January 28th, 2011
Since we can’t beat winter, we’ll beat-back the winter blues by fêting the flurries at the Carnaval de Quebec in Quebec City.
It’s a winter wonderland in la ville blanche from January 28 to February 13, with events every day, including everyone’s favourite, the Night Parades on February 5 and 12. It’s mostly free to play on the Plains of Abraham, but picking up an Effigy pass for $12 will get you into a few extra-exciting activities, including the zipline, giant slide, and ferris wheel. But only pure bravery will get you into the snow bath. www.carnaval.qc.ca/en
Past meets present at the ultra-stylish Auberge St. Antoine, built on and integrated with ancient city ramparts. Prominently displayed museum-worthy relics allow you to learn about the old city while sipping a creative cocktail by the fire in the Café Artefact. Come in from the cold to luxuriate in the well-appointed rooms featuring fluffy duvets and swimming-pool deep bathtubs. From $149/night, 8 St. Antoine St, Quebec City, 1-888-692-2211, www.saint-antoine.com
Warm up and refuel with decadent Italian food in a festive atmosphere at Savini restaurant. We started with a luscious prosciutto paired with summer sweet melon ($15) followed by a satisfyingly decadent risotto with foie gras and mushrooms ($25), with wines paired by the glass by our savvy waiter. After cracking the sweet shell of the creamy crème brulée ($7), we were ready to get back out there and be the snow angels that we are. Savini, 680 Grande Allée East, Quebec City, 418-647-4747, www.savini.ca
Bundle up for the weather by creatively layering new togs from the fabulous Boutique Esther P. We took a brief sojourn from the snowy celebration to shop for stylish separates by Ella Moss, James Perse and Velvet. We may love the Bonhomme, but we don’t want to dress like him. Esther P, 873, St. Jean St., Quebec City, 418-704-7774, www.estherp.com
For behind-the-scenes photos of Carnaval, see today’s Editors' Diary.
November 25th, 2010
The recently gentrified Quartier Saint Roch district of Quebec City offers travellers an off-the-beaten-track taste of urban cool. We stayed for a weekend and barely had to leave the block.
We lay our weary heads on fresh, white linen at the loft-style Hotel Pur (rooms start at $139/ night), listed in Condé Nast Traveller’s Red Hot List, 2009. Minimalist in appearance but not in amenities, we took in the stunning view of the Saint Roch church through our room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, enjoyed a leisurely soak in the deep Japanese-style tub, and relished our post-swim morning smoothie made from fresh strawberries and Thai basil. Hotel Pur, 395 de la Couronne St., Quebec City, 418-647-261, www.hotelpur.com
Indulgence is on the menu at Versa Restaurant. A decadent appetizer of foie gras with homemade donuts ($19.95) had us licking our forks clean, followed by a saintly (in comparison) olive oil poached swordfish ($38.95). We returned to hedonism with a duo of veal topped with bacon ($39.59) followed by a positively pious mini lemon tart ($9.95). Lemons are fruit, right? Versa Restaurant, 432 du Parvis St., Quebec City, 418-523-9995, www.versarestaurant.com
Sip on creative cocktails (we loved the Pear Ale with gin, pear puree and ginger ale, $8.50) and choose to chill upstairs or dance downstairs at Le Boudoir Lounge. Le Boudoir Lounge, 441 du Parvis St., 418-524-2777, www.boudoirlounge.com
Pick up beautiful French-from-France lingerie from Flirt, including Aubade, Simone Perele and Chantelle. Or you can support our local French designers, like Mélissa Nepton and Eve Gravel by shopping at Boutique Novo. Flirt, 525 St. Joseph St. East, Quebec City, 418-529-5221. Boutique Novo, 708 St. Joseph St. East, Quebec City, 418-614-8098, www.boutiquenovo.com
For Jenn Nachshen's photos from her weekend in Quebec City, please visit the vitaminwater canada blog.
March 31st, 2010
No distance is too far for a date with Dior.
Quebec City’s Musée National des Beaux-Arts is playing host to The Golden Age of Couture 1947-1957. On luminous display is a stunning silk and net evening ensemble by Christian Dior, a taffeta robe grand soir by Cristóbal Balenciaga and our favorite, a royal blue scalloped afternoon dress by Jean Dessès (worn by '50s fashionista Princess Margaret).
Until April 25, tickets $15, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, 1 Wolfe-Montcalm Ave., Québec City, 418-643-1150, www.mnba.qc.ca