After my solo road trip through the South visiting Palm Beach, Savannah and Charleston (which you can read about here, here and here), I was more than excited to head to Montreal to meet my husband for a long weekend. Not only because there is almost nothing I enjoy more than exploring beautiful and exciting places with my husband but also because Montreal has been on my travel wish list for such a long time! We originally planned our trip to Montreal especially to see the Formula 1. However, the Formula 1 turned out not to be the highlight of the trip (even my husband who is a huge Formula 1 fan will attest to that), Montreal itself stole the spotlight!
Maybe it was because it was Formula 1 weekend or perhaps it was the wonderful weather but the entire city seemed to be a hive of activity. So, after checking into our hotel and freshening up, we headed out to Dorchester Square where festivities were well underway and we quickly found the Chandon stand, grabbed a glass of champagne, and sat under the maple trees taking it all in and enjoying the afternoon sun. Later, on our way down Rue Sainte-Catherine to Foodlab for some small bites on the roof, we walked through another festival – some sort of French street music festival. For dinner that night, we went to Joe Beef and sat at the loveliest little table outside among garden beds full of herbs and vegetables and had an absolute feast. My only word of warning is that there is no menu to look at so listen very closely to the waiter/waitress when they tell you about the specials of the day as my husband almost ended up with horse fillet!
The following day, after a lovely breakfast outside at Café Parvis, we headed straight to Old Montreal and wandered along the cobbled streets past the loveliest shops and restaurants with goods and tables spilling out onto the walkways. We also passed a number of churches and museums but not wanting to spend too much of the beautiful day indoors, I opted to just visit the impressive Notre-Dame Basilica. After watching the Formula 1 qualifying, we headed for a late lunch at Terrasse Nelligan before wandering back along the Promenade to our hotel where we decided to put our feet up for the night knowing that the next day would be a busy one.
The following day was race day so we got up early and headed straight to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The track is actually rather beautiful and we wandered around taking in the atmosphere and enjoying some of the Porsche and Ferrari races before the main event. Just before 2pm we found our seats in the grandstands but the race turned out to be so boring, it basically finished exactly as it started, and we left before the checkered flag.
That night we went to Griffintown for drinks at Grinder and then shared the most divine meal at Meatball House. After a failed attempt to watch the sunset from Mt Royal, we called it a night.
On our last morning, I still had a long list of things I wanted to do and areas I wanted to explore but given our limited time we decided to head back to Old Montreal to a little restaurant we had spotted two days before, Tommy, for breakfast. Before heading to the airport we grabbed coffee and some divine pastries from Bar A Beurre and sat in the sun on Place Jacques-Cartier chatting about our wonderful time in Montreal, both agreeing that three nights was simply not enough time to explore this magical city and that we would have to return.