Last week I took a self-guided sketchbook field trip to Montréal for a little change of scenery. I was staying with a friend of mine in the bustling Mile End neighbourhood. Dense with eclectic shops and winding streets, I was living the urbanist dream!
Coffee shops are always my first stop while traveling because they present a wonderful window into the neighbourhood culture. I visited Café Névé, a cozy spot just off Saint-Laurent, and grabbed a cup of tea.
Nearly every man had a beard! Was it a post-Movember thing or simply a Québec-in-the-wintertime thing?
I was one of the few customers without a laptop. Macbooks were well represented here.
This woman fiddled with her iPad while sipping a homemade chai.
At the front of the shop they've got a coffee table with an iron deer on top. I found it pretty cute.
Really wasn't joking about the laptops.
When lunch came around I ordered a lentil soup with a homemade scone which was to die for. Then I rounded out the meal with a gorgeous chocolate chip cookie.
Exams... remember those?
For dinner I made my way down the street to Réservoir, a lively gastropub with a meat-centric menu on Duluth. Luckily I was able to snag the perfect seat with a great view of the dining room action.
The bar offered a world of possibilities for two passing strangers. I wonder what happened next?
Within minutes every seat was occupied and a lineup snaked out the door.
A stylish woman sampled a bottle of wine with her husband before dinner. She noticed me drawing and they both came up to say hello. Very nice people!
The tables were turning quickly so whenever I finished a drawing there was always someone just as interesting as the last to take their place.
For supper I enjoyed a smooth bowl of mushroom soup sprinkled with salty bits of blood pudding and an order of crispy grilled cheese with homemade pickles.
There was still so much to draw but I was too full to order another plate and secure my seat for another twenty minutes.
"Is it alright if I stay here a little longer?" I asked my server, pointing at my sketchbook.
He smiled wistfully, "Hm... there's a lineup out the door. Stay as long as your conscience allows!"
No worries, I'll just have to come back to Montréal another time!
151 Rue Rachel E.
9 Rue Duluth E.