“In the middle of the mighty St. Lawrence River, but within sight of Quebec City, sits Île d’Orléans, an entire island that is a designated historical district. The traditional Quebec countryside is preserved here in this, the cradle of New France. Visitors can delight in the island’s plentiful (and flavourful) agricultural heritage nestled amid gorgeous scenery.” (Tourism Ile Orleans)
Although the above excerpt is true about the island during summer, I suspect that that living on Ile D’Orleans is not for the faint of heart in winter. Our B&B hostess recounted stories of being “marooned” on the island during heavy snowstorms for several days because the bridge to the mainland could not be crossed. In the winter of 2016, the snowdrifts behind the main house were 17 feet high! But we were there in late summer so let’s talk about then.
Although the days were often cloudy, the temperatures were very warm. The greenery was lush and the fields throughout the island were prolific with grapes for wine, vegetables and fruits of all the kinds. The strawberries were especially wonderful and apparently can be harvested from spring until the first frost. Add maple syrup, cheeses and diary products to that list and it’s no wonder that the island is known as the “Jardin de Quebec” (Garden Of Quebec). If you’re a foodie, you’ll love this place.
There are only two buildings on the island that can claim to be as old as they look. One of these is La Maison Drouin. Built in 1730 and lived in until 1984, this authentic home offers a glimpse into the lives of the Canac-Marquis and Drouin families who lived there. The rustic interior of the home reminds us to be thankful for all the conveniences we enjoy today, although I have to admit that all the basics were available to the original owners.
This is the last part of my trip to Quebec. For Canadians, it’s important to go there, not only to enjoy the fabulous food and scenery but also to remember how much a part of our country’s history is tied up in this province.
Next? Another “Instant Antique Expert” blog. Join me then.