Our blogger Virginie Landry reflects back on her most memorable experiences of the year.
In order to introduce you to the best of what Canada has to offer on our blog, I have the chance to travel a lot and constantly visit new places. Since the end of the year is the ideal timing to look back on the past year, here is what I’ll remember the most from my many Canadian getaways of the year, in the hope that you will come and experience it for yourself in 2020!
My best meal of the year at Terre Restaurant
As a foodie, I have to start with my best meal of the year. If I’ve had the chance to eat at some excellent restaurants in St. John's (The Merchant Tavern, Mallard Cottage), it was my dinner at Terre Restaurant that charmed me the most. Matt Swift, formerly of Joe Beef in Montreal, has created a menu inspired by Newfoundland's seasonal products and the result is more than successful. Having chosen the option "Let the kitchen cook for you", I tasted about ten different dishes, all so very delicious! I'm still dreaming of that meal!
Experiencing Spa Nordique Le Germain early in the morning
The Le Germain Hotel & Spa Charlevoix is without a doubt a magical place all-year long. Located in the beautiful city of Baie-Saint-Paul, one could not dream of a more beautiful environment to relax and watch the time go by. But the real happiness is to arrive very early in the morning at the Spa Nordique Le Germain to enjoy the thermal circuit and then to be lulled in the hammocks with views of the animals in the field, a cup of tea in hand. That is what relaxation is all about.
Discover Saskatchewan in Autumn
I had never been to the Canadian Prairies before going to Saskatoon in September. During the descent by plane, I was fortunate to have a clear sky, which allowed me to look down on the cereal fields cut with precision. A magnificent visual show that only prepared me for the rest of my trip. When I touched down, I realized the impressive vastness of the territory. Rent a car and drive only a few minutes from Saskatoon to get lost in miles and miles of fields ready for harvest. That was quite a change of scenery!
The reopening of Le Germain Hotel Montreal
My favourite moment was not the reopening in itself, but all the time I spent there while it was still under construction to document the renovations. I realized how lucky I was to see this Montreal institution being rebuild, step-by-step, floor to floor, from concrete to marble, from wood to velvet. I even volunteered to help clean before the big reopening! Of course, the final result is simply splendid.
The filming of the web-series "One of the Family"
Germain Hotels presented this summer its very first web-series, "One of the family", which featured many inspiring Canadians from a variety of backgrounds. Having attended these shootings in order to gather some anecdotes and to take pictures, I had the privilege of spending time with incredible people and living exceptional moments. I shared an ice cream with Kim Thúy in Montreal, I witnessed a foggy sunset with Nicolas Duvernois in St. John’s, I drank some coffee with Tessa Virtue in Toronto and went for a jog with Alex Harvey in Ottawa. Quite a summer!
Having met the members of the great Germain family
I know, I know, it's very cliché, but it's true! The people who work in our hotels are dedicated, attentive and friendly. I wanted to thank those who took the time to share a meal with me during my visits, those who shared their best places in town, who remembered my favorite dessert and called me on my birthday. Thank you for taking care of me as you take care of our guests. You are fabulous and I am proud and privileged to call you my colleagues. I cannot wait to see you next year!