Cheers, Montreal! / Santé, Montréal!

McAuslan brewery's terrasse. Photo: Patricia Maunder

McAuslan brewery’s terrasse. Photo: Patricia Maunder

If you’re fond of a drink, especially quality alcoholic beverages served in venues of distinction, Montreal is a fine place to wash up in. It’s not on the New York scale of extraordinary bars, but after three years here I’m still a long way from working my way through the best on offer.

Even so, I’ve done quite a bit of first-hand research, from classy cocktails to craft beer, rooftops to an art hotel bar. So if you’re visiting Montreal, or a local looking for something new, read on! Continue reading

Québec’s fairytale capital / Capitale de conte de fées de Québec

Looking along Terrasse Dufferin to Chateau Frontenac. Photo: Patricia Maunder

Looking along Terrasse Dufferin to Chateau Frontenac. Photo: Patricia Maunder

I don’t write about Québec City as often as I should. The province’s capital and prettiest city is only a few hours’ drive east of Montreal, so since moving here I’ve added annual visits to the two earlier trips when I travelled all the way from Australia. I tell friends coming to the region to include it in their itinerary if they possibly can, primarily because the fortified, historic heart of the city overlooking the St Lawrence River is utterly charming and picturesque (for North Americans, it’s like going to an old European town without crossing the Atlantic). So let me put it on record: Québec City is not only one of the best places to visit in the province, it’s also one of the best places on the continent.

Earlier posts have covered a few of the town’s pleasures, including the ice hotel and winter carnival. There’s so much more though. On a recent weekend, my packed itinerary mostly involved returning to some old favourites (including the recently renovated Chateau Frontenac), but also some new experiences. Follow me and get some more ideas for your next, or first, Québec City sojourn … Continue reading