Portraiture in Plastic
French shutterbug Valérie Belin uses found objects, doll heads, and lifelike mannequins as her subjects, creating striking photographs that straddle the line between still-life and sculpture. Belin’s exhibition at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, “Surface Tension,” showcases more than 50 pieces from her surreal body of work.
What’s black, white, and maroon all over? That would be the 23 très chic rooms at Hôtel Chez Swann, in downtown Montreal. Dreamed up by interior designer Mary Moegenburg, the accommodations come outfitted with luxe bathrooms (peek-a-boo showers, rain shower heads, prettifying products from local boutique Bella Pella) and bespoke furnishings from local artisans. If you’re looking to keep up your daily fitness regimen, stop by the hotel’s spin room. If you’re looking for a weekend indulgence, don’t miss the French brasserie dining at the affiliated Le Pois Penché next door.
Situated in the city’s lively Quartier Des Spectacles district, Bar Mme. Lee is the ideal spot to soak in the local music scene, lounge over elegant small plates (think: bison carpaccio and chorizo-stuffed figs), and enjoy specialty libations in a dimly lit corner. After a seven-month-long renovation, the tiny restaurant embraces an industrial-modern look, and its neighborhood—the wooden tables, for instance, are a design nod to the wood-paneled home of the Montreal symphony orchestra, the epicenter of music in the city. Late-night DJ sets attract a crowd of concertgoers and club-hoppers.
Auberge du Vieux-Port
Once the site of two industrial warehouses, this elegant hotel boasts 45 guest rooms set against 19th-century details such as brick and stone walls and post-and-beam ceilings. The rooftop bar, Terrasse sur l’Auberge, has panoramic views of the Saint Lawrence River and the Old Port Historic Harbor.
This edgy boutique hotel near the shopping and nightlife of Boulevard St. Laurent offers 136 guest rooms and a complimentary Mercedes chauffeur service to downtown locations within 3 miles.
St. Paul Hotel
Situated in Old Montreal, St. Paul Hotel features a modern-minimalist interior within a historical 1908 high rise that once housed the Canadian Express railway company.
This newcomer is worth seeking out for contemporary Turkish cuisine, with fusion dishes like “Ottoman poutine,” as well as classics like chicken mutancana with fig and almond.
Serving drafts from a Quebec microbrewery as well as locally roasted coffee, this airy Latin Quarter spot is popular with the lunch crowd for its Neapolitan-style pizzas and shareable salads.
A new upscale seafood restaurant in the city’s Villeray section, Huis Clos takes its name from a 1944 play by the French philosopher and playwright Jean Paul Sartre. The space itself takes cues from industrial design, yet still invokes the feeling of a neighborhood joint with its warm lighting and barstool seating.