Gingerbread Minor B&B
We stayed at the Gingerbread Minor B&B during our trip to Montreal over the winter. From the looks of it, the place had great price but also convenient location and a high rating.
Walking down the street as we first encountered the home, we were impressed by the various architectural styles of houses in the area, many appeared to be from the victorian times. Avenue Laval is definitely worth a good stroll.
After climbing a long flight of stairs we were welcomed by a door with a numerical lock which were conveniently tagged to our phone number. We did consider trying to guess another valid combination based on the rubbed out buttons.
Yves, one of the co-owners, gave us a tour of the large house which had three floors and a basement, where the owners themselves resided. The second and third floor had guest rooms while kitchen, dining room and office occupied the communal first level. We asked about food allergies or preferences for breakfast (completely forgot that this was included) and promptly made our way upstairs.
Our room was on the second floor with a bay window facing the street. It was a beautiful space with hardwood flooring, intricate sculptural details on the ceiling and hand-crafted bulkheads. The setting was a bit of a fairytale style completed with a beautiful landscape right above our king sized bed. One thing standing out the moment you touch the bed is the quality of linens – second co-owner Ephraim’s family had a business in these and there was a lot of well-deserved pride here.
Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time in the morning as this is the time where a unique breakfast is served and a great conversation is awaiting. They have the regular sides of cereal, oats and toast, as well as bagels including a unique variety Ephraim called stinky Jewish bagels. These were truly an explosion of garlic flavour - a great way to wake up your morning senses. Teas, juices and a very strong carafe of coffee brewed fresh every morning were all in place. Mon Cheri really enjoyed the coffee’s intensity as Ephraim told us about the special way he prepared it. A standard breakfast was yogurt parfait with fruit or a cup of fruit followed by a main dish. One of the days, the main dish was a french toast with fried caramelized bananas, while another day it was a perfect veggie omelette. Ephraim really has a knack for cooking. If this breakfast is not enough for one, we also had a plate of dessert pastries on the main table.
With jokes to fit most palates, there's never a dull moment in this home. We learned about culture, history, and random facts about Quebec, Canada, the neighbourhood and Judaism. If you are a foodie, asked Ephraim for recommendations, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of Montreal and loves to talk about it! Just don’t get too surprised if the conversation slips into politics or the way school are run in Quebec – consider this an added bonus.
PS: if you are looking for a quick in and out – Gingerbread Manor might not give you the best value. Consider this BnB as a glass of fine, aged wine: not entirely predictable, not suitable to be drank fast, but rewarding for anyone taking their time to savour. Thank you Ephraim and Yves!