Yesterday I had brunch w/ Montreal Tourism at The Richmond. They were in town promoting all the wonderful events that happen in their great city over the next few months. I was treated to Montreal’s mouthwatering cuisine, charming joie de vivre, and a look into fall and winter adventures.
Tourism partners and chefs included Guillaume Cantin from Les 400 Coups, Sophie Ouellet from EVO and Christian Faure from Maison Christian Faure along with Via Rail, Igloofest, Montréal en Lumière, Quartier des Spectacles, Phi Centre, The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, McCord Museum and Grévin Montréal.
Earlier this month I was in Montreal to get a look at MTL à TABLE, their food festival starting October 30th. Three Ontario blogs were matched with three Montreal blogs then paired with a Chef to get a behind the scenes look at what goes into making their MTL à TABLE menu.
The group included tour included myself, Amanda Cosco (Girl About Toronto), Taylor Stinson and Natalie Sehgal (Girls on Bloor) from Ontario and Jason Lee (Shut Up and Eat), Adnan Albakri (514 eats), and Na’eem Adam (Mechant Mangeur) from Montreal.
Check out this vid Amanda, Girl About Toronto, made of her experience.
Read about my trip to a farm and fromagerie w/ Chef Jason Nelson here. For more info about what’s happening in and around Montreal visit their blog at tourisme-montreal.org. To learn about MTL à TABLE and participating restaurants tourisme-montreal.org/mtlatable.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Montreal with their tourism board to learn about their upcoming food festival, MTL à TABLE. I had an awesome time discovering their culinary scene, meeting other bloggers/media, and being back in my second fav Canadian city. This is part one of my experience.
Scroll down to see what I got up to and get details on how YOU can win a round trip, including airfare to Montreal to experience MTL à TABLE for yourself!
MY MTL à TABLE EXPERIENCE – Part One
I arrived at Renard Artisan Bistro at 9am to greet Chef Jason Nelson and my blogger partner in crime Jason from shutupandeat.ca. After visiting the smallest coffee shop in all of Montreal and we decided to venture 45min outside the city to get local meat, wine, and cheese, a trip Chef often takes on Sunday afternoons.
It was about 10am when we did a wine tasting at Vignoble Vertefeuille. I loved being at the farm. The air was fresh and the wine was good. Not a bad start to the day! Chef gets chicken, rabbit and wine from the farm on a regular basis.
Our next stop was Fromagerie Au Gré des Champs where we sampled cheese and said hello to the animals. It was my first time at a fromagerie and I have never tasted cheese so delicious!
This award winning fromagerie is one of very few in Quebec that uses raw unpasturized milk to make the cheese. It was DELICIOUS!
Love this beautiful lady.
We had heaps of laughs on the way back to the city where blogger Jason from shutupandeat.ca and I met up with the other bloggers for lunch.
Later in the day I really got my hands dirty prepping dinner. And by dirty I mean I got blood on my hands! This is the blood used for blood pudding. I tried not to think about it too much. Look at my crazy face, ahhhh!
Stay tuned for the next post about the rest of my MTL à TABLE experience…until then enter the contest below to win a MTL à TABLE experience for yourself.
Contest closes Friday, October 17, 2014
Savour Montréal’s foodie paradise with the MTL à TABLE contest. Enjoy a trip through Montréal’s creative gastronomy at MTL à TABLE Montréal’s Restaurant Week. Enter the contest and you could win a foodie experience in Montréal including:
- Air transportation for two provided by Air Canada.
- Two night’s accommodation for two in a Sweet Deal Package hotel.
- Gift certificates for two including two dinners in a MTL à TABLE participating restaurant.
- A culinary tour for two with VDM Global DMC
- 10 transit passes for bus or metro.
Total value $2,192
Winner announced Monday. Bonne chance my friends!
On Tuesday Brock and I are going to New York City. Yeaowwwwwww!
We’ve been besties for like 5 years so this is pretty rad.
Our friends at Cat Footwear are opening a new store and we’re going to celebrate with them. These are Brock’s fav boots.
And these mine. See photo for link to blog posts!
Heading to the cottage tonight for Thanksgiving weekend!
This morning in my Timehop notifications I was reminded that four years ago today, I was riding the streetcar when I got a phone call from San Francisco saying I’d won Richard Branson’s Virgin America Contest. I was so excited that I left my phone on the streetcar! Luckily, the stars were aligned and it was returned to me within the hour.
The contest went for about three months and there were about 10K entries. We had to make a YouTube video saying why we’d be the perfect ambassador to represent the world’s loudest and sexiest airline. As the Virgin America Provocateur, I travelled North America with Virgin and gave away heaps of flights. It was a great experience and the campaign got heaps of attention.
Some of my fav moments from being the Virgin America Provocateur 2010-2011:
Making the announcement on my blog. Cute hair!
