JOURNEY

Montréal

  • 37 km travelled
  • 458 notes of sweet music
  • 05 gastronomic epiphanies

It was the old world, the new world—sights to see by day and clubs to enjoy by night, that made us fall in love with Montréal. Brimming with fine dining and architectural landmarks, we took a decadent slice out of this francophone behemoth. We worked off our culinary transgressions with plenty of biking, walking and dancing. Who can forget the jazz? We sure won’t. When it comes to Montréal, indulgence is the name of the game and we played it ‘til the sun came up.

Day 1
Sip, sip, dance
This is how many great tales begin: we checked into a hotel, but not just any hotel, Hotel Gault on Rue Sainte Hélène. Nancy wanted to freshen up, so we put away our things and met in the lobby. The night was young, our lips were dry and we were all looking for a drink. Adrian had read about a place called Newtown on Crescent Street. On the patio we talked about going to our house—the House of Jazz. Lili who didn’t really like jazz, had now been converted. The music, drinks and laughter continued late into the night. Sure we thought about sleep, but we left it at that, just a thought.
Day 2
Culture shots
It was a great day for looking up. With its arched façade and stunning details, Notre Dame’s ceiling took our breath away. But the question on everyone’s mind was where to have lunch. Lili saw some great reviews for the Cluny Art Bar and we all agreed to go. So we stepped out into the street and back in time into Old Montréal. Nancy always wanted to ride in a horse-drawn carriage so we gave into the fantasy and hopped aboard. Admittedly, the click-clocking of the horses as we trotted along was nice and the view of the architecture was even nicer. We devoured an array of sandwiches for lunch. Adrian's never tried pineapple and chicken and said it was an amazing combo. A major food coma sent us back to our luxury hotel for a quick nap. Later we found Nancy in the lobby drinking raspberry mojitos and looking through her photos. Then someone decided it’d be fun to rent some bikes, but we can’t remember whom. We just remember renting BIXI’s and cruising over to DNA for dinner. On the menu: rabbit, sweetbreads, fiddlehead ferns and plenty of live music to tap a fork to. We didn’t tell Adrian what sweetbreads were. He seemed to like them just fine. As we strolled through Old Montréal there were fireworks bursting overhead. We felt lucky to be there but couldn’t believe how late it was. Somehow we managed to squeeze in another top up: stacked smoked meat sandwiches on rye at Schwartz’s.
Day 3
Second helpings
To market we will go. It’s Sunday morning and we’re off to Atwater Market, perusing the stalls and buying fresh produce. The strawberries looked particularly sweet, but we had a craving for something more substantial. The bagels at St. Viateur were perfect—fresh, chewy and hot from the oven. The sun was out and a warm breeze called us back into Schwartz's to meet more locals and share more laughs. Was it possible that we had gained a couple pounds? Naw. The night dwindled and we obviously had room for one more culinary adventure: dinner at Au Pied du Cochon. After dinner came drinks at Koko and we made a toast to the warm days and long nights spent in this magnificently stimulating city.