It is common knowledge that winter in Canada can be rough.  Yet the inhabitants of the Great White North are not only resourceful but also innovative. From eating fresh maple syrup on snow to inventing the snow plow that has truly become a necessity in every household, Canadians sure know how to make the cold season bearable and perhaps quite fun. One of those activities most Canadians love doing in the cold season is spending a few days away from the city and deadly icy sidewalks and head to the cottage. All one needs is a car, a few friends and these items listed below to ensure your stay at the cottage will be one to remember.

Show your bartending skills with Monkey Shoulder

Whether you’re bringing beers, a glass of good wine or any other liquor, a cottage weekend should always be filled with booze whatsoever. In order to take it up a notch, Monkey Shoulder is a renowned  100% Malt Whisky perfect for mixing. That being said, learn how to make a killer Lazy Old Fashioned to an Espresso Martini right here.

Bring your outdoor gear for your inner child

If you’re lucky, perhaps your cottage is located close to a ski resort. In that case, don’t forget to bring a snowsuit, your skis or a snowboardsnowshoes and even a ClassicTurbo carpet from Canadian Tire that will make you feel you’re once again 5 years old sledding down the slopes. Since the winter season has already begun, most stores such as Sports Expert and Atmosphere now have clearance sales which is perfect to gear up upon your upcoming ski /cottage trip.

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Keep your phone away and instead play some board games

Randolph has become a gold mine for boardgames within the last few years. Not only you can go to one of their establishments located in Montreal in order to spend time at their pub whilst playing board games, or you can also buy their latest discovery at their online boutique or an iconic game such as Cards Against Humanity right here.

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Satisfy your taste buds with fondue and/or a raclette

Everybody needs a bit of Ricardo in their lives. The Quebec legend has become a renown chef and a prominent figure in the culinary world. With online free recipes available to the large public, such as this raclette one that will come in handy during your trip up north to an online boutique that will make you dream of baking/cooking the tastiest dishes… the time has come to spice up your life with Ricardo.

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Electric Fondue Set (11 piece) Boutique Ricardo, C$100d

Please don’t stop the music

From Spotify playlists that will fit any mood, Amazon has the perfect mini-portable Bluetooth speaker that will play your music for 15 hours straight before charging it again. Retailing at C$35, the Anker SoundCore speaker sure is a necessity for any outings.

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Anker Soundcore mini on Amazon

Quench your thirst with comforting hot drinks

Nothing beats a cup of warm cocoa or tea whilst looking out the window during a quiet day watching the snow fall. Then again, chef extraordinaire Ricardo is here to save the day with several easy recipes for the perfect cup of hot chocolate. To take it up a notch for your sweet tooth… here are 4 more recipes for the perfect s’mores (milkshake and cake included!)

Sit down, relax and read a new book

Most New Year’s resolutions start with eating healthier and read more… now here’s your chance! From an easy read and soon-to-be adapted to the big screen, Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple, the latter will conquer your heart after two pages. For a deeper read, check out Ann C. Barham’s The Past Life Perspective and if you’re looking for something more current, get your hands on Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up:  The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

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All books are available at Indigo

Essential accessories to be all bundle up

From comfy reading wool socks, to onesies and large throws (image shown below is from Ohhio and retails at $340), every excuse to keep yourself warm at the cottage are acceptable. If you wish to take up knitting as a new year resolution, now’s the time to put it into practice. To learn how to make this massive throw, click here.

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Make sure you have all of these before venturing outside

During a nice winter day, going for a long walk could be one of the nicest activities instead of hitting the slopes. In that case, ensure of bringing a beanie, a scarf and gloves so that you won’t bring a cold back home. Also, don’t forget to bring a water bottle in order to stay hydrated. If you’re conscious about the environment, DYLN just launched a new line of eco-friendly alkalizing water bottle.

DYLN water bottle retailing at C$45

Unwind after a long day with a relaxing bath

Picture this: a hot bath, some scented candles to set the mood, a good book, nice glass of wine, some music in the background and a bath bomb just for the fun of it… you deserve it.

Have a fire pit outside? Bring out the hammock!

Yes, you heard right. With all the tasty S’mores recipes listed above, all you need to be cozied up outside by the fire is, of course, some blankets (see below the Mountain Blanket by Kammok retailing at $135) but the nice Roo Double is roomy enough for two, so couples can share comfy place to rest. Easy to set and resistant, you’ll bring your hammock wherever you’ll go upon future trips!

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Roo Double and Mountain blanket from Kammok

Last but not least… MAPLE SYRUP

Some bring Sriracha wherever they go, in winter when one goes to the cottage, one always brings maple syrup. With 29FÉVRIER countless products that aim to showcase the passion and creativity of local artisans and explore the diversity of the Quebec terroir, your pancakes and other delicacies will never have tasted this good. To see several recipes using 29FÉVRIER, click here.

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