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Trip Report Weekend After Canadian Thanksgiving in Montreal

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Thanks to the folks who made great suggestions about a visit to Montreal near Canadian Thanksgiving! We decided to come the weekend AFTER. We went to: La Conciergerie B&B on Rue St. Hulbert; Holder Restaurant, on McGill; and Keung Kee in Chinatown.

We were looking for a quiet escape, with lots of strolling and good food. La Conciergerie was quiet, comfortable, unpretentious but not a bare "econo lodge" in style...yet relatively inexpensive for the area. Breakfasts were hardboiled eggs, toast, petit croissant, muffins or danish, cold cereal, yogurts, and good coffee--enough to keep you going. Separate tables in the morning room, looking out on the gardens (which must be truly lovely in warmer weather)--you don't have to connect with the other guests. We didn't spend much time there--but we noticed they had exercise equipment and a spa.

The host recommended a Chinese restaurant for dinner, but as we had no reservation, and the wait there was over an hour, we just wandered through Chinatown and tried one of the upstairs restaurants (Keung Kee); after a 15 minute wait, we had a delicious dinner with large portions (enough to take back; at La Conciergerie, we could use the refrigerator). it was amazingly busy, but the waitstaff were very friendly and helpful, even in English. If we had courage, we could have asked about the alternative menu posted in Chinese on the wall; families were ordering from the wall instead of the (substantial) menu.

We walked everywhere: we spent a lazy day walking to the top of Mount Royal, and through the park; through several neighborhoods, visiting shops; through Old Port. There, we browsed a few stores and galleries. We found the prices for restaurants absurd, and most of the menus didn't seem to warrant the price asked; it was all about "location". Then we wandered back to the commercial/financial district, seeking someplace more appealing. We had a tough time finding anything other than lunch places and hotels. Finally, we overheard English-speaking tourists with a map being confused about a particular street we had just passed; in the ensuing conversation, they pointed us to McGill street, recommended for festaurants by their concierge. We ended up at Holder on McGill. We had no reservations, but we got a seat at the bar. We found the restaurant informal and friendly, with delicious mussels and a great beer and wine menu; worth coming back to! (about $97 for 2 large entrees, an appetizer, 2 glasses of wine each (different kinds, so we didn't want a carafe or bottle.)

A warning: We thought we were very careful about where we parked... Parking signs however are sometimes located near the corners of blocks, and close to the houses, NOT close to the street. So we missed the street cleaning sign (in French, of course) because we parked in the middle of a very long block located in front of our B&B; we didn't see any signs other than about when paid parking was effect (because we didn't know to walk to the end of the block.). On Monday morning, we came back to the car 15 minutes before we thought we had to feed the meter only to find a parking ticket. (Had we realized the situation, it would have been very easy to park on the other side of the street Sunday evening! ) We appealed, but we haven't heard back. Perhaps our host at the B&B should have warned us, as we did tell him where we parked.

Other than that, we had a lovely stay and look forward to another weekend escape there.

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