Those of you that regularly read The Grey Traveller know that I love a tall building especially when visiting a new city. It’s the ideal way to get the lay of the land, to understand the shape of a city and to organise what you what to do and see whilst visiting, maybe its the geographer in me but I love to see how a city grows, how a river cuts through and how areas have different styles of building etc.
So nearly as soon as I touched down I headed for Au Sommet in Place de Ville Marie in downtown Montreal. You are whisked away up 44 storeys and reach a vestibule for coats and your first glimpse of a bird’s eye view of this lovely Canadian city, made extra special by a thick layer of newly laid snow, I was in heaven, well I felt close having reached the dizzy heights of a skyscraper.
The staff are friendly and they found me a cosy stool by the bar whilst I sipped a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon and took in the views. Great ambience, a mix of family, work colleagues and friends were eating lunch and the mix works well. I made a second visit in my short stay in the city and I can not recommend it enough.
For a complete contrast and actually not that far away on Metcalfe I found the little Dominion Taverne a bar recommended by colleagues back in blighty.
Gold, marble and mirrors give a welcome glow on a snowy day and again I had a nice seat at the bar where I watched the waiters mix and twist the afternoon away over yet another Sauvignon. I loved the ladder on wheels which is used to reach the high bottles and I loved the brass washstand in the ladies toilet down below the bar.
Like all Montreal folk we met the staff were friendly and it offered a warm welcome after the cut and thrust of St Catherine’s and sales shoppers.
If I get back to that city one day I will get back to both of those bars, but meanwhile I will recommend both to you…….cheers!