Friday, September 1, 2017

La Belle Quebec, Day Two, Apres-Midi

All that walking around Basse Ville, the lower town in Old Quebec City, it was time for lunch. But there were so many people coming in from the cruise ship along with other tourists, that we had to get to a quieter spot. So, Rick took the "breakneck stairs" and I took the funiculaire up to Haute Ville where we thought we'd stand a better chance.

The funiculaire is $3 and I wouldn't do it if you're claustrophobic because they put a ton of people in this little glass enclosed car, but it worked for me. (I should add that Rick beat me up, due to the line!)

We wanted a light lunch but were a bit hungry and Rick was aching for some poutine, a Quebecois favorite. I was all for some French onion soup to warm me up a bit after the gloomy, slightly rainy morning. We found an open table at a restaurant called L'omelette on Rue St. Louis. It was a charming looking spot and we were able to be seated right away.

The soup with garlic bread was good. (Well, the soup was great, the garlic bread, not so much.) But Rick's poutine was luke warm, the cheese curds not melted under the gravy. (Poutine is this artery-hardening combo of french fries with cheese curds on top and gravy over that. The cheese is supposed to melt. A taste, not so bad. But I'd never order it.)

And that spot had the worst service ever. Our waitress pretty much ignored us, it took a long time to get our food (we were off-lunch hour, about 2:30, so it wasn't crowded at all) and even when she was at the table beside us, wouldn't look at us when we tried to politely get her attention. We didn't return!

We ambled back to the B&B to take a break, enjoying more pretty sights  along the way.

This was our window view. Nice enough to have the windows open at night!

Then it was off again. I wanted to go inside Chateau Frontenac, which was built in the 1800s by Canadian Pacific Railway. A wide boardwalk goes in front of the hotel and is known as Governors Promenade. It offers great views and a nice flat surface!

There are some remarkable displays in the lower level corridor. I loved the one that highlighted how the shapes of wine bottles changed over the years.

Another showed how china changed over the centuries in Quebec. Many pieces are pulled out through archaeological digs in the oldest parts of the city.

It was fun to note the royalty enjoying a grand dinner at the Chateau -- and the china they used!

So, Rick says, let's go to the top floor. (The top floor is rooms.) So we did. And no one cared.

And we were so glad! The views were fabulous!

And I noticed things I hadn't noticed on the ground like this wonderful garden area.

It was worth it! (I'd recommend checking out Frontenac for the art within, the view from the top and the history.)

We wandered about for awhile, walking down the Governor's Promenade and also in the area behind. I found the Bellevue Hotel, which blogger Nana recommended to me (they were full on the days of our visit.)

 We continued taking in the sights and shops, checking out some of the art vendors and people watching. And then it started to rain again. Not just a drizzle. Full blown rain.

We ambled down Rue Tresor at this time, the artists rapidly taking down their work for the night. We happened to pass by a restaurant called La Nouvelle France, checked the menu and decided it was time to get out of the rain!


A smart decision! The Table d'hote menu had exactly what we were looking for  -- Quebecois food and at a great price.

We both chose the Tourtiere Quebec, a meat pie, which was served with greenery and beets and well done fries on the side. For our first course, I chose the yellow pea soup, another Quebecois favorite, while Rick had the French Onion. Both were good with a Canadian beer! Then the maple torte sucre for dessert. The piece was generous -- and delicious.

Best of all, we had wonderful service and a great waiter who was both attentive and charming. The view out the window was pleasant (and it would have been lovely to enjoy the terrasse on a nice day)

When we left, we were very happy and filled to the brim!

That made the walk back a necessity! We wandered down the streets on the way home, and I even managed to lure Rick into a Christmas store. Believe me, this was an act of love, not charity!

Our first full day in Quebec City had come to an end. We knew the next day wouldn't be quite so rainy -- or so we hoped as we placed weary heads on the pillows and drifted into solid sleep!

Miss anything -- here are links to Day One (Arrival) / Our terrific B&B / Day Two, Morning


Valerie-Jael said...

What fantastic places you visited again, such lovely views, it all looks so gorgeous. Sorry the first restaurant you went to was so disappointing, but at least you were happy after the second restaurant, so that's something. And I don't think I would have walked up all those steps either.... Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos. Have a great weekend, it's bed-time here so I'll wish you goodnight! Hugs, Valerie

Lynne said...

