Your cart

Your cart is empty

Photograph of Montreal, by Ed Vázquez

The Magic of Montreal in a 3-Day Getaway

charming montreal street

Bonjour, beauties! I just returned from a delightful 3-day escape to Montreal, a city with charm, beauty, and éclat de rire (burst of laughter.)

I've always adored the French word éclat; in fact, one of the very first body creams I created, initially named Crème Éclat (now Chardonnay Cream), was a tribute to this term, bursting with antioxidants and an irresistible grapefruit scent.

Éclat means a burst, a brilliance, or even a piece of something shattered. “Rire” means laughter, and together, éclat de rire perfectly captures what I believe to be one of life's most potent youth elixirs: laughter and scattering joy everywhere.

For an éclat de rire, my partner and I love going to comedy shows in New York City to “laugh off” the stress of work and life. I describe it as a laughter cleanse in my book, Radical Radiance because it can lighten any situation, exfoliating off years of stress, revealing a more vibrant radiance.

For a rejuvenating 3-day getaway, my partner and I packed our bags and headed to Montreal for the renowned Just for Laughs Festival, the world's largest international comedy festival.

We chose to attend the Just for the Culture Show, where six talented comics from diverse ethnic backgrounds had us laughing until tears streamed down our faces and our bellies ached. 

These up-and-coming comedians rivaled the likes of other well-known comedians we’ve seen IRL, such as Russell Peters, Amy Schumer, Bill Maher, Ali Wong, and Bill Burr.

"just for the culture" comedy show in montreal

After the show, we strolled around Montreal where the comedy festival spilled onto the streets with live music, spontaneous dancing, comedy shows, and local food vendors. The beauty of joy and laughter were palpable as we devoured the most delightful (and sinful!) chocolate-dipped churros.

The experience was a testament to the rejuvenating, radiant power of playful spirits and how laughter, an international language, bridges cultures to unite us.

a couple on a montreal street

Savoring the Delights of Montreal

The euphoria from the Just for Laughs Festival is worth the trip alone, but Montreal offers so much more. Here’s a highlight of my favorite places that you can’t miss.

First on my list is Santropol, a funky café that has stood the test of time with an eclectic menu, making it the perfect spot for a lazy all-day brunch. Their famous sandwiches, which I consider architectural marvels, have unexpected pairings such as pears, cottage cheese, nuts, and olives. The quirky mismatched furniture adds to the charm, leaving me feeling full not just with food, but with joy.

a family dining at santropol cafe in montreal
man with sandwich at santropol cafe in montreal

Another delicious spot is Shay, a Lebanese restaurant known for its authentic flavors. The hummus, tabbouleh, and grilled meats, combined with the warmth of the staff, is the perfect way to unwind with family and friends. Don’t forget their to-die-for desserts which don’t disappoint!

lebanese food from shay restaurant in montreal

After a day of laughter and good food, you can unwind at Bota Bota Spa, a unique floating boat spa on the Saint Lawrence River. The outdoor jacuzzis and tranquil environment make it the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate.

bota bota spa in montreal

If you're a night owl or want to enjoy Montreal nightlife, Velvet is an absolute must-visit. This underground speakeasy with strobe lights and a DJ is the perfect way to dance the night away.

velvet speakeasy nightclub in montreal

And my favorite place to stay is the Sofitel, conveniently located in the heart of downtown, which provides an unparalleled level of comfort and luxury.

Last, but certainly not least, is the charm of Old Montreal's depanneurs, equivalent to NYC’s bodegas with an old-world Parisian twist. There's a certain beauty in these small convenience stores that offer a glimpse into Montreal's culture and everyday life.

The one we stopped in offered beautifully-wrapped chocolates, gelato ice cream, and double-shot espresso at midnight.

depanneur store in montreal

The magic of Montreal was a delightful reminder that beauty is everywhere; an eclat de rire and savoring everyday experiences scatters pieces of joy and magic partout.


Angela Jia Kim

ceo angela jia kim with flowers

Angela Jia Kim

Founder of Savor Beauty, mom to a teen daughter and mini golden, partner to a sweet soul, forever New Yorker, unfortunate carb lover, hopeless Aries 💞

Previous post
Next post