Our first trip to Quebec City

Hi friends!  It’s been a while since I’ve updated… things have been crazy busy for us but I’m back and ready to get my blog going again.  So I thought I would update you on our trip last week to Quebec City!

Unfortunately we didn’t get to stay very long, we have close to 40 young chickens plus a lot of newly planted plants in the garden so I felt a little nervous spending more than 1 night away.  Luckily we live just under 5 hours from Quebec City so I’m certain we’ll be visiting a lot more!

We drove up early Saturday and returned home late Sunday, and since our trip was a short one we made sure to relax and not stress out if we didn’t get to see and do everything.  After all, we’ll be back, and from what I hear every season is amazing in Quebec City.  I’m especially excited to visit during Christmas!

Summer flowers in Quebec City The streets of Quebec City

The city truly has that charming European city feel to it which was especially appreciated since we didn’t need to travel overseas.  There were so many beautiful buildings, churches, fountains, and cobblestone streets, and the window boxes were spectacular!

Church in upper Quebec City

Dining on the patio at Chic Shack in Quebec City

Our first evening in Quebec City we had dinner at Chic Shack, which is known for it’s burgers and poutine.  We dined on the patio with a perfect view of the Le Chateau Frontenac.

Our dinner was certainly delicious and a good value for the food we had, I’m not sure I’m a fan of poutine though.  Poutine is a dish popular in the Quebec region that consists of french fries or diced potatoes with cheese curds and gravy.  There were many different varieties available at Chic Shack, one being a spicy version with curry.

I’m not sure if it was the texture of the curds (they were squeaky) or just having a heavy dish on such a warm day but I’m willing to try it again in the future.

Chic Shack Classic Poutine Chic Shack poutine with curry

We stayed at the Le Manor d’Auteuil and we loved it!  It was very charming, spacious, and had a strong A/C game.  Yeah, Quebec City in June can be quite warm and humid so air conditioning is essential.  The old historic part of Quebec City is divided into an upper and lower portion.  Our hotel was on the upper part of the city, and not knowing much about the city we found it to be in a great location.

The entire Old Quebec area is very walkable, just park your car at the beginning of your stay and you can pretty much walk the area by foot.  We did a ton of walking but we were so fascinated by the city we didn’t even notice.

Upper Quebec City after a rain

Place d'Armes in Quebec City

The Place d’Armes fountain next to the Le Chateau Frontenac in the upper portion of the city was beautiful.  It’s surrounded by many restaurants, including the Chic Shack, and it overlooks the lower portion of Old Town.

One thing I want to stress is that Quebec City is a popular destination and people are usually everywhere.  Living in Maine we’ve turned into those early bird East Coast risers.  We took many of our photos between 7-10 am so just know that midday and evening gets crowded.  Just be prepared for that.

The next morning we had an early breakfast at Cafe La Maison Smith. Taking many flights of stairs down it was in the lower portion of the city and we enjoyed every second of that walk.  It was absolutely gorgeous!

The food at Cafe La Maison Smith looked incredible and it was hard to decide on just one thing, so we grabbed several items and agreed to share them.  We shared the quiche, croque monsieur, a chocolate pistachio cream filled donut, and 2 pistachio macarons.  I love anything pistachio!  We didn’t have coffee because our hotel had free and very delicious coffee, but I’ve heard they have a seriously amazing pistachio latte here so that’s definitely on my list to try next time.

We enjoyed every bite of our breakfast, it was a big highlight of our trip and the cost was $30 Canadian dollars, which is very reasonable for the items we got in such a tourist spot.  There is indoor seating and outdoor seating that overlooks the gorgeous Royal Place courtyard.

After much more walking and sight seeing we ended up at a sweet shop I was especially looking forward to, La Petite Cabana a sucre de Quebec.  Here you can try maple syrup that’s been poured over crushed ice, frozen, and rolled up into a delicious goopy maple syrup lollipop that the locals call maple taffy.  It was so delicious, my only disappointment was not eating more than one.  If you love maple syrup be sure to add this to your list!

After our taffy snack we decided to walk back up all the many flights of stairs and blocks to our car and drive around to do some exploring.  Our second day, the Canadian wildfires were bringing in some smoke around the town, it wasn’t too bad in old town but once we ventured out on the freeway it was a little worse.  I love a good waterfall and was excited to see Montmornecy Falls that are just outside Quebec City.  You can actually see the falls right off the freeway, but to actually view the falls up close (upper or lower) you pay a fee, and since the skies were so smoky I didn’t want that to be my first experience.  I want to be wowed by the beauty of the falls and the river.  So I’m saving that experience for a future trip, what I did see was very pretty, though.

After our smoky waterfall excursion we parked back at our hotel parking lot and casually walked through town making it down to the lower area of Old Town again.  Can I just say, when we’re on vacation we love to eat?  I mean is that wrong?  We’re in this amazing new country and we want to sample everything!  We ended up at Lapin Saute, which means the sautéed rabbit.

We’ve never eaten rabbit (when the kids were little we raised rabbits, the cute fluffy kind not the edible kind) but I was feeling brave and made Brian come along with me for the ride.  We sampled a Quebec sampler appetizer for sharing that included rabbit among other samplings.  Rabbit meat is very delicious tasting, but I can’t say I want to eat it a lot of it because I think of them as pets.  I’m sure I could eat it again in the future though.

Stairs, just so many stairs in Quebec City.  When you just can’t do it anymore you can ride the Funiculare du Vieux-Quebec.  It’s a ride that’s just a few short minutes, but when you just can’t do the stairs anymore it’s worth it.  I recommend walking down the stairs and taking the Funiculare up, but that’s up to you.  It’s cash only, and the carts aren’t private.  At least ours wasn’t, we had several other people with us on our way up.  Our legs were fried so this trip up was worth the $10 Canadian dollars for us.

So that was our short little trip to Quebec City, and soon we will have many more to share.  We enjoyed popping into many shops and enjoyed the local food, but there is so much more for us to see and do in the future, and we’re excited to share those trips with you too!

Have you ever visited Quebec City yourself?  If so let me know in the comments what the favorite part of your trip was!


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