Welcome to our new Good Client Guide interview series, A Tryst About Town! We join three escorts in their hometown to hear what makes it so special. Today we're joined by Emily Beauchamp, Kira Nielsen, and Marine Séville to fill us in on Montreal's special sights, best venues, and more. If you'd like to take us on a Tryst in your town, reach out to let us know!
What makes this town special to you?
Kira: This might sound cliché, but I adore the diversity Montreal offers – culturally, socially, ethnically, gastronomically, you name it. You can discover several small yet culturally rich pockets in this city. It boasts a rich cultural heritage with so much to explore, especially beyond downtown. Consider attending events like the Festival Nuits d’Afrique and exploring those hidden gems offering some of the best traditional cuisines. Montreal truly is a melting pot of the finest kind.
Emily: While they say New York City is the city that never sleeps, let me tell you, Montreal isn't far behind! It's a city pulsating with energy that can keep you going until the early hours. You'll find everything here, from gastronomy to a thriving artistic scene and a rich cultural heritage, all complemented by the warm and welcoming nature of Montreal's people. They're sure to charm you.
Marine: Montreal's European style charm, open-mindedness, and vibrant cultural tapestry make it just an extraordinary gem. What I adore most is its captivating duality - like experiencing two different worlds within one city. Summers in Montreal are an explosion of excitement. A festival-filled frenzy that makes every day an adventure. Meanwhile, winters invite you to cocoon, indulge in self-care, and savor cuddle season with hot chocolate by the fireplace. This charming contrast, akin to the ebb and flow of seasons, is what makes Montreal utterly magnetic. It's where I've discovered the perfect equilibrium between seizing life's vibrant moments and relishing its quiet, intimate interludes.
What’s your favorite memory associated with living in Montreal?
Kira: This memory quickly rose to the top of my favorite Montreal-related moments. It all began when my house suffered a flood, and I found myself crashing on my friend's couch. I had the option to stay with my parents at their house deep in the suburbs, but my friend lived right downtown, just a few blocks from my university. Around midnight, we noticed an unusual smell permeating the place. A pipe had burst – right inside our closet. Nearly all our clothes were soaked and had a foul odor, as if something had taken up residence in them. So, off we went to the 24-hour laundromat. This place was sketchy during the day, but at night, it transformed into a full-blown circus. There was a guy strumming a guitar, a girl engrossed in Nietzsche's "The Gay Science" while insisting there was nothing gay about it, and, for some inexplicable reason, three untouched poutine dishes left atop a dryer, abandoned by their owners. It was a comical and absurd experience that turned a rough night into a memorable adventure.
Emily: One of my most cherished Montreal memories hails from a time before COVID cast its long shadow on the city. It was during a warm August summer, specifically the weekend of Osheaga, a popular music festival often called the "Coachella of Canada." Back then, I was working as a stripper. That weekend, a certain famous rapper headlined the Sunday night show. Sadly, I couldn't snag tickets to attend the show, but I couldn't stop talking about it – to my clients, my coworkers, everyone knew I was a massive fan. Well, can you believe that this famous rapper casually strolled into the strip club where I worked that Saturday night? I'll keep the rest of the details to myself for the sake of privacy, but what I ended up with was far better than attending a concert. I got to share with him how his music had positively impacted my life, I even shed a few tears, and he gave me a comforting hug.
Marine: Back in the day, I was just a sprightly 17-year-old, and Montreal had this incredible youthful charm. In the heart of the Plateau, I stumbled upon this adorable third-wave coffee shop - it felt like a scene straight out of a coming-of-age movie. But the real showstopper? The barista. He had that magnetic charisma that kept me coming back, and not just for the coffee. Mind you; it was a thrill seeing him craft those caffeinated masterpieces. Now, Montreal's streets, especially in the Plateau, they've got this undeniable pull. So, there I was, wandering around, popping into vintage boutiques, and concocting all sorts of excuses to saunter past that coffee shop. I mean, who wouldn't, right? The icing on the cake was these random encounters with strangers that sparked these deep, thought-provoking conversations. Every time I strolled by that coffee shop, there was this electric buzz in the air, like something extraordinary was about to unfold. But, you know how seasons change? Well, he packed his bags and headed back to Australia, and our little coffee shop rendezvous came to a bittersweet end. Yet, Montreal, with its tree-lined streets, charming quirkiness, and the magic of those unexpected connections, well, that's something that's forever etched in my heart.
Where can you find the best cup of coffee in town?
