A few weekends ago I went on a long weekend trip to Montreal with one of my childhood best friends. Between living in different cities and hectic schedules, it’s been hard to find time to see each other lately. So we booked this trip to catch up!
Today I wanted to share with you a bit about the trip:
Where we stayed
We booked a room at Hotel 10, a boutique hotel in the north end of downtown. Our double queen room was pretty standard, but I loved the modern look of the lobby and bar area!
It also had some great services, like a courtesy car that will drive you within the city free of charge. Although, it was in high demand, so we only got to use it twice. But the hotel was actually within reasonable walking distance of most places. I say that, but we still Ubered almost everywhere because it was cold!
Photos by Guy Hamelin. Used with permission from Hotel 10.
What we did
Our first morning in the city we went to Scandinave Spa for massages and their Scandinavian baths. I’m not someone who can relax easily because my mind is always going at full speed. But I think this was the most relaxed I’ve been in ages! The bath area is completely silent, so it sort of forces you to shut down and just be in the moment.
Photo used with permission from Scandinave Monreal
The next day we started our morning at the Atwater Market. We had brunch beforehand, but this would have been a great spot to buy some bread and cheese for a picnic. I would have loved to buy some Quebec cheeses to bring back with me, but I didn’t want to have to carry it around all day!
We also spent an afternoon at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which is actually free of charge for admission to their standard exhibits. I’m not a huge museum buff but I took a bit of art history in university to take a break from all my science courses, and I really enjoyed it.
And of course we did some shopping too. We did some shopping at chain stores on Rue Sainte-Catherine and also found some cute clothing and housewares boutiques on Boul St-Laurent in the Plateau neighbourhood.
Where we ate
We decided to wing our meals for this trip, but realized that was a mistake when we got to our hotel and the concierge strongly recommended reservations at restaurants. We saw the truth to this when we tried to go for dinner at a new Italian restaurant, but they were completely booked. Oops.
But our spontaneity worked out in our favour for a few meals! After our early afternoon at the spa we were starving, and we stumbled upon Modavie for a late lunch. It had such a cozy feel to it and we got a great spot right by the window! We decided to split the mushroom risotto with duck confit and the lamb cavatelli with fennel and sun dried tomato. Both were fantastic!
One of my other favourite food spots was Lemeac, one of the top French bistros in the city. We split the salmon tartar for an appetizer – my first time having tartar, which is odd considering how much I love sushi! It was extremely fresh and I loved the hint of mustard flavour to it. My steak frites was a disappointment, but only because I thought hangar steak was the same thing as flank steak. News flash: it’s not. It’s a much tougher cut with a more gristley flavour. The fries were good though! And the French toast dessert more than made up for it. It was like a cakey French toast served in the most addictive maple caramel sauce.
Sunday morning I botched our breakfast plans. We wanted to do bagel sandwiches at St-Viateur, one of the most famous bagel shops at the city. So we took an Uber there… only to find out we were at one of the bakery locations, not the cafe location. We each bought a half dozen bagels to-go anyways, then headed back out to find somewhere to eat. We ended up at the nearby Arts Cafe which had the cutest decor! I had the shakshuka with fried polenta and Lauren had cod cakes with a poached egg and dill mayonnaise.
It was a great trip and one I would definitely do again! Although now that I know there’s another Scandinave Spa 2 hours away from me, I think I see another trip in my future…
What was the last trip you took?