A Akin to Barney’s and Saks in the U.S., Shoe Mart in the Philippines, Seibu in Japan, El Corte Inglés in Spain, and Selfridges in the U.K.; downtown Montreal has her own fancy department stores. Three major ones are La Maison Ogilvy, The Hudson’s Bay Company, and Holt Renfrew. I encourage shoppers and visitors to visit all of these beautifully historic “cathedrals of commerce” whose turn-of-the-century architecture reinforces the adage, They just don’t build ‘em like they used to.
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There is something magical about Montreal over the holidays. The mixture of Christmas lights, snowflakes and European charm help create a romantic wintry setting that is hard to match anywhere else in North America. With that in mind, here are seven of our suggestions to make your getaway extra romantic!
I was about nine years old when I saw my first ballet – The Nutcracker. What little girl doesn’t dance around in her PJs and dream of being Clara? (Although, personally, at that age I was more interested in leaping around in a tutu than hanging out with any Toy Soldier.) Thus began a love affair for classical dance that never really faded, even after a very discouraging Ballet For Adults class. Some things, I’ve discovered, you just have to start at a young – and pliable – age.
While in town, shop early for the whole family, for the office, for friends (and for yourself!) at the Salon des métiers d’arts du Québec. It is the most important professional exhibition-sale in the province. The wonderful fair full of hand-made works has praise from all who visit. It has been a go-to gift-buying place for locals for years, and visitors have quickly discovered it. You can choose from a vast array of made-with-love-and talent pieces. Art, beads and bracelets, decorative objects, ecological works, foie gras, jams, kids’ clothing, lamps, sculptures, wine..basically almost everything and anything one might need to wrap. Wait. No need to wrap. A booth at the Salon will do this for you…easy, peasy.
Dear American friends, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many of you, this time of year represents festive meals and the opportunity to reflect on the blessings in one’s life. Yet for other folks, Thanksgiving is a tired and stress-inducing holiday where you’re forced to wear that god-awful chartreuse sweater that your half-blind aunt knit you while salivating over Don Johnson during a Miami Vice marathon. And let’s be honest, the embarrassment of smelling like Fixodent drool each holiday begins to erode one’s self-respect.