There’s a reason why Québec City consistently ranks as one of Canada’s must‑see destinations. No matter the season, sauntering through the city’s history‑steeped streets is sure to bring a smile to your face. In the winter, as the snow swirls through the air and fewer tourists brave the cold streets, this provincial capital and home of the renowned Carnaval transforms into an enchanted snow globe, full of undeniable romantic charm.
There are many classic sites to explore. It would be unthinkable not to take a stroll by the Château Frontenac, where young and old have been flying down the thrilling Terrasse Dufferin slides even before the iconic hotel was built. Whether or not you stay at the Château, you absolutely must take Cicerone’s guided tour to learn more about the hotel’s history and hear countless entertaining tales.
The Château Frontenac’s three restaurants also boast spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River. For a lavish yet intimate dinner, The Champlain takes you on a culinary journey unlike any other. If you’re looking for something a little more laid‑back, Le Sam Bistro is ideal for having a bite any time of the day. Have a peek outside, you may get a view of people crossing the river in ice canoes!
The Château Frontenac isn’t the only hotel in the city that’s perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. Looking for something a little more whimsical? Monsieur Jean will transport you into a colourful, eccentric world. The moment you set foot in this boutique hotel you’ll wonder whether, like Alice, you’ve somehow stepped through the looking glass. The world you’ll find on the other side is full of weird and wonderful touches. A multicolour couch near the entrance seems to climb up the wall. Further in, you’ll find a device that issues short stories at the press of a button.
In the suites, comfort reigns. Monsieur Jean’s journal, filled with doodles and notes, sits on the bedside table. Its pages tell the story of how he came to share his extraordinary world with guests. The stage is set for a night of the sweetest dreams.
A cozy cocoon in Québec City’s lower town
Located just outside all the hubbub, Le Germain Hotel offers a sophisticated and serene ambiance barely a ten-minute walk from the train station. A fire crackles in the lobby, where a large table invites guests to settle in and enjoy a bite or read a magazine. Breakfast is also served in this area.
Everything about this hotel is warm, in every sense of the word. You’ll want to curl up in one of the lobby sofas with a glass of wine and while away the hours. Once you slide under the covers in your room, you’ll never want to get out of bed again.
Wherever you decide to spend the night, make sure to wake up ready to discover this fascinating city. Wander through the Quartier Petit Champlain, the birthplace of Francophone culture in North America, before stopping at the Musée de la civilisation (the Museum of Civilization, whose exhibits are in English and French). Then slip on your skates for a spin around the Place d’Youville rink.
After many hours of exploring, take some time to unwind at the Strøm Nordic spa, which opened its doors in October 2018. This urban spa, a twenty‑minute walk from Quartier Petit Champlain, offers an exceptionally relaxing environment with a beautiful view of the St. Lawrence.
A meal fit for a king!
To end your trip on a high note, nothing can compare to indulging in an exceptional meal at Tanière3, on Don‑de‑Dieu Street, right off of Saint‑Pierre Street. The experience begins before you arrive, through a personalized text message with the code to unlock the door. And then it gets cooler – the unique experience includes enjoying dinner in three different rooms of a historic building.
Each of the twenty or so dishes are prepared and presented with genuine passion. Two cocktails and hors d’oeuvres await you in the first room, along with dining room director Roxan Bordelais. The appetizers showcase the vegetables grown by the restaurant’s private gardener, Antoine, who is also a childhood friend of the chef. “They selected the seeds together in the winter, and now Antoine brings us incredible products every week. The second round of finger foods highlights the St. Lawrence estuary, Gaspésie and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.” This sets the tone for the rest of the evening, which will take you on a gastronomic voyage through the history of the city and the entire country.
Some classics endure, such as the dish created in honour of Monsieur LeBer, a businessman who was a key figure in the area between 1686 and 1719. François‑Emmanuel Nicol, the chef and co-owner of the restaurant, presents a plate of thinly sliced scallops and sturgeon caviar from Lac Saint‑Pierre, between Québec City and Montréal. “Monsieur LeBer kept pelts here. He was the owner of La Compagnie du Nord, Hudson Bay’s biggest competition. Everything was shipped to France. We were inspired by the luxury of the era, and the wealth this industry brought to Quebec.” Only 10 fishers are authorized to harvest this caviar every year, during a specific period of time. Did someone say “exclusive”?
Fall in love with Québec City… while reigniting your spark!