Colin and I just returned from a visit to Quebec where we got our fair share of Christmas inspiration and holiday cheer. It’s such a beautiful old city with stunning architecture reflecting its French roots.
Visiting Quebec during the holiday season is such a special treat because Christmas joy is all around. We spent most of our time in the part of the city known as Old Quebec, Upper Town, Lower Town, and Petite Champlain areas. I really enjoyed walking around Petite Champlain before the shops opened up for the day and watching establishments loading in chopped wood for burning, soaking in the holiday decorations festooning the shops, and the the simple calm before shoppers began to arrive.
I was especially excited to visit the Christmas market, located near the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre Dame. Although it’s fairly small if you were to compare it to Christmas markets in Europe, it’s no less charming and dear. Stalls feature gift and food items, and there are periodic performances such as cute little children’s choirs, and moments to stop and enjoy the open fires and little warming huts.
At nighttime, the city twinkles with the happiest spirit and is worth staying out for because it’s an entirely different experience from daytime.
We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, adding to the perfect fairytale-like experience of our visit. Not only is the Fairmont an historic and stunning location, it shines brighter than ever during the holidays. The hotel sits high on the hill and is perfectly located behind the walls of the old town, within walking distance of the Christmas market, many historic sites and museums, and Petite Champlain. You can access Petite Champlain down the hill from the very long staircase behind the Fairmont, or take the funicular which is so cute and looks like its part of a Wes Anderson movie set.
We stayed in a Fairmont Gold room which gave us access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge which was a really nice place to pop in for tea and drinks anytime throughout the day, and a complimentary breakfast buffet and beautiful cocktail and canapés service each day. I loved the view down to the toboggan ride that dates back to the 1800’s from the window in the Gold Lounge. The concierge team here was wonderful as well, offering great advice on restaurants and sites that fit our style.
We enjoyed some great meals and pastries during our stay. Some favorites were:
Le Chic Shack – Great burgers and amazing sides of truffle fries, poutine, and hot and crispy/chewy maple chips (pictured below) which are worth writing home about.
Albacore – An open kitchen seafood bistro located just outside of the walls of Old Quebec. We had such a beautiful meal here on our last night in the city and it was the perfect way to end our trip.
Ophelia – We took a nice long walk from our hotel to dinner here and had the nicest evening. The space is both chic and cozy and although its categorized as a seafood and steak house, which can sometimes indicate a dull menu, this spot is anything but. The menu is imaginative and the service was great.
Le Croquembouche Boulangerie & Patisserie – I stumbled upon this amazing bakery while out walking one late afternoon and couldn’t believe my luck. It’s one of those special spots that lovers of the most beautiful pastries and breads will always remember. Everything here is a work of art.
Patisserie Simon – A charming no frills old school bakery with loads of classic french pastries, cakes, breads, sables, petite fours, and meringues.
I was happy to visit the antiques shops along Rue Saint Paul and came home with lots of great finds including a great vintage ring originally from a Quebec city jeweler that reminds me of a pompom and disco ball combined, a darling hanging noel banner with bells, a vintage honey tin to add to my collection, and an old Christmas themed sign of my dreams (seen below).
The shops I purchased from were: Le Rendez-Vous Du Collectionneur and La Nouvelle France Antiquities.
Quebec City is COLD in December. We made sure to pack with this in mind. For the most part, I packed much like I did for my visit to Europe Christmas Markets, adding leggings and lined cross country ski pants for extra warmth.
Colin and I has such a nice visit and will always remember it as one of the most special trips.
IT'S ME, SERENA!
In 2002, I was dreaming of creating a fun and happy little event to sell my vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, I held my first event in my neighbor's barn along with a handful of friends. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces packed with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best event of its kind in the USA. I describe it as the best weekend of the year!