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Quebec City City Guide: The Old and The New

Quebec City - Cover

It was during the Easter weekend that I headed to Quebec City with the help of Lincoln who passed us the brand new Navigator 2018 which we could have learned a little in the Winter 2018 edition. we, at RDPMAG, the perfect opportunity to try the flagship vehicle of the brand for this stay in the old capital.

The Road to Quebec City

Quebec City - Lincoln Navigator Trunk

I had really filled the trunk of the Navigator, because I had to work on my business plan, and in this trunk, there is room, it’s pretty amazing. Some suitcases, a computer screen, in short, the full outfit of the perfect young entrepreneur, that is to say me. And thanks to the automatic safe opening, it’s really practical when your arms are full.

So it was on Thursday afternoon that we headed on Highway 20 towards Quebec City. The ride on the Navigator is impressive. We are standing very high above the other vehicles, it is quite impressive. Weather permitting, it was with Adaptive Cruise Control (optional) that the longest stretch of the road was made. It’s really impressive to see the vehicle’s speed adjust perfectly to that of the vehicle in front of you, in a blink of an eye. Speaking of wink, no need to look at the dashboard to know its speed, this thanks to the head-up display (also optional), it’s really convenient, and even with my polarized glasses I saw perfectly all that was written, thanks to the technology of digital light projection (DLP). You can even see the speed limits of the different routes that you take, however, the speed will not change, it’s your responsibility.

Quebec City - Tommy Dion

Tommy Dion, RDPMAG Magazine Food Critic and owner of Le Cuisinomane website

The WiFi function is also included on the vehicle, but a little complex to operate, I must say that I did not succeed even though I had the test service. It would be interesting to be able to take WiFi from its internet provider and connect it to the vehicle via a satellite connection rather than having to buy a package from AT&T.

In traffic in Quebec, Thursday afternoon, Easter weekend, thanks to the GPS, being stopped, I was able to analyze the various options in order to take a path less busy. As much with the SYNC 3 system as with Apple CarPlay you will be able to see the congestion and the possible avenues. A few minutes later, I came out of the congestion and I go to dinner with family members.

A  new Simons, different, but destabilizing.

Quebec City - Simons

After a short meal, the brand new Simons at Galeries de la Capitale will be our first stop. Still aboard the Lincoln Navigator, I really had no problem parking myself despite the size of it. I must say that the Active Park Assist and 360 degrees cameras are just perfect. This Simons is the newest addition to the Quebec chain, the first Net Zero Consumption Store in Canada. Pretty impressive not? Of course, there is parking, but there are 133 spots with awnings on which there are 1,020 double-sided solar panels that capture both direct and reflected light. By combining with the 2,308 double-sided solar panels on the store’s roof, the solar power system will generate more than 1 300 000 kWh / year, equivalent to the consumption of 50 homes. This store is really built in a different way, men on one side and women on the other. With accessories in the center. All separated by a gigantic driveway. It’s pretty odd to see a big empty space in the center while most stores are looking to make every square foot of space profitable. A nice store, but quite difficult to navigate. I made some purchases. It’s always good to encourage retailers here.

Visit of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - Lincoln Navigator

The next day, it was at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac that I had an appointment. While I leave The Lincoln to the valet, excellent service I must say, I enter the mythical hotel which, as you probably know, is celebrating its 125th birthday this year, a little older than the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth which has just celebrated its 60th birthday on April 15th. To say that history is ubiquitous in this realization of the architect Bruce Price is a euphemism. Take for example the 300-year-old stone bearing the emblem of the Maltese Cross, which is among the stones forming the entrance arch of the hotel.

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Magazine

It is not called Castle for nothing, because, in 1939, the Château Frontenac had the honor to welcome His Majesty King George VI and Queen Elizabeth under his roof. A suite was also designated in honor of the official visits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Excellency the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband. Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Rainier III of Monaco stayed at the Château in 1969, where they were then guests of honor at the Ball of the Régence du Carnaval de Québec. For the greatest honor of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, there are many other royal visits, including the passage of Prince Andrew and Lady Sarah Fergusson of England. 

But all these years have given wrinkles to the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. So, after the year of its 120th anniversary in 2013, renovations were undertaken the following year, in 2014, to make big changes. The $ 75-million modernization and revitalization of this Quebec institution has strengthened its position as one of the best hotels in the world. The work included the renovation of the hotel’s rooms, the expansion of the Fairmont Gold floors, a transformation of the main hall, the addition of meeting spaces and a health center, as well as a complete catering offering. renewed. Internationally renowned design firms Wilson Associates and Rockwell Group completed this major project.

