Sunday, July 8, 2018


Breathtaking Lakeside Retreat Rejuvenates and Inspires with Profound Pleasures
Nestled in a stunning cove on pristine Lake Massawippi in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, there stands the darling of all inns: Ripplecove. Only an hour- and-a-half away from Montreal, and within 20-minutes from all  kinds of interesting tourist towns, Ripplecove’s coveted location  in Ayer’s Cliff is near it all, and yet,  far enough away from the maddening crowd.

This five star award-winning wonder with its 4-Diamonds’ status (garnered since 2010), surrounds you in a tranquil oasis. Lush nature  spans into vistas so beautiful, your senses become rapt in spellbound magic. 

                   A toast to scenic serenity!

No matter where  you roam on its 12-acre grounds, you’re cocooned in restful bliss. 

Savour the views!

History Embodied in Visual Beauty

                Ripplecove resonates with history; you feel it the minute you enter.

Time seems to stand still. Feast on the expansive interior that immediately pleases with lovely antiques, paintings and photographs. 

The library is evocative of times gone by. 
It's chock-full of old books on a historical chest with Diana sculpted at its top.

One of a kind treasures are on every floor at every turn.

Each draws you into unique stories of times gone by. Such timeless appeal instantly ushers in warmth – as do the welcoming smiles at the reception desk.

The legendary establishment has its own Canadiana tale that vividly reflects its 73-year-old past; and though Ripplecove has witnessed different owners, a quintessential key to its unrivalled allure and success remains in this: the spirit of hearth, home and hospitality truly defines Ripplecove and it’s always there for you.  

                                           Sit down and immerse yourself in it.

                                              A New Owner with a Virtuous Vision

Last March, a new dynamic owner opened Ripplecove’s door. Without wasting a moment, he put his passionate vision and solid ideas for the place into reality. His main drive is giving the guest an optimum experience of comfort and calm combined with subtle luxury – without changing the inn’s vintage flavour.
The old-world ambiance and of Ripplecove has been given some beautiful changes and there’s more to come. The pool is a splendid example of these novel changes.

                                                      Hammock and moon chair heaven

 It idyllically cradles each guest as they take shade in the wonderful adjustable moon seats and stare at the many other pool comforts including the gorgeous garden. Downstairs,  the bar has been greatly enlargened, as has its outdoor terrace. As for the rooms, six of the seven superior ones have undergone bathroom white marble renovations. Wow!
It is the guests and their sheer enjoyment that shape the owner’s dedication to making Ripplecove an unrivalled hospitality haven. He revealed some of his plans for the future, and I already wanted to book my next stay.

Rooms with Charm and Rooms with Regal Appeal

There are 30 rooms and three suites. There are also two cottages and one accommodates your dog. Rooms vary in colour, décor and size.

Classic rooms are smaller than the superior or luxe ones. Classics have cozy touches and some look out to the lake. Superior rooms and luxe rooms are divine. They even have a fireplace.

 Twenty-three rooms have their own private balcony looking out onto the lake. 
 My luxe room did. 

Mornings I would open my sliding glass doors, step out onto the balcony to contemplate the awakening view before me. I would watch the birds, look down at the loons, listen to the rippling water and pinch myself to make sure it was all real. Coffee machines are in rooms, and this added to my daily morning ritual to relax in nature from on high.
My bathroom was huge and glistening in smooth dark brown marble. Every amenity was there, including big fluffy terry-cloth bathrobes, different soaps and other organic toiletries.

Dining on Gourmet Godliness

What an enchanting setting for dining!


       You can sit inside or outside on the terrace where the water is right before you.

The two expansive docks (one is new) invite cottages on the lake to dock their boat here and come to dine.  

Steve Rondeau, the chef of le Riverain is a cuisine prodigy. as a youngster, he began creating his own dishes that would always bring out superb taste. Self-taught, Chef Steve is constantly cooking up extraordinary dishes in the kitchen with his 22-year-old son Gael who’s his right hand man.  I liken them to a deity duo of world-class dishes
For breakfast, I had an exquisite omelette, Buttery tasting with melted Alfred le fermier cheese, it also featured shimeji mushrooms. It was wonderful.

                                                             I could hardly wait to dig in.

Lunch left me starry-eyed when I tasted the main dish – a lobster risotto. 

Truly fantastic, it was pre-empted with a tartar of stunning taste and texture. A blackberry silky puree laid in streaks across my slate plate. 
It was prefaced with aranchini – an amuse-gueule – a delightful taste surprise. Under it was a subtle onion purée of perfect taste.
Dinner was a feast that amply showcased Chef Steve’s exceptional cuisine talent. I ordered the sunchoke artichoke soup (Jerusalem soup). Complicated to prepare, but divinely simple in taste, this entrée first laid out a smoked duck crumble, marinated onion and a shiitake purée. A glaze veal reduction (the soup) was poured over these latter ingredients.
I also had the red tuna called tataki. Divinely satisfying, it featured maple syrup bacon, smoked pork chips, citrus and maple sour cream, blood orange purée and sea buck thorn. It was so colourful, and like all dishes at le Riverain, magnificent in presentation.

The cod with cauliflower, kale, Tokyo turnips, leek and bee balm oil with strawberry was topped by a wafer-thin crunchy lotus. The fish was tender but if you do not like salt, be aware that its taste is prevalent.

                                            Desserts were stand-outs!
Pastry chef, Robin Lee is also a genius. Here is what I had to end my various meals: Clementine parfait (orange reduction), lime meringue, coconut tile with raspberry lychee purée.

Addictive was the raspberry sorbet with its sour cherry mousse topped with a tiny violet petal.

The Guayaquil was like four desserts in one. A brownie and so many more delights came with it. This one topped my taste for sweet indulgence.

Should wish to work off calories, head for Ripplecove’s tennis court or hop on a bike and travel down the Tomifobia trail, or take one of the inn’s kayaks or row boats. Then again, riding on a pontoon that tours Lake Massawippi is a nice way to toast the day. This can be arranged at the front desk, as can treatments at Ripplecove’s Arboressence Spa.

Ripplecove will call you back as it did me. This article attests to its enduring magic. Its beauty lingers in your soul. You will return.

 For information:
 Call 1-800 668-4296
 The address is: 700 Ripplecove, Ayer's Cliff, QC, J0B 1C0

1 comment:

  1. What a stunning property. Your article makes me want to go there now!