory made from nature

One of my favorite places to go each December is Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati. There, Paul Busse and his crew of creators–that now include his grown son Brian, fashion a train display of wonder each holiday season. Like Santa and his elves who make appearances in several places at the same time, Busse is also responsible for the fanciful holiday garden train displays at New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.

A Cincinnati train scene

And, if you happen to be in Columbus, Ohio, pop into Franklin Park Conservatory or the main branch of the public library where you’ll find Busse’s garden trains. Each display is unique to the others. The Huntington Holiday Train at the library loops through a winter scene reminiscent of Bernkastel and Rottenberg, Germany. Complete with a castle, waterfall, and buildings that match these two towns’ landmarks, this display has been part of Columbus’ holiday traditions for more than a decade.

First housed at the Huntington Bank downtown, it’s now at the main library where the display is more accessible to the public.

A Manhattan train scene

As a person who has followed Paul Busse’s work for years, I always anticipate being dazzled. Each display reflects the city where it’s located, thus at Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati’s beloved buildings are set among twinkling lights, poinsettias and other seasonal blooms.

There’s a replica of Krohn Conservatory, Union Terminal, and the Music Hall, for example, as well as train trestles and bridges that evoke Cincinnati’s cityscape. There’s even an incline. Even though Cincinnati’s incline trolley car no longer exists, Busse keeps its memory alive every December.

The U.S. Capitol

Visitors to New York City Botanical Garden and the United States Botanical Garden can enjoy those cities’ attractions in miniature. Along with discovering which buildings are which, figuring out how each was made is pure pleasure.

For Busse, nature is his palate. Seeds, seed pods, leaves, bark, gourds, moss and nuts are changed into building parts and adornment. In addition to the buildings, Busse designs the trains pathways to ensure visitors are enchanted by the movement of the trains as they wind through each garden.

If you aren’t able to see one of Busse’s displays this season, there’s always next year. Plus, Busse’s garden trains are frequent features at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, the Chicago Botanical Garden and elsewhere.

For more information about Paul Busse and his company Applied Imagination, check out the Applied Imagination website.

Post courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Writers Association

Cincinnati pictures, courtesy of Jamie Rhein; the other photos courtesy of Applied Imagination

La Terrasse Hotel Restaurant, Meyronne, France

Wednesday December 19, 2012 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments

La Terrasse Hotel Restaurant and the French cheese plate

I’m a California girl. I cannot speak a word of French; I speak English and Spanish. Yet it was at La Terrasse, in the village of Meyronne, where I learned the joys of the French cheese plate.

Le Terrasse room 16. Meyronne, France.

Entrance to Le Terrassee

 

Upon checking into my room, #16, I caught up on my email messages. This olderer castle offers Wi-Fi. I then headed off to dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was at La Terrasse, dining on the patio; that I did fall in love with the French cheese plate. Not only did I eat ravioli of foie gras- a first for me-, I also sampled local soft cheeses produced in the Midi-Pyrenees region of Gers.

 

 

Sport Village of Meyronne

View of the La Dordogne River from Le Terrassee, Meyronne, Fran

As I mentioned, La Terrasse was once a castle. There is no moat, but there is a swimming pool. My room looked onto the

River La Dordogne; kayaks and canoes were strewn across the grassy banks, begging for someone to take them out for a glide. Those who prefer horses to canoes should look into a multi-day horseback ride with Domaine de Garennes. In fact, I met five equestrians staying on the property about to leave for a jaunt in the countryside.

If you go:

La Terrasse Hotel Restaurant

Meyronne, France

Pricing: 125 Euros per night

Breakfast: 12 Euros

Thanks to Atout France, Dordogne Valley Tourism Board and Midi-Pyrenees Regional Tourism Board for assistance with this post. All photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of La Terrasse Hotel.

 

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Le Terrassee pool, Meyronne, France

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