Looking for a fresh foodie getaway? The cuisine of the fertile Charlevoix region of Quebec has always had a strong sense of terroir, and now, thanks to the vision of Cirque du Soleil co-founder Daniel Gauthier, the area is poised to become a major center of culinary tourism. The luxury Le Train du Massif, his brainchild, began operations between Montmorency Falls in Quebec City and La Malbaie just this year, and Gauthier’s innate flair for the theatrical can be felt everywhere. Large windows offer dramatic views of the mountains and the St. Lawrence River, the onboard iPads provide narrative context and history for the locations along the route, and the ever-changing music, including an Edith Piaf ditty, is the perfect soundtrack for a romantic train adventure.
Onboard gourmet meals, prepared by chefs from the famed Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, include breakfast, tapas, or a multi-course dinner, depending on the package, and showcase local products, such as artisan cheeses, Charlevoix tomatoes or venison.
The train stops in Baie-Saint-Paul at Gauthier’s brand-new Hotel La Ferme, which boasts a mix of high-end and hostel-style accommodations, a seasonal farmers market at the train station and several dining options, all with a focus on cuisine du marche— or roughly “cooking from the market” for those of you struggling to remember your high school French. Train packages start at $119 per person. 877-536-2774, http://www.lemassif.com/en/train —Tracey Middlekauff