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Corner Room

A Corner room at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Yellow room

Fairmont Gold, a castle in the Castle

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - Fairmont Gold Lounge 2

Fairmont Gold Lounge at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

If you do not know Fairmont Gold, which we told you about in our fall magazine when we visited Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, there are new hospitality standards on these floors that reflect the commitment to excellence that Fairmont hotels are pursuing. By design and the exemplary quality of the services on offer, Fairmont Gold is a luxury boutique hotel within the Château Frontenac itself.

The four floors were not only completely renovated and refurbished, but were also relocated from the 12th to 17th floors of the main tower, providing an extraordinary view of the city’s architecture and the majestic St. Lawrence River. The five-story Fairmont Gold, which has 60 rooms and suites, offers an impressive range of personalized services. Fairmont Gold offers a private custom check-in service with concierge, a private lounge with complimentary continental breakfast, and cocktail-party canapés with a self-service bar. This salon is simply beautiful. A pretty look in the English.

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Room

Fairmont Gold room at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Moment Spa

Moment Spa at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

While your body is working hard and deserves rest, this is why The Moment Spa Center at The Château Frontenac invites you to a total relaxation of body and mind. Whether you are visiting or a resident of Quebec City, you are invited to discover the full range of massages, body care and aesthetics. Thanks to a highly qualified team and an idyllic setting, the Moment Spa experience will be one of calm and calm.

The Club Frontenac offers a superb training room and a magnificent swimming pool. The latter gives you the right to a magnificent view in all seasons on the architecture of Old Quebec while staying warm. Want to enjoy a bit of summer during your stay? Club Frontenac’s exclusive outdoor terrace offers a unique and unique view of the city. It is reserved for hotel residents, but can also be booked for a private event.

The Restaurants & The Bars of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - 1608

The 1608 at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - Le Champlain - Louis XIII

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - Le Champlain

Le Champlain at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

It would be difficult to talk about the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac without talking about the restaurant side. Managed masterfully by Stephane Modat since the withdrawal of the great Jean Soulard, it is no less than 3 restaurants that are under his guidance, and under that of Frédéric Cyr, culinary director. We are talking here about the restaurant Le Champlain, the modern cuisine inspired by respect for the product here, the 1608 cocktail bar, Le Bistro Le Sam, the perfect place for the 5 to 7 and the Place Dufferin, the place perfect for brunches or exquisite lunches à la carte.

Quebec City - Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - Le Champlain - Library

The Library Lounge of Le Champlain at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

As for the 611 rooms, including 41 suites, they are simply beautiful and all unique. White makes up most of these, the staff really want you to rest and enjoy your stay. You will find several themed suites including Trudeau, Céline Dion, and many others.

As the Château celebrates its 125th anniversary, it opens to the outside, allowing the population to come to the Château and take possession of it. The management wants the historic hotel to become a gathering place for the population of Quebec City. As proof, all activities that are related to the 125th anniversary.

Up to the coffee. 

Quebec City - Maelstrom

As the tour ends, I join my friend Charlie (Fernandez our Quebec City Collaborator) at Maelstrøm for a coffee. A fairly eclectic place, but very nice with a very attentive staff, we went back there to take some cocktails. Another very pleasant place also in the lower town, for its coffee and especially its donuts, is the Café St-Henri, of the same branch as those of Montreal. A fairly large cafe where it is good to lie close to the beautiful St-Roch Street and its shops all more enticing than the others.

Quebec City - Café Maelstrom

Latte at Maelstrom

Quebec City - Café Saint-Henri

Café Saint-Henri in Quebec City

You are in the upper city? How to pass by Paillard, the beautiful bakery on St-Jean Street. Coffee, croissant, baguette and more will surely end up in your bag.  The only coffee you like is the green mermaid? You will find several Starbucks in Quebec City, including one at Château Frontenac and Grande-Allée. This is a more classic place you are looking for? The Café Krieghoff will fill you with happiness. With its many books, one could swear that many great writers have gone there.

A homemade meal. 