Kira: Without a doubt, you should check out Améa Café. It's a recent gem I stumbled upon. If an Instagram feed could magically turn into a café, it would be Améa. They serve up lattes in mesmerizing shades of blue, green, and even pink. The whole place is a visual delight, from the decor to the drinks. It's like stepping into an aesthetic dream.
Emily: I can't recommend The Crew Collective and Café enough! Nestled in the heart of Old Montreal, this café is housed in a beautifully preserved old building. Sipping your coffee here feels like a scene out of a chic European café, transporting you to a different era.
Marine: Well, if you happen to wander into Neve Coffee on Rachel Street in the Plateau, you might just discover a coffee experience like no other. But honestly, it's the coffee itself that truly shines. It's pretty amazing, if you ask me.
Can you recommend a quiet place to have drinks with a provider?
Kira: For an enchanting atmosphere, sophistication, and an air of discretion, I often find myself at Big in Japan. Nestled discreetly in the Plateau, it's not a massive cocktail bar by any means, which makes it the perfect spot for an intimate one-on-one gathering.
Emily: Any of these speakeasies should hit the spot: Atwater Cocktail Bar, Cold Room, Cloakroom, 4e Mur, and Gokudo.
Marine: Here are my top three picks: Kabinet on Laurier, a cozy spot on Laurier Avenue serving top-notch cocktails for those quiet chats. Bar George, the epitome of classic and classy, with drinks that are nothing short of superb, making it the perfect choice for a sophisticated evening.And don't miss Still Life, where you'll find talented mixologists, a dark & stormy vibe, and an ideal setting for those deep conversations.
Tell us about an extravagant restaurant that you love.
Kira: While I wouldn't necessarily label it extravagant, it's certainly not easy to secure a reservation, so let's count it in. Mon Lapin has completely won me over. It was crowned the best restaurant in Canada, and that accolade is well-deserved. They keep their menu a bit of a secret – you won't find it online, or at least, not the most up-to-date version. Their offerings depend on what's fresh and available. The concept here is all about sharing, making it a fantastic bonding experience. Instead of one main dish, you get to savor several smaller ones. Even someone like me, who typically shies away from anything liver-based, couldn't get enough of their liver mousse served with fresh radishes. And if you're a fan of natural wine, they boast an exceptional selection, with super knowledgeable sommeliers to guide you, not to mention, they're friendly.
Emily: When I'm in the mood for a fantastic evening with amazing food, a great atmosphere, and zero pretension, my go-to spot is Le Serpent. The food is not just amazing; it's those "off-menu" dishes that are the real stars. I still dream about the quail I had there almost a year ago.
Marine: If you're in the mood for a slightly unconventional take on extravagance, you simply must discover Alep on Jean-Talon. While it might not flaunt opulent price tags or bustling crowds, it excels in its dedication to culinary excellence and boasts a hidden treasure - an extraordinary wine list. Alep is all about taking food seriously. Every dish is a work of art, carefully crafted with flavors that dance on your palate. It's like a journey through Syrian cuisine, and every bite feels like an indulgent treat. But what truly sets Alep apart is its secret wine list. It's a treasure trove of exceptional wines that you won't find just anywhere. And that, my friends, adds an extravagant touch to this unassuming gem. It's not about the price; it's about the experience, and that? Alep delivers in spades.
Can you recommend a great museum?
Kira: For someone who recently developed a rather inexplicable obsession with marine life (seriously, have you seen the mugs on those deep-sea dwellers?), I can't sing the praises of the Biodôme loud enough. It showcases five distinct ecosystems, allowing you to truly appreciate the incredible fauna and flora that the Americas have to offer. It might not have any exhibits on aquatic dinosaurs – I'll have to wait until the Aquarium de Montréal opens in 2024 to scratch that itch – in the meantime, I'll continue my late-night adventures reading terrifying Wikipedia articles.
Emily: When it comes to art galleries, you absolutely must check out L'Arsenal Contemporary Art, Oasis Immersion, and Phi Center. They don't just feature amazing exhibitions; they make you experience art on a whole new level, immersing you in the exhibitions themselves. It's like living and breathing the art, taking your experience to a whole new level.
Marine: The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MACM). This isn't your run-of-the-mill museum; it's more like a constantly changing and evolving canvas for modern art. Each visit feels like you're stepping into an art party. MACM sparks conversations. You'll find yourself standing in front of abstract masterpieces, deciphering their secrets, and sharing your thoughts with fellow visitors. It's art that's as vibrant as Montreal itself – an adventure worth embarking on.
