Fall Getaway at Esterel Resort Hotel and Spa

nature, lake and hotel

Esterel Resort

Looking for a fall getaway around greater Montreal that matches your definition of relaxation? As temperature slowly drops, it’s the perfect time to escape and enjoy the fall foliage! Let us introduce you to Esterel Resort located in the Laurentians less than an hour away from Montreal city center.

Esterel Resort offers two accommodation experiences both with spacious suites, a Nordic Spa and three restaurants in the heart of nature. The resort is a veritable playground surrounded by two beaches, three navigable lakes and miles of forest. This fall, you will find here a wide range of fun outdoor activities to practice alone, among friends or as a couple.

hotel room

Esterel Hotel Evolution

Among the two accommodation experiences offered at Esterel Resort, Hotel Emotion suits best for a romantic getaway with warmth vibes while Hotel Evolution evokes soothing environment that showcases nature.

During our weekend at Esterel Resort, we stayed in a front-lake suite on the 4th floor at Hotel Evolution. The view was breathtaking and allowed us to make a good use of the large balcony overlooking Lake Dupuis! As shown in our Instagram stories, our elegant suite was spacious and equipped with a king-size bed plus a queen-size murphy bed, a fireplace, and a practical kitchenette. If you plan to stay for a long period, you will have enough place to cook in the kitchenette and enjoy your meals in the dining room.

nature, water and spa

Esterel Resort Spa

Esterel Resort Nordic Spa features a four-season panoramic pool, steam baths, hot tubs and Finnish sauna. The best way to relax and rejuvenate is to alternate the hot, cold and rest circuit a few times.

If you have never experienced sauna, here are few tips for you: before the sauna, take a shower and then dry off; in the sauna, select a place on the middle or upper bench and lay down on a towel for 10 to 15 minutes (you should spend the last 2 minutes sitting upright); after the sauna, proceed with cold water application by taking a cold water shower or plunging into a cold bath for 10 to 15 seconds, then breathe deeply to fill up with oxygen and have a rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the circuit as needed and stay hydrated by drinking the beverage of your choice.

nature, lake and sauna

Esterel Resort Sauna

After the Nordic Spa experience, dive into a world of well-being and relaxation at Amerispa’s health and beauty centre. Your body loves being pampered, take time for yourself and complete your Nordic Spa experience with quality massage therapy, skin care and body care treatments.

table, chairs and large windows

Esterel Resort – Bistro à Champlain

Esterel Resort houses three restaurants for fine dining, all with stunning views: Bistro à Champlain, Rok Restaurant, and 260° Restaurant Bar Terrace. Please note that bookings are mandatory for each restaurant, otherwise Esterel Resort is not able to guarantee availability of the restaurant.

food and rose wine

Bistro à Champlain – Vegetarian Menu

We had a reservation at Bistro à Champlain which recently moved at Esterel Resort and were very excited to taste the new four courses vegetarian and vegan menu. As vegan food enthusiasts, it’s always hard to choose items on the menu when we suddenly have plenty of choices. This is the reason why we make sure to choose different items so we are able to share together and taste more dishes.

food

Bistro à Champlain – Fresh Spring Rolls Creation

We had a great dining experience at Bistro à Champlain, the food was delightful and very well presented. Also, the service was warm and the waitress pleased all our requests. We strongly recommend to taste the fresh spring roll creation, and the chick pea and eggplant brick. Furthermore, the vegetarian menu is available at the three restaurants.

food

Bistro à Champlain – Chick Pea and Eggplant Brick

We thank Esterel Resort for taking care of us last weekend! Still wondering where to escape this fall? Catch a break from Montreal and taste the quiet life at Esterel Resort. Book your fall getaway for less with their last minute offers currently displayed at esterel.com. Hurry up, it’s for a limited time only!

Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe – A New Vegan Restaurant in Mile-End

terrace restaurant Délicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

Montreal’s Park avenue is home of some of the coziest restaurant in the city. Here you will find antiques shops, art galleries and numerous terraces. Across from the historic Rialto Theatre, Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe is the new vegan destination in Mile-End.

While browsing through Instagram, we stumbled upon a picture of a very intriguing pita sandwich. It featured delicious looking farro balls, a blend of peppers, onions, mushrooms, kale, romaine mix garnished with chickpeas, and cashew tzatziki sauce all rolled in a house-made pesto pita bread. We decided to try this new vegan restaurant for dinner and were amazed by the savory dishes prepared for us. Next, we took part of a photo contest launched for the restaurant opening and were the lucky winners of a 25$ gift card. Then, to our delight, Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe invited us for a special food tasting experience.

plant-based menu

Plant-based Menu – Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

From our conversation with Ilyas Butt, the owner, it is clear that he and the staff are passionate about providing customers with only the highest quality organic ingredients. We learned that fresh produce is brought to the restaurant up to three times per day.

