A Québec City Love Story
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Québec City is charming. Its cobblestone streets and historic architecture give it an old-world feel, quiet and contemplative even amid the bustling crowds at the height of summer. When I traveled to Québec City in August 2021, I didn't know much about it. But I fell in love.
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HOTEL MANOIR D'AUTEUIL
A hidden gem in the heart of the city, where old-world charm meets modern sophistication for an enchanting stay.
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Québec City is beautiful. As one of the oldest European settlements in North America, it has a robust and fascinating history. It's where the French established a foothold in the continent, using the St. Lawrence River as a gateway to secure their lucrative fur trade. It's also where British forces defeated the French during the Seven Year's War, marking the beginning of the end of France's rule in the region.
When I traveled to Québec City, I didn't know much about it. I love Montreal, but had never made it to Québec, not until I had a good reason.
I met him on the internet. We spent months chatting on Discord, playing a terrible MMO game with people all over the world. Months turned into years and a bond had grown between us. It took me a long time to even mention to my friends or family that I was involved with someone I'd never met in person, even during the pandemic. But things were getting serious, the word "love" had been bandied about, and the time had finally come. The U.S./Canadian border was finally being opened, COVID restrictions loosening and we decided to meet.
Québec City was the obvious choice. A drivable distance from his home, and a relatively easy flight from NYC, it also gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in his French-Canadian culture.
We spent three days wandering the streets of Québec City together. We walked along the Governor's Promenade, took photos outside Château Frontenac, rode the funicular in Old Québec, traversed the Plains of Abraham and explored the historic Citadel.
I sampled true Québecois cuisine - tourtière, a kind of meat pie often served at Christmas or New Year's Eve - at a fabulous local restaurant. Aux Anciens Canadiens is a cozy and quaint establishment inside one of the oldest houses in the city, Maison Jacquet.
He took me on our first official "date" to Ciel! Bistro-Bar, which was surprisingly great. I only say surprisingly because the restaurant's concept is a bit kitsch - the entire space turns as you eat, showing diners a 360-degree view of the city over the course of 90 minutes - but despite what seemed a tourist attraction, the food and drinks were quite delicious.
The hotel where we stayed has become on of my top five all-time favorite places to stay. I cannot recommend Hotel Manoir D'Auteuil enough and I hope to stay there again some day. Our room (pictured above) was beautiful and full of character. We chose the Omer Marchand Executive Suite, previously a fashionable gentleman’s library designed by its namesake, an important Montreal architect of the 1920s. It felt extravagant and special, perfect for this first-time meeting between us.
Our romantic long weekend in Québec City was a success. I've since relocated to the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of the province of Québec to live with this adorable gamer I met online four years ago. I'm learning French, starting a new career, and hoping to find success as a travel advisor.
Have you been thinking of visiting Québec City? Maybe my story can inspire some ideas!
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