Travel Blog: Diaries from our Porter Escapes Trip to Old Montreal

Rise and shine!

(This post chronicles our second day in Old Montreal with Porter Escapes. If you missed the post chronicling the first day of our trip, check it out here.)

10am: We sleep in! We didn’t realize that — in addition to the water bottles and chocolate — the turndown service at Place d’Armes also shut our blackout blinds, so every time I opened my eyes and didn’t see sun I went back to bed. Ha! I’m actually really happy about this because I haven’t slept past 8am in ages. I think every vacation should have at least one mandatory “sleep the heck in” day.

I hop out of the shower and lounge in my robe as we get ready to toot around the city by foot before lunch.

11am: At last night’s dinner, we got to meet Danny Smiles and he recommended we try Olive et Gourmando for lunch, which is owned by the same people who own Foxy, where we have dinner reservations. We saunter the few blocks here and put in our name to be seated. It’s an hour wait, but after seeing and smelling the inside, we decide it’s worth the wait so we kill time walking around the streets that surround the cafe — and let’s be honest, we were yet to grow hungry after last night’s dinner, so the stroll is a welcome change of plan. Another welcome surprise is a dress I find in a cool only-one-of-each-size shop across the street.

12:30: We’re seated at a tiny, quaint table at Olive et Gourmando and place our beverage orders: a Sencha green tea for me, and a cappuccino for my better half. It’s busy and bustling and cute in here. Think chalkboard walls, warm lighting, old wine bottle water tumblers, French music playing, and yummy smells. Every plate that goes by looks delicious. Definitely a must-visit.

We debate ordering bacon, eggs and tots, but after eating rich yesterday we both ordered big, healthy salads and they are absolutely delicious! Before we leave, I buy a big bag of their house-made gluten-free muesli to take home.

2pm: After lunch, we putz around some more, but it doesn’t take long before the cold begins to freeze my tukus off, so we decide to pop into the hotel for an hour to layer-up before heading out again. As we unload into our room, I discover a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and macaroons sent to us from the hotel with a card wishing us a enjoyable stay — so thoughtful (and so very welcome).

3pm: We bundle up and head back out to take more photos and continue exploring. We make notes of the places we want to visit and eat at next time we come back. If you even visited for a year, I don’t think you’d make it out to every restaurant and attraction tucked into every street and alleyway that Old Montreal has to offer.

 

It’s so cold out that many people aren’t milling about which makes for some cool photos. The streets are empty and beautiful and poetic.

  

Just as we begin growing too cold, we tuck back into the hotel to get ready for dinner.

6pm: We hop out of our Uber (the first one we’ve taken since getting here because everything has been so close and central to the hotel), and walk into Foxy. We’re immediately relaxed and consumed by the atmosphere. Sounds of jazz music play atop the hum of people talking, all gathered intimately at small tables. It’s dimly lit with candles and perforated fabric-swaddled pendant lights, and we’re sidled up at the bar, side-by-side. We both defer to the bartender and order whatever wine she recommends will go best with our food.

We tuck into our appetizer–the charred coleslaw with pulled duck–and fall in love. It’s easily the best plate of food I’ve ever had in my life. For our entrees, I order the hanger steak with grilled endive caesar salad and Shawn gets the wood-oven roast chicken. Foxy wins the award for best meal experience in my books. It’ll be hard to find something to trump this night.

9pm: Before heading to bed, we decide to have a night cap at Suite 701, the bar connected to Place d’Armes. I’m so tired I can barely finish my cocktail, so by 10pm we head to bed and hit the hay.