A natural ambassador for her city, Caroline Khangi is in sync with the pulse of what makes Montreal hum. Her curious and passionate nature led her to pursue a career in fashion, music, design and, eventually, the hotel industry. As a W Insider, she is a “wow-factor” professional who uses her vast network of contacts to benefit of the guests of W Montreal. Want to make some amazing discoveries? Follow Caroline Khangi’s shopping itinerary, and let her top picks lead you to what are bound to become prized souvenirs of Montreal.
9 a.m. – Mélisse
Montrealers take their Sunday brunch seriously. The tradition is so embedded in this city’s culture that more and more restaurants now serve breakfast seven days a week. Exit bacon and eggs, Mélisse offers Cité du multimédia workers and tourists healthy, nutritious, gourmet dishes that showcase the finest local produce. The abundant windows, simple decor and profusion of green plants give the place a spring-like atmosphere all year round. You’ll hanker to return again and again to savour their famous morning “tartine,” an open-faced sandwich with salmon gravlax, as well as their scrumptious pan-fried banana and hazelnut bread.
10 a.m. – Bota Bota
Once a ferryboat that sailed between Sorel and Berthier until it was transformed into a show boat, the ship anchored in Montreal’s Old Port was converted into a wellness centre by the Emond family in 2008. Let yourself be lulled by the waves on the Bota Bota floating spa while you enjoy a variety of soothing treatments in the hands of their expert therapists. A near-mystical experience of relaxation situated between the iconic Farine Five Roses building, Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. Once you try it, this will be a luxury you won’t want (or be able) to do without anymore!
1 p.m. – Jiao
I was thrilled to learn that Jiao (short for jiaozi, which means “dumpling” in Chinese) is now open for lunch! A favourite among discerning palates who enjoy a late-night nosh or drink, Jiao’s cuisine blends Cantonese classics and local flavours. Upon entering, you’ll be charmed by the cosy ambiance created by dozens of oversized lanterns suspended from the ceiling. But it’s when you taste their dishes, like the Yeung Hai Kim, a basket containing delicious breaded shrimp stuffed with snow crab, that you’ll go into raptures. Feel like splurginga little? Oh, go ahead and try the dumplings infused with Rémy Martin Louis XIII cognac! So many mouthwatering reasons to spoil yourself!
2 p.m. – Privé par David D’Amours
To every major capital its celebrity hair stylist. David D’Amours’ last name—French for “of love”—fits him perfectly, as he is adored and lauded by an impressive roster of high-profile clients; Carla Bruni, Jennifer Lawrence and Celine Dion have all confided their locks to his magic touch. David is an intensely passionate man who quickly gains women’s trust and loyalty. In the off times between his travels, fashion shoots and galas, he created a posh salon set in a minimalist environment that is as sophisticated as it is relaxed, with a team that reflects his ethos. Congratulations go out to David D’Amours for his recent appointment as editorial director of the luxurious Kérastase haircare range.
3 p.m. – SSENSE
SSENSE is to fashion what Louboutin is to the red-soled shoe. This avant-garde Montreal-based company, which serves 136 countries, rapidly evolved into a model for the competition to emulate. Beyond an e-commerce retailer or boutique, it is a pioneering cultural protagonist that challenges and celebrates the intersection of creativity, content and commerce. Clients gravitate to Ssense for their luxury brands, high-end streetwear, emerging designers and exclusive collaboration pieces. A visit to the bricks-and-mortar store in the heritage building reimagined by David Chipperfield Architectswill make you swoon! And before you leave, be sure to stop into the most photogenic of all coffee shops on the fifth floor.
4 p.m. – Galerie LeRoyer
Old Montreal is renowned for being home to some of the city’s most prestigious art galleries. Established in 2000, Galerie LeRoyer is housed in a historical Neo-Gothic building, located on the very European-looking Saint-Paul Street. Its interior’s period charm is beautifully enhanced by the contemporary character of the artists on display. Led by his keen sense of intuition, owner Brian Brisson has helped launch numerous up-and-coming local artists on the road to international success. Another reason to visit the gallery is they offer the opportunity to view virtually a coveted work in your home. If you’re only passing through the “city of 100 bell towers,” you’ll be pleased to learn that LeRoyer delivers all over the world.
5 p.m. – Caffe Un Po’ di Più
The name translates as “a little more.” With its combination of Italian hospitality and sensibility, Un Po’ di Più lets patrons enjoy the pleasures of life in an unhurried setting that feels as though time was suspended in another era. You can share a meal with friends there any time of day, but the ultimate luxury is to wind down with an aperitif after a day of work, an Italian tradition that one could easily get used to. Sip on a negroni—the best in town, hands down—and munch on finger foods arranged on attractive tiered platters. As you might expect from the restaurant’s name, you’ll want to ask for a little more!
7 p.m. – Pastel
Open a box of pastels... and let the colours inspire the dishes! This playful mantra sets the tone for the cuisine of Pastel. One visit to this chic, modern establishment is all that’s needed to tap into the essence of the word “experience.” Expect the best in gourmet dining combined with Instagram-worthypresentations. Their 4- or 9-dish tasting menus are sure to pair perfectly with any occasion that deserves celebrating. And Pastel also has plenty of vegetarian-friendly options!
10 p.m. – W Montreal
Whether in Jordan or Costa Rica, W Hotels steal the spotlight with their rich and bold design narratives. Revamped by Sid Lee Architecture, the design of W Montréal’s EWOW suites is a tribute to the icons that make our city vibrant and distinctive. Featuring new generation technologies, a decor to stimulate creativity and a terrace overlooking Square Victoria, these versatile suites host high-end product launches, exclusive events and glamorous romantic weekends. And, the ultimate luxury, their legendary Whatever/Whenever service philosophy promises that your every wish will be their command. What will youwish for?