We plan to go to Montreal the day after being back from New York. It was way too impossible: I was working on Tuesday morning and we still haven’t rented a car. Moreover, the police called me: I lost my wallet the week before while biking and it was found on the street! I need to pick it up, and I’m finally able to buy some Christmas gifts. We are ready to go at 6pm and since we’re already tired, I find an AirBnb on the way up North, in Vermont.
9pm. We stop at Manchester, NH, one of the only cities by the highway. Republic seems to be a nice place to have dinner: it’s actually the first farm-to-table restaurant of New Hampshire. Our waiter is passionate about the specials tonight, and we eat way too much… It is delicious, Middle East inspired tapas.
11.30pm. We finally make it to the B&B. It has been a few miles that we see snow by the side of the road, it looks pretty, even in the dark. Evelyne greets us in her super cosy family house from 1840. There’s a wood oven and a friendly cat, Tsunami.
It’s already time to leave to Montreal, there is a 3 hour drive. It’s raining and the temperature is over 0 celsius, so it means no snow. Everything has melted already. We cross the border with no specific question – though we say we bought jams. We arrive in Montreal around 1pm and I’m happy to be with my cousin Marie-Laure. We do pretty much nothing during the afternoon, the weather is extra gloomy and we have food to make for the Christmas’ Eve. I take the time to go to a great bakery, Mamie Clafoutis. It will be closed after Christmas for a few days. Living in the US for 3 years, I forgot that shops are actually closed at this time of year.
Marie-Laure has prepared a list of activities around Montreal. I love that, I don’t have to make any decision. Since the weather is still gloomy, it’s good to go outside the city. We go to the Omega park, which is some kind of Canadian safari: we stay in our car while driving slowly in nature, animals come around the car and we give them carrots. They drool all over the windows. Whatever, they’re cute.
Next stop on Marie-Laure’s program: Mont Tremblant. The road to go there is nicer than yesterday: it’s hilly and snowy. Tremblant is actually a modern ski resort, we walk in the streets enlightened Disney style. Marie Laure makes me promise to try to eat a beaver tail, that disgusts me but then realize it’s actually a sweet treat: it’s similar to fried dough with maple syrup or Nutella on tap. We try also some tire d’érable : somebody pours some hot maple syrup on a barrel full of ice, we put a stick on it, wait a minute or so, and then turn the stick around the maple syrup. Voilà! a lollipop. Delicious!
La Tire d’érable
Back in Montreal, we have poutine for dinner in a Portugese restaurant. For those of you who stil ignore this decadent quebecois dish, imagine a mix of French fries, gravy and cheddar.
December 27 th
We meet friends from Boston who are in Montreal as well for a brunch at l’Avenue. We had too much food the day before but Manu is down for the biggest brunch option called « Je veux toute » “I want everything”.
Then we leave my cousin, en route to Québec City! The road is flat and quite boring.
The AirBnb for tonight is close to the Old Quebec. We meet with a fellow blogger, E. in a crepe place. It’s good! Then we have some cocktails in the chic château Frontenac.
It’s fun to go around the small streets of Quebec City: it looks like a French tiny town, everything is in French, the buildings are mostly made of stone.
Brunch at l’Avenue
We spend one full day to discover Québec City. The town is up a rock and we can see the huge Saint Laurent River below. The streets go up and down. I’ll talk to you about this day on another article, here are a few pics.
Before heading back to Boston, we stop by the Chute Montmorency, a huge waterfall, higher than the Niagara Falls. There is a lot of people despite the bitting cold. We can’t go really close to the water…
Where we stop between Boston and Montréal:
Republic. An excellent tapas place in Manchester, NH. 1069 Elm Street
AirBnb in Vermont : this Bnb is mid-way between Boston and Montréal. This Bnb is close to the I89, it’s easy to find, and a really relaxing and beautiful farm. If you are not a member of AirBnb, subscribe through the blog to get a $25 coupon when you first travel – and we will get the same coupon as well!
Places I liked in Montréal:
Mamie Clafoutis, a great bakery, 3660 rue St Denis.
Ma poule mouillée: to eat Poutine portugese way, 969 rue Rachel Est
L’gros luxe – hipster feeling, super cheap brunch. 3807 Rue Saint-André
L’Avenue big plates, very tasteful, 922 Ave. Mont Royal.
AirBnb de Marie-Laure and Fabio’s AirBnb