Tag Archives: Quebec Province

Quebec City and Île d’Orléans, Canada – Part Three

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Over the bridge, onto the outskirts of the city, we’re off to Ile d’Orleans which boasts some of the most beautiful countryside. This is the only bridge which leads you to the island full of farms, quaint shops and gorgeous heritage homes.

P1200418In the middle of the mighty St. Lawrence River, but within sight of Quebec City, sits Île d’Orléans, an entire island that is a designated historical district.

Driving through with Michelle experiencing lovely  villages  and farm stalls along the roadside.

A pink tractor … Why not?

Michelle with the owner of Cassis Monna & Filles – Bernard Monna who is a native of Southern France and fourth-generation liquoriste, he is the first to produce black currant wines and Crème de Cassis in Québec.

Outside for a quick walk around admiring the views before going for lunch.

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Maple syrup is a speciality here for our luncheon,  better known as a Sugar Shack, L’ En-Tailleur  is a family owned business.

Square dancing is a highlight once you’ve had your sugar fix – lots of fun to burn off the calories to a couple of really up-beat musicians.

We’re about to have a maple syrup tasting, once it’s cooled on the snow. Yum!

The name Quebec is derived from an Algonquin word for narrow passage (which can be seen here). It originally referred to the narrowing of the St. Lawrence River near what is now Quebec City. The British named the newly captured colony Quebec in 1763.

Montmorency Falls is a natural phenomenon – definitely not to be missed. At 83 metres high (30 m higher than Niagara Falls), it can be seen from all the way across the St. Lawrence River in Lévis!

Mushrooms anyone? I know we picked them as kids for our Mums to cook up with the evening meal, but can’t say I’ve seen anything like these before. Wasn’t game to pick it before returning back to Quebec City as it looked like it should stay … Just in case it wasn’t the type for eating – or anything magical.

Tartare – cold fish has been ordered and it’s a local, more traditional dish. Here at Restaurant SSS back in the old city of Quebec, I’m trying some more local food made by the excellent chefs on site with their superb presentation.

Poutine at Restaurant SSS wasn’t a problem to put together as it’s considered more of a takeaway-like meal, but they were kind enough to allow me the opportunity to try it at this very classy little restaurant. It’s a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Quebec, made with french fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce. Typically found across Canada and in some places in the northern United States. I’m told if the cheese doesn’t ‘squeak’ it’s not fresh. Trust me this was squeaking …

Quebec City, Quebec Province Canada – Part Two

First thing on the agenda for the day in Quebec City,  and considering it’s across the road from my hotel, I’m marching across to the Market to investigate what’s on offer.

Fresh strawberries to start the day – delicious, juicy and great value!

All kinds of homemade condiments you could imagine. No shortage of quality goods and crafts as well.

From the market, a fresh walk along the foreshore’s boardwalk leads you to the old city. You can see the ships coming in and out of the harbour – just take a seat and the view is astounding doesn’t matter which way you look. The silos light up at night and can be seen from afar – and my hotel.

The figurehead rising up out of the pavement bears food from all around the world in her arms, recalling both Québec’s heyday as a port and the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which was founded in the city in 1945. She can be found at Place de la FAO in the Old Port.

Yes it’s that time of the year … Here at the Place Royale (Petit-Champlain District), one of the most popular areas to visit with boutique specialty shops, along with galleries and cafes.

Friend Michelle having a chat with one of the local buskers.

One of the first Frescoes painted is Fresque des Quebecois, which show some 30 characters linked to maritime commerce which are depicted of the area’s major events; such as fires, rock slides and bombings, as well as the people who built, commercialized, developed and lived in this district.

Sculpture of a different kind, remember when you found those plastic parts in the cereal boxes and tried to put them together?

Yummy locally-made chocolates shapes of all kinds of different things.

Feeling hungry and L’ ECHAUDE  Restaurant was selected for its wonderful creations using traditional and favourite produce of the region.

For starters, a Tasting Plate  of  ‘Tartare de Saumon‘ which is a cold, savoury fish offering. And, if the presentation and flavours are anything to go by with this one, I can assure you  the main dish was delectable as well!

Time to put on our ‘skates’ and explore some more of the old-town centre. Designated a World Heritage treasure by UNESCO, Old Québec is the only walled city north of Mexico.

Sitting on top of the hill at Dufferin Terrace is the gorgeous  Château Frontenac offering spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and surrounds.

And the way to go up there –  the Funicular of course is handy – or there’s passages you can walk up as well if you need some exercise to rid all that incredible food’s ability to miraculously creep on  the kilos.

Step off the Funicular and it’s another eye-catching scene, a favourite for locals and tourists  – just-a myriad of charming eateries, bars and shopping outlets to explore. Leave some time to visit the more established sites and monuments in this area.

Beginning to feel the night air coming on, but wait there’s much more we can fit in today.

Food and Wine tasting at the end of the day – and just what I need, more food and wine!

With Phil from my foodie tour and he likes to be known as ‘The Professional Tea Drinker’ (and he’s a writer too see www.philhopkins.co.uk) having a coffee with me?
Indeed, there’s no loyalty these days …

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I told you the silos on the waterfront would light up in the evening and aiming to please, it does just that.

Travelling to Quebec City, Quebec Province Canada – Part One

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Onwards to Quebec City with Via Rail. Why bother flying, the train is so much faster and within a few hours you’re already there wheeling the luggage off and checking into your hotel.

Business Class seating may be a configuration of two seats on the left and single on the right. The tricky part is trying to figure out which side will give the best views while speeding along.

I’m ready for checking out the province of Quebec which has been on my radar for sometime, and if like Ottawa it won’t disappoint.

It really doesn’t matter which side of the train you sit on, the views are stunning on both.

Love the way some people can actually find a way to express themselves! And, it doesn’t matter where they do it …

Once over the Alexander Bridge and the Ottawa River, we’re now in the province of Quebec.

There is also the undeniable fact that Canadian-French speakers have lived alongside and amongst English speakers for two and a half centuries ever since the beginning of British administration in 1763.

Most native French speakers in Canada live in Quebec City, where French is the majority and sole official language. However, there wasn’t any problem with English being spoken and I admire the tenacity of the residents who can easily switch from one language to the other without any difficulty. Wish I had the ability to do so.

Beautiful farming properties can be seen on either side of the train.

Lunch is served at your seat, delicious and well presented with the staff only to happy to assist wherever possible whilst onboard.

Arriving at Quebec’s main railway station is the Gare de Palais, which is situated towards the Old Port on the edge of Downtown and at the bottom of the hill from the Old City and easy walking distance of either.

This is one of those railway stations which harks back to the golden age of rail travel having been built by Canadian Pacific in a complementary style to the iconic Chateau Frontenac hotel. The centre piece within the station is a magnificent brick vaulted ceiling with a stained glass top.

What better way to greet me at the front of my hotel? An art installation of pigeons trying to fathom a can of Campbell’s Soup…

Hotel of choice is the boutique and elegant Hotel des Coutellier. Great location in the heart of old Quebec City. The markets are straight across the road which is where I’ll be heading over to in the morning.

Stylish and smart with a fantastic view towards the port. Rooms are quaint with a sofa which offers relaxation and space which is always greatly appreciated. Fast wifi and lovely amenities given.