May 15th, 2013
Passport 3B ($150) offers one admission to each of the area’s top relaxation spots: Soak in the sunshine on the deck of Old Montreal’s Bota Bota; get your zen on with a floating session at the Plateau’s Bathroom and make it a day trip to Bromont’s idyllic Balnéa.
Bonjour, bliss. —Christine Laroche
April 19th, 2013
If our body is a temple, it only makes sense to work out in a place of worship.
Easier said that done, until Le Saint-Jude opened its doors earlier this month. The stunning spa/gym is built inside a church – an endeavor that has already earned the project’s architect several accolades.
With services that range from daily group exercise classes to water circuits (yup – the space features two saunas and an outdoor hot tub/lounge area), going to the gym was never more tempting.
Hallelujah! —Christine Laroche
3988 St-Denis St., Montreal, 514-668-3452, www.spasaintjude.ca
November 13th, 2012
Our Lebanese love affair started innocently enough with hummus and pita.
Then we moved onto mankoushe, a rolled pizza that looked ordinary enough but tasted oh-so-divine.
Now, when lunchtime rolls around, we can’t help but pop in to Trip de Bouffe, a new Lebanese bakery/take-out counter on Mont-Royal Avenue, to see what unpronounceable but delectable delights are on the menu.
Adieu, food court Lebanese – we have an all-new love. —Christine Laroche
277 Mont-Royal Ave. E., Montreal, 438-381-4383, www.tripdebouffe.com
October 12th, 2012
When it comes to brunch, we’re into the tried, tested and true but sometimes it’s time for something new.
The Sunday morning spot that’s quickly become our fave is a quaint, bright and girly spot tucked in a tiny space off Laurier Avenue. Pâtisserie Rhubarbe is equal parts chic, charming and, bien sûr, delicious.
Pop in for a pastry from Wednesday to Saturday, but come Sunday, it’s all about brunch. The menu changes weekly but one thing is constant: It will be the yummiest part of the day.
Settle in early – it’s small and fills up fast! – for an extra-sweet Sunday. —Christine Laroche
5091 de Lanaudière, Montreal, 514-903-3395, www.patisserierhubarbe.com
August 3rd, 2012
Gilford is a tiny street that thinks big.
The itty-bitty block between St-Denis and Rivard streets (now open to pedestrians only) has long been destination for grilled cheese lovers: L’Emporte Pièce whips up one of the city’s best.
Its new neighbour? Montreal’s second Müvbox, a solar-powered lobster roll restaurant housed inside a shipping container.
And the festivities aren’t just about food: the Gilford en Vacances installation also features a shady spot for lounging in lawn chairs, a sandbox, historical lectures and a Givebox: Put something in, take a treasure home.
Great things come in small spaces. —Christine Laroche
Check Gilford out on Facebook.
July 24th, 2012
We're ready for the Main event.
Boutique 1861 has opened a second location (its original spot is on Sainte-Catherine West), offering its mix of high-low clothing, statement accessories and footwear.
With flirty and feminine offerings including Montreal labels Coccolily and Arti Gogna, Canadian brand Pink Martini and California’s BB Dakota, each item is as on-trend as it is highly covetable… and affordable! Price points range from $45 to $200.
Just as enchanting as the clothing is the Marie Antoinette-inspired décor, brimming with boudoir chic from the vintage-looking furniture and girly accents.
Any fashionista’s dream closet? Oui, oui! —Karin Eldor
Boutique 1861, 3670 Boul. St-Laurent, Montreal, 514-670-6110, www.facebook.com/pages/1861
June 5th, 2012
If the bicycle pillow in the window is a nod to a new St-Laurent Boulevard store’s previous roots – a bike shop – the rest of the new homewares shop couldn’t be more different.
Our biggest issue with V de V? The overwhelming desire to take everything home, including a large distressed wood table ($1,000), gorgeous vintage-inspired suspension lamp ($130) and fabulous statement-making ring (at $10, this one made it home!).
From quirky books and home accessories to vintage-esque hardware and furniture, we could spend hours scouring the stellar selection housed in the adorable two-floored store.
If home is where the heart is, ours is at V de V! –Christine Laroche
V de V, 5042 St-Laurent Blvd., 514-277-8484, www.vdevmaison.com
May 28th, 2012
Going the traditional route for pastel tips – a.k.a. one of the summer’s hottest hair trends – will cost a ton of time, money and your hair’s health. Thankfully, there’s a plan B.
Meet our favourite little critter, Color Bug by Kevin Murphy ($20), a petite pod that’s packed with highly pigmented powder. Available in purple, orange and pink, simply rub it on your strands (which have been prepped with pomade for maximum hold and intensity) for instant, temporary colour. Welcome to the wonderful world of (temporary) colour, commitment-phobes! –Christine Laroche
At Salon Pause Coiffure, 4701 St-Denis St., 514-564-5996, www.kevinmurphy.com.au
May 7th, 2012
If Banana Republic and Lacoste had a love child, it would be Eden Park.
We fell in love with the preppy separates and our hearts melted at the sight of the striped Thempta shirt, which can go from work to play to even a terrace with the gals. Add some white skinnies, moccasins and cat-eyed shades and voila: Prep school cool.
Look out for the Canadian flagship store next year: It’s rumoured to be opening in trendy De La Montagne. —Nina Mourin
Valerie Simon, 366 Laurier Ave. W., 514-272-0618, www.uk.eden-park.com
June 20th, 2011
We’re more into spinning records than spinning our wheels, but ask us to pedal to heavy metal and we’ll be at the head of the pack in no time.
Cadence Cycle spinning studio is drawing in devotees who come to clip in and burn calories in the non-stop ride set to a mixed-on-the-spot playlist of pumped up tracks. Log in to choose the class that fits your schedule (rides start at $25 each) and join in a group sweat session that feels more like dancing to the beat on a bike than exercising to exhaustion.
You spin me right ‘round, baby. Right ‘round.—JN
Cadence Cycle, 2585 Bates Rd., Montreal, 514-733-8111, www.cadence-cycle.com