Wakefield is scenic little town next to the Gatineau River. It gets a steady stream of visitors all year long, but especially throughout the summer when cars drive through town to get between Ottawa (20 minutes away) and cottage country. I remember the black steam train that would stop right in the middle of town and bring people from Ottawa to Wakefield and back. Unfortunately they stopped running the train maybe 10 years ago? There also used to be a small house shaped like a boot that you could go into. I wonder if it is still there? Today we were here for another day of enjoying the changing colours of the leaves and today was probably the best day of the year for it. (Again as you can see I’m a bit late posting this, but it is my last hot chocolate from fall in Canada, next week new country promise).
After walking up and down the street a few times (Wakefield itself really isn’t that big) we decided to stop at Le Hibou. Inside this big wooden building it feels a bit like walking into an old country house but in giant scale. At the front there are a few comfy but old sofas. The tables and chairs are mismatched and many look like they come from garage sales and feature a lot of browns, yellows and oranges. One whole wall was covered in small multicoloured paintings for/by children.
And then, as you may expect, there are owls everywhere (le hibou means the owl in French). They are in the artwork, paintings, sculptures and a few that look like real stuffed owls. In the corner near the window there was a little stage where they have a regular stream of up and coming artists. Wakefield has a bit of a reputation of being an unlikely music meca, and several local musicians have had their breaks in town, maybe even on this stage.
Naturally, I ordered a hot chocolate, but it was very sweet (a typical Canadian ‘warm me up and give me a sugar kick’ winter hot chocolate). But it was the general atmosphere and food that stole the show. We all had the special of the day, a small tourtiere accompanied by a colourful salad. Tourtiere is a meat pie which is traditionally eaten in Quebec at Christmas and New Years, but luckily you can now get it all year round. It was delicious.
Wakefiled also has not one but two fantastic bakeries that you should visit after Le Hibou to pick up some dessert and freshly baked bread. Given the season I chose a mini pumpkin pie from Pipolinka which is in the same building as Le Hibou (delicious).
Verdict: Great lunch spot with stunning views of the Gatineau river and the colourful autumn leaves. Le Hibou, 757 Riverdale, Wakefield, Quebec, Canada