Launching Virgin America in Dallas, TX
Virgin America’s Halloween Event at Parts & Labour w/ Broke Social Scene
Wilie Nelson at the Opera House in Dallas
First trolly ride in SF
Xeni from Boing Boing
The man, the legend, Richard Branson
VIRGIN AMERICA TORONTO PROVOCATEUR CASIE STEWART. from Victors & Spoils on Vimeo.
Casie Stewart was chosen as the Toronto Provocateur for Virgin America.
= = =
The crazy folks at Virgin America contacted us with an opportunity. They were about to launch service to Toronto, the first destination outside the U.S. for Virgin America. And they wanted a way to garner excitement for the launch of this service among local Torontonians. Together with Jesse McMillin – Creative Director at Virgin America – we devised a plan. Let’s create a web platform and initiative whereby we search to find one Toronto local to be our brand ambassador in Canada. The perfect person who embodies the sexy and cheeky brand attributes of Virgin America and can work to be a firebrand for the brand itself. So we decided to create a competition where the best video entry would win this coveted position. We decided we would call it “The Search for Virgin America’s Toronto Provocateur.” And we were off. We designed the site, wrote the site and produced the site with the help of Google moderator. And we launched it. The competition worked great. And Virgin America found their Toronto Provocateur.
Back to the grind today after an absolutely wonderful weekend up at the cottage.
Sean and I went for a nice long canoe jaunt yesterday in the sunshine. How lucky are we to have this weather!? You can like this photo on Instagram right here.
We attempted to go through this tunnel to another lake where our friends cottage is. It was like being inside a beautiful painting. The colours of the leaves are so vibrant and the sky was incredibly blue.
We were ill prepared to portage the canoe over this little blunder. Next time I’ll wear better shoes and put my phone in something more secure than a ziplock bag. Did you know you can still use your phone while it’s in a ziplock? The more you know. Learned that trick in Thailand last year.
I finally got to float in my donut. The water was pretty cold but I really didn’t care!
Went on a crazy fast seadoo. Heaps of fun!
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, MY FAV.
This week is gonna be a busy! Tonight my sister and I have a date for the premiere of Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck. I’m hosting a Twitter chat with Hotels.com X Nine West tomorrow then speaking to fashion students at Seneca College. Thursday I fly to Montreal for a couple days exploring culinary awesomeness with Tourism Montreal.
It will be the weekend again before we know it! Happy Monday, make sure you soak up some of that sunshine!
Turn on your internet ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Here you’ll find every runway show from the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 Collections, being held in New York September 4th to 11th.
NYFW SHOW SCHEDULE:
Look for this image in the sidebar and you can click on it any time your little fashion loving heart desires. Love to know your favs if you take a peek!
On another note…
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. No, think about it for one second. It’s 2014 and you are on my little bloggy blog about to watch runway shows as they happen in New York City. A privilege once reserved for only the highest fashion royalty, and now we are among them (from our couches!).
I love seeing brands create good video content. Now, I’m a little bias on this one because I’ve been working w/ Ted Baker London for over a year and I absolutely love the clothes. Here’s a look at what’s coming to a store near you for Autumn/Winter 2015.
Since it’s Thursday, here’s a pic Ted Baker posted from my visit to their 5th Avenue Grand House in New York last August. We had a blast! Later that day I met Justin Bieber. NBD!
Take a peek at all the beauties in the latest collection at tedbaker.com. There’s a downtown store opening on October too FYI! Huzzah!
On Friday night I stayed at the Trump Hotel and booked my room using Hotel Tonight. I’ve known about the app for a while but was yet to use it. I was contacted to take part in an exclusive influencer event where a group of notable Torontonians met up for cocktails with HotelTonight co-founder Jared Simon.
We were asked to pack a bag and come to the event where we’d leave to stay in a hotel later that night. Exciting! We were each given a unique code that allowed us a stay that night at one of Toronto’s best hotels. I was gunning for the Trump Hotel as I’ve never stayed there before and it’s oh so fancy. Others in the group stayed at The Gladstone, The Beverly, and the Thompson Hotel.
Earlier in the day I chatted HotelTonight co-counder & COO Jared Simon about the app and what’s next. HT is the world’s leading last minute hotel app with a rotating selection of rooms made available each day with bookings open until 2am. After working in the travel/hospitality industry they were inspired to create HotelTonight, knowing that most hotels operate at a 60% occupancy.
I personally think it’s an awesome idea and recommend the app when someone visits my city or when friends are looking to do something special with their partner. It was very easy to book my room using the app; pick a hotel, add credit card, book, arrive at hotel, checkin, stay, checkout.
I asked Jared what’s next for HotelTonight and he told me expanding to even more than the current 500 cities, growing consumers (like us!), and innovating the app experience. I love adventure so next time I travel somewhere I’m gonna wing it and book a random night w/ HotelTonight. Jared dared me!
