Last Summer I dropped by to Montreal to visit family and fell in love with the city. There’s just this charm in the area and the sweetest Canadians all in one place. As I love compiling little guides, here is a mini one if you’re ever visiting Montreal, Canada anytime soon. Where to have Smoked meat, beavertails, shop and pamper yourself…
Montreal has good food, so there’s literally a ton worth checking out. During my trip, I went for the Montreal classics… For Juicy philly cheese steak spring rolls, head down to Deville Dinerbar, the American restaurant on Stanley street in the heart of Downtown Montreal. Don’t forget to also order the Fried Pickles! Don’t leave without trying the famous Smoked Meat, Rubens or Schwartz – more variety at Rubens and more authentic/casual at Schwartz. Lastly, this has got to be my favourite dessert in the world, so don’t leave without having it – Beavertails. The most delicious fried pastry doughs – they have toppings like cookies n cream to Reese’s peanut butter, but I suggest you go for the best – the classic cinnamon sugar and a slice of lemon.
Feel like you’re in your own home… Rouge Nail Bar
Possibly the chain out of the 3, Rouge Nail Bar have several branches in the city but it’s anything but commercial. If I had to describe my experience, it would be cosy and comfortable. Non stop movies, feels like you’re sitting at home getting pampered. Relaxed atmosphere, the treatments take place on your chosen sofa area, and the technician ends up coming to you with all her tools. When I was there, ‘The Wedding Planner’ was playing (TV’s are placed all over the salon so you can watch it wherever you’re sitting, even at the dryer!). They had a vast range of polish brands for one salon (which is always lovely…) OPI, Essie, CND Vinylux, to Butter London nail polish. Overall, I highly recommend the salon – only downfall was that you can’t do the mani and pedi simultaneously. A manicure costs CAD25 and Recommended technician: Saede.
For Clean pampering… Nstyle
Yes, Dubai’s Nstyle exists in Montreal – and it looks exactly the same… Crazy, huh? Perfect if you’d like the clean, pampered, high quality salon service (like the salons in Dubai). By McGill, Nstyle is situated at the Place Montreal trust mall. Clean interiors, white theme with a blue wall and TV with movies all round. (headset available) If you’d like eye extensions, Tanya is great – however I wouldn’t recommend it if you have sensitive eyes because the glue is quite strong. Overall, great nail spot for Shellac or CND’s Vinylux – ask for Elena for a sleek manicure.
For Japanese Nail art & the most natural looking lashes… Candy Nail Bar.
Before I headed back to Dubai, I checked out this quirky salon called Candy nail bar – really fun, retro looking with a palette of hot pink and black owned by a talented lady I had the pleasure of meeting (and even getting my nail art done by her!), Tammy. The salon, which is incredibly spacious pretty much do everything but are known their Nail Art and very recently, their lash bar. I started my appointment with lash extensions – can I just say Ashandra gives the most natural looking lash extensions I’ve ever had done. They don’t feel heavy at all, look very similar to my natural lashes, work well with the no-make up look and lasted a good several weeks to a month. (I highly recommend them for really good lashes…) and the bed they have at the salon, is perfect for catching up on sleep time whilst getting your lash extensions applied. After the lash bar, I went to get my nails done to try Candy Bar’s famous nail art. I will say, it was not one of the best manicures I got but it’s definitely a place to visit for fun nails. I got a Harajuku girl hand drawn by the lovely, Tammy. (and that’s only just a basic, they do everything from Disney nail art to 3D embellishments)
For one of the best gyms… MAA Club Sportif
I visit gyms and fitness studios all around the world, so I usually can label if one is good or bad. I very rarely find much impressive but MAA, Montreal’s luxe sports club (I’d compare it to Virgin Active in the UK) is definitely one to visit if you’re ever in the city. Huge, a full on gym, several classes taking place simultaneously as well as large changing rooms (with enough lockers for everyone in the gym, mouth wash, deo to showers, straighteners AND hair ties!), and a Bistro (which I never had the chance to check out). During my week pass, I managed to take some Aerial Yoga classes, Barre and pilates. Starting with Aerial Yoga – the Aerial Yoga classes are on another level compared to the ones I’ve taken in Dubai – the instructors are amazing – helpful & motivating… it’s an actual workout (I felt it the next day) and you still get your Yoga deep stretching. Barre Blitz, taught by the fab Suad (who pushed you to your limits, and I love it.) is a great Barre class to try – it definitely had more dance/ballet than other barre classes I’ve taken but I loved the athletic touch during the Abs section. I just wasn’t impressed with Pilates but that will slip because of all the other fab classes! I need to try hot barre the next time I’m in town…
I don’t do much shopping in Montreal except for two spots – Editorial (a multi-brand super cool boutique on Stanley Street) and Lululemon for Fitness clothes (I mean, it’s from Canada.)
For more recommendations from my trip, check out @myfashdiary on instagram.