Stroll through St Henri

Love this St Henri doorway
One of our favourite things to do in Montreal is to read the features in the Gazette - especially the ones where you learn something about your neighbourhood. We were clutching such an article today as we headed off for St Henri, once run-down but now coming back to life with funky stores and cafes. This feature made us curious and so we went to check it out. 

Record and posters in BBAM!
Close by the Lionel Groulx metro station is BBAM! Gallery on St. Jacques which seems to specialise in racy horror movie posters but is a fun place to explore and sit in the window and have a coffee. I particularly liked the handmade bags from old record album covers for $25 and the tiny knitted monsters (Norman Bates anyone?) for your pocket.

Bags from album covers in BBAM!
 There are some lovely old architectural features around the neighbourhood, some of them nestling next to strip joints and tattoo parlours it's true, but not far away on Notre-Dame West was a great vintage store selling clothes, furniture and lamps. The owner, who was pondering whether or not to have a black baby Jesus in her Christmas scene, opened Mixx Authentik just six months ago.

You could spend a long time in here - we got some fun album covers as art and a roll of shiny wallpaper as gift wrap but she does a nice line in 60s furniture and vintage luggage and boxes.

Further along on Notre-Dame West, beyond the bridge, we chatted to the owner in La Perfide about good places to eat nearby. Fun bars and restos have been opening up here to cater to those from the fashion, film and photography businesses who have been moving to the area. La Perfide sells those cute t-shirts with iconic Montreal views as well as jewellery and cushions made locally.

Le Caffé Mariani

We were now starving and delighted to see a lot of restos bustling with customers. We tried Le Caffé Mariani which had a boho atmosphere with great metal lampshades and a tin ceiling as well as a wall made from beer bottles.

Love the ceiling, love the lights
We'd definitely come back - fast service- we had meatballs and spaghetti ($10) and artichoke and roast vegetable focaccia sandwiches. ($7)  We had a good browse in the second-hand bookstore on Notre-Dame West where Michel Tremblay is not in fiction but in the classic section, and met Maggie the cat. Popped our heads in Bar De Courcelle, which a friend of my husband's once pointed at and said "Never go in there". It is under new ownership and has undergone restoration. It looked really nice and has been recently recommended to us.

We tried not to think about this notice we had seen earlier in a pet store window. St Henri is definitely full of surprises.


  1. I absolutely love your blog! :) Although I'm not British at all, my childhood was full of old-timey British things (Indian parents raised in a sort of colonial Indian-British way, visiting relatives in England, plus growing up in Dubai where a good deal of the treats, books, and cartoons I had were usually from England). Still have a few Enid Blytons and Richmal Cromptons kicking around, twenty years later. Thus I still get rather wistful, like the time I stumbled upon Bramble House in Pointe Claire, thanks to your blog. Have been there several times since and have now introduced my French-Canadian fiance to the utter joys of Jammie Dodgers, Walkers crisps, lemon squash, and the like! (He was dubious at first, but now appreciates or at least tolerates it) ;) Cheers! - Tina

  2. Thanks Ysabel - I too am due a visit to Bramble House. I'm dreaming of sweet mincemeat for pies and of course the lemon squash (an essential in any household).


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