What’s something cute to do together on a date?
Kira: One of my all-time favorite dates involved a trio, and the client brought along the most hilarious game to break the ice called Drawing Without Dignity. I absolutely adore these amusing little icebreakers.
Emily: Don't get me wrong; I love those lavish dates like dinners, spa days, and shopping sprees. But for me, the ultimate cute date takes a different path. Picture this: a warm, sunny day in Montreal. We start with a romantic picnic in one of the city's parks, accompanied by a fantastic bottle of wine (or two, or three) and a delightful charcuterie board. After a leisurely stroll around the city, we head to a farmer's market, gather ingredients, and head home for some in-house cooking. Finally, we top it off with a cozy session of Netflix and chill. Honestly, the cutest dates are those spent with someone you have incredible chemistry with, no matter what you do.
Marine: How about a date that's a fun little adventure? We begin with a leisurely stroll through town, exploring charming boutiques and galleries. Just when you think it's your typical artsy date, we could spice things up with a spa treatment for a touch of luxury and relaxation. But here's the kicker: we might even venture into a quirky little sex shop for some playful intrigue. To wrap things up, why not unleash our inner lumberjack with some therapeutic axe-throwing or even head to the driving range to hit some golf balls?
Where can travelers find the best day spa in town?
Kira: When it comes to the best day spa, I have to give a nod to Bota Bota. It's incredibly scenic – being a floating spa with a view of the Old Port. And if you're looking for pure relaxation, their hot shell massage is an absolute must.
Emily: For a summer retreat, Strom Spa on Nun's Island is a slice of paradise. And when winter arrives, the Guerlain Spa at the Four Seasons is the place to be.
Marine: If travelers are on the hunt for the best day spa in town, they don't need to look too far. They can simply ask me, Kira, and Emily. In fact, why not invite all three of us? Spa day, anyone?
What’s your favorite scenic walk?
Kira: The early evening stroll along the Old Port is my favorite. Sometimes, you can even catch the fireworks from there. Other times, it's delightful to explore the stalls set up by local artisans.
Emily: For all the romantics out there, a visit to the Lachine Canal is an absolute must!
Marine: I must admit, I tend to aim high with this one. It’s a rather lengthy walk, tho I promise, it's worth it, that takes us from the charming Old Port to the vibrant St-Henri neighborhood. But we won't stop there, we'll continue our journey to Westmount and make our way down through the majestic Mount Royal. And just to add a bit of spice to the adventure, we'd better have our running shoes handy, in case we're struck by the urge for a jog.
What’s your recommended hotel for people who are visiting?
Kira: My heart belongs to the Nelligan. Besides boasting a wonderful terrace perfect for those summer evenings, it offers some of the coziest rooms and suites that beautifully complement the tranquility of Old Montreal. It's rustic without being stuffy.
Emily: This might sound incredibly cliché, but The Four Seasons will forever have my heart! Built in 2019, this brand new building has everything you could possibly imagine! From exquisite rooms and top-notch room service to a lovely lounge, restaurant, and even a luxury shopping store accessible from the inside, along with valet service in an underground parking, they have truly redefined the concept of "haut de gamme" (high-end).
Marine: If you're planning a visit to Montreal and in search of an exceptional place to stay, I wholeheartedly recommend Hotel St-Paul in the heart of Old Montreal. It's an absolute gem. This boutique hotel seamlessly blends modern elegance with the historic charm of Old Montreal. The moment you step inside, you'll be enveloped in luxury and sophistication. The rooms aren't just beautifully designed; they're incredibly comfortable too.
What’s the best way for visitors to get around?
Kira: The metro system, hands down! Trust me, you don't want to brave Montreal's traffic, especially with all the construction-induced jams. Uber? Well, that might cost you a kidney. Now, if you're feeling sporty, biking is a great option, but beware – you might have to engage in some fierce competition with other BIXI riders depending on the time of day.
Emily: I'm going to respectfully disagree with Kira here. In my opinion, Uber is, without a doubt, the best way to get around town. Personally, I prefer driving my own car, and I couldn't imagine another way to navigate this city.
Marine: While I appreciate your enthusiasm, Kira, I'm going to have to side with Emily on this one. Life's short, and so is my skirt!
Our social handles are:
Kira Nielsen: @Kira_Nielsen_
Emily Beauchamp: @missembeauchamp
Marine Seville: @marine__seville
Emily Beauchamp: missembeauchamp
Marine Seville: Marineseville