1890 Menu and Wine List for The Windsor – Montreal QC

Menu for Saturday Dec 27th, 1890

Located in Windsor Hotel.

G.W. Swett Manager

Printed by The Benallack Lith. & Print Co. Montreal

Extensive wine list, sample:

  • Moet & Chandon $3.50 a Quart
  • Chateau Lafitte, $3.00 a Quart
  • Chateau Yquem $3.50 a Quart
  • Walkers 1881 Fine Old Rye $1.50

Elegant Menu, sample:

  • Chicken Okra
  • Oysters on shell
  • Civet of Hare au champignons
  • Haunch of Mutton, currant jelly
  • Black duck, currant jelly
  • Lemon pudding, wine sauce

Back cover has restaurant hours. Note different hours for ‘Nurses and Children’!

Measures 13 X 14 cm.

Nice condition, back has some browning spots.

 

The Windsor Hotel (opened 1878, closed 1981) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is often considered to be the first grand hotel in Canada, and for decades billed itself as "the best in all the Dominion".

The hotel was constructed between 1875 and 1878 by the Windsor Hotel Company consortium of six Montreal businessmen, including William Notman. It was capitalized at C$500,000. At the time Montreal was Canada's largest city, and the centre of commerce in the young country. The consortium was formed to construct an opulent new hotel to symbolize the city's growing prominence and wealth, and to serve visitors arriving at the nearby train station (which itself was replaced soon thereafter by Windsor Station).

The hotel opened without fanfare on January 28, 1878.Soon after, an opening gala was held that was the largest social gathering Montreal had ever seen. It was attended by Lady Dufferin (the wife of the Governor General), the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, Princess Louise and the Marquess of Lorne.

The hotel was not an immediate success. It was leased by the consortium to James Worthington and losses led to the operation being returned to the consortium to run. Instead of retrenching, the hotel expanded to include the 'Stanley Street Wing'. The hotel was buoyed by the successes of the Montreal Winter Carnivals of the 1880s, which were held in the square outside the hotel.

The Windsor Hotel was soon at the centre of Montreal's social and business worlds, attracting not only railway visitors, but also business leaders, politicians, socialites, artists, and even royalty. The hotel was home to both the annual St. Andrew's Society Ball and the Winter Carnival Ball, the former being a mainstay of the hotel and of Montreal's social calendar for nearly a century. Sarah Bernhardt, Mark Twain, Dolores Costello, Rudyard Kipling, Fanny Davenport and Lillie Langtry were among the Windsor's famous guests in its early years.

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