This next cafe is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes I have gone to. For all you Tumblr folk - get your cameras at the ready.
Walking in, the space is pretty small and cozy. I found myself lucky to get 2 seats for me and my friend. Everyone was working on their laptops and it really seemed like a productive atmosphere.
The special aspect about Nocturne is its huge lit sign on the wall as you can see in the pictures. Contributing to its beautiful image is also the signature map and their vintage looking bookcase.
We both ordered lattes and they were delicious! My friend was able to get hers with almond milk (for all you vegans out there).
Interestingly enough, this cafe was called Kistune before it was Nocturne. The owners changed - therefore, they had to change the name but the layout is basically the same! You can find Kitsune in another location in Griffintown now (will be posting about that one soon).
This place is a charming addition to the Plateau area! It’s almost a classic despite its new name. A MUST visit in Montreal!
This whole journey of cafe crawling has made me learn valuable lessons about coffee of course, but also in life.
Up until last year, I could have been the most unadventurous individual walking on Montreal ground. I would stay in my house for days, sometimes drive for 10 minutes to get take out and basically be scared of everything out there. In the city.
I had concluded that I was never meant to be a person who enjoyed sacrificing 2 hours for transport just to be in the heart of downtown. I had concluded there was nothing even to see in Montreal - nothing to love. In all honesty, I hated my city. But all of this was because I never went out to discover anything. I never tried. I never gave it a chance. I lived in Montreal but never felt like I belonged.
Being an Armenian, I grew up surrounded by my own in a small community. I went to an Armenian high school, spoke Armenian with everyone I knew and that’s how simple life was. I loved how close I was to my culture but the easiness of my lifestyle never helped me evolve as a person. Instead, I remained in a box, unable to grow. Fearing the unknown.
In Summer 2016, I wanted to put an end to this lack of motivation and I wanted to jump out of my comfort zone. I wanted to know what my city had to offer and I was desperate to find a way to connect with it.
And the best way was coffee. Cafe crawling.
I made my list (about 15 places at the time) and I went to each - one by one - dragging my boyfriend along with me. Slowly but surely, my list grew and my passion for discovering new coffee shops was blooming. I started going to cafes alone - facing my fear - being independent.
That thrill of walking in a new shop with the fresh smell of coffee makes all of my anxieties fade.
You might be asking yourself now, where am I going with this? Why did I write this much about my life when I have clearly titled this post “Nocturne Cafe”.
My story behind this cafe is really linked with everything I mentioned above. The reason I came here in the first place was because my friend from Cegep asked me to take her on an adventure in Montreal. She might not have noticed, but her request was an honor to me. For the first time ever, I was able to reflect back on everything I had done the past year and the places I had discovered. I had never realized that I had become some kind of ‘adventurer’: a term that was unknown to me before. All I was doing was following an activity I truly loved.
When thinking about this very aesthetic cafe, I don’t only think about its beauty but I also think about it as a marking point in my life. The start of a new ‘me’. And I’m not saying that cause we just entered 2017..
It goes to show that anyone can be an explorer. All you need is the passion and the drive. Look at who I was before and look at who I am now - writing on my coffee exploration blog.
If you want to discover more about where you are or who you are, take that first step. Go out. Get lost. Make a list. Throw out the list. Improvise. Anything. It’s up to you - you’re in charge. Just take charge and you’re set.
So make that leap. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a very nice memory the next time you go out for coffee. ;)
Massimiliano Locatelli, architect at CLS, lives in this eighteenth-century building, squeezed between a church and another old building. His four-floor house is 12 meters long and just 2,95 meters wide -and protected by Fine Arts- but he was able to reorganize its proportions and make it stunning, with the use of custom bookcases and vintage and modern furniture along the short walls.