a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Feb, 2019

Looking to rent a chalet near Ottawa? Here’s an idea for you…

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

This past weekend Mark and I had the opportunity to stay overnight at Chalet Buckingham, a four-season chalet in Quyon, Quebec with a handful of other bloggy types.*

A quick getaway in a gorgeous setting less than an hour from Ottawa? I’m in.

It’s a very pretty drive from Ottawa and we were there before we knew it. Chalet Buckingham is right on the Ottawa River; a very short drive from Highway 148. As we turned off the highway I was moderately worried that our Prius might not fare well on this narrow road through the woods but I needn’t have worried.

One of my favourite times during a holiday or getaway is the arrival. When you round that last corner and you finally see where it is that you’re going to be staying. It’s like being presented with a beautifully wrapped chocolate. Ta da! You’re full of excitement and anticipation because you know something excellent is coming to you.

So this was is the beautifully wrapped chocolate that greeted us when we arrived: sunshine, a splendid view of nature, and a gorgeous home away from home tucked perfectly into the forest. BLISS.

This is where my eyes fell as soon as I stepped out of the car:

The road to Chalet Buckingham

… and this is what lay ahead:

Chalet Buckingham

We were the first of our group to arrive. We lugged in our stuff (er, Mark did, because I was too busy being totally AGOG to carry luggage) and explored our new surroundings. I really liked the look and feel of this place. It’s nice without being prissy or fancypants; comfortable without being shabby or sloppy. This is a fine balance, my friends.

The first level consists of one big living area with TV and fireplace, a full bathroom (with laundry), and bedrooms. That sofa converts to a bed but I would only put kids to sleep here, FYI. They’d deal with the lack of privacy a bit better. :)

Chalet Buckingham: first floor

Upstairs is the master bedroom (which has its own bathroom), living area #2, the kitchen, and another 2pc. bathroom.

I wish I had better photos of the kitchen, because it’s really nice.

Chalet Buckingham- main living area

Chalet Buckingham: main living area

Chalet Buckingham- master bedroom

There’s a fire pit out back and a gorgeous balcony overlooking the river out front. I imagine this place is quite beautiful in the summer. (Honestly, why do the owners want to share this place with anyone!?! It boggles my mind.) I was just happy to sit with my book and stare out the windows.

Chalet Buckingham- balcony river view

Chalet Buckingham - can’t take my eyes off that view!

Chalet Buckingham by the Ottawa River

Of course, a home away from home is more than just nice furniture, art on the walls, and beds to sleep in. I really appreciated the smaller touches here too: sharp knives for dinner prep, a place to sit when you take off your boots, extra linens, and lots of clothes hangers. There’s a Google Home system too, which, although I wouldn’t have it in my own home, was fun to play with and listen to music on demand whenever we wanted.

The next morning we went for a walk on the river. I normally wouldn’t have ventured out but we saw many snowmobilers zipping by and figured it was safe enough to walk on the ice.

Chalet Buckingham- frozen Ottawa River

It was so crisp and peaceful. If it wasn’t so cold I could have just kept on walking.

Did I mention it was absolutely freezing outside? A few people in our group decided to boil water and fling it in the air. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen this pic:

It’s a neat effect, isn’t it? Someone on Twitter called it Canadian fireworks. Hilarious!

I hope the owner of Chalet Buckingham knows that no pots or pans were harmed during this photo shoot. :)

All too soon it was time to pack up and go home.

If you’re shopping around for a high-end cottage or chalet rental, I recommend you take a look at Chalet Buckingham. Check out the website! It’s worth a closer look and the details I’m sharing here are really just skimming the surface.

As I’m writing this it occurs to me that this is the ideal place for:

– multi-family events
– family reunions (kids downstairs, parents upstairs!)
– work-related retreats
– pre-wedding parties

I’m betting it’s a tranquil and scenic getaway any time of year. Maybe a return visit in the summer is in order to make sure? :)

*The cost of our accommodation was covered by our hosts but opinions are my own. Thank you Roland Bast for coordinating this little getaway!


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  • andrea tomkins: Thanks Lynn! I'm all about keepin' it real here. :) There's no point glossing over the fact that it took me three days to get over our jet lag, but I
  • Lynn: Last time I was at the one in Kanata, they didn't have any of the giant popcorn (which I am embarrassed to admit, makes up at least 25% of my at-home
  • Lynn: I'm really enjoying your Thailand series but I have to say, it is not inspiring me to travel at all. I am a terrible, stressed out, freaked out travel
  • Lynn: And this is why I just cannot bring myself to leave Canada. You are superheroes!
  • Jinjer: OMGgggggg I would've died on the spot I'm so terrified of bugs. YOur daughter is brave, reaching in there to remove the bag of nuts. And she must REAL
  • barristers: I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently
  • Royvia: Great post.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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