I’d never really been a fan of autumn. It just always reminded me that the glorious sunny days of summer were over and the cold, dark (and mostly wet) days of winter were on their way.
I feel like the first half of autumn was spent missing summer and the latter half preparing for winter so I never really fully embraced autumn for all its beauty.
All of this changed when we finally visited Quebec. Turns out, my disdain for autumn was mostly because I’d never really ‘done autumn right. If ever there was a place to truly fall in love with autumn, Quebec’s that place.
We arrived into Quebec City at night and after a solid 10 hours sleep (always a great way to beat jetlag), we got up bright and early, eager to go explore the city.
Leaving the Delta Hotel (our base in Quebec City), we headed out for a quick jaunt in the city, before making our way over to the island of Saint-Pierre-de-l’Île-d’Orléans for a little taste of autumn.
Quebec is a gorgeous city (I’ll show you exactly what I mean further down below) but to get a sense of why it’s special in autumn, a trip outside the city centre (to a place like Saint-Pierre-de-l’Île-d’Orléans – which I’m just gonna refer to as Saint-Pierre cos that name is too long ?) is just the perfect excuse to see why you should visit in autumn.
It’s all about that autumn foliage! I don’t think we’ve ever been anywhere as naturally colourful as Quebec (not just the city but the whole province) is over autumn.
Okay, so I didn’t get to take any photos properly of the foliage as we weren’t driving so couldn’t just stop willy-nilly but I will show you exactly what I mean in the upcoming posts.
The reason we were driving, however, was because we were off to try some crème de cassis grown on Saint-Pierre (as well as a few wines) so it made sense to skip the drive so we could indulge properly.
We started things off with lunch at Cassis Monna & Filles – poutine for myself and Lloyd (he’s obsessed – if you look back at any of our Canadian posts, you’ll see he never misses a reason to eat poutine) as well as a light, rather fruity salad (you know, to balance out all the potatoes and cheese ?).
Done with lunch, we headed downstairs for all things cassis – the liquor ?, as well as the many other bits and bobs they use the berries for. I’ve got something of a sweet tooth so suffice it to say, I was very happy tasting my way through everything here. ?
Leaving Saint-Pierre-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, we made our way over to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency to take in some more of that beautiful fall foliage…
…as well as the rather impressive Montmorency falls.
It’s something of a beauty (you can actually walk over it) and is so easy to get to from the city centre that you just have to visit when you’re in Quebec.
Eventually, we made our way back to the city, eager to check it out properly before sunset.
Quebec looks and feels like no other Canadian city we’ve ever been to! I have no idea how the French managed to do this but unlike the more ‘British’ parts of Canada (British Columbia for example), Quebec looks and feels like you’re in France. It’s just so distinctly French, right down to food and the architecture.
I guess it’s part of why I love visiting Canada so much. It’s just so beautifully diverse. I kinda knew prior to coming what Quebec might look like but even with that foreknowledge, it still managed to surpass all expectations.
We essentially spent the next few hours on something of an aimless jaunt through the city. Stopping by wherever we felt like and popping down random streets and teeny-tiny alleyways.
It’s a testament to how gorgeous the city is that even the quiet bits where you would expect most visitors to go wandering in (why would you if you had no reason to be there?) were just as beautiful as the ‘main’, busier parts of the city.
The plan initially was to have a wander around for a few hours and then stop for a drink just before sunset but long after sunset, we were still yet to have that drink as we kept wandering its pretty streets, made only prettier as all the twinkling lights started to come on.
I think it’s also a testament to the city that the cold air that has set in did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm as we explored the city that evening.
Dinner that evening was at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and imposingly beautiful, castle-like building, overlooking the city.
Distracted by Quebec city, we ended up arriving at the Fairmont late for our dinner reservation but thankfully, still had our seat free as we settled in quickly for dinner – starting with cocktails…
Remember how I mentioned Lloyd’s obsession with poutine, earlier on? Well, Lloyd, without skipping a beat went for exactly the same thing he had for lunch earlier – poutine!
I went for the beef for mains instead (perhaps unsurprisingly too) before diving into a pecan pie for dessert!
And with that, we decided to call it a day after a long day exploring the beauty that is Quebec.
We only really had this day to explore the city which as lovely as it was, definitely didn’t feel like enough. Quebec is definitely so much more than a ‘one-day’ city. In fact, after just a day exploring, I’d say Quebec is easily a ‘one week or more’ city. All the more reason to return soon, I guess…
Tomorrow, however, would bring new adventures within the wider Quebec province and that bit we were definitely looking forward to!
More on that in the next post right here.