Perhaps it’s the city’s French heritage, but Montreal has always been a step ahead of other Canadian capitals in the gastronomic stakes. Eat your way around this Quebecois gem on a city break to Montreal from Glasgow Airport.
Eggs and art
Stave off the jet lag with an early bird breakfast at Le Valois (25 place Simon-Valois). The poached eggs served at this chic art deco-style eatery are legendary – and to tickle your taste buds further, they come with a side order of muesli, yoghurt, fruit salad and of course maple syrup. Afterwards, wander up the road to the Château Dufresne (2929 avenue Jeanne-d’Arc): a historic Beaux-Arts mansion containing a new museum of imperial paintings and artifacts as well as the oldest stained glass workshop in Canada.
Step into the garden…
While you’re in the area, take the opportunity to wander around the beautiful Botanical Gardens (4101 rue Sherbrooke Est), one of the largest and most spectacular in the world. Then hop on the metro at Pie-IX and whizz straight down the green line to Peel for a slap-up meal at the fabulous Ferreira Café (1446 rue Peel). A taste of Portugal in downtown Montreal, it offers a mouth-watering lunch menu focused around dishes such as bouillabaisse, porcini-crusted roasted black cod and black tea crème brûlée.
Crank up the luxe
You’re in the Golden Square Mile now, surrounded by lavish 19th-century mansions and flourishing museums. Put a few hours aside to see the ever-changing exhibitions in the internationally acclaimed Museum of Fine Arts (1380 rue Sherbrooke Ouest) before experiencing the ultimate in culinary finesse at Europea (1227 rue de la Montagne): an innovative French fine dining restaurant that benefits from the creative expertise of chef Jérôme Ferrer.
Brunch and basilicas
Day two: Get ready for a busy morning exploring Montreal’s Old Town with breakfast at Le Cartet (106 rue McGill), a gourmet secret hidden away in a Soho loft-style space. Some say that its scrambled eggs with shiitake mushrooms, duck fat-cooked potatoes and spicy sausages are the best brunch in the city. Nearby is an assortment of Montreal’s highlights, including the spectacular Basilique Notre-Dame (110 rue Notre-Dame Ouest), The Pioneers’ Obelisk and the Pointe-à-Calliere museum of archaeology and history (350 place Royale).
Hit the shops
Wander slowly north to discover some of the best shopping hotspots in the city, including Bonsecours Market (350 rue Saint-Paul Est) with its collection of high-end boutiques and the countless trendy designer stores of the Rue Sainte-Catherine. If the weather is on form, pick up something for lunch at gourmet grocer Alexis Le Gourmand (1407 rue Saint-Jacques) and enjoy a sunny picnic overlooking the old port. Alternatively, try Quebec’s most famous traditional dish of chips topped with cheese curds and gravy at top-notch poutine joint Garde Manger (408 Saint-Francois-Xavier).
Round off your holiday to Montreal from Glasgow Airport by netting tickets at the Centaur Theatre (453 rue Saint-Francois-Xavier), the city’s centre for English-language plays. There are plenty of fabulous eateries in the surrounding area, but for something a bit special book a table at the Mercuri (645 rue Wellington). A 10-minute walk from the theatre, it serves exquisite fusion dishes that are as appetizing to the eye as to the palate.
Book a trip to Montreal from Glasgow Airport with Air Transat.