canada, food, montreal, travel

5 Days in Montreal

Montreal is a popular long weekend destination for us in Toronto since it’s only a 6 – 7 hour drive away. I visited Montreal for the first time as an adult over the Canadian Thanksgiving holidays. Here are some of the cool things I did during the 5 days. 

  1. Live in an awesome Airbnb. Although your stay indoors might be short, a great accommodation does make a difference.  LeQube was chosen for its reasonable price, walking distance to a subway station, beautiful interiors, and let’s not forget to mention a rooftop jacuzzi.IMG_0432
  2. Indulge even at brunch. At Le Passe Compose they serve foie gras eggs benedict – where else can you get that? And it is as delicious as it sounds. From this trip, it was hands down my favourite meal. Be prepared to spend over 30 minutes in line though.IMG_0442
  3. Take in the beauty of Montreal Botanical Garden. I was lucky enough that my visit coincided with their annual Lantern Festival and it was definitely magical!IMG_0380
  4. Dine at the famous Au Pied de Cochon. 4 words: Duck in a Can. As cliche as this restaurant may be as a Montreal staple, it lives up to its name and hype. Remember to make a reservation as they get fully booked fast!

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    Definitely not the most photogenic, but that doesn’t affect the taste!

  5. Squeeze some sort of exercise in by hiking up Mont Royal.  Quite an easy hike as the trail is a slow gradual uphill. Since it was fall, a beautiful view of the city and the changing colours of leaves could be seen.IMG_0507
  6. Discover a secret bar. Atwater Cocktail Club – swanky interior, interesting drinks, and as a bonus you can order snacks from the restaurant Foiegwa that it shares a kitchen with.IMG_0497
  7. Have a semi-romantic date on The Montreal Observation Wheel. A giant Ferris wheel that gives a panoramic view of Old Montreal and St. Lawrence River. My experience was semi-romantic because we had to share the car with others.IMG_0492
  8. And most importantly, do what must be done in Montreal – poutine at La Banquise. It’s open 24 hours so there is no excuse.IMG_0501.JPG

It was interesting to re-visit Montreal as an adult to appreciate the sights of its landscape and architecture. And of course being able to choose where to dine was a definite plus. Whether you will be in Montreal for a weekend or even just a day, these are some locations that I would recommend to consider for your next trip!

 

Bonus of places I also dined at but did not make the “favourites” cut:  L’avenue, Ganadara, Bar Darling, Farberge, Cafe Falco, La Diperie, and Nos Thes.  I also ate at MAIS which was delicious and quite reminiscent of La Carnita in Toronto.  However, I didn’t have any photographs of the food and as the meal was treated by the owner/chef  I am admittedly biased. Do check it out though if you are at Mile End doing some shopping!

 

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desserts, food, toronto

DOMA Toronto Tasting Menu

Doma a French inspired Korean restaurant is the first-time endeavor of Chef Paul Kim from Seoul, Korea. Their menu changes slightly each month by incorporating new items and rolling forward a few popular items from the previous menu.

For $65 per person, you can experience their 9-course tasting menu which is effectively also their entire monthly offerings. Great deal!

I went in the month of May and some of their popular entree type items are still currently available on their menu this month. Continue reading

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Eastern Canada, Fitness, friends, travel

Cabot Trail

We did a bit of hiking in the East Coast, but my most memorable would have to be at Cabot Trail at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.  If you are in the area it is one I would definitely recommend – especially Skyline Trail specifically. It is a pretty easy hike only about 7-9km for the full loop with little elevation. And the reward you get at the end is a spectacular cliffside view of the coast from an eagle’s point of view.

IMG_8827 Continue reading

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Eastern Canada, food, friends, travel

Clam Digging in PEI

Looking for an authentic PEI adventure? I was too and what I discovered was clam digging!

With Experience PEI, we joined their Beachcomber’s Clam Boil  activity ($85 CAD + HST).  It was a great hands-on excursion.  We were given a pair of gloves, a shovel, a bucket, and the free range of a beach to scavenge for whatever treasures we could find from mussels, to oysters, and to clams! Continue reading

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events, life, toronto

Why I Went Dog-Sledding and Didn’t Like It

In my childhood, I was obsessed with Balto, a sled dog who led the final leg of a serum run in Alaska to combat an outbreak – and thus deemed a hero. I thought he was the coolest thing ever and dreamed of being pulled around in a toboggan by my own very Balto.

Last month I realized my dog sledding dreams with Toronto Adventures. Their location was about 1.5 hours away, a bit north of Mt. St. Louis and the day included about an hour of dog sledding and an hour of optional snow shoeing.

 

We were able to take turns sitting on the sled as well as being the musher; so about a half hour of mushing each. Continue reading

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food, friends, life, toronto

Tapas Only.

Had a girls date with my friend Karen at Tapagria a few weeks ago where we decided to go all out and order whatever tapas we wanted without caring about the price XD

I’ve only been to Tapagria once with a few friends over a year ago and didn’t get too many of their tapas as we got a large paella to share, so it was nice to finally try more of their menu.

$5.00 Sangrias on Thursdays too!
Here’s close ups of what we ordered:

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Octopus Salad – very fresh tasting

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events, Fitness, life, toronto

Learnt Curling! I was Vice-Skip!

Unionville Curling Club hosted a free ‘Learn to Curl’ event a few weeks ago and I signed myself right up. Canada’s pretty amazing at curling during Winter Olympics and my favourite Japanese boyband Arashi plays (a non-ice version) it on their game show – so I had to give it a shot. I considered going by myself but luckily some of my friends were also intrigued. We can never say no to things that are free.

I think organisational wise they could have done better, it was advertised as a 2 hour time slot but they made it into 2 different sessions separately. And there were too many people per lane where instead of the regular 4 vs. 4, my lane ended up being 5 vs. 4.  BUT, it seems an hour was just enough.

 

We had half an hour of a mini lecture and practice of just doing the poses / motion of curling and sweeping (not fairy dusting!). Then we had half hour of game time where we finished 1 game and started about 1/3 of game 2. Continue reading

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