Tips & Ideas

Tips & Ideas

QUEBEC CITY: THE ROMANCE OF GORGEOUS FOOD & GREAT ARCHITECTURE

submitted by: Richard N. Every

Art historian and author Cindy Nemser first came to Quebec City when she was 12. For more than 50 years, she has carried the image of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in her mind. “Even though I was just a kid, I was so struck by the hotel’s magnificence that I decided I’d return to stay in the hotel when I grew up.”

For more than 110 years, the chateau’s distinctive architecture has been a symbol of this elegant city. Throughout the year, you can take a 50-minute guided tour of the property to learn about its history and design.esign.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure because of its unique architectural and historical value, Quebec City is known world wide for its extensive and eclectic art galleries and museums. Spend a morning touring the Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec, which in addition to its impressive permanent collection often showcases spectacular touring exhibits like Picasso’s ceramics. For a taste of how locals live, stroll down Le Grand Allee to Rue. Cartier, a recently gentrified vibrant neighborhood touted as the most typical street in Quebec. Tucked between boulangeries (bakeries), bookstores and sidewalk cafes are the boutiques of three French designers – Marie Dooley, Atelier de Couture Marie-Laurie Trembly and Lycia Cardy, where a woman can have ensembles custom tailored for the equivalent of American off-the-rack prices.

Then indulge in what may well be Quebec City’s main attraction, the draw even for Manhattanites like Nemser – incredible restaurants. Ensconced in an 1825 converted convent, Le Saint Amour, winner of the Grand Prix du Tourisme Quebecois 2004, does justice to its name. With a soaring glass canopy and enormous pots of plants suspended from the ceiling, the restaurant’s romantic atrium has the ambiance of the Grand Époque, exquisite French food and charming service. Their table d’hote fixed-price menu is remarkable in quality and price, as are their wine list of over 1500 bottles.

Complete the fairy-tale experience with a moonlit ride through the old city in an open horse and carriage. For more information, visit (http://www.bonjourquebec.com/)

Richard N. Every is a professional travel journalist and photographer, and a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).

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