Day 53 – 31st August (Québec to Riviére du Loup)

Jean again went for a swim this morning, but it turned out to be an aqua-aerobics class! She joined in, even though it was in French, and enjoyed it.

Somewhat hasty buffet breakfast, then checked out before departing on an official tour of the Château Frontenac, led by a guide affecting to be William Maxwell, one of the architects of this truly iconic hotel.

The hotel was commissioned in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Rail Company as part of their project to link west and east Canada. Some of the hotels we’ve stayed in have been part of the same project – the Fairmonts in Banff, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It’s been added to over the years, of course, but Maxwell and his brother Edward were responsible for the central tower. The hotel was finally completed in 1993 – its 100th anniversary – and had a major refurb in 2014. It’s the most photographed hotel in the world.

During its time, it has housed very many famous people, suffered a fire and increased in room numbers from around 170 rooms initially to over 600 today.

Main reception area
Louis de Frontenac, first Governor of New France in Canada, 1672-1682
Ceiling designed by Maxwell
The reception area for the Great Ballroom. These lamps were designed to reflect off the gold ceiling so that guests might think they were in the sun
Artwork on the ceiling above the columns. They might have had palm trees around the walls back in the day to enhance the illusion of being in the sunny tropics
Maxwell ceiling from behind
The main ballroom. We were privileged to be allowed in here
Some of the chandeliers representing 10 provinces of Canada
Ballroom ceiling
Chandelier representing federated Canada
The Rose Room. Used solely by ladies back in the day
More modern “chandelier”
Bar 1608, named after the year Québec was founded by Samuel de Champlain
The main Champlain restaurant solarium with “William Maxwell”
The original wall of the hotel from the early 20th century
Ladder bar. Most expensive wines at the top
Supposed to represent the various depths of the St. Lawrence River
Pure marble panels, accounting for the blue colour. The rest is delivered by LED lights behind

A truly fitting way to finish our time in Québec. Really interesting and well presented.

So, sadly, we called the car and had our bags loaded thereinto, setting off for our next stop in Riviére-du-Loup. No, I don’t know (yet) why it’s called Wolf River….

Apart from a short contretemps when we stopped for petrol and I’d forgotten which side of the car the filler cap was, the journey was again incident-free, flat and boring, with a bit of rain to enliven proceedings. Two and a half hours later, we arrived at our destination, the Auberge de la Pointe.

At first glance, to be honest, we wondered what we’d let ourselves in for. It all looked a bit shabby and downmarket. However, we were checked in efficiently and made our way to our room. A queen bed each and a great view.

St. Lawrence River
And again
And again

Good start. Although we had to unload our bags ourselves! 😱 Still, it saved me a tip…

Spirits rose when we had a brief walk round and got our bearings to some extent. We only have one full day here.

Having booked a table at the main restaurant for dinner, we weren’t expecting much, but the meal was a revelation. The roles were reversed after last night’s meal – I had the filet mignon, which was outstandingly tasty, and Jean had trout ravioli. All accompanied by a super rosé. The dessert was self-service and was OK.

We have an outline plan for tomorrow, but you’ll have to wait until I tell you about it then.

In the meantime, good night.

3 responses to “Day 53 – 31st August (Québec to Riviére du Loup)”

  1. did you stay in that amazing hotel?
    Jean what was the aqua class like was it similar to english aquas or completely different moves did you use toggles?
    your meal sounds delicous was your filet mignon on par with Jeans from the night before?

  2. Yes Adele we stayed in the Chateau le Frontenac on the 6th floor. It was a lovely room overlooking the St Lawrence River and the Wolfe monument. He was the guy that beat the French and took Quebec for England!
    The French aqua class was fun. I was only going to the pool for a swim, but the class had started so I joined in not realising it was mainly in French. As long as I didn’t muddle up my gauche from my droit, I was fine! Yes, she used toggles, weights and floates and honestly I was better at it than most there! The pool was lovely, looked like a 1930’s creation but was actually added in 1993. 100 years after the first part of the hotel was built.

  3. the pool sounds lovely i wish i could have been there with you doing the aqua class we would have shown them how good we are!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: