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CARL CRAIG HEATS UP IGLOOFEST

When legendary Detroit techno producer Carl Craig plays Igloofest on Thursday, January 27, it will be only the fourth time he’s DJ’d in Montreal (most recently dropping a memorable set at Mutek in 2009). Montreal Buzz caught up with him at his Planet E offices in Detroit to find out what he’s got in store for us…

THE HEAT IS ON AT IGLOOFEST

Last week I went to my first Igloofest. Or, as one friend put it, “You lost your Igloofest virginity.” [Insert happy face here.] While I can’t exactly say I’m a brand new woman, I do have a new appreciation for the month of January. How, I wonder, did the last three editions of this massive outdoor party ever pass me by?

OLD MONTREAL GOURMAND À GO-GO

The Happening Gourmand festival is happening right now (it started Jan. 10) and will run until Jan. 31. For any Toronto-folk reading this and scratching their heads, this is sort of like your Winterlicious. For Manhattanites, think New York Restaurant Week, only smaller and wrapped up in Old World charm and ambience.

DANCE YOUR WINTER AWAY AT IGLOOFEST

Let’s face it, Montreal’s summer festivals have a pretty easy go of it. Have you seen Montreal in the summer? You could have an International Festival of Paper Clips and there would be 10,000 people partying downtown. But winter is a tougher sell, which makes the ongoing success of January’s Igloofest all the more impressive…

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S MENUS

Stay and Eat over the holidays in these elegant downtown hotel -restaurants Old Montreal is gussied up to its finest, with snowy streets and twinkling lights and all the romance you could ever want. So hunker down in one of the city’s glam hotels and check out the holiday menus at some of the city’s best restaurants, that you can slip into without weathering the wind outside… If I were coming to Montreal for the holidays, I would want to stay at the Hotel St-James, and I would want to eat Christmas dinner at XO, one of Montreal’s top-rated restaurants. The St-James is old-world elegant at any time of year, but over the holidays, the soaring 19th-century roo is in its element.

HILTON MONTRÉAL BONAVENTURE

The Hilton Montréal Bonaventure was built back in the day to accommodate the wave of foreign folk who would come for the International World Fair: Montréal’s fabulous Expo 67. Some 40 years later, this 395-room hotel has certainly been around the block, and then some.

COME-AS-YOU-ARE BAR AND NIGHTCLUB

I love that when I go out in Montreal I can get Mad Men fancy and dress up to the nines (look for my earlier post “Get dolled up at Bleu Blow Dry and Rouge Nail Bar”) – or just tie my hair up in a ponytail, dress down, and nevertheless go out and have a good time. When I feel like doing the latter, which is most of the time, there are two new spots on my radar.

A SOOTHING STAY AT WESTIN HOTEL

What a good idea! Montreal’s Westin Hotel has a massive covered driveway – perfect for arriving in a bit of snow or rain. The area is totally closed in, so the hair, the gowns and the stilettos stay perfect. You are protected by a four-storey high roof and glass closed-in indoor-outdoor ‘room’. There, valets whisk your car away as you enter Montreal’s newest hotel.

MONTREAL’S CANADIAN MAPLE DELIGHTS

Source: smashingmagazine.com What could be more ‘Quebec’ than maple syrup! A little trivia for visitors to Montreal.  Maple syrup, part of Montreal’s cuisine-culture, was discovered by Amerindians centuries ago.  Every spring they would make a ‘’V’’-shaped cut into the side of maple trees and insert pieces of bark to collect the sap.  Boiled down, this sweet liquid became a nutritious beverage.  In those days, maple sugar production was an important source of pure sugar. When the first French settlers arrived, the Indians traded maple sugar with them and taught them the secrets of the maple sugaring process  Today the maple industry in Quebec is greatly refined.  The delectable product is in demand all over the world. In fact, 71 % of the world’s maple sirup is made in Québec.