Oh my, that garden view alone was a sight to see.
The saying" View From the Top" is true.
The sculptures at the Frontenac were wonderful.

Looks like the Bellevue Hotel would make for a lovely stay.

Service and kindness is everything, isn't it.
Happy your "rainy day dinner" was a happier experience than the first.

I always enjoy seeing your pretty smile.
(We need to make a plan!)

Marilyn Miller said...

How wonderful! Love the exhibit of china. How fun Rick agreed to go in the Christmas shop. Hope you found just the right treasure to take home. The evening meal sounds delicious and would be fun to experience local food.

Pom Pom said...

Another fun afternoon! The building (castle) that the railroad built is glorious!

Sylvia said...

Jeanie, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hotel Frontenac in our wonderful country. Enjoy the rest of your visit. Sylvia D.

Julia @ Vintage with Laces said...

It's a shame that you had such an unpleasant experience at the first restaurant, Jeanie. It's annoying to spend money for bad service and food that is less than average in quality. At least the second one was more satisfying.
I wouldn't have taken the steps either even though I feel claustrophobic when too many people get cramped into small spaces. The Bellevue Hotel looks gorgeous. I love this kind of architecture.
Have a wonderful weekend!
xo Julia

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful time you shared with us. I am truly in LOVE with those flower boxes. I simply don't see those where I live. It's probably too hot and windy for them to survive, because they would probably need to be watered at least twice a day here.

I enjoyed seeing the city from up high. Well, at least a block or so of the city! Too bad you got off on such a bad footing with a sad lunch and an even sadder server. The rest of the day seemed far better, though. I enjoyed seeing those plates and the Chateau Frontenac. I also enjoyed seeing Rick in the Christmas store. Gosh, what a fun time that would have been.

Joyful said...

Another great day in Quebec City. I love the Chateau Frontenac though I didn't go inside to see the interiors. I'm sorry you were treated shabbily at the first restaurant and glad the 2nd restaurant did better by you both. I like wandering around new places when the weather is slightly inclement so this weather would probably have agreed with me but it will be nice if the sun comes out for you before you depart. xx

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


Gotta go.

R's Rue said...


Victoria Zigler said...

Shame about the service and food at the first place. I know for a fact that Poutine is very tasty when done properly. Glad the rest of what you shared about this part of your trip was enjoyable.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I enjoyed your tour of the beautiful city and the pretty garden. The restaurant experience could have been better. It is always nice to see photos of you and Rick. Having these photos of yourself helps brings back the fun trip memories. Happy weekend to you!

La Table De Nana said...

I love your honest reviews!
I am disappointed when a resto is not welcoming..after all it is part of the whole experience and makes or breaks a place..even parts of a trip..get with it..I know you and R must be the perfect happy gracious's the waiter's day..or a little smile for me;)

I never got such a nice pic of where we stayed..Tahnk you!.When we went early was not busy..we could just walk into Le Lapin Sauté no problem..

Fun stuff here Jeanie:)

Little Wandering Wren said...

Looks like Quebec has something to please each of your whether it is a cycle or Christmas shop or running up the steps or taking the Funicular (even if it wasn't that fun!) I'm enjoying your posts as I have never been there, I would love to visit for sure!
Wren x

Silver in AZ said...

what a lovely trip! So happy for you!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Oh, how i just love every little detail of this trip, and they all bring back such good memories of our trip there! The window boxes along the streets are so charming, and I'm so glad you went up into the Frontenac - those views were ours too! Your restaurant sounds like a nice sale to the abrasive treatment prior to, and even the Christmas shop is one we strolled into! I must say, that Governor's Promenade looks totally wonderful too (note to self for next time!).

My name is Erika. said...

Rick was smart to recommend going up to the top of the Chateau. Wow. We walked around inside but never thought of going upstairs. That'a gorgeous view and the garden was definitely a view for looking down on. When we walked down the Governor's Promenade it went from sun to pouring rain back to sun. It reminded me of the art you showed today with the umbrellas. :) I love all the flowers-it's so beautiful. I enjoyed today's journey. Hugs-Erika

Joanne Huffman said...

What a delightful and beautiful day! - excluding the lunch restaurant. As always, great photos.

Katie Mansfield said...

How fun. I cannot wait to see more. The Christmas store looks amazing. Have fun.

Sandra Cox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sandra Cox said...

