A blast from the past in Percé
Monday, September 3, 2018
Since we had settled on spending a “far niente” day, we drove to l’Anse-à-Beaufils (a 10 km drive West of Percé) to visit the historic Magazine Général, rebuilt in 1928 after it was ravaged by fire. What an excellent choice and an amazing visit! Check www.magasinhistorique.com to have a glimpse of what it is all about.
As you arrive at the store, you are invited to take a guided tour coordinated by the son of the actual owner, now deceased. As you step in, a well preserved and magnificent display comes to life through French story telling at its best! It is all there: the wooden shelves, the products of the day, the office room, the storage room, the barber shop, the clothing section and even the pharmacy! With humour and tourist participation, the visit is just something you do not want to miss!
Note to travellers:
- The guided tour is offered in French only, at a cost of $12.00/pp. For English-speaking tourists, a self-guided tour is available, at a reduced cost.
- A two-minute drive from the store takes you to a well-known local Milk Bar for artisan ice cream: Aux Glaces de l’Anse. So smooth and tasty!!! Address: 58, rue à Bonfils, Anse-à-Bonfils.
- If you are hungry, just walk next-door, where an old plant (La Vieille Usine) has been converted into a restaurant with a large deck overlooking the docks. Be sure to visit the upper floor to discover local artists and artisans.
We stopped for lunch at La Vieille Usine, where they serve Smoked Salmon from Monsieur Émile, a specialty restaurant right in Percé.
Dinner at Paqbo, specializing in Gaspé cuisine and, of course, fish! What else would you be expecting around here? This restaurant is part of the Riotel, and has a great view on Percé Rock.
- Eat fish in Gaspésie. It is fresh and an absolute best!
- At dinner, just ask for “bubbles” (bulles). Restaurants often carry several sparkling wines, from dry to sweet. They are served in a champagne glass (a nice touch if you ask me…). A touch of local berries syrup is sometimes added, if a fancier version is available.
- I said it before, but most of the time, we avoid dessert with our meal. Local artisan ice cream is delicious and a sorbet helps me digest (hey, that is my story and I am sticking to it!).
Time to retire… Bonne nuit!