HotelTonight is one of the first brands to launch a campaign on Instagram. I love seeing brand get creative with their marketing on such a popular, visual platform.
It’s called #tonightiam and ‘the campaign juxtaposes mundane everyday situations (painting a house, waiting for the subway) with the potential of where you can go and who you can be with HotelTonight (“Tonight I am Starlet; “Tonight I am Surfer”). ‘ Read more about it here.
Have you used this app before? Love to know your thoughts!
A couple years ago Sean and I drove to Montreal in a Fiesta for a weekend sponsored by Ford Canada. It was really fun and the weather was warm. We stayed at the W Montreal which I totally love, ate good food, and spent afternoons in the sunshine.
This is the video Sean edited of our weekend ‘Postcard from Montreal’. Summer, please come back soon. I’m dying to get back up the the cottage ♥ CASIE
This summer Sean and I went to California for a week and it was SO FUN. I love the sunshine, the shops, the lifestyle by the beach. We rented a convertible and drove the Pacific Coast highway, ate good food, worked on our tans, and spent a ton of time at Disneyland.
This cold weather does not seem to be letting up for all of us in Canada so instead of
being wah wah CRYING about it, I’ll relive our summer love in LaLa Land. We stayed at the Disneyland Resort, and thanks to Disneyland and their Canadian team for the invite. It was amazing to live like a kid and experience all the fun of the most magical place on earth.
Hopefully there pix brighten your day!
Room service prezzie from Mickey Mouse!
Surf’s up in Malibu
Oh what I would give to have my feet in the sand right now
Now this is love! His face vs my face lol ♥
Saw a concert at the Hollywood Bowl
Sunset in Laguna
Take me back back to Cali.
I’ve spent the last 24 hours in our little chalet tucked away in the woods. Later this afternoon we checkin to our next destination, The Westin at Blue. Looking forward to skating on the pond later and swimming the heated outdoor pool. I love vacation! It’s been ages since I had a nice relaxing Ontario winter vacation.
We woke up to a whole bunch of fresh show. It’s quite cold and windy. Perfect weather to hibernate and enjoy the scenery. The only sound out here is my boots crunching in the snow with each step.
I met Andrew aka Gunnarolla via Twitter when we found out we’d both been chosen to go on the trip to Thailand with Contiki. He is simply amazing and super talented. One of my fav people from the trip for sure. This is us with Sam and Leah on the last night in Thailand making up a song on the spot. It was simply hilarious.
The video below is Andrew’s latest tune. I watched it with joy knowing I was there for a few of the shots. They all move really fast so you might not see me but me and the Internet know I was there!
No Regrets by Gunnarolla on YouTube
In other news, Andrew introduced me to a new platform called Subbable where you can support your fav YouTubers. Remember, these peeps are making things to entertain you with their own money, gadgets, and talents (like us bloggers, most the time!). Shout them if you love ’em! I gave some love (aka $$) to Andrew’s profile yesterday and now patiently away the arrival of my Red Box. LOVE YOU MAN!
Here’s to an amazing 2014 and living with NO REGRETS!
Check out this great vid by my Vancouver buds the Sunday Fundayz. These dudes were so much fun to hang out with in Thailand. They’re the ones doing backflips and splits in my photos.
We crammed heaps of adventure into our 10 days. Now that’s so dang freezing here I’m really wishing I was back in the hot, hot sun. If you love travel, subscribe to the Sunday Fundayz on YouTube, they’re constantly on adventure! They also have a clothing line of which I just ordered a pile of stuff.
Thailand via Instagram: 46 Photos in 15 Seconds
Made this little video using Statigram, an app that allows you to create a video from your Instagram vids. Super great for summarizing trips, special moments, or looking back at the year past. It’s free but for $1.99 you can add your own watermark as I did below.
Stay warm out there,
It’s 5:14Am right now and I arrived in TO last night at 6pm. My BF and the EmBot picked me up from the airport with flowers and I ordered us Swiss Chalet from on the way home from YYZ. Festive Specials of course, quarter chicken white with fries.
My last two weeks in Thailand have been the trip of a lifetime. Made friends I’ll have forever, memories to keep me warm for years, and experiences I only ever dreamed would happen. I’ll be sharing stories from my adventures over the next few weeks. You can check up on all the peeps I was in tour with via this list. Feel free to creep my Instagram for photos that will warm you up all winter.
I’m going to try and keep the same excitement in photos that I’ve had on the road. There is so much beauty in life to capture. It’s kinda nice to come home with the snow for Christmas. I’m happy to be sitting on my couch right now. Not sure where my next adventure will be just yet but I’ll take you with me, as always.
Thank you for following my journey and reading my blog along the way. I appreciate you!
With love from Canada,