Perks of Montreal:
- -Affordable and incredible restaurants
- -Montreal bagels
- -Water-circuit spas on the river
- -European vibes
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I had the pleasure of being asked to be the Maid of Honor in my best friend Diana’s wedding this year, which came with some planning to do! Of all the planning and helping her with her big day, my main job was to plan her bachelorette weekend away in Montreal!
We debated a few cities before landing on Montreal, but we realized that since it was a short flight from Toronto, has a great food scene, and could give us a European vibe without hopping across the pond, it was a great choice for her weekend away.
In honor of my best friend Diana, a classy lady, I wanted to give her a fun weekend away without the traditional sashes, tiaras, and strip clubs (though there are some great ones in Montreal if you like that!).
We would instead enjoy long dinners with wine, hikes in the park, dance classes, boozy brunches, and spa treatments. Rather than ordering us all the same t-shirts to wear around the city, I decided on matching fanny packs. I filled them with hair ties, face masks, Advil and lip chap so all the ladies were covered with the essentials. It will be fun to rock my fanny pack over summer concerts and other activities. They are so handy!
After a few weeks of research, I came up with our set itinerary.
On Friday, the ladies and I met at Toronto Island Airport for our early afternoon flight into Montreal. Diana flew in from San Francisco after a big presentation she gave because she’s a bad-ass consultant.
We arrived and headed downtown to Best Western Ville-Marie. The location of the hotel really worked well as a launch pad for all of our activities and was walkable to one of the main shopping areas in Montreal.
For dinner that night, we headed to Grinder in Griffintown. What a perfect restaurant to start off our girls weekend! Inside, modern light fixtures and the live plant wall made for a ultra-cool atmosphere. Extremely friendly servers welcomed our table, and gave us great recommendations on wine and cocktails. The restaurant is known for their AAA steak from Canada and the USA, as well as their fresh seafood assortment. I shared the tuna tartars and hanger steak with Libby and I was literally swooning of how delicious this meal was through every bite. Our handsome waiters gifted us a few shots throughout the night, and ended with their authentic Quebecois dessert – pudding chômeur. This was a major highlight for the weekend!
On Saturday, we woke up early and decided on an authentic diner style restaurant for breakfast. In 1942, a young man named Hymie Sckolnick bought a snack bar for $500, and renamed it “Beauty’s” after his bowling nickname. 75 years later the restaurