Montreal has an international reputation for fabulous cuisine, fantastic shopping and fine arts. You only need spend 48 hours to get a taste of this trendy and growing city, which has rightfully earned a UNESCO City of Design designation. Canada’s second largest city has so much to offer, you’ll find it hard to pack it all into less than a week, but for a quick two day trip, here are some fantastique stops to make.
In the heart of the city you’ll find The Golden Square Mile, running from Avenue Atwater to Boulevard St Denis, world famous for its concentration of art boutiques. Start your day with the city’s best known “power breakfast” hotspot, Le Renoir at the Sofitel Hotel. Walk a few scenic blocks down the street to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The wo
nderfully curated “Colours of Jazz” exhibition runs until Jan 31st, featuring the unique brushstrokes of the predominantly female artist ensemble, the Beaver Hall Group, who painted in a Modernist style in the 1920’s. There are always new exhibitions being mounted; check their calendar for what’s new.
Lunch at the café at the museum is both French and modern fusion inspired; blood pudding, Moroccan octopus and seasonal fare just some of the elegantly plated feature dishes. Save room for the exotic assortment of desserts.
Put your power shoes on to head out for an afternoon of shopping at some of the country’s most exclusive shops, including Tiffany’s, Gucci, Holt Renfrew, Escada, and Montreal’s own favourite department store, Simons.
Unload your shopping and head into Le Bar, a hopping bistro which attracts both young Millennials and senior executives, featuring a line of apple based Neige cider drinks and an eclectic bar menu, showcasing their famous charcuterie board and tasty local Quebec cheeses.
Stop for a croissant at one of the many aromatic bistros and bakeries on Rue St Catherine, before heading for your next museum hit at the McCord museum, which specializes in the preservation of Canadian history, as well as offering fun and educational children’s programming. From puppet shows to science exhibits, art play and more.
Had enough of the kid stuff and want to feel like a lady who lunches? Be one by dropping into the Holt Renfrew lunchroom, and linger over a drink before planning your next potential shopping move.
Relax in your room at the Sofitel and order an in-room spa treatment, or if you’re looking for a true rural Quebec experience in the midst of your urban visit, head to La Face Cachee de la Pomme, an hour outside of Montreal, and the birthplace of Ice Cider. Extreme cold temperatures allow for the creation of this unique drink experience, or exemplifies what they call “Quebec culture in a bottle.” Tours are available and their foie gras, made with ice cider, is a particular treat, perfect for the end of an artisanal and action packed two days.
This post originally ran as an article in the Metro News.
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