Petite Bourgogne

Petite Bourgogne

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Time For A Move: Goal For Mini-Bloggiesta

This weekend is the first mini-Bloggiesta of 2015. Whenever I participate in a Bloggiesta, I usually have a list of several things I tackle on this or one of my other blogs. In keeping with my one word resolution this year, I only have one blogging goal for this weekend: move this blog over to 

If I get that done quickly, then I'll start tackling other items in my blogging backlog:
  • Check out the mini-challenges. The Pinterest Project by @SueySays would fit both with this blog (though, not the book part) and my business blog (which would be for books).
  • Write an overdue blog post for my Ask An Agilist blog on 
  • Update my list of blog post ideas
  • Write a post for my business blog.
Happy Bloggiesta! See you soon on!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Word To Change 2015

If you could pick one word to be your new year's resolution, what would it be? For the past couple of years, a friend has been sharing his one-word resolution and asking us to share ours. Normally I don't make resolutions because I always have more than one project in progress at any given moment in time. Still, choosing one word for the year intrigued me. Then I recently discovered, which has been creating global tribes around one word resolutions since 2009.

"It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you." -
Last year I wrote a summary of 2013, but didn't manage to write a post for my 2014 personal goals, even though I had said I would. I can at least come up with one word to become my compass for 2015.

Inspired by the need to live in a bigger home, my One Word for the year is move. This isn't just about moving my home. Move applies to all areas of my life. It is a reminder that I should get out, explore, have some adventures, which can be more than local. I love to travel. I cycled a lot to train for the MS Bike Tour in 2014, which also did a lot for my health and mental well-being. Move will be my mantra to get out and be active. Even in my personal and professional life, it will remind me that I cannot become complacent for these areas to grow.  This blog will join my other blog on WordPress and evolve.

If you were to choose a word to summarize your resolutions and/or be your compass for the year, what would it be?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Lights Around Montreal

As the days get shorter and colder in December, Montreal starts to become a little magical as the various Christmas displays appear around the city. Here are a few neighbourhoods worth braving the cold to enjoy the lights.

Old Montreal

When you add some white snow and Christmas lights to the cobblestone streets, old stone buildings, Notre Dame cathedral, and Marche Bonsecours, Old Montreal transforms into a Christmas wonderland. It's a great neighbourhood to explore in early December to get into the holiday spirit.


Every year, downtown Montreal has impressive Christmas light displays along and around St. Catherine's, McGill-College, Crescent Street and Place Ville Marie. Wrap up your walk with the charming classic mechanical window display at Ogilvy's, which has been a family destination for generations.

Plateau Mont Royal

Plateau Mont Royal has a different Christmas display in the square around metro Mont Royal. From there, enjoy the lights along Mont Royal, St. Laurent and St. Denis.

Square around metro Mont Royal, Dec. 2012

The Village

Each year, there is usually a colourful light display along St. Catherine between St. Andre and Papineau.

St. Catherine's looking toward The Village, Dec. 2012
While the weather is not too cold, it's a good time to grab your camera and get out and enjoy the Christmas lights while the season lasts. Happy holidays!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Best Tea Around Montreal: Traditional Afternoon Tea

It all started when a friend posted on the MEETin discussion board that she was "jonesing for a good cup of tea" and wondered if anyone would join her for a tea event. That simple post sparked the most discussion ever and our group of tea lovers have been exploring tea shops for the past six years. We have sampled the whole range from the traditional afternoon tea experience at some posh places to a good cup of tea in a tiny shop. In fact, we have visited too many tea shops to include in just one review. For Part 1 in this series, I will cover a few of the great places for traditional afternoon tea around Montreal.

Afternoon Tea at Birks Café par Europea

Birks Café par Europea

On the mezzanine of Birks' flagship store on Philips Square, it is one of the grandest locations to have afternoon tea in Montreal. I called ahead to ensure the vegetarian in our group would have a comparable plate, but a gluten-free friend joined us at the last minute and the kitchen had no problem accommodating her dietary needs. Both friends' plates were just as creative and delicious as the regular plates. We couldn't get enough of the tender, rich scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jam. The selection of green and black teas from Mariage Frères all sounded so exotic and wonderful, it was hard to choose just one.

