Sleeping in the Chateau bed was like sleep on a cloud. So soft!
We woke to soft skies and a little bit of sun. After last night’s snow it was good news.
We didn’t organise breakfast at hotel. We just can’t keep up eating three meals a day. So it was off for a walk and a quest to find coffee. It was cool and breezy so we walked up and down the streets admiring the beautiful buildings. The French Canadians know how to do special ironwork.
We found cafe Paillard. It seems the owner has had restaurants in Quebec for many years. This included three MaDonalds (are they really restaurants?) He sold them, retired to travel, got bored, so started a cafe bakery after seeing great cafes in Paris. Well this one is huge and does have wonderful croissants and coffee and hot chocolate in bowls you could swim in.
We walked some more feeling the cool breeze picking up!
Then it was time to meet for the ‘Old Quebec Food Tour’. The Chic Shack was the meeting place and Sam our guide. We did the usual introductions and we are the only Australians along with Canadians and Americans and one lone Englishman who was married to an American.
We started the food tour with Poutine. What is Poutine? It originated in Quebec and rumour has it it occurred after someone dropped a more formal meal of potatoes on the floor – grabbed it up and poured gravy over it. Anyway it was a delicious mix of chunky potatoes in a rich gravy with cheese curds and topped with pink pickled onion. It’s a real comfort food and was delicious!
We set off the the promenade outside our hotel and Sam gave us a history lesson on Champlain, the founder. And lots about the battle between the French and English. And pointed out a long toboggan ride !
We followed Sam along Rue St Louis and the group personalities started to show. The chatters, loners, the one who answers all the questions and those who are happy to bond. We rather liked the English man and his wife. He played rugby and now coaches in the US.
Next stop was La Buche. Quebec is still more French than the French. So this Québécois style restaurant is a very French treat.
Sam organised us onto a long table and we were served a cube of Salmon with a maple sauce. Unusual combination but strangely it worked!
Then we had a local version of Shepherds pie called Chinese Pie. Beef braised in red wine with corn mash and fruit ketchup. It screamed Comfort Food!
Then a small cup of pea soup. Yellow peas with bacon, fried peas & glazed carrots. Warming. Remember it’s cold outside.
To truly finish us off we each were given a quick lesson on making our own maple taffy.
Back on the streets and it was getting colder. We heard more history of this beautiful Unesco city and viewed a clock presented to the locals by the Swiss. Modern and precise it cost the Govt a lot to house it in a weather proof container.
We talked about the houses, the snow and what a long cold winter they have had.
We went past the Morrin House and ended up down the hill and back to bakery we had visited this morning.
I spotted some wonderful carvings on the stairs we walked down and marvelled at the snow almost covering them.
Back in Paillard everyone ate a croissant and I was given a gluten free macaroon. Not a bad substitute.
We did a little detour to a lovely small deli style place Chez Boulay – Comptoir Boreal for a cream fudge. Just a bite sized piece!
Then our final stop. A lovely bistro. Belobe Bistro. This very smart little restaurant has it own smoking room for its ham , bacon etc. They served us mac ‘n cheese. Always a crowd pleaser. It looked creamy and yum with larger smoked bacon on the top.
I couldn’t eat it. Too much gluten. I had a smoked beef and pickle sandwich. We warmed up especially with the glass of red wine.
Walking back to the hotel we called into the Anglican Cathedral as they were preparing for a small concert. They are trying to become Quebec’s version of London’s music church St Martin’s in the Field.
We sloshed through some snow at the back of the church taking a short cut to the hotel. Not a good idea! Wet boots.
Taking a break before a later afternoon trip to the Military museum.
Sightseeing is pretty exhausting!