Do you ever wish that Europe were more easily accessible and less expensive? Do you long for its architecture, culture and unparalleled restaurant service? It may be closer than you think. For those in CT, Quebec City is only an 8-hour drive and very much worth the trip. When my husband and I honeymooned in Quebec City we promised to return for our 10th anniversary. The day after Christmas we made good on our word. We watched the City prepare for New Year’s Eve, reveled in its first winter storm and enjoyed traditional Quebecois fare, culture and art in the ancient walled city.
Here’s a list of my favorite restaurants, galleries and hangouts both inside and outside of the wall. ~ Bonne journée!
Aux Anciens Canadiens
Traditional cuisine with upscale atmosphere. No doggie bags here, unfortunately. Meat pies and maple sugar offerings, exquisite!
Au Petit Coin Breton
Authentic crêpes served by women in traditional garments. Light and slightly crispy crêpes, filled with jambon et fromage (ham and cheese) and more!
Now trending…this hip spot is where young professionals come to dine and sip cocktails from the exhaustive list of concoctions. The focus is on mixology and the menu features new twists on pub favorites.
Galerie Lacroix A.C.
Fine art and sculpture.
40 Rue Notre Dame
Contemporary Quebecois artists.
42a Rue Notre Dame
Quebecois artists 1750-1950.
Traditionally made leather masks and sculpture.
A brewery and pub, Inox is a local hangout that sports the work of Quebecois artist Fred Jourdain
. We drank beer and played cribbage surrounded by Jourdain’s portraits of Laurie Anderson, Frank Zappa, Kurt Cobain and other musical legends while listening to matching soundtrack.
A multi-level cabaret club offering nightly drag shows, fun cocktails and slot machines in an array of rooms.
26 Rue Sainte Angèle
Low-key and completely unpretentious, this bar looks like it hasn’t changed in a hundred years. Very rustic with lots of patina and a great drink selection, the bar offers live jazz on weekends.
Musée de L’Amérique Francophone
Exhibits tracking the settlements of early French explorers of as well as modern displays tying Quebecois craft, folk art and sculpture together.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts
Classic and contemporary art
clockwise from top left; decorations at Ville de Quebec, ice carvings at L'Atelier. Two scenes of fresh snow in Vieux Quebec (Old Town), December 29, 2015.
240 State Street, home of PaintDragon art studio
A Room of One's Own
One of the most important lessons learned in 2015 was the importance of separating work from home life, even just a tiny bit. For the past 4 years I have been practicing Interior Design, Graphic Design, Reiki and Art out of several rooms in my home in New London, CT. Although the house is of decent size and can accommodate these vocations, it became apparent that being at home was too distracting for artwork.
When you love what you do professionally, you rarely mind having it consume your thoughts and actions, but boundaries are important. When others finish their workday they leave work and come home. Wherever I was, I was at work, and there is always work to be done. I had lost that feeling of coming home. Securing a studio outside of the house offers relief from that.
Aside from writing the newsletter, much of my daily home office work is done in 3-4 hours. Making artwork, at least for me, often requires 8-12 hours of uninterrupted practice. Having the studio on State Street allows me that time. And when I am done, I can go home.