Montréal has the unique privilege of breaking up the European season on the Formula 1 calendar, giving us a welcome break from hopping over the Channel to go long and over the pond instead, to North America. Known as the Paris of Canada, Montréal is a hub for food and boasts around 27 restaurants per 10,000 people, the most in Canada! Now that’s a lot of choice. And we’re planning to tick some of these eateries off the list this week… Anyone joining us?
Poutine is what Montréalians claim to be their main dish, though our very own people from ‘up North’ will argue otherwise. Made up of French fries smothered in gravy and garnished with thick trimmings of white cheddar cheese, we know it as cheeeese, chips and gravy innit! Other delicacies include burgers, smoked meat, bagels and maple syrup. Lots and lots of maple syrup. On just about anything. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast? We’re adding maple syrup. A lunchtime burger? Yup, let’s add maple syrup. And we’re washing it down with Maple Beer or Maple Whisky of course.
Having said all that, we REALLY need to stop talking about food in every travel blog, or else we’ll have to rename it the Renault food review. *Adds idea to next year’s social media brainstorm list*.
Once sufficiently fed, we recommend walking or cycling around the city. Downtown Montréal is stacked with skyscrapers, cool looking buildings and shopping centres, while the old town is where you can take in the history and admire stunning architecture.
In the winter months, Ice Hockey is the main sport in Canada, and Montréal is the home of the Canadiens NHL team who play at the Bell Centre. They carry a bit of history too, and are the longest continuously operating ice hockey team in the world, boasting a record 24 Stanley Cups - the most of all NHL franchises. Based on our (very) limited (yet extremely enthusiastic) understanding, we believe the game consists of huge humans wiping each other out, a bit of fisticuffs, and this puck thing which they occasionally try and hit into the net with a stick…
But back to racing. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is based on an island just off the St Lawrence River, which is pretty cool in its own right. What makes it even cooler, is that not only Formula 1 cars whizz around the track… We are also competing for space with groundhogs, likely to be seen darting along the course trying to catch a piece of the action. Sometimes getting a little too close!
Perhaps it’d be wiser to escort our rogue furry friends to the Crescent Street’s Grand Prix Festival instead. This downtown street is THE place to be during the race weekend, both day and night. Head on down and rock on out to local bands, DJs, have a go on the simulators and pit-stop challenges. And if you’re lucky, you might meet the drivers! Whatever you get up to, Montréal is a real favourite on the calendar!