Quebec City - Laurie Raphaël

Laurie Raphaël in Quebec City

As it was crab time, it was a great opportunity to take a walk to the Old Port Market to bring back, to accompany the salmon gravlax. Unfortunately the long line of a few hours discouraged me. But be aware that this is a perfect place for local produce. A few steps away, you will find the Laurie Raphaël led masterfully by Raphaël Vézina, the son of Daniel, who directs the Montreal’s Laurie Raphaël, which will close at the end of September 2018. La Serre, also owned by the Vézina family is a great place for a quick sandwich or salad and is a short walk from the Musée de la Civilization, Hotel Le Germain and Auberge Saint-Antoine, two boutique hotels. Quebec luxury hotels that will certainly enhance your stay in Quebec City.

You can also stay near Sainte-Foy at Le Bonne Entente, a 5-star hotel recently named as the number one fall destination in the Forbes Travel Guide. It is said to be the most luxurious hotel in Quebec City. With all its services, I am inclined to believe it, despite that I have not stayed there yet.

Quebec City - Old Quebec

Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City (on the left)

A relax night in Quebec City

Quebec City - Dive Into Hampton Water

Dive Into Hampton Water Rosé wine

Back for a wonderful dinner with the brand new Dive Into Hampton Water by Jon Bon Jovi and Gérard Bertrand, it’s a pretty relaxed evening.

So where to brunch in Quebec City?

The places to brunch in Quebec are numerous. In addition to the Château Frontenac which offers many times, you will find a range like the MC Lounge of Bonne Entente which I spoke to you above. Speaking of MC, Le Tempéra, signed Marie-Chantal Lepage at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec will welcome you for Sunday morning brunch. The light that enters the new space of Pierre Lassonde Pavilion is simply incredible. And why not take the opportunity to visit an exhibition while you’re there. We can hardly forget the Clocher Penché when it comes to brunch, but be careful, we leave the routine here! Boudin, Tartare and smoked meat are at the rendezvous. You will certainly enjoy yourself. What is also good in Quebec City, when you have a car like the Lincoln Navigator, is the multitude of parking available. We park and the city is easy to walk. It’s very nice, but even more so when the weather is mild.

Are you more local brunch side? Why not try Chez Boulay, Arnaud Marchand’s Bistro Boréal and Jean Luc Boulay, a fascinating experience. Here you will not find any southern produce like olive oil or citrus. In addition, if you have a little hollow, the Comptoir Boréal has recently opened in the Côte du Palais. As for the view, nothing beats Le Ciel!, lodged at the top of the Hotel Concorde, the restaurant of the former chef at Les Labours of the Hotel Germain Charlevoix. You will certainly be in an experience that will take you to Cloud Nine with its authentic market cuisine. I admit, the pun was easy. Another certainly interesting experience is brunch at Rioux and Petitgrew. I tried the restaurant for dinner a few months ago, and apart from a few minor service difficulties, the whole thing was frankly delicious. My friend An Tran from Mtl Food Snob was there a few weeks ago and it seems decadent!

For a great Happy Hour in Quebec City. 

Quebec City - Chez Tao Vincent Thuaud

I must admit, since I was driving a vehicle my alcohol consumption was limited to two glasses during my evening, but that will not stop me from recommending you to warm places. We started ours at Tao, the new Asian bar-restaurant of Quebec’s Invasion Cocktail ambassador, Vincent Thuaud . You can imagine that cocktails steal the show from the menu in this nice restaurant where you will certainly have fun. Another certainly interesting option is the new Louise wine bar located in the Old Port. One of the few wine bars in Quebec, where you will certainly make pleasant discoveries.

For my part, following my meal at Tao with my friend Charlie, our Quebec City Collaborator, we headed once again to the Maelstrøm, this time to try the cocktails. The map is fabulous and the team of mixologists will do something you will certainly like. You’re spinning over Mexican? Why not try the Deux22 experience, where shopping, cocktails and great food mix. You will find brands such as Deus Ex Machina, Mavi Jeans, Red Wing Shoes just to name a few.

Our collaborator Josée Laterreur also recommends L’Affaire est Ketchup, L’Albacore, Le Renard et la Chouette for experiences that will get you out of your daily life and make you spend incredible evenings. It would be difficult to miss Le Pied Bleu for the more adventurous, especially with its delicious “tour lyonnais” that I could test on one of my birthdays. It’s special, but oh so delicious!

Quebec City - Battuto

Le Battuto in Quebec City

To finish with the restaurants, how to miss the Battuto, the best new restaurant in Canada in 2017 according to Air Canada’s En Route magazine? Take it early if you want a reservation because it is a restaurant with limited capacity and many people like you want to sit at the table of chef Guillaume St-Pierre.

