Bijoux of a different sort at Birks
It doesn’t take much to tempt me to go to Montreal, which may be my fave Canadian city. Love you too, though, Halifax and Vancouver! So news that the iconic Birks flagship store in that great town now houses a resto-boutique (I think that’s Quebecoise for cafe) called Café par Europea, is enough to make me dial the Porter number (although I LOVE going by train).
The new establishment is the creation of Jérôme Ferrer and TV host Francis Reddy, who are fast foodie friends. It’s inspired by the “art de vivre” or “art of living” theme; which is about slowing down sufficiently to enjoy both the visual and culinary pleasures of a space. Any dishware, glassware, and cutlery used at the Café can be purchased from Birks. You can also take home beautiful macaroons, chocolates or madeleines in the trademark Birks blue box. But I don’t think you can take home the 200 kilogram chocolate Birks Lion (shown above), hand-sculpted by chocolatier Christophe Morel
I’ve got to say that recently I’ve been looking longingly at the cut-crystal Gemstone Wine Glasses in cobalt blue from Birks. Maybe it’s my eastern European roots showing through, because whereas once I thought them fussy and slightly garish, now I’m really drawn to the rich colour and the way the light catches the cut surface. I also wouldn’t mind taking a tootle around the vintage jewellery section, even though it would be window shopping only!
Ah well, a few hours looking at pretty things, and a glorious cafe au lait and pastry. That’s the kind of extravagance I can afford. The Café par Europea is open seven days a week during store hours. There will be a lunch service, a European-style Salon de thé, a wine card and gourmet food .
Alors, a bientot, Montreal!