Ilyas goes out of his way to gather local ingredients by involving farmers of neighboring areas of Montreal. additionally, he volunteers his own time to help the development of humanitarian projects focused on food allocation.

salad bowl, smoothie, spicy food

The Indian Diva – Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

On the menu, each dish offered contains unique combinations of ingredients. Moreover, spices from more than 50 countries are used to season them. At Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe, you find a different mix of flavors, texture, seasoning and intensity in all the dishes proposed on the menu. On top of sandwiches, burgers, signature bowls, and desserts, Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe offers creative breakfasts throughout the day.

Ilyas take us on a journey around the world starting with India by offering The Indian Diva signature bowl made of tandoori tofu cubes and potatoes, mixed of tasty vegetables and greens, fresh mango cubes, pumpkin seeds topped with a “kamasutra” dressing. Signature bowls come with a choice of organic soba noodles, tumeric quinoa or brown rice. For each section of the menu, various countries are featured such as South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, and many more.

food recipe, samosa

Samosa Recipe – Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

Among the sides items offered, we were obsessed with the samosas. Ilyas showed us every step of their preparation and admitted that the samosas are the most time-consuming item to prepare in the kitchen. The superfoods and spices used include goji berries, nigella seeds, chia seeds, and coriander. The result is simply delicious.

vegan gelato, ice cream

Gelato – Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

If you’re looking for a lighter dessert, try their house-made gelato. Choose from the classics like blueberry, mango, or passion fruit flavors, or opt for something adventurous such as kale, sweet corn, or tomato-cherry. We loved how refreshing and diversified the selection of ice creams was.

Depending of flavor or thickness, the gelato are made with base of soy or coconut milk, no stabilizer or gelling agents are used. The restaurant strives for limiting waste as much as possible, as a result only the necessary amount of ice cream is prepared daily. The freshness of the fruits and vegetables used for this ice cream makes for one-of-a kind flavor. Moreover, possibilities of flavor are limited by seasonal availability which means new flavors will be featured frequently.

Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe is the destination to experience international flavor. The quality of the ingredients used are second to none, and are all plant-based. Ilyas assured us new items will be featured regularly on the menu. We won’t tell you more, rather, we invite you to visit this new vegan restaurant.

Delicieux Veg Fusion Cafe

5718 Parc Avenue, Montreal

Opening hours: 8am – 9pm (daily)

Travel Destination: Algarve, Portugal

black lady travel blogger at Praia de Marinha Algavre Portugal

Praia de Marinha – Algarve

When we went to Lisbon for the first time two years ago, we totally fell in love with Portugal and made the promise to visit others parts in this country down the line. Back in June, we decided to visit Algarve, the southernmost region of continental Portugal.

Algarve is very famous for its impressive cliffs and its marvelous beaches such as Praia da Marinha which has been ranked one of the best beaches in Europe. Thanks to its breathtaking landscape, Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal.

blue sky, blue water and cliffs in Algarve Portugal

Praia da Marinha – Algarve

To explore what the region has best to offer, a number of operator tours propose activities and packages to admire the must-see places. For example, Carvoeiro Caves agency invites you to sail from Carvoeiro  to the famous Benagil cave going through breathtaking Praia da Marinha. After the tour, we recommend you to try A Marisqueira restaurant specialized in sea food and grilled dishes located about 500m up the main road east of Carvoeiro beach.

We chose Islands 4 You which is a new company offering boat tours in the Ria Formosa Natural Park and its incredible islands to visit the area. During the boat tour, we sail around secluded beautiful islands and stopped at Deserta, Farol, Culatra, and Armona.

