Having already taken you shopping down on Saint-Paul, it seemed like the time to take you uptown. Laurier Avenue West dissects two Montreal neighbourhoods: Outremont (west of Parc Avenue) and Le Plateau (to the east). Constantly evolving, this little stretch of retail therapy just north of Mount Royal is as sophisticated as it is decidedly French in feel…
If you’re starting the day in the area, I recommend brunch at either fancy-schmancy Lemeac, which is celebrated for their classic bistro style and celeb-spotting (wearing Chanel for breakfast is not extraordinary here), or Toi, Moi & Cafe, who serve the “La Parisienne” breakfast of two boiled eggs, baguette strips for dipping, a stewed/baked apple and slices of cheese. If you just need a coffee and a croissant or a hot soup, look north to Gascogne, where the attendants wear little black hats and long aprons just like they do in Paris.
For fine lingerie, the top spot in the city is surely Lyla, where the first floor is devoted to high-end brands such as Simone Pérèle and Princesse Tam Tam. Upstairs you’ll find designer sportswear, like the colourful little Missoni dress I saw not too long ago. There is also swimwear up there; a treasure trove for daring bikinis by Jean Paul Gaultier or more classic styles such as Eres.
For more haute labels (albeit outerwear) like Armani, Yamamoto and Sonia Rykiel, Henriette L caters to a sophisticated business woman, or the many ladies who lunch in the area before getting their nails done at Lio Fratelli, a luxurious mani and pedi salon. Younger styles can be found at Billie or BCBG, which are just across the street. Men will want to browse the trendy racks filled with the likes of Neil Barrett, Costume National and more at Michel Brisson, who recently moved just a few blocks west to this bigger location.
For more domestic divas, Les Touilleurs is a kitchen paradise with all the All Clad pots, pans, gadgets and cookbooks (in both English and French) you could ever dream of. The store’s all-white decor seems to be a magnet for foodies, particularly ones with deep pockets. From the kitchen to the baby’s room, you’ll find everything thing you need to build your little angel’s new nest at Bouton Jaune– from the softest sheets and pillows to plushest cradle toys and onesies. A colourful place to buy one-of-a-kind gifts (for your loved-ones or yourself), Royer (207 Laurier Avenue West) sells art objects and creative decor pieces made with love from a large roster of Montreal artists and artisans. You’ll find treasures such as pretty coin purses crafted from Japanese kimono to modern ceramic vases.
Finally, if you’re shopping for a little “me time,” why not get a pampering hair treatment at Salon Orbite, the headquarters (literally) for many of the city’s well-known tresses. Their in-store boutique also carries a lot of high-end, hard-to-find beauty products such as the Shiseido hair collection, OPI, Aveda and MD Skinare. It’s not cheap, but I’m pretty sure you deserve it.
Royer Objets Et Trouvailles, 207 Laurier Avenue West
Photo Credits: © Tourisme Montréal- Stéphan Poulin, © Royer Objects/ © Royer Objets et Trouvailles