October 26th, 2012
Bonnard, Manet, Monet, Tissot, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir… talk about a not-to-be-missed exhibit!
One of the world’s most extraordinary art collections was amassed by Singer sewing machine heir Robert Sterling Clark and now resides at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Lucky for us, it under renovation.
Why lucky? It means that the collection is travelling and “Once upon a time… Impressionism” is at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – the show’s only Canadian stop before heading overseas – until January 20.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Don’t miss it! —Christine Laroche
Photo: © The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA, 1994.2
September 28th, 2012
Look out: There’s a new girl in town.
The bronze statue at the entrance of the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal has lent its name to a posh new lobby bar: Alice. Dreamt up by interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud (her client list includes Hotel Bel-Air and the Carlyle, for starters), the lounge’s vibe is cool and modern, with a chic '70s twist.
When we grab a seat at plush velvet chairs by the windows overlooking Sherbrooke Street, we’ll order Alice, a blend of vodka, crème de cassis, cranberry and lemon.
Santé! – Nina Mourin
1050 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-284-1100, www.omnihotels.com
September 6th, 2012
For this 4th edition of Fashion’s Night Out, an initiative launched by Anna Wintour to boost the economy during the recession that has now turned into global shopping extravaganza, Old Montreal is getting in on the action.
Saint-Paul Street’s best boutiques – think Denis Gagnon, Ssense, Cahier d’Exercises, Reborn, Quai 417 and more – will be in party mode from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., offering special offers, gifts, meet-and-greets with designers and a ton of surprises.
See you at #FNO, a.ka. the season’s most fun-filled fashion soirée. —Christine Laroche
July 3rd, 2012
Evil UV rays must be blocked, but is the list of unpronounceable ingredients contained in chemical sunscreens really better? It’s hard to say, but thankfully, we’ve found a sweet solution.
Coola Sunscreen SPF 35 Spray ($32 at Chapters is made from 97 per cent natural ingredients. Think soothing aloe, cucumber and algae extract as well as red raspberry seed oil—a natural sunscreen with anti-inflammatory properties.
The weightless formula contains no nanoparticles, its spray format is easy to use and the pina colada or mimosa fragrances are incredibly addictive.
The only thing missing? A paper umbrella. -Christine Laroche
Chapters, 1171 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, 514-849-8825, www.chapters.indigo.ca
June 20th, 2012
Another year, another eclectic lineup. Here are the three shows that top our must-see list.
Last time she was in Montreal, she played at Osheaga right before Eminem. Let’s just say the ambience was very, very different than it will be at her highly anticipated Metropolis show on June 27th. ($50.37).
She has written songs for the likes of Leona Lewis and Cheryl Cole, is Simon Cowell’s favourite singer/songwriter and is buzzed to be the next Adele. That’s all the convincing we need to check her out at Club Soda on July 2nd ($25.92)
These local boys have played countless shows in Montreal— most of which we’ve attended! — but the energy of their festival-closing show on July 7th (free) is bound to be electrifying. —Christine Laroche
Montreal Jazz Festival, www.montrealjazzfest.com
June 13th, 2012
Four years and $200 million later, the restoration of Montreal’s historic Ritz-Carlton Hotel is complete. And it was worth the wait.
While we look forward to booking a modern-chic room for a very special staycation (from $425 per night, and up to $10,000 for the 4,700 sq. foot Royal Suite) and enjoying amenities like the salt water pool, Bulgari toiletries and even a Ritz rubber duckie, we’ll also be visiting this swank spot for quick culinary escapes.
Whether it’s tea in the glorious gardens or dinner at the brand-new Maison Boulud, the latest outpost (and sole Canadian spot) from famed Chef Daniel Boulud, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the city’s gems that’s ours for the re-discovery.
Take that, boutique hotels! —Christine Laroche
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1228 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-842-4212, www.ritzmontreal.com
May 22nd, 2012
Beauty capsule collections typically come from the Nicki Minajs of the world, but we love that Lancôme has kept things a little bit closer to home.
Renowned Quebec-born artist Corno has collaborated with Lora Spiga, the brand’s Official Makeup Artist, to concoct a collection that is both colourful and playful. From the silky shades to the exclusive painting on the packaging, the artiste’s signature is evident.
Our two summer go-tos? Color Design Lip Colour in SOS Pink ($27), a bright-but-not-too-flashy shade and Color Design 5 Shadow and Liner Palette in Golden Frenzy ($54) for a soft golden look.
Time to paint ourselves pretty! —Christine Laroche
At the Bay, 585 Ste-Catherine St. W., 514-281-4422, www.lancome.ca
May 16th, 2012
It’s noon. We’re downtown. Are we doomed to dine on food court falafel?
Thankfully not, now that we’ve discovered Vinizza Osteria. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this Italian eatery’s original outpost is near Jean Talon Market.
So rather than heading up north to Little Italy, we’ll happily pop into the Metcalfe location and indulge in some surprisingly light Calamari Fritti ($12) and a Pizza di Buffala ($18), which is topped with melt-in-your-mouth buffalo mozzarella and baked fresh in the wood-burning oven.
Simple, delicious food, a sophisticated atmosphere… Ciao, food court! —Christine Laroche
Vinizza Osteria, 2044 Metcalfe St., 514-849-2044, www.vinizza.com
May 15th, 2012
They may be opposing trends but they’re both sartorial hits this season, as well as great ways to support the cause today on National Denim Day.
In one corner, brightly hued jeans for look-at-me-legs. Jewel tones, neons, – anything goes, and we’re partial to this pair from Dynamite ($39.90) because $2 of the purchase price will be donated to the Cure Foundation.
In the other corner, whites. Will they cost a small fortune in Tide to Go sticks and bleach? Probably, but a crisp pair (like this style from Buffalo, $99) seems to make everything feel new and fresh this season.
The only team we can commit to 100 per cent? Team fight breast cancer. —Christine Laroche
Dynamite, 1111 Ste-Catherine St. W. Buffalo, 1223 Ste-Catherine St. W., 514-845-1816, www.curefoundation.com
May 8th, 2012
Here are the season’s very best makeup palettes – for any budget! Bonus: Presented with a bouquet of peonies, any one of them makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift.
The luxe-looking jade-inspired packaging of the Quo Eye Shadow Trio ($15 at Pharmaprix) is to our vanity what the brightening shades (boosted with vitamin E and jojoba see oil) are to our face: An instant pick-me-up! Pharmaprix, 1 Place Ville Marie, 514-866-9881, www.pharmaprix.ca
Because a glow-y complexion is decidedly in and tanning is obviously out, we’re sweeping on some sunshine with Lise Watier Summer Sunset Bronzing Powder ($35 at Lise Watier counters). We especially love the bright pink shade: Perfect for a bolder look. www.lisewatier.com
The six shades inside the limited edition Guerlain Météorites Perles d’Azure ($66 at Guerlain counters) correct and even out skin tone while the shades on display in the Pucci-designed packaging are an always-welcome hint of luxury. The Bay, 585 Ste-Catherine St. W., 514-281-4422 —Christine Laroche