Visiting Knowlton With a Dog – Eastern Townships, Quebec
Located along the shores of Lake Brome in the Eastern Township area of Quebec, you’ll find the village of Knowlton. It was once part of the Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec Association but sadly has fallen a little out of favor in the last few years.
But it is still a charming stop if you are traveling between Montreal and Quebec City with lively streets flanked with antique shops and cafés. And for those wanting to stay a while you’ll also find restaurants, country inns and B&B’s to fit any budget, as well as a public beach, marina, golf courses, biking trails, ski hills, and of course sleigh rides in the winter months.
Knowlton was established in 1821 with the construction of the first mill, and its population grew quickly, thanks to the flour and saw mills. The elegant Victorian village, famous for its Loyalist roots and splendidly built heritage homes was established by Colonel Paul Holland Knowlton, who came to the area from Vermont.
The people of Knowlton are very pleasant and accommodating. Every business was happy to speak in either English or French. Canines, large and small, could be seen with their humans enjoying a sunny afternoon stroll along the lovely village streets and parks. The waterfall is particularly nice, although I will admit it was difficult for us to get the full effect with massive construction going.
If you have time (and someone with you to do the “dog switch”), you should stop in to visit the Musée historique du comté de Brome, the ancient post office and the old 1894 library. If we ever return we want to take advantage of the fact that Knowlton is located on the “Wine Route” that meanders through the countryside and try a glass of regional wine and we want to see one of the lavender farms. Perhaps if our timing is good we might catch a show at the Theatre Lac Brome. Although I fear I will be left behind for that.
We had only stopped for a bite to eat and unfortunately like almost everywhere in Canada, dogs are not allowed inside any place that serves food. This includes most patio’s. You can find some places that will allow your dog to sit on the other side of the fence, but for one my pint size that is just not very convenient or safe. So you’ll have to take your food to go and picnic. Luckily, Knowlton has an abundance of beautiful spots to make that a very pleasant way to dine.
If you and your pooch want to stay a while, we highly recommend the pet friendly Auberge Knowlton Inn. Built in 1849, it’s the oldest continuously operating hotel in the Eastern Townships with over 150 years of customer service. Don’t let the antique filled décor fool you, they have all the modern amenities you may need, including free high speed and Wi-Fi.
While staying at the Inn, you (but not your canine friend) can savor contemporary, regional fare at Le Relais Restaurant-Bistro served in a country-chic décor complete with wrap-around windows. Thanks to my service dog status, I was allowed to enjoy a fine meal with the Bipeds on the patio. Mom was smart and ordered the duck… and it lived up to its reputation and was delectable! I was however, a little disturbed by the amusing but alarming mural on the wall … I will let you be the judge.
In review: A Victorian Village on the Shores of Lake Brome in the Eastern Townships of Quebec only 100 km from Montreal, Knowlton is a lovely stop both in the summer and winter offering quality and originality in its restaurants and its gift, craft, and antique shops to charm visitors.
The center of the village features a waterfall, to the immense pleasure of those strolling in the calm, natural surroundings of Coldbrook Park. Every autumn, a gastronomical event celebrates the world-famous Brome Lake duck. At Christmas, businesses and residences alike are trimmed with fabulous decorations, creating a vision of a bygone era. But note, that sadly dogs are not welcome for any dining experience.