*The title of this post is an homage to a travel article of the same name, which appeared in Budget Travel last summer. It was written by two Montreal bloggers who know a fuck of a lot about eating in Canada's sassiest city (http://www.budgettravel.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2007/06/06/AR2007060601611.html).
And I probably never would have discovered their awesome food blog (endlessbanquet.blogspot.com) had I not happened upon the article while searching aimlessly for a magazine I hadn't actually read yet (I have a problem...) while waiting for a flight from New York back to TO. Wow, that sentence makes me sound exciting. Thank you to Sandra for finding it on my behalf.
The thing about Mtl. - if you haven't had the good fortune to get there - is that it skirts the line between old and new, cheap and chic, hot and cold, high and low (you get the idea) much in the way that fashion does. And it does it in two languages with joie de vivre in a vaguely affordable manner. Oh, and it's sexy. (Did I mention that?)
In addition to a roster of fantastic restaurants (Pintxo, Laloux, L'Express, Holt's Cafe, Ogilvy's downstairs - I could go on...), this town has, for my money, the best shopping in Canada. In fact, Id' wager it's in the top 10 of the best shopping in North America, not that I've been everywhere, so I'm open to a lively discussion about this assertion.
This will, by no means, be my only post about Montreal or, more specifically, food in Montreal or shopping in Montreal or places to say in Montreal etc. It's just a primer, a little amuse bouche, to entice you to book your VIA 1 ticket today.
A Couple of Places on the Plateau I Love...
Lola & Emily: http://www.madeinmtl.com/stops/340/2/
Once you've walked half way up the mountain you'll be ready for the cozy - but not cloying - atmosphere in this fabulous shop. Textures abound in go-to contemporary brands like Ca Va de Soi and Nougat.
Unsurprisingly, this shop favours delicate, form skimming knits and designer denim.
It also stocks a small, but fierce, selection of shoes. This summer I bought a great pair of grey suede upper / patent heel round-toe wedges (they're at work or I'd be able to tell you the brand). They walk the line (sorry for the pun) between function (they're not more than a 1.5 inch heel) and fashion (so gorgeous, so rich). For walking, they rock.
You may know that this place originated in Montreal, that it used to be called Rugby, that it's named for the initial and date/year of birth of its owner, but did you know there's an m0851 hotel in Antwerp?
What can I say: It's a combo of leather, knitwear and clean (almost avant but not quite) basics in muted tones and unusual fabrics (parachute, anyone?).
Let's face it, the leather is about as good as it gets, excellent value for the money but still rather pricey given the superlative quality of the goods. Top end calfskin in elegant, minimal designs make this a fave. PS - There are stores in various other cities, amongst them, TO and NY...