MP goes to Montrèal
As you may have guessed by our name, we love all things fake French. So we decided to embark on a fake French vacation: to Montrèal. Our excuse was to go before the YSL retrospective ended.
The YSL exhibit was fantastic, and well worth the trip (sketches coming soon!). But our fun did not end there. We also hit some vintage shops on Boulevard Saint-Laurent (very appropriate, don’t you think?) which apparently is the “Bedford Avenue” of Montrèal. Here are some highlights from our trip:
Photos by Jonathan Berger, unless he appears, in which case, I took it.
Friperie St. Laurent, Corner of Blvd. Saint-Laurent & Duluth
First we hit Friperie St. Laurent. This store was one of the best we visited, and featured amazing vintage from the 50s & 60s for men and women. Above the racks of clothing sit the treasures, like an original Pierre Cardin red-orange tent dress made out of ribbons of fabric.
The owner was there, unpacking some freshly dry-cleaned goodies. Enthusiastically, I browsed all the racks and ended up buying a 50s orange paisley shirtdress and a baby pink cashmere cardigan with a black trompe l’oeil collar. I even wore the dress out of the store!
Kitsch’n Swell, 3968 St Laurent, Montrèal
We stopped next door at Kitsch’n Swell, and I wanted to move and live there! The store is set up like an apartment, full of ephemera, housewares and furniture in vignettes resembling a dining room and living room complete with faux fireplace. They also sell some apparel and accessories: we saw some fabulous plaid skirts, leather gloves and amazing sunglasses. Can I move in?
Le Marché Mtl, 24 Avenue Des Pins
A couple of block further down, a pink awning beckoned us on Avenue Des Pins. It was the girly Marché Mtl, a tiny boutique chock-full of emerging designers. On the vintage angle, it featured an extensive selection of vintage boots and belts.
As you can see from the photo, I immediately reached out to grab a pair of split vamp eel skin booties… Alas, they were too small and I had to settle for fabulous vintage suede Casadei pumps in duotone black and pink with a fringe on the back. Poor me , right? *wink*
While there I also discovered Worn Journal, which was already worthy of its own post. I was very tempted to buy the vintage horse purse too (pictured), but it was out of my price range, especially after the Canadian 13% sales tax.
After Marché Mtl, we went a few more blocks down Blvd. Saint-Laurent until we reached Eva B (2013 Blvd. Saint-Laurent). This vintage store is enourmous, so we were glad that they also had a small bar with stools where we recharged with some iced tea. The people there were super nice, writing away with feathered pens while taking our order.
After the much-needed hydration, I browsed interminable racks of clothes, bins of scarves and even tried on many costume options, a category in which they specialize (they even rent some of them).
Tomatoes, Cheese & Crepes at Marché Jean-Talon, 7075 Ave. Casgrain
Me, enjoying a small cup of blueberry chocolate & cassis sorbets from Havres aux Glaces, in the Jean-Talon Market. Vintage ring from Lexington Park Antiques, Asheville, NC . Vintage sapphire earrings, bought in Austin, TX.
While vintage shopping is definitely our favorite pasttime, eating follows a close second. MP recommends checking out the Marché Jean-Talon, where the best food is there to be tried, bought, eaten or taken home. Being the 5-year-olds we are, we feasted on crepes and then ice cream from Havres aux Glaces. I picked the blueberry chocolate sorbet and the cassis sorbet in a small cup. Jon chose dark chocolate and chai tea gelato. We also bought some cheese & bread for a late night snack.
Our other favorite eating spot was Kitchen Galerie (60 Jean-Talon), where we had an amazing dinner one night. The service was outstanding, and we had copious amounts of foie gras. Jon had the seared foie gras with spice bread and caramelized fruit, and I ordered the terrine, which they actually cook in the dishwasher! For main course he ordered bison and I had fish. One of the best meals we’ve had.
BEFORE: Our seafood platter from Le Pois Penché, 1230 Bd de Maisonneuve O.
An honorable mention also goes to the Le Pois Penché, a gem of a bistro in the restaurant dead-zone that is Downtown Montrèal. We arrived late (10:30pm) and the kitchen was still open (apparently, a rarity!). We were warmly welcomed and the waiter recommended an excellent Viognier to go with our extravagant seafood platter (hey, we were on vacation!).
We wanted to dine in Old Montrèal one night, so enticed by this blog, we looked into going to Garde-Manger. Unfortunately it was closed for filming. We then tried L’Original, by the same people, but the only had a spot for 6:30pm. We ended up at Da Emma, which came highly recommended. The space is amazing and very romantic, but the food was not up-to-par, in our opinions (we were pretty spoiled by then, as you can see!). I think we should’ve probably gone at 6:30 to L’Original. Oh well, next time!
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