Winter's Wonderland: Quebec Carnaval
January 27th, 2011
I will fully admit to hating winter. I am no longe interested in sweaters or boots, and I'm counting the days until I don't have to think about what I need to survive in -25 degree weather. But just because I am a cold-weather curmudgeon, I have nothing but respect for the citizens of Quebec City, who really know how to party. I took a weekend getaway to go behind the scenes as preparations got underway for Carnaval.
My first stop was the stunning Auberge St. Antoine, built upon the ancient ramparts of the city (they run right through the bar, in fact!). The hotel boasts a number of Hunt House suites, which preserve the character of old Quebec while still providing the modern comforts.
Although I preferred to warm up in the modern swimming-pool deep tubs.
After a hearty breakfast at Panache, the hotel's restaurant in a gorgeously preserved historic building, I took a tour of the near-constant preparations for the Carnaval.
No worries about the snow blocks for the scultpure competition melting in these freezing temparatures.
Although the fantastical floats for the night parade are kept snug in a gigantic warehouse. Like dress-up for your trucks!
I even got a chance to meet the festival's main man.
I do have to admit that there's one part of winter I really love: Warming up with a cup of heavenly spicy hot chocolate from La Fudgerie.
One sip and I was ready to get out there and show that bonhomme what winter's all about!