Visiting Montreal is like going to Paris without leaving the Canada – well almost. After a 10 year absence, it was a pleasure to visit again. The city delights one’s senses with history, great food, fashion, architecture, joie de vivre and culture. With only 48 hours to attend a wine trade fair, meetings and to enjoy the city, here are my recommendations from this very short trip. Bon voyage!
A great stop for cafe in the heart of Vieux (old) Montreal is le petit hotel & cafe, (168 rue Saint-Paul west) a chic and contempoary 24 room boutique hotel surrounded by art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. www.petithotelmontreal.com
I stayed at the OMNI Hotel – Mont Royal on the corner Sherbrooke and Peel. The rooms are nicely appointed with close proximity to great shopping, eating, metro and museums. http://www.omnihotels.com/findahotel/montroyal.aspx
A visit to Montreal is not complete without a visit to Musee des Beaux-Arts on 1348 Sherbrooke West. Here I can have my fix of old world paintings without going to Europe. Collections are housed in 3 separate buildings and from November 2011 to January 2012 admission is free. http://www.mbam.qc.ca/fr/index.html
I’ve always love shopping here – there is definitely lots of variety – so uniquely Montreal. If you love stationary, the place to be is Essence du Papier. Stocked with the most beautiful gift wrapping papers, cards, Crane stationary, designer pens and seasonal decorations. There are 4 stores located in Montreal and 2 in Toronto. http://essencedupapier.com/stores/
Oglivy’s is my department store of choice, located on 1307 Sainte-Catherine West in a Romaneque building. Did you know it was owned by Arthur Nesbitt and family until 1987, a partner in investment firm Nesbitt Thomson (now BMO Nesbitt Burns)? As you step through the revolving doors, it takes you back in time of grand retailing and very reminiscent of department stores in London. There are 5 floors of independent designer bouitque stores all under one roof. Oglivy’s is well known for it’s annual vintage Christmas display – one of its kind in Montreal. http://ogilvycanada.com/en/
Wine lovers will rejoice in the SAQ Signature wine and liquor store located on 677 Sainte-Catherine West. This store contains premium spirts on the main street and extensive collection of collector wines on the basement floor. The collection of French Burgundies, Bordeauxs and large formats are vast and prices to make BC residents cry. They offer free shipping services for the province of Quebec, so anyone can actually purchase on-line if you know someone with a PQ address. Visit www.saq.com and under “All Products” select SAQ Signature Exclusives.
Please visit “Epicurean Blog” for my review on my evening at Graziella. There was not enough time on this trip so I hope to dine La Toque, Joe Beef, Gordon Ramsay’s Rotissere Laurier and Au Pied de Cochon on next visit to Montreal soon.