Over the last few months life has been hectic, full of adventure and reconnecting with ourselves, our work and our loved ones. All regular updates, as always can be found my Instagram page, @aniab but I miss this space everyday. I miss sitting down to write a full post, put down my thoughts in writing and feel the weight of them relieve me for even a moment. I have so much to share with you from this past year that hasn’t made it’s way to the site yet, all that is forever relevant, things like travel, western wear, and best spots for skiing, aka all my favourite topics.
Let’s start with our trip to Quebec City. This August we decided to take a few extra days spent on the east coast to go and cross one of the biggest Canadian destinations off our Bucket list, Quebec City. Upon arrival I realized I did not carve out nearly as much time as I should have for our visit, BUT the more reason to come back. We were being hosted by the amazing folks at Auberge Saint Antoine, a beautiful historical property at the heart of old Quebec City. It’s always been difficult for me to image what the QC vibe was all about. It’s not on the list of biggest cities in Canada but it is on the list of the oldest and where history is concerned it definitely does not disappoint. There really are only a handful of places in Canada that have much to offer in terms of historical presence, it’s such a new country and the expectation isn’t to come and discover ruins of old castles and fortresses. Although Quebec City actually has a few of those believe it or not. In fact Auberge Saint Antoine is one of the very few places where you will see them, sitting on top of an archeological gold mine. During the construction of the hotel a discovery of many new artifacts (some dating back to the 1600s) shed light on what life in old Quebec City used to be like. These artifacts are now on display throughout the hotel as a tribute to this beautiful city.
Along with having beautiful and newly renovated rooms and bathrooms (beautiful Venetian blinds on rounded bathroom windows, deep soaker tubs and plush bathrobes for maximum relaxation) the hotel restaurant, Chez Muffy will go down as one of my favourites to date. Their absolutely incredible seafood spaghetti is beyond words. A true farm to table experience based on seasonal availability it’s food like even your own mother couldn’t prepare (unless your mother was Muffy). We already know east coast lobster is unparallered but the way the kitchen at Chez Muffy prepared it was really next level. And for desert an éclair I still can’t stop talking about. Seasonal fruit, soft and crumbly crust with creamy (but not too sweet) filling, it was heaven in my mouth. We didn’t even bother exploring the rest of QC’s food scene (except for a note worthy lunch at Le Chick Shack) because we had everything we needed under one roof.
Two days in old Quebec City:
-Place Royale, just steps away from the Auberge Saint Antoine, home to beautiful restaurants, cafes and shop, Notre Dame des Victoires church (The oldest stone church in North America), the beautiful Fresque des Quebecois, a mural depicting the history of the city and even some important historic figures (see if you can spot all 15)
-Rue Petit-Champlain, the oldest commercial district in North America. Home of the Funicular and another breathtaking mural, the Fresque du Petit-Champain, depicting the milestones of history of Cap-Blanc, the waterfront neighbourhood it calls home
-Corner of Rue Saint Paul & Rue Saint Pierre
-The Umbrellas at Rue Cul-de-Sac (aka. Umbrella Alley)
-Chateau Frontenac & Terrace Dufferin
In terms of exploring the city itself our focus was on experiencing the street life and not so much wondering about museums. When you have a limited amount of time in a place you will benefit greatly from getting the lay of the land. Once you get a taste for a place only then should you explore it more in-depth. On the evening of our arrival we took a few hours to walk the permitter of the old city walls to gauge just how much, or how little we had to explore. Old Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage site guaranteeing a photogenic corner every way you turn. My first impression of these small streets was that we were on the set of Beauty & The Beast. The perfect quaint little French town. Another comparison I kept making was to Victoria, British Columbia. Without even knowing the name of the street our first order of business was to see the famous Petit Champlain, claimed to be the oldest commercial district in North America (aka. the first shopping street of the new world). The beautifully groomed shop fronts, the view of Chateau Frontenac and the Funicular adoring it’s backdrop makes for the postcard moment Instagram dreams are made of.
Our next full day was spent discovering the dead ends, the main attractions and the hidden gems of the city. We viewed the city from above at the Terrace Dufferin, visited the first Simons department store, still in it’s original and heritage location, ate a very filling lunch at Le Chic Shack and even bought one of my fave new sneakers at a shoe shop along the way (because blisters). We stumbled upon some beautiful architecture and spotted some must see places that will have to wait for our return. It was a stress free, no pressure few days in Canada’s most photogenic city. I left inspired for more and also curious about just how beautiful it must look like in the winter time. We can not wait to be back!