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RIPPLECOVE INN: A Veritable Gem of Historical Heritage

Copy of SAM 0082 photo1 auberge ripplecoveAYER'S CLIFF: The Ripplecove Inn, "the Hotel on the lake", in the Townships countryside, is a rare pearl, nestled majestically along the shores of Lake Massawippi, a superb and priceless gem, awaiting us at what appears, at first glance, to be a stately, historical and ancestral home belonging to the Stafford family.

This location has been in the Stafford family since Archie and Elisabeth Stafford purchased the property in 1945, when they built the Inn as a tourist-friendly,
gastronomical establishment, with the greatest of prestige, with an underlying decor of the fishing industry. One arrives at Ripplecove, during the holiday season, with childlike eyes full of wonder and amazement, drinking in the ultra-Victorian and country décor, enriched by antique items of great value, and organized according to the refined tastes of the owners, Jeffrey Stafford and his wife, Debra, who purchased the property in 1985, from his older brother, Stephen Stafford. 2012 marked the 67th anniversary of the Ripplecove Copy of ripplecove photo 5Inn which was celebrated with the addition of an outdoor Jacuzzi spa area and the development of new luxurious rooms, including two banquet rooms.

At the Ripplecove Inn, the customer is the center of attention: a personalized reception and accompaniment to your room, or if evening falls before your arrival, awaiting you will be a queen-sized bed, already prepared for you, and the radio playing new age oceanic melodies... This cordial and distinguished style of reception brings with it a connotation of peace and relaxation... For this one night stay, in a deluxe suite, we feel very comfortable and pampered. The interior as well as the exterior lend an air of Lake Massawippi. The four- star diamond rating is representative of a powerful tourist emblem depicting the undeniable popularity of this Inn, throughout both Quebec and Canada, representing a luxurious destination ...with a quality gastronomical menu. The Ripplecove Inn was recipient of the 2012 "Four-star diamond CAA-AAAA" prize for its efforts.

Copy of SAM 0060 photo3 auberge ripplecoveOur first look at "room 35", after winding our way down many corridors and staircases, all of which were artistically decorated, the first thing we notice is the depth of the room which leads onto a private balcony giving us a panoramic view of Lake Massawippi. Nearing the end of the afternoon, this December, we find ourselves basking in the beautiful enigmatic grey light. Its irreproachable sense of comfort easily plunges us into serene relaxation, close to the gas fireplace, sipping fresh decaffeinated coffee, prepared on the spot. Then, one moves on to more intimate times, in the whirlpool.....

While making our way back to the first floor, we retrace our steps, through the corridors with walls filled with engravings and historical paintings. We rediscover the drawings of William Henry Bartlett, illustrator and great English traveler of the 19th century, drawings which paid homage to Lake Massawippi; also a local 50's geographical chart, belonging to Copy of SAM 0108  photo 6 auberge ripplecovethe Stafford family. Then, our travels bring us to the living room-boudoir which is also used as a reading-room. The impressive Christmas tree and imposing Victorian-style antique dresser, seemingly holding court like a patriarch, in this special area which offers guests and customers a family-style atmosphere, with an air of privacy, close to the crackling fireplace which reflect thousands of little lights onto the huge bay window. Newspapers of the day await us at the Nag's Head Pub, a little before cocktails were served, around 6 p.m.

In a room adjacent to the Pub, cocktails are in full swing, with wines and duck pastries served on pieces of wood. These delights begin to arouse our appetites in anticipation of the much awaited main course... of which the menu will be a work of art of assistant-chef Badr Bourabaa, of Moroccan origin, whose talent is an achievement in the eyes of his guests ... For the entrée, one choice in particular caught my eye: "Foie gras made from fresh Brome Lake duck, grilled cheese and smoke duck jelly, cranberry sauce and red auberge ripplecove 7wine". So I was left to say no, not without regret, to the velvety squash and scallops from the Bay of Fundy. Then came the platter of "quail with chanterelle mushroom and essence of truffle stuffing, seared breast, confit de cuisse de canard, crêpes parmentières" seemed in itself a veritable gastronomic journey through the local Townships. The dessert definitely held up the high standards of the rest of the meal with the "Tiramisu Riopelle & mascarpone, Tia Maria coffee liqueur, almond powder, Bailey's". A divine dinner served with excellent red and white wines... all in abundance.

The next day, we meet for breakfast, in the large sun-filled dining room where the sun's rays fell upon a large white boat which served as a table for brunch...Another experience to take in before leaving...the traditional continental breakfast, enhanced with a brunch (7: 30 a.m. - 10: 30 a.m.), which can also be served in your room. On this occasion, I chose he dill omelet.

The Ripplecove Inn is also known for its summer activities: pedal boats, tennis, canoeing auberge ripplecove 8and kayaking, hiking, cycling, sport fishing, the choice of swimming in the Lake or the outdoor pool. During the winter months, multiple choices include ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing. Not to mention the spa and romantic packages being offered. In 2013, a private beach will also be added to the agenda.

Information:
www.ripplecove.com or 800-668-4296 or (819) 838-5541
Reservations (from 8 am to 11 pm)

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Photos: Myriam Sainson

 

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