Embrace cocooning this winter

Published on February 7 2019

It’s on a frosty morning that my sister and I, determined to take advantage of the joys of winter, head up to Chelsea for a girls’ getaway.

Our proposed schedule includes the Old Chelsea Square skating rink during the day and a snowshoeing and spa combo in the evening, plus a tour of the local shops, visits to the local restaurants, and a night at the Maison Bleue, a century-old house in the heart of Chelsea.

In short, a foolproof plan to enjoy everything winter has to offer!

Exploring the local shops

As it’s a rather chilly morning (not to say downright frigid), we start our day with a visit to some of the shops in the area—local treasures well worth discovering.

We begin our tour in Wakefield, where interesting stops and wonderful discoveries abound. The Wakefield Confectionery, Khewa and Jamboree are just three of them! Next, we head to Chelsea, where a stop at Doozy Candle is compulsory for any self-respecting candle enthusiast.

Here are my top picks for a shopping spree in Chelsea/Wakefield!


Enjoying winter differently

At this point, the temperature has plummeted from “frigid” to “Arctic.” Seriously, even bundled up in our snow gear, we’re at risk of frostbite … We reluctantly decide to ditch the “outdoor activities” component of our trip. ☹

Cocooning and beer: a match made in heaven

But hey, the joys of winter include cocooning! And that’s just what we do: we spend part of the afternoon at the Chelsea Pub, snuggled under a blanket, swapping stories over a couple of beers and a plate of nachos.

Chelsea Pub

Bathing suit and winter tuque

Comfortably full, we make our way to Nordik Spa-Nature, the largest spa in North America. The recommended thermal experience is to go from hot to cold, then take a break, but considering the extreme cold, we stick to the hot baths and saunas, then unwind during the Källa treatment in a saltwater pool carved out of the rock, where we float effortlessly and dreamily.

Who says you can’t relax in a bathing suit at -35 degrees Celsius? 

Källa treatment at Nordik Spa-Nature

Biscotti morning, noon and night

Now that we’re nicely relaxed and warmed up, we’re starting to feel a little peckish. We leave the spa for our next stop, Biscotti & cie, hoping to find some comfort food. The tartiflette (potato, cheese and bacon pie) hits the spot! It’s a great way to end the day in a warm and cozy atmosphere, enjoying our tartiflette and a glass of wine.

Biscotti & cie

A restful night in Chelsea

Happy and very well fed, we leave Biscotti & cie and go next door (literally) to the Maison Bleue, the charming hundred-year-old house where we’ll be spending the night. Not only can the house accommodate up to 6 guests, but it’s located in the heart of Chelsea and at the entrance to Gatineau Park, which makes it ideal for cross-country skiers and a great place for a getaway with family or friends.

With light hearts and heads filled with new memories, we slip under the covers and fall into a deep sleep.

Maison Bleue

We’ll be back!

The next morning, we agree we have to return (on a day when the temperature is less prohibitive) to try the skating rink in Old Chelsea Square (right across from the Maison Bleue) and go snowshoeing in beautiful Gatineau Park. We’re not giving up—we’ll definitely be back!


Does your taste run more to cross-country skiing and fine food? No problem—the Outaouais has what you’re looking for! Don’t hesitate to contact us for recommendations for your dream visit or vacation!

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