Friday, June 18, 2010

Heli-Gourmet packages

Published June 16, 2010 at 07:35

Updated June 16, 2010 at 7:44

Go back to a gourmet paradise

Go back to a gourmet paradise
The Heli-Gourmet Getaway offers round-trip departing from downtown Montreal to resort hotels.

Photo: Martin Tremblay, La Presse

Simon Diotte


Specialist event tourism, Guy R. Godin on a mission. His goal: Unleashing the helicopter flights. And to do that, he launched an unusual product: escapades round trip departing from downtown Montreal to resort hotels. Its target audience: middle-class wanting to make the trip of a lifetime.


At a speed of 200 km / h, it only takes about 30 minutes that helicopter to get to the Auberge des Gallant, near Mount Rigaud.

Photo: Martin Tremblay, La Presse

"Even though Quebec has spectacular scenery, tourism helicopter can not fly here. The problem is that you must be a connoisseur to rent a unit. Hence my idea of Heli Gourmet: to make accessible to the greatest number, this kind of adventure, "said company founder Helicopter Flight Quebec.

Eli, of course helicopter, and gourmet, since packages include a gourmet meal based on local cuisine in one of the hotels Resorts network members. At the invitation of Guy R. Godin, La Presse was the first to test this product with a bright future.

Flight Express centre-ville/campagne

All departures are from a heliport located at Mel's movie studios in the Technopark. It is a place where regular landing movie stars or finance.

The machine that carries us, is a Bell 206 Jet Ranger III, a dragonfly, which costs a whopping 1.5 million dollars. What a surprise, at this price, air conditioning is not even included! As cooling system is quite old: it opens the windows. But at 1000 feet altitude, I could see, it is more than sufficient to cool the interior.


Auberge des Gallant, who welcomes guests circuit Heli Gourmet.

Photo: Martin Tremblay, La Presse

Our destination: the Auberge des Gallant, a small rural settlement situated on the southern slope of Mount Rigaud. At a cruising speed of 200 km / h, it only takes 25-30 minutes to get there, rather than double the time in the car or even triple during congestion.Aux flying the aircraft, the pilot Marc Leduc, displays a calmness that is reassuring from the start. As for safety, note that it is a helicopter turbine, much more reliable than a piston engine, more prone to engine failure. "In terms of helicopter is the real" patent "," says the driver.

To contemplate the scenery, the weather is perfect: clear blue sky and smog little present. The only problem is that strong winds to keep us hovering. "In these conditions, we care little paper embarrassment!" Warns Mr. Leduc. We do not play with security.

Upon takeoff, the breathtaking views alternate. To my right is the downtown and Mount Royal, which will give a show, while my left is the river in all its splendor. Under the blazing sun, the turquoise also invited to swim, but its very low level concern. New islands, which do not appear on nautical charts, emerge from the water, forming new obstacles to navigation. But in a helicopter, we do not fear the reefs!

Rustic decorAt the Auberge des Gallant, the heliport is located between a willow tree, a pond where geese paddle and trees in bloom. It landed on the grass as green as a golf course. This contrasts with the bitumen from the airport! Here, it regularly hosts helicopters belonging to wealthy clients. "We even built our garden by sowing plants that can withstand the assault of wind," said Linda Gallant, mistress of the house.

When we arrived, we received like stars, a glass of champagne in hand illico grafting. Follow a gourmet meal to put in the category: "It is imperative that I return with my girlfriend." On the menu: smoked salmon tartare to the inn, pasta with squid ink with lobster and white wine sauce maple creme brulee. As a bonus, the wine pairings, supervised by a sommelier. In other words, a VIP service.

How much does such madness? At four, it costs $ 395 per person (flight only). "It's a product for people who want to celebrate something important, like a birthday or a marriage, and business people wanting to impress their clients," says Godin. But the market is much broader than that. "The young thirtysomethings looking more and more to live this kind of experience: for them, everything is permitted," said Ms. Gallant.

With a few glasses of wine in the nose, the return flight by helicopter is a new experience! This time, we fly over the South Shore from the skies of L'Île-Perrot, Châteauguay, the Seaway, the Lachine Rapids and Île-des-Soeurs, before returning to our starting point . From there, our car waiting for us to quickly return to work or at home, after a few hours of expatriation. This is the ultimate work-leisure!

Where can we go? Heli Gourmet currently serves 12 member institutions Resorts network. Two ways to profit: for dinner with a round trip in a few hours or evening, with overnight accommodation and return the next day. Whatever the package, if you want to impress the beloved being, you will hit the bull's eye!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010