Everything is wondrous--well except for your service at one of the restaurants. Beautiful and quaint. The Christmas shop looks like Wonderland. I love the bright red building in the one shot.
So glad you had such a good time.

bj said...

what a lovely glad you enjoyed your first day

Red Rose Alley said...

You have made Quebec City sound so grand, Jeanie. I would like to visit this charming place now. I really like the art piece of the people in the rain with their umbrellas. The blue china display is beautiful. You know, blue china is the prettiest to me, not sure why. wow, that funiculaire is right in the middle of the streets; that must be accessible for all the people going to and from. It's been nice viewing all your travels, Jeanie.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That funicular reminds me of the one that leads to Montmartre. I did the steps instead of the funicular the first time I was in Paris - the next time I visited Montmartre, I took a metro with a elevator that took you to the top!! That is a bummer that your service and food were disappointing! I am glad that dinner made up for it. It's nice that Qeubec seems to have the same prixe fix menu that you will commonly see in Paris - I love having 3 small courses and getting to try a couple of things. I wish that was more common in the states!

That wine and china display is so interesting - and right up your alley! And the view from the top is beautiful! We actually have a state park close by called Frontenac - I will have to look into the source of it's name! I'm hoping to get there this fall as it's a beautiful area to view the fall colors!

One thing I love about traveling (among MANY things) is that you tend to walk to/from dinner, which gives you a chance to digest things on the walk home! We walked to a local malt shop last night for dessert and I was glad for the nearly mile walk home as I felt overly stuffed after that indulgent, but delicious dessert!

LOVE these posts! I NEED to get to Quebec City in the coming years!!

I need orange said...

I've never been to Quebec. From your descriptions and lovely pics I can see it must be added to the list! Thank you for taking us along. :-)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I love everything almost like your in France. The gardens and view are amazing and all the beautiful window boxes are stunning. You and Rick are certainly having a terrific vacation and can hardly wait to read more of your posts. I feel like I have been on tour with you. That is probably the only way I will get there.


Anonymous said...

Sounds that you had a wonderful time there. All the places looks beautiful:)

Bonnie said...

What a fabulous trip. I love the quaint streets with beautiful window boxes and restaurants. Sorry, you had a bad service experience. Looks like a wonderful view you found. Glad you lured Rick into the Christmas shop.
I've never been to Quebec but now I would like to go.

Sandra Cox said...

I've never had any desire to go to Canada, but now I'd really like to see Quebec.
Hope you had a great Labor Day:)

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, it seems you made the most of a rainy afternoon with plenty of interesting things to do. I enjoyed seeing a little of the Frontenac, I researched it a few years ago. Bad meals with poor service can ruin a day, but fortunately dinner was much better. I have claustrophobia, so there would be no way I could ride the funicular...steps for me! Can't wait to read the next installment

Tracy said...

What a great trip you had, Jeanie! FUN with the funiculaire...I've never been on something like that. Pity your lunch was so-so in some ways. Not sure about that Poutine, though I'd probably try it off someone else's plate if ordered. ;) So glad your evening meal was much better--NICE menu! The Chateau Frontenac is very incredible and beautiful--and such views from the top! Interesting with the wine bottle changes through the years! WOW--an all year Christmas store, those are fun. And that one in Quebec is fantastic--WOW! Can't wait for day 3!! :))) ((HUGS))

Barbara said...

Such a shame about L’Omelette, especially as it sounded so inviting, but I'm sure La Nouvelle France made up for your earlier disappointment. Chateau Frontenac, looks wonderful and the views are simply stunning.

I went into a Christmas shop when we were on holiday in Belgium, but Terry point blank refused to go through the door declaring he would look at Christmas things at Christmas and not during his summer holiday!

Thanks for sharing all your delightful photos and also for the tip about sea salt, I will stop looking for the pink variety now.

Doodle T said...

Ohh...this was fun...thanks for the tour and "insider information". :)

Sally Wessely said...

What a lot of great views, activities, food, and fun you were able to pack into one day! You two are the best travelers. I can't believe the girl gave you such bad service after you suffered climbing or riding in a small square box to get there. The evening meal made up for it.

One great thing about traveling is that you walk so much that you can eat more than usual. I'm loving your trip.

Unknown said...

it's bed-time here so I'll wish you goodnight! Hugs, Valerie


Danielle L Zecher said...

I love the wine bottles and china. Displays like that are always some of my favorites at museums. The Christmas store looks fun, too.

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