Sunday, June 25, 2017

Montreal, Canada

from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
I just returned from another wonderful trip with Arts & Cultural Travel. I was the teaching artist, and 9 fabulous women (and one husband *mine*) came along for the adventure.

mojito makings
The first evening in Montreal, we were treated to a cooking class at Ateliers & Saveurs. It was fabulous! We even learned how to make mojitos. It was really a first class experience.

I love a group cooking class! So much fun, and you learn a lot too. And bond, as you are learning to cut chives without bruising them, and to flambe scallops together.

Here's our group, along with the chef, and his two helpers.
That's our chef. You can see the class set up is really impressive.
eek! flambe scallops!

we made this salmon in class!
After cooking, we all sat down in their private dining room for a delicious meal.
cool chandelier at Ateliers & Saveurs

I loved the city of Montreal. We stayed in the old city, and it was clean, safe and with great restaurants on every corner. AND public art and illuminations on many walls of the city. And, it's a very tolerant city, with many religions, nationalities and sexual orientations. Loved it! I would visit again in a heartbeat.

sketching and watercolor in the Basilica in Montreal
After our morning walking tour, of Montreal, I gave a lesson and we sketched and watercolored in the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica.
Four of my lovely students on the train ride to Quebec City
From our too short stay in Montreal, we headed by first class/business class Canadian Rail to Quebec City. First class means, comfy seats, cocktails, wine and lunch are all included! They serve you right in your seat. 
The scenery was all green and rural. A lovely 3 hour ride. 
Yoga Poses in Public Places on Canada Rail

my husband, Don, working on his sketchbook on the train

Me, on the train

arrival in Quebec City!
Next post, we'll explore Quebec City.

By the way, Arts & Cultural Travel and I are planning a trip to Cuba in 2018. If you'd like more information, add your name to the list here. (Group people-to-people tours are still allowed.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quebec, Canada. Manior Hovey ~tea and drawing in the library.

The Library at Manior Hovey

The Library at Manior Hovey
 Can you tell I enjoyed Manior Hovey, in Quebec, Canada? I did indeed. 
The Library is the original library of the  builder and owner (build in 1900) of the home. As you can tell, it's beautiful, with fresh flowers, comfy chairs and a view of the garden. And that stone fireplace makes me want to come back (via helicopter) in the winter.
My husband and tea for two
One afternoon, during our stay, Don and I enjoyed tea and fresh scones with jam and whipped cream. A fine way to spend an afternoon! 
tea for two with scones

 And I worked in my sketchbook.
pencil drawing in progress ~ by Jane LaFazio

from my sketchbook~ by Jane LaFazio

from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Quebec, Canada ~ Manior Hovey. The food!

Don, harvesting kale for his salad
Part of the fabulous experience at Manior Hovey, in Quebec, was the food. We ate in the dining room two evenings (La Hatley), and were served appetizer, main course and dessert. I know this isn't a food blog, but it is an artist blog, and I thought the presentation on every dish was sooo creative and beautiful!
From Seed to Table ~ Potted Kale
Yes, for this kale salad, it came in a pot with clippers! and in the bowl was the dressing and other goodies. Harvest the kale, mix and eat!

Fiddlehead Fern Soup

Charolais Angus Beef

Pike White Boudin

Raspberry Tartlet

Guayaquil Chocolate Cake

Pancakes! And yes, breakfast was equally beautiful and delicious. 
You can check out my previous Manior Hovey posts here and here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quebec, Canada ~ rest and relaxation at Manior Hovey

Manior Hovey
As you saw in my previous post, we spent 3 nights at Manior Hovey in Southeastern Quebec. It was an amazingly beautiful, elegant and relaxing spot, on the lake. The staff and service was some of the finest I have ever experienced. And as you can see, the grounds were gorgeous. Just 37 rooms, so it was quiet and so relaxing.
Peonies in the Garden at Manior Hovey

Peonies blooming in just one day!

Me, relaxing in an adirondack chair, sketching and watercoloring.

view of the lake, in my sketchbook 

from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio

My sweet husband, Don.

View of the garden and the lake at Manior Hovey

on Lake Massawippi

sketching and watercolor on the lake
I'll show you my complete Quebec sketchbook, in a later post.

cocktails on the lake at Manior Hovey
Yes, it was a splurge for us! But I'd worked the prior days in Montreal and Quebec City...and well, life is short. Enjoy it when you can!  
Yoga Poses in Public Places on Lake Massawippi, Quebec, Canada 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Inspector Gamache and me.

Viva Gamache
So, if you read my blog or newsletters, you know I'm a big fan of Canadian mystery writer, Louise Penny, and her series featuring Inspector Gamache. I had never read mysteries before, but in November, after the election, I needed an escape.

All the books are set in Quebec, Canada.
I've read ALL Louise Penny's books!
So, as any crazed loyal fan would do, when I read about  "Manior Bellechasse" in her book, "A Rule against Murder," and that it was based on Manior Hovey.....and since I was teaching in Quebec anyway......

In Quebec City, we rented a car, and I drove for 3 hours to Manior Hovey. It was spectacular. Simply superb. (More in my next post about it.)

Manior Hovey, in southeastern Quebec.
When, on day two, I happen to walk near the lobby and who is standing there? LOUISE PENNY! 
me and Louise Penny at Manior Hovey!
I introduced myself, told her I'd read all her books, loved her newsletter and her facebook posts. And she was the reason my husband and I had come to Manior Hovey. I even showed her my 3pines pin, on my collar. She was warm, friendly and delightful. 

Amazing huh? 

(She was just there for lunch, for a meeting. She lives about an hour away.)
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