Quebec City - Lincoln Navigator - Engine Start

The evening ended quietly with new friends at Maelstrøm. It was a quiet evening, but it was really good. While it was a little cold, I used the Lincoln Way app to start the vehicle. It’s really nice, because in addition to the seats, even the steering wheel is heated, finished the unpleasant surprises of cold vehicles.

The Sunday drive in Quebec City.

Quebec City - Lincoln Navigator Interior

The backseats of the Lincoln Navigator 2018

While a gargantuan afternoon was waiting for us at a family home in Quebec City, we skipped the brunch. On the other hand, it was with the Navigator that we went there. My mother loved the seating adjustments, which can be complex when first used. The massage was also something very relaxing for the passenger. It is so effective that I hesitate to use it when I’m driving. The panoramic sunroof really brings a beautiful light inside the vehicle, it’s quite impressive.

After returning from our evening, I suggested to some of my family members to sit behind to test the comfort of the seats and they loved it. The comfort is nothing of the usual rear seats. Heating, screens, etc., in short, a variety of different options are offered.

A pleasant ride to come back to Montreal

Quebec City - Lincoln Navigator Pont de Québec

The Quebec City bridge from Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain

It was Monday that I took the road back to Montreal, picking up my friend and collaborator of RDPMAG, Tommy Dion,on the South Shore. I took the opportunity to walk along the beautiful Promenade Samuel de Champlain, something we really should have in Montreal to prioritize access to the river. The winter-spring season may not be ideal for a walk, but summer is something else. And it’s really pleasant.

We take the highway back to Montreal. Always with cruise control on, it’s really nice. A feeling of automation and we really see the progress in the vehicles, something that was thought almost impossible about ten years ago. The driving is really soft, not at all nervous, it is not a very sporty driving, but on the other hand, there is a lot of power in the engine, and it feels with acceleration.

We tried to try android auto, so listen to the songs of Tommy’s phone on the Revel Ultima sound system that gives the impression of being in a concert hall with its 20 speakers, but it only seemed not very cooperative with the latter, because I really liked to see the interface, but it will be for another time. Speaking of phone, know that wireless charging is offered in this vehicle? It’s really convenient and it works really well, I was able to test with my mother’s iPhone 8 and it was convenient. Now, when will the Apple CarPlay Bluetooth, because you still need to connect the phone to access its interface. It’s definitely a matter of time.

Are you wondering about gas mileage? While I left Montreal with a full vehicle, courtesy of Lincoln, it cost me about $ 120 to fill the vehicle. It’s really cheaper than I would have thought.

A pleasant stay. A superb vehicle. What to ask for more.

Quebec City - Lincoln Navigator

 

Some great spots in Quebec City

Galeries de la Capitale

5401 Boulevard des Galeries
Quebec City, QC
G2K 1N4

Château Frontenac

1, rue des Carrières
Quebec City QC
G1R 4P5

Maelstrøm 

181 Rue Saint-Vallier Est
Quebec City, QC
G1K 3P2

Café St-Henri

849 Rue Saint-Joseph Est
Quebec City, QC
G1K 3C8

Paillard

1097 Rue Saint-Jean,
Quebec City QC
G1R 1S3

Café Krieghoff

1089 Avenue Cartier
Quebec City, QC
G1R 2S6

Laurie Raphaël & La Serre

117 Rue Dalhousie
Quebec City, QC
G1K 9B7

Musée de la Civilisation

85 Rue Dalhousie
Quebec City, QC
G1K 8R2

Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec

179 Grande Allée Ouest
Quebec City, QC
G1R 2H1

Hôtel Germain

126 Rue Saint-Pierre
Quebec City, QC
G1K 4A8

Auberge Saint-Antoine

8 Rue Saint-Antoine
Quebec City, QC
G1K 4C9

Le Bonne Entente

3400 Ch Ste-Foy
Quebec City, QC
G1X 1S6

Modified  from an article originally published in RDPMAG Magazine Spring 2018

Thanks to Lincoln Canada for lending the 2018 Lincoln Navigator

Thank you to the people of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for the warm welcome

Thank you to the tourist office of Quebec Region for the many tips.

President, Publisher & Editor In Chief of Gentologie - Passionate about food, wines, spirits, cocktails, fashion, movies and more, Normand loves to talk about his passions.