Once the anchor dropped, we had a time window to visit the villages or take a swim in the crystal clear water. Each island has restaurants and bars offering local and international cuisine. In Armona, we went to Tolinhas restaurant specialized in sea food. Everything was so fresh and delicious that we forgot to watch the clock and were about to miss the boat departure (this is what happens when you are a foodie!)…

During the tour, we learned that the Ria Formosa Natural Park is the most important wildlife sanctuary in the Algarve and plays a considerable role in the conservation of the flora and fauna. With over 170 km², the park is a stopping place for different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods. If you are a nature lover, you will definitely enjoy yourself there!

crystal clear water and white sands Algarve Portugal

Ilha da Culatra – Algarve

Mosaic Armona

Mosaic in Armona – Algarve

The capital of the region is Faro which is best known for its cultural, artistic, and night life. The best way to visit the city is by foot while admiring the paved street and discover hidden beauties. In order to go back in time, walk around the charming well-preserved Old Town and visit the Cathedral of Faro (Sé de Faro in Portuguese).

Moreover, don’t miss the Municipal Museum of Faro where the archaeological collection is the most significant, with artifacts from pre-historical, roman, and medieval periods. Among the famous objects, you will find the busts of Emperor Hadrian and Agrippina the Younger.

Museum with inside garden in Faro

Municipal Museum of Faro – Algarve

Street of Faro and blue sky

Street of Faro – Algarve

To make the best of our stay, we opted for a central location in Faro and used hotels.com to book a room at Hotel Eva for one night. We loved the warm welcome from the hotel staff, the great amenities, and the brand new rooftop. As luck would have it, the night we stayed happened to be the rooftop opening night and we were invited to join the festivities. Moreover, we were delighted to have this incredible ocean view from our room.

sea, blue sky and boats

Ocean view from Hotel Eva – Algarve

At the departure from Paris Orly airport, a lot of airline companies offer regular flights to Portugal  which will allow you to discover the Algarve region, even just for a weekend. Low cost companies such as Transavia invite you to explore Portugal at a fair price! From Montreal Dorval airport, you will have at least one connecting flight on your route and will be able to find competitive prices on skyscanner, cheapoair, or priceline for example. So, what are you waiting for?

Le Blumenthal: new Montreal brasserie in Quartier des Spectacles

dinning room

Le Blumenthal

On May 15th, Le Blumenthal opened its doors at the Maison du Festival in the heart of Quartier des spectacles just right on time for summer season. This new Montreal brasserie hot spot is well located for a pre-show drink and meal.

We were invited last week for the opening cocktail to taste a glimpse of the menu headed by chef Rémi Brunelle (Leméac, Albert Bistro) and a selection of wine chosen by sommelier Jean Benoit Hinse. Le Blumenthal is the oasis of Quartier des spectacles and here are three reasons to try it!

1. THE DESIGN

You can’t miss the tree in the center of the dining room and the leaves all around the lounge, it’s so refreshing! This decorative touch where the city meets the countryside has been conceived by the Gauley Brothers, the ones behind places such as Foiegwa and Atwater Cocktail Bar.

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Dining Room

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Lounge

2. THE VIEW

Just steps from the Place des Festivals, the Blumenthal offers a stunning view day and night in the heart of the action. Moreover, during summer, the terrace has a capacity of 150-seat to welcome you!

dinning room

Le Blumenthal – Place des Festivals

3. THE MENU

You can enjoy “a cuisine that reflects our values” said chef Rémi Brunelle! In fusion with the green design, the menu includes choices of vegetarian dishes from starter to main course.

healthy food

Le Blumenthal – Starter: beets, ricotta and cress

food, burger

Le Blumenthal – Main course: Vegetarian Hambourgeois

Countdown to summer time has officially begun, see you on the terrace 🙂

Le Blumenthal

305 Ste Catherine Street West, Montreal

Open everyday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m

Photo credit: Patricia Brochu

Cannes Film Festival: Opening Cocktail at Mouton Cadet Wine Bar in Montreal

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar 2017 – Cannes Film Festival

For this 2017 edition of Cannes Film Festival, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA opened the doors of Mouton Cadet Wine Bar. Until May 28th, the terrace of the Palais des Festivals will be once again the meeting place for the cinema and also the place to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the festival, in a decor entirely conceived and decorated by the French decorative artist Mathias Kiss.

At this occasion, restaurant Le Richmond located in Montreal Griffintown neighborhood transformed its terrace by using the decor of Mouton Cadet Wine Bar to celebrate the opening of the Cannes Film Festival.

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar – Le Richmond

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar 2017 – Le Richmond

We were invited to plunge into the Cannes Film Festival universe while tasting hors d’oeuvres and limited edition of Mouton Cadet wines. Note that Mouton Cadet Red wine 2014 (15,65$) and Mouton Cadet White wine 2016 (14,65$) are both available at SAQ.

Le Richmond

377 Richmond, Montreal

Photo Credit: Myriam Frenette