So, dear reader, you probably don’t know this about me… but I have a secret love affair with all things French… well, it dates to my childhood in India and having French cousins, who would visit Bombay in the summers and in this surreal, smooth language… and I so wanted to know what they were saying…
Well, it’s a bit of that and a bit of spending a lot of time over the years in France and feeling, truly feeling like I always left a little part of me behind. Well France has not been on my “plan des voyages” for some time now… but I do live in a francophone country – one of the reasons I chose to move here au Canada – and this past weekend, I finally had my real taste of la belle ville Montreal. We were there to teach some workshops at Centre Luna Yoga in vieux Montreal.
Here’s some of my top Montreal picks from our 3 day, 3 night weekend… And you thought all yogis did was meditate and drink chai… hmmm
Stay at the Opus hotel: an old-world meets hipster boutique hotel in a very central location at Sherbrooke and St. Laurent. I love the architecture which incorporated the old heritage structure which has so much charm.
to mont-royal park. i finally did this on our last evening there. enjoy spectacular views of the city from the mountain and join in on the tam-tam drumming and dancing fest if you happen to go on a sunday evening as we did.
at the opus’s koko lounge, which serves up a great breakfast. you won’t believe the strawberry-banana jam (i know, but trust me) it is delicious.
at dinner, Koko is filled with montreal’s “bold + beautiful” crowd, vying for the bartender’s attention. we sampled some of the asian inspired cuisine. Koko’s agedashi tofu arrived atop a bed of delicious veggies and i was in heaven.
go where the montreal vegan-ese go and eat at eaux-vivre. a casual, friendly and chicly designed vegan restaurant, also on St. Laurent. Try their dragon bowl and coco-banana smoothie. Yum.
in a pinch, you can also eat at local health food store Rachelle Berry where we found some good organic carrot soup and raw banana bread. I also found a great locally made brand of kombucha that was not too sweet.
Escape to Morocco and Bali with a signature massage at Espace Nomad, which is across eaux vivre. this was definitely the eco-chic neighbourhood of the city. I would have stayed at Espace longer if we hadn’t had to leave to teach a yoga workshop – oops that is why we were here after all.
Practice yoga at Centre Luna: this light-filled, high-ceilinged studio in Vieux Montreal is run by the lovely Jennifer Maagendans, who has created a community of sweet, like-minded souls. We enjoyed the space and all the good people it attracted.
the awesome folks at Ascent Magazine or practice at their glorious Ra’dha Yoga Studio. On Gilford Avenue. If you’re interested in the socio-cultural aspects of yoga and spirituality and the green movement, read Ascent. It is intelligent, inspiring and beautifully designed publication.
preloved is a Canadian chain but their Montreal store had a huge selection of their sweater dresses, tunics and skirts. Located on Saint Laurent, it was hipster heaven with a sustainable spin. I bought a gorgeous sweater dress pieced together with some cosy, old sweaters.
Eco-Darling: On Villeneuve, a beautiful eco-home design store that is a partnership with Sarah Hanneman’s roccoco-vintage designs. Find recycled and sustainable objets d’art for your home here.
moroccan green mint tea, poured the traditional way at Rumi, a Sufi inspired, middle-eastern restaurant where the soft lighting and mellow vibe make you want to read the rubbaiyaat of omar khayyam.
5198, Hutchison Street, Montreal, QC