Tag Archives: travel

Montreal Girls Weekend

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!

hotel 10 montreal room

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!

hotel 10 montreal lobby

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.

scandinave montreal

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.

montreal-boutique

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!

modavie-montreal

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.

arts-cafe-montreal

Other places we ate at were Pullman (just okay), Bevo Bar + Pizzeria (trendy atmosphere but their pizza wasn’t great), and Foiegwa (a hot new French diner).

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? 

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I’m off to England!

Hi everyone!

Today I’m boarding a plane at 8:55 am for my first ever trip overseas. My sister is an au pair in England for the year and she has some time off, so we’re going to be spending the next 12 days frolicking around England.

london Picture credit to Henri1407 via pixabay.com

I have some posts scheduled to go up during this time, but otherwise I won’t be online much.

See you back on the 12th!

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Healthy Living Summit 2013: Sunday

So when I left off Saturday’s recap of the Healthy Living Summit, I had just crashed into bed after a crazy long day of sessions and activities. I slept like a baby and woke up ready to tackle Sunday. But unfortunately the day had a sad start because we had to say goodbye to Amanda who had an early flight. But on a more positive note, I think there are some plans in the works for her to visit Sam and I in Ontario in the nearish future!

Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen and Running with Spoons

After our goodbyes, Sam, Gina and I met everyone else in the lobby for the 5K run/walk. I was hoping to just slowly jog or walk most of it, but I somehow ended up running with the front of the pack. I blame Sam! But we actually only ended up running about a mile, then stopped at a park where we took some pictures and then walked back to the hotel for breakfast.

Healthy Living Summit 2013 - run/walk

Breakfast was a buffet similar to Saturday morning’s, but without the really good egg scramble… darn! They did have some awesome hash browns though, so those made up for it.

Healthy Living Summit - Sunday breakfast

Following breakfast, everything started to wind down since lots of bloggers were catching their flights soon. So after packing up (and somehow fitting all my new swag in my suitcase!), I headed out to explore with Sam and Gina. I was excited because I love to explore new cities, but this was my first time being out in Minneapolis on foot all weekend! We bumped into Katie and Ashley, so the 5 of us grabbed lunch at Mason’s, a casual restaurant and bar in the downtown.

Mason's Restasurant Minneapolis

It was described as a pub on Urbanspoon, but it was a lot more upscale inside. I loved the wooden tables and the drinks served in Mason jars.

Healthy Living Summit 2013 - Mason's Minneapolis

I went for their flatbread appetizer with mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, basil, and balsamic drizzle. It was good, but not as big of a portion as I expected – luckily I had a bunch of swag bag snacks to fill up on later. Almost everyone else got the house made veggie patty on a salad, which they all raved about.

Mason's restaurant flatbread

Sadly I had to head to the airport right after that. I was bummed to leave, but I know I have next year’s Healthy Living Summit in Madison, Wisconsin to look forward to. Start following @HLSummit on Twitter and stalking their website to stay up to date on next year’s event – I expect to see you all there!

To wrap up this post, I want to say a big thank you to the Hilton Minneapolis, all the sponsors, and most of all the event organizers for making this weekend possible. It was a blast!

What’s your favourite thing to do in new cities?

Are you going to the Healthy Living Summit next year?

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