• James Armstrong

Summer reservations for Hudson’s landmark Auberge Willow Inn


PHOTO BY LAUREN MITCHELL

Sporting a new roof and renovated kitchens, Auberge Willow Inn will soon be welcoming long-time and new fans.

Following its surprise closure last November, the legendary Auberge Willow Inn will be taking dining reservations in the very near future according to spokesperson Vanessa Ades.

“We hope to have the restaurant open by the beginning of August,” she said in an interview with Your Local Journal this week.

Ongoing renovations to the kitchens have taken longer than anticipated and a new roof is currently being installed. “We pulled out the kitchen equipment to send it away for cleaning and we didn’t like what we saw – we couldn’t just patch it up,” she said. “We have one shot to do it all and we don’t want to be closed ever again.”

New ownership

Montreal husband and wife team, David Ades and Patricia Wenzel and their daughter Vanessa Ades are the new owners responsible for the major renovations to the Hudson icon. They bought the property in January 2017 following its closure by the previous owner Michel Poirier.

Chef Shaun Hughes

Born and raised in Hudson and currently residing there with his wife and children, Shaun Hughes has earned a Canada-wide culinary pedigree. From Vancouver to Toronto and Montreal, Hughes has a wide variety of training including time spent with Chef Marc-Olivier Frappier of Joe Beef in Montreal. “Shaun has a long history of working different positions in the kitchen. He’s done it all,” said Ades. “He reached out to us and we both had the same kind of vision of what we wanted the Willow to be,” she added. Hughes has a connection to the Hudson institution that began when he worked there as a teenager.

What’s on the menu?

“It’s going to be a menu that varies with the seasons with a British flavour,” said Ades. The focus will be on locally grown fresh produce in conjunction with Chef Hughes’ team producing all the bakery and butchery products on-site; breads, pastries, sausages and other charcuterie meats. When asked if the traditional steak and kidney pie will be returning, she answered it would be a possibility suitable for the winter months.

Future plans include a vegetable garden and a greenhouse to grow fresh produce.

“We are not sure yet, we might use some of the parking lot as a garden and for the greenhouse but that’s still up in the air. It’s a project for 2018.” said Ades. As for the inn itself, there are plans for further renovations to the remainder of the restaurant, guest suites, and interiors.

Anchorage House

Anchorage House, across the street from Auberge Willow, has five bedrooms and can be rented independently. “It’s currently occupied by a couple from Rigaud who were forced out of their home during the flooding,” she said. “We also had a group from Alberta that were here to help with the flood relief,” she added. According to Ades, the flood touched none of the buildings although the Ottawa River did rise to the level of the Willow Inn’s patio.

Hudson Mayor Ed Prévost said he was impressed with the amount of work that has been done to Auberge Willow Inn.

“I’m very excited it’s reopening,” he told Your Local Journal. “I haven’t been inside yet but I did see the new steel roof that’s being installed and that’s really something else,” he added.

Auberge Willow Inn is located at 208 Main Road, Hudson, Quebec.

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