Manoir Hovey / Manoir Bellechasse
In the height of summer the guests descended on the isolated lodge by the lake, summoned to the Manoir Bellechasse by identical vellum invitations, addressed in the familiar spider scrawl as though written in cobwebs. Thrust through mail slots, the heavy paper had thudded to the floors of impressive homes in Vancouver and Toronto, and a small brick cottage in Three Pines. (A Rule Against Murder, Chapter One)
Quebec’s Eastern Townships are a popular travel destination. The region dates back to the 18th century, when it was settled by British loyalists. It continued to be popular with Southerners who built estates to spend their summers there. Manoir Hovey, a luxury hotel, is one of these former estates. It is situated on the shores of Lake Massawippi, near North Hatley, and is the inspiration for Manoir Bellechasse in A Rule Against Murder.
Built in 1899, it was inspired by George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and it was later converted to an inn. Today, Manoir Hovey is run by Jason Stafford, whose family purchased the inn in 1979.
The five-star hotel is a member of Relais & Châteaux, the prestigious travel association, and was just ranked the “Top Hotel in Eastern Canada” in Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.
Almost all of the 37 rooms and suites have lake views, along with a combination of fireplaces, private balconies, and therapeutic tubs.
The refined, inventive menu of Le Hatley Restaurant takes advantage of the region’s seasonal bounty. Chefs Roland Ménard and Francis Wolf create a harmony of flavors and textures and the restaurant has the most extensive selection of cheeses in Quebec, with more than 20 types available from a cheese cart that is rolled out during dinner.
A perfect spot for a cocktail before or after dinner is in the Tap Room Pub. The former carriage house has been converted into a historic antique-filled pub that’s a casual gathering spot with a friendly, inviting atmosphere. In the winter, after skiing, skating, or snowshoeing, the 10,000 brick fireplace beckons with its warm glow. In the warmer weather, there’s outdoor dining.
The hotel and its surroundings are a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are kayaks, canoes and bikes to use in the spring and summer and foliage tours from a pontoon on the lake in the fall. And cold temperatures notwithstanding, winters are magical at Manoir Hovey. Skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and sleigh rides are available, as is one of the newest and most popular activities, complimentary ice fishing lessons on the frozen lake.
For information or reservations, please call (819) 842-2421 or visit www.manoirhovey.com.
Three Pines Trivia Time: What real life Two-Day party took place at Hovey Manor?
One of the most memorable places in the Three Pines canon, don’t you think?