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If you are looking for a slice of France in North America, look no further than Québec, also known as la belle province|the beautiful province.

 

I have spent a little time here this summer and so begins my short series on its largest city,  Montréal.

 

A “dépanneur” is your local corner grocery store although most are not as pretty as this one which is also a café.

 

 

Even for many Canadians, arriving in Québec can feel like a different country.

 

French is the official language, although the accent is quite different than in France, and you must be francophone here to be called  “Québecois,” as it holds its own cachet, along with a rich heritage, culture, and complex politics.

 

I should know. I was born in Montréal and worked in the city for almost a decade as a journalist and TV News correspondent.

 

The place is imprinted on my soul, and this is a city that really has a soul.

 

Old Montréal

 

 

 

 

Nowhere is that more apparent than in its historical district known as Old Montréal down near the port.

 

Founded by French settlers in 1642, many of its buildings and architecture date back to that era.

 

It is romantic with cobble-stoned streets, pretty cafés, oodles of outdoor dining, and elegant shops and galleries.

 

 

 

Even the ice cream shop has an elevated aesthetic.

 

Below is my best friend Shardie making her choice.

(She is wearing the Fleur-de-Lys face mask handmade by Danielle St. Aubin at Joie de couture.

Click HERE to see the other Paris-themed masks that are exclusive to my site.)

 

By the way, the homemade lemon sorbet was sublime!

 

 

 

 

 

Old Montréal fills you up with its beauty, and there are lots of places to sit down and take it all in.

 

 

Can’t believe they sell maple taffy in the summer here!

 

During the late winter and early spring, when the sap is running in the woods, it can be poured over the snow to make taffy — a sweet treat the children love but way too sweet for me!

 

I know many of you have been to Montréal.

Would love to hear about your experience.

Please comment below!

 

 

Coming Next Week!

 

 

 

Next week, I will take you on a tour of the Christian Dior exhibit at the McCord Museum on Sherbrooke Street.

 

You will drool over the dresses!

 

Have you registered for my Upcoming Live Interview?

 Take advantage of this SNAP GIVEAWAY Right Now! 

I am Giving away the Author’s Book  below —

To the 10th person to sign up for her interview after reading this blog.

And will announce the WINNER next Sunday!

How to Retire to Provence

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

12:30 EST/9:30 am Pacific/6:30 pm Paris/5:30 London  

Gayle Smith Padgett, a native of Washington state

and author of Passion For Provence,

will take us on a journey of how she and her husband Ralph

have retired to the charming town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

You can also follow Gayle on her website at https://gaylesmithpadgett.com/

 

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9 Comments

  1. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on August 29, 2021 at 9:15 am

    MONTREAL is an interesting city to visit – one of my best memories was during EXPO 67 … Canada shone at that time! We were all so proud!

  2. Susan Copeland on August 29, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Glad you made it to my favorite city (along with Paris, of course). It’s changed a lot since we worked here together. Hope to see you on your next trip, Susan

    • Diana Bishop on August 29, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      It HAS changed — so much Susan. The 80’s when I was there was such a transition decade for Montréal, and I am glad I was there to see it begin to evolve and return to its solid French roots. Great hearing from you…if it had been cooler during my trip I might have ventured to see a few of my former colleagues like you…but could barely go anywhere in that heat! Best to you! Diana

  3. Shardie Stevenson on August 29, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    It was such fun sharing experiences with you in La Belle Province , Diana ! I’ve travelled to Montreal quite a few times times on business but never “en vacanes” !
    Old Montreal certainly has its own charm and I loved the Lemon Sorbet too!
    Looking forward to your story on the Dior exhibit!

    • Diana Bishop on August 29, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      It has HOT!! But we had a great time, didn’t we? And soaked up a little of that joie de vivre that Quebec is famous for.
      People want to know what flavour of sorbet you got at the Le Saint Café so I will reveal it here.. lemon also like me. Diana

  4. Lagatta de Montréal on August 29, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Here is another shop that also sells beautiful masks: https://store.katrinleblond.com/fr It is closer to chez moi, almost directly north of Le Vieux Montréal. Certainly walkable, though there is quite a hill between Ste-Catherine and Sherbrooke.

    And most important of all, get both doses of your Covid-19 vaccination!

    • Diana Bishop on August 29, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you Maria… they are beautiful! Diana

  5. Margaret Ann Gendreau on August 29, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    My father was transferred to Montreal from Toronto when I was going into my last year of high school, 1966-1967. What a fabulous experience that was! I have been in love with the city ever since. It is our go to special place in Canada.

    • Diana Bishop on August 30, 2021 at 9:52 am

      That must have been interesting, hard to leave all your high school friends and then try to fit in in a different school for your last year and another province. It was indeed a year that Canada shone — and how fun to be there when Expo was in full swing. I have such vivid memories of going there twice for 10 days each. Such an experience. Best to you Margaret Ann! Diana

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