Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal


Long before I lived in Montreal, on Crescent Street, one of the most bustling shopping/cafe streets in town, I visited with my mother and grandmother.

My grandmother was known for taking fabled trips to Montreal, setting up shop in Ogilvy, the gracious department store, energing only to return to her equally gracious hotel, the Queen Elizabeth.

When she returned to the Island, she always brought me a little box, from the wonderful fudge shop beneath the hotel.  And so it was that I associated the Queen E, as Granny called it, with food: first fudge, later with sliced-chicken sandwiches, which I ate in the hotel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I was also introduced to a pastry cart in the Queen E's dining room, and remember well the lemon tart I sampled, some 36 years ago.

I also saw "The World's Greatest Athlete," starring Jan Michael Vincent, as a reward for being good in the shops all morning while my mother and grandmother tried on coats (an utterly tedious experience for a 3rd-grader and perhaps why I still dislike shopping so very much).

But the Queen E is famous for more than food and its proximity to fashion, for in June 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" there, during their second bed-in (the first was in an Amsterdam Hilton).

I am not returning to Canada this summer, so I am extra wistful for my home.  Would that I could "give Queen E a chance" in person . . .

6 comments:

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

When I was in Quebec two summers ago for the 400th, because of our busy schedule, I spent about two minutes at the Hotel Frontenac. I could've spent two weeks there. Sigh. Someday.

materfamilias said...

Lovely memories, Miss C.
We stayed at the Queen E a few summers ago -- one of our kids was working at a Fairmont Hotel so got us a fabulous rate. I love all those CP hotels.

Barbara said...

Good morning, Ms. C--
You have an inherited sense of style even though you may not like shopping. Did you ever get the recipe for those sandwiches?
Best wishes,
BarbaraG

enc said...

What beautiful memories. I can visualize all now thanks to your evocative writing.

WendyB said...

There might be nothing I like better than fudge. I think I like it even more than I like Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Angie Muresan said...

The next time I'm in Montreal, I will visit the Queen E.