Looking for pampering? You’re in the right place. Montréal gets a ton of high-fallutin’ international guests every year, whether it’s Jazz Fest musicians, pop superstars, Formula One racers or star hockey players. Hell, even visiting comedians need paraffin mani-pedis! The result? Our service industry is poised to satisfy your every need and make your trip to La Belle Ville the most memorable it can be. Here’s your cheat sheet to the best things in life. SLEEP WELL High-end stays abound in Montréal, for all the reasons mentioned above. From Madonna to Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, we’ve hosted all the divas! Exacting guests flock to the gorgeously redesigned Ritz-Carlton Montréal, where you can leave your classically appointed suite and be at La Maison Ogilvy in five minutes flat. Hôtel Le St. James is probably the city’s most luxurious stay, nestled in a historic Old Montréal building appointed with priceless antiques. Loews Hôtel Vogue, Hôtel Le Crystal and InterContinental Montréal are perfect downtown pied-à-terres, with incredibly comfortable rooms and great bars and restaurants. To be within seconds of the Old Port, you’ll want to stay at either the sleekly contemporary Hotel Gault, Hotel Nelligan (the rooftop terrasse bar is a must),… / Read More →
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Beautiful views, European charm, award-winning dining, entertainment that never sleeps… Montréal has got all the markers of a winning romantic weekend for any type of couple. This Valentine’s Day, whether you like things sporty, luxurious or classic (because long-stem roses never go out of style), here are five getaway ideas from us to you – with love. A classic kind of love Wining and dining is a sure way to pretty much anyone’s heart. With hotel specials like the Valentine’s Day package at the beautiful Le Germain in Old Montréal, you’re already half way there. After picking up some chocolates at Maison Christian Faure and some flowers at the stand in Square Victoria, grab a horse-drawn carriage tour of Old Montréal across the street from Notre-Dame Basilica, where Céline Dion got married (it’ll set the mood). Next, book a tête-à-tête to sample the special V Day offerings at 400 Coups (a five-course meal featuring crab ravioli and foie gras mousse), Le Quindici (short ribs braised in wine, anyone?) or the warm, European flavoured Branzino. If you can’t choose, how about one on Friday, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday? Then stroll up from Old Montréal to downtown for… / Read More →
Coming to Montréal soon? Then you might want to take part in Montrealers’ favourite weekend activity: going out for brunch. More than a meal, it’s a religion; think of it as the Québec version of the traditional Sunday family dinner. Whether your brunch is terroir, exotic, tucked away in a bakery or an old-world tea salon, here are some great spots to try, no matter what your fancy, Saturday and Sunday included. Do it like the French! The restaurant: Leméac The neighbourhood: Outremont The ambiance: Refined and chic, Leméac has been a much-loved Montreal institution since 2001. Enjoy a Parisian-style brasserie ambiance, retro décor and cuisine that serves bistro essentials. Heads-up: you need a reservation here. What to order: poached eggs, smoked salmon and Spanish caviar on blinis ($18) and French toast, caramelized bananas and chocolate sauce ($15) When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We also recommend: Chez Lévêque and Holder A great québécois classic The restaurant: Le Cartet The neighbourhood: Old Montréal The ambiance: A cross between fine food store and gourmet canteen, this is the go-to spot for professionals during the week; on the weekend it’s just as busy. With its long wood tables… / Read More →
Love to doll up your digits? Looking for a statement necklace? The next time you come to Montréal, plan on taking a piece of it back with you. From whimsical to wild and elegant to eclectic, here are a few great ideas on where to get some Montréal bling. bleu comme le ciel – 2000 Peel Street Stop and gawk at the jaw-dropping window displays before stepping inside a fantasy world of high-end boho-chic costume jewellery imported from France and the French Riviera. Choose from three locations to satisfy your inner magpie: Peel Street, the Ogilvy department store and in Clio blue.missy Clio blue – 1468 Peel Street Like the more reserved sister of the aforementioned wild child BCLC, Clio Blue is more understated, but oh-so ravishing. This sweet little boutique (an offshoot of the Paris flagship store) specializes in stylish silver creations that will make your heart sing (). The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Boutique and Bookstore – 1390 Sherbrooke Street West You might not think of popping into a museum for jewellery, but you’d be amazed at the gorgeous selection of baubles at the MMFA boutique. Showcasing many Québec artists and artisans, the selection here is diverse and beautiful, and price-wise, very doable. Ecksand… / Read More →
So many things I love under one roof: bubbly, bling and beautiful clothes. My friends, Montreal Fashion Week doesn’t get much better than this. When I heard that fashion designer Denis Gagnon was going to present his Spring and Summer 2012 collection at Birks jewellery store, I couldn’t click send on that RSVP email fast enough…
Birks has been a Montreal institution for fine jewellery since 1894. Last September, the chichi store opened an equally chichi resto-boutique on the mezzanine level called Birks Café par Europea. Ladies who lunch can now “take tea,” as they say, overlooking a dazzling array of jewels and designer watches. I was happy to hear that heading this gastronomic endeavour was none other than Montreal top chef Jérôme Ferrer whom many locals know from his chain of restaurants, including the haute cuisine Europea, as well as Andiamo, Beaver Hall, and Espace Europea.