Sunday, November 8, 2015


OH  !


I have fallen in love! Again.

This city is a dream.  And a dream come true.
If any of you have the desire to go to Europe but can't afford it right now, look into going here.  It's the next best thing. And a lot closer!

Once again we drove in the rain and its was lightly raining when we arrived just before dark.  It is about a 3 hour drive from Montreal.  We had chosen after much deliberation, to stay at the 
Hotel du Vieux-Quebec.  There were so many interesting and wonderful choices it made a decision difficult. But we were very happy with our choice.  Cozy, clean modern amenities in an old historic building in a fantastic location with a great restaurant right next door. Perfect for the rainy night. We just walked next door and enjoyed an authentic traditional- with-a -twist Quebec dinner. 

The view from our window.

Shepherd's Pie with chicken, Close de Roches cheese and balsamic arugula.

Meat Pie, fingerling potatoes, cranberries and seasonal vegetables.

Poor man's pudding- a Quebec speciality.  Cake topped with homemade maple ice cream and a sugar cream sauce.
male syrup and bacon creme brulle. 

Those desserts especially!
We were on a maple syrup binge here.
They serve it in everything.
(not complaining ; )

Our delightful hotel.

I researched like crazy in finding the "best"place to stay (within our budget) here.
I always thought I"d want to stay in the "castle", the Chateau Frontenac, if I ever came here but figured it would be too expensive. Well, lo and behold, I found a remarkable special for there right at the time we'd be here. You'd think I would just jump on it, but I had read so many fabulous reviews about l'Hotel du Vieux Quebec as well.  The deciding vote was cast by a review of a woman who had stayed in both and said while she loved the Chateau, she enjoyed her experience here more.
I walked through the Chateau and even peeked in some of the rooms and I feel I made the right choice.  The big perk to staying at the Chateau is you have the marvelous board walk and it's amazing views right outside your door. But so much was right outside our door here as well.

Our delightful room.
There is a desk in a nook around the corner for Dale to do his work.

 Our delightful breakfast!

Breakfast is delivered in these baskets and hung on your door each morning.
You can pre-order your choice of juice, pastries, and hot chocolate.
Of course, I had a freshly baked croissant every morning. 

Lovely , unhurried way to begin each day.  

One of the things that swayed my decision towards this hotel was that a complimentary 2 hour walking tour was including beginning right outside the hotel doors. 
It was the perfect introduction to Vieux (OLD) Quebec City on our first day there.

We had a lively, fun and funny guide full of information that kept us interested.

More outside staircases. These are for single family homes keep in mind.  You have to go outside to go upstairs in your own house.  They did it to save space inside and for heating purposes.
This is an historic district so you cannot change the outside of your property.

This enchanting doorway was along the drive in the photo above. 
And Yes, someone lives here.

A lot of art installations were  throughout the city.  Fun surprises around several corners.

Our first peek at the the Chateau Frontenac!
So excited !
Notice the Funicular going from lower town to upper.

Such a magnificent sight!
What a thrill!

Evidences of the cities past as a fortress are everywhere.

Died and gone to heaven!

Love these roofs and rooflines.

 As I've shared in previous posts, the Canadians love murals.
This is the most famous one in the city and pays homage to 15 historic figures as well as various authors and artists.

And today we've added one more important figure.
He fits right in!
(where's "Waldo?)

For you "Les Miserables" fans  :)

Another mural.

Nearly beside myself with excitement over seeing this.  It's been on my bucket list for a long time.
I know you've heard a lot of superlatives in this blog and you will hear even more but
this is considered to be Canada's "Most Beautiful Street."

 The doctor always at work.  :)

 Lunch time!
Could hardly wait to eat some more of this fabulous food.
So hard to choose where to eat but we again chose wisely.
How could I resist this adorable place- Le Lapin Saute?
The tiny inside cafe was intimate and charming but we always choose to eat outside if that option is available. 

Now this is what I'm talking about!
They know how to serve hot chocolate bowls!

 A delectable warm goat cheese salad.

Their version of a grilled cheese sandwich.  It had some wonderfully tasty additions to it, but it's been so long sadly I don't remember.  ( Probably bacon and maple though  :D !)

Everybody was talking about it and every restaurant had it on their menu:
Sugar Pie.
Of course it was good!

Petiole watching at its finest, a lovely tree shaded courtyard, and music stranding us as we ate.
Our meal began with guitar music and ended with the harp. 

Dale was having a lot of phone calls so I left him here while I peeked in several of the cute stores. 

I know this is an overload of photos of this street but this and Acorn Street in Boston are tied for my favorite street right now. 
I couldn't get enough of it and I wanted you to get a real feeling for it as well by seeing it from all different angles. 

This is how I knew about the Petit Champlain.  I had seen images of it decked out at Christmastime.
It's been on my bucket list ever since.
Seeing it in winter is still on the list!

Vieux Quebec is divided into 2 sections: upper and lower.

Quartier Petit Champlain and all the previous photos are in lower Quebec.
The following are in the upper section.

 Street musicians were abundant.
And very good. 

Bought one of these for each of my grandkids- I just know their parents will love me for it!
(JK  :D !)

The legend is this cannon ball was shot, landed here and no one removed it.
So this tree grew around it.

Quebec is the only walled city north of Mexico.
It is a Unesco World Heritage treasure. 
It is very walkable and very safe.

 You can walk around much of the city on remaining walls.

Statues are tucked into corners and surprising places.  You never know what you're going to find around the next bend.

 We followed the advice of many a tour guide and online sites and the recommendation of our hotel concierge and enjoyed another truly authentic Quebec dinner here at 
Aux Anciens Canadiens.

It is in the oldest house in Quebec.

 Traditional pot of baked beans.

Grandma's Treat:
Quebec meat pie, meatball ragout, pork grillades, baked beans.

Grandpa's Treat:
St-Jean meat pie made with wild meats, pig knuckles, root vegetables.

 Maple syrup sugar pie with whipped cream.
 Chocolate fudge pie with raspberry sauce.
(gotta some some chocolate in with all this maple syrup goodness.)

And now...
for the grand finale of the evening...

The Chateau Frontenac is the world's most photographed hotel.  
(I told you more superlatives were coming!

I cannot believe I was here!
So breathtaking. 
I was absolutely enthralled.

In front of the hotel is this wide and wonderful boardwalk called the Dufferin Terasse.
It was glorious and offered views of the water, the hotel, the upper and lower city. 
It was very long as well as wide and made for a most lovely romantic stroll.
I could have stayed all night.
Dale had to drag me away to bed.

We were overjoyed with our first day and first taste of this superlative city (and it was yummy in more ways than one)!

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