Monday, July 23, 2012

Festival Cape & Épée

The town of Richelieu puts on a festival every two years that celebrates Cardinal Richelieu.  It's non-stop activity for the entire week-end.

This uniform would have been seen in La Nouvelle-France since it belonged to the King's army.

Some of the staples to keep everyone fed.

They may have eaten pork, but I don't think they had a fancy rotisserie like this one...  Perhaps a spit over an open fire.  These pork roasts are destined for supper, to those who reserved a place in the big outside tent.

There were equestrian demonstrations.

Throughout the day, this colourful band would pass through to entertain us.

This band went to Quebec last year to help celebrate the city's 400th anniversary.

There were plays scheduled, along the lines of Molière.

Then came the parade - "le défilé".  I absolutely loved all the costumes which were made with incredible attention to detail.

Cardinal Richelieu had a place of honour.

Around town, there were all sorts of demonstrations, including this wonderful grand-mother showing us how to spin wool using a sewing machine wheel to do the "turning" for her.

It takes about 2 balls of wool to make a pair of thick socks.

This gentleman was selling spice cakes.  Lots of ginger.

Karl of course zeroed in on the guy making crêpes.

Oh dear... we caught the Cardinal taking a little nip of something stronger than Orangina, looking a bit tired and dishevelled, sitting next to a charming young lady.  The scandal of it all!  I hope this posting won't start any nasty rumours in the town of Richelieu!

The evening's festivities included fire-breathing acrobats.

L'Auberge Le Cardinal

When the evening was coming to a close, we stopped for dinner at L'Auberge Le Cardinal, recommended to us by a charming woman who took time to sit and chat with us in the afternoon.  We discussed quilting and points of interest in the area.  She also told me how she had been in the garment industry when young and had sewn costumes for her grand-children to attend the Richelieu Festival, until they grew up and weren't quite as keen to participate.  She thought the food at L'Auberge was particularly good, and we couldn't agree with her more!

Mme Annick Racinet, the owner, showed us to our table and took our orders.  I had the salmon lox with toast which came with two dollops of caviar.  I stole a few red onions from Karl's plate and thought the fish was heavenly!

Karl had a salad which he particularly liked, saying it was fresh and full of sunshine.

We couldn't eat dinner without a wine that carried the Cardinal's name!

By now you are quite aware that I love duck and that I eat it every chance I get.  I can tell you without exaggeration that this magret de canard is the BEST I've ever eaten.  That orange sauce (which I suspect may have some Grand Marnier) was outstanding.  It came with scalloped potatoes and a bundle of green beans.  Karl had the same and didn't say a word until every last bite was gone - it was that good.

Chef Michel came around to see if we were liking it.  I think the look on our faces said it all!

The cheese plate was wonderful.

As was the Île Flottante.  Instead of poaching the egg whites, they steam them in the oven.  What a light and airy dessert!

Good to the last drop, as they say: drop of wine, drop of coffee...

Auberge Le Cardinal:  02 47 58 18 57

The day ended with the most spectacular sunset on our drive home.  Bravo Richelieu for organizing such a fun and delightful event!

The following photos were taken on the inside of Le Cardinal Restaurant on another evening when the food was just as scrumptious!


  1. Your commentary on foods reminds me of the book I'm currently reading, "The School of Essential Ingredients" by Erica Bauermeister. It's delightful in so many ways and an easy, summer read.

  2. Looks like a wonderful day, and don't you look adorable today! Y