Nothing makes me smile more than travelling, whether in my own country, Europe or beyond. Travel allows us to remove ourselves from our normal routine, provides us with a chance to recuperate and awaken our senses to new sights, tastes and sounds.
A few months back I had the opportunity to visit Quebec City in Canada. Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec where the language spoken is primarily French. It was roughly a nine hour flight from London and when I arrived I could not wait to explore what this area had to offer and I wasn’t disappointed. I stayed at The Hotel Clarendon, one of the oldest hotels in Quebec built in 1870 . Centrally located and close to the banks of the Saint Lawrence River which runs through the city. While there the temperature was rarely above minus fifteen degrees Celsius, and I grinned with excitement as I watched the frozen river cracked and ebbed slowly through the city! It was a sight I will never forget.
Here is my #High5 of Quebec City
#icehotel The Ice Hotel in Quebec was a sight to behold. Built every year from scratch with around 40 rooms this hotel is an amazing piece of art. As soon as I approached it my heart was racing and I felt like a little kid again, aching to run amok in its countless rooms and corridors. This year’s theme was Space & Time and the walls were adorned with dinosaurs, planets and rock formations. We were led to a small room where we carved our very own ice glass then to the fantastic ice bar with its very own chute! We enjoyed a cocktail in our glass and a little dance.
#dogsleighing Located about 30 minutes from Quebec City in an expanse of pine trees was Chenil la Poursuite, a husky dog sleighing company. After being introduced to a group of husky puppies which were completely adorable we were then led out and given a quick but thorough lesson on how to ride a dog sleigh. Being taken through the forest pulled by dogs was the most amazing feeling I have ever felt. The icy cold wind on my face, the blue sky, the passage cutting through the deep green trees and the sun slicing through their branches. To be in that expansive space and travelling in the open countryside felt extremely exhilarating to me. In order to get from beginning to end you had to work together with the dogs them guiding you and you guiding the sleigh, the whole process seemed to a fantastic connection between nature and man.
#tubing A visit to Valcartier Village Vacance is sure to take you back to being a big kid again. It’s a huge winter playground for children and adults. Huge slides carved out of snow and ice on the hill sides make way for some serious action. We spent a whole afternoon here and experienced tubing down various slopes and braving the largest slide of all, Everest!
#ChateauFrontenac This hotel owned by Fairmont dominates the skyline wherever you are in Quebec City. Stepping into this building is a sight to behold with beautiful décor and style. It was here where I had an amazing afternoon tea in Restaurant Champlain. The restaurant is adorned with large wooden fireplaces that create a cosy atmosphere and view looking out onto the Saint Lawrence River that is spectacular.
#Panache In the Hotel Auberge Saint-Antoine is an amazing restaurant called Panache. The restaurant is surrounded by thick stone walls and wooden beams and you can’t help but feel you are in some upmarket and contemporary alpine chalet. It was here my taste buds literally exploded with delights such as grilled scallops and pine tree foam, beef with honey berries and a spectacular desert that impressed both the eyes and the taste buds.
A sample of the delightful menu is below! Definitely a must for any foodie visiting Quebec City.
Definitely a place I recommend for the ultimate smile packed holiday.
“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”