Partial Access: On Exquisite Food, Engaging Culture, and Exhausting Stairs in Montreal.

We were just out for a walk amongst the snow showers. The showers come and go, replaced at times by sun. The snow falls in small, almost square, balls. Occasionally, the pattern is broken by a burst of large, intricate, slow falling flakes.

We walked, then had afternoon tea. Last week we spent a couple of days in Montreal. The weather was brutal: temps in the single numbers and wind whipping through the corridors created by tall buildings. I was planning to take a walker, but decided to leave it, and take crutches at the last moment. This turned out to be a good choice, as snow flurries kept the sidewalks slushy.

In Montreal, we walked and had tea. Actually, tea time the first day resulted in hot chocolate. We found a chocolate cafe near our hotel. As we entered, one of the servers buzzed over to our table with two cups of hot chocolate, “Americano” style. We had our doubts, expecting too much sugar and too little flavor. The drinks, thankfully sans marshmallows, were delicious. We ordered a totally decadent “Italian” hot cocoa, and two teas! The second afternoon tea occurred at Marche Atwater. The bakery at the market is one of our favorite stops We usually visit the bakery for lunch and a treat, on our way home. Last week was no exception. We had a fine lunch from the deli, and scrumptious coffee, cheesecake, and chocolate moose for desert. All this made for a delightful tea.

Montreal is less accessible than one might imagine. (There have been recent protests about this!) The problem at the Marche, as in the subways, was the steps. Even in the Underground City, there were flights of steps. After two days walking up and down stairs, and trudging through the cold, I was exhausted. I had also lost the desire to attend First Night festivities at home. Fortunately, friends held a last minute New Year’s party. We had a lovely evening and were abed well before midnight.

By the way, we spent a fabulous afternoon touring the new wing at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. We highly recommend a visit!


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