1240 Place Phillips


The Ritz-Carleton Montreal is famous for its luxurious style and impeccable service and the afternoon tea is no exception. Usually served in the Palm Court, you can also enjoy tea in the peaceful garden in the summer. If you have your heart set on the garden, check whether there is a wedding or another event in the Oval Ballroom when making your reservation. The three-tiered plate has all the traditional favorites - tender scones, finger sandwiches and a variety of pastry selections - all made with high quality ingredients. Any one of the interesting choices of black and green teas will pair wonderfully with the food. Combine the afternoon tea with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts on the next block for a thoroughly cultured and civilized afternoon.

1228 Sherbrooke St. W
514.842.4210 ext.1222

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

The afternoon tea is served in the spacious Le Montréalais, so they are able to accommodate larger groups, birthday or engagement parties, or a baby shower. Even for our table of eight, everything was already prepared when we arrived, including special dietary requests. All we had to do was choose from a wide selection teas and enjoy the service. If you are sensitive to caffeine in the afternoon, they offer two tisanes - Cascade Peppermint and Rooibos Provence - in addition to a wide selection of green and black teas. All the food was delicious. The incredibly rich desserts seemed to be their speciality, so be sure to arrive with an appetite.

900 Rene Levesque Blvd. W

Gryphon D'Or

While Gryphon D'Or is a small, casual, funky tea shop on Monkland, their afternoon tea service is as serious as the luxury hotels. Everything but the butter is made on the premises, so you can taste the love with which the food is made. The last group that went there enjoyed the scones and sweet cream so much they ordered a second helping. One even took home a batch fresh from the oven! Since the tea seems to be served on the lighter side, you will need to specify if you prefer your tea strong.

$25 (full service) / $14.95 (scones and dessert only)
5968 Monkland

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cronut Wars!

In 2013, cronuts became a hugely popular sweet treat in many major cities in the USA and Canada, creating long line-ups outside pastry shops and even a black market in New York City. Originally launched on May 10, 2013 by Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC, other bakeries and pastry shops quickly caught onto the craze, creating their own versions. Montreal was no exception.

A few weeks ago, a friend posted an event on MEETin to find out what all the fuss was about. We sampled the treats from three different shops around Montreal. Unlike our In Search of the Best events, we were not able to determine which one we liked best. Each interpretation of the cronut was very different, so which one was best depended on personal preference.

La Cornetteria (6528 St. Laurent)

This charming pastry shop in Little Italy put an Italian spin on the cronut with a choice of vanilla custard or ricotta filling. Thinking the ricotta might be a little rich, we chose the vanilla. The pastry turned out to be very light, along with the vanilla custard, with the sugar coating providing most of the sweetness. The host of our group compared it to a churro, but the pastry was more layered, out of respect to the croissant part of the cronut. To me, it was an Italian pastry - a sweet little treat to be enjoyed with a shot of espresso. Since the vanilla version was so light and tasty, I bought a ricotta one to bring home to my husband, which was just as light and not as sweet as the vanilla.

Les 3M Pâtisserie (1459 Mont-Royal Est)

Next was Le 3M Pâtisserie in the Plateau. These were cronuts from the French point of view. While we were tempted to try the caramel, we stuck with the vanilla to make the comparison easier. At first bite, it was clear the croissant part of the cronut was the focus. The pastry was layered like a buttery croissant, but the outside was fried instead of baked with the vanilla frosting providing most of the sweetness. The pastry was a little on the greasy side, but overall a tasty cronut.

Simplement D'Liche (3964A St. Denis)

Only made on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, these cronuts were not part of the MEETin tasting event. However, since these were the first cronuts I had ever tasted, I had to include them in this comparison. I first tried one of D'Liche's vanilla cronuts during the In Search of Montreal's Best Lemonade event last summer. As I expected from a pastry invented in New York City, it was big, rich and decadent, channelling both the croissant and the donut. 

To be sure I was up-to-date on the D'Liche cronut, I bought one shortly after the MEETin event. I was delighted to discover their recipe got better since the summer! Still maintaining its New York inspiration, it was still the largest and most decadent of the three, but the ratio of pastry to filling to frosting was more balanced so every bite had the right amount of crunch (pastry), creaminess (filling) and sweetness (frosting).  


With Italian, French, or New York interpretations, each of the cronuts were too different to decide which one was the best. Which ever one you choose, it is a decadent treat which should be enjoyed with a good coffee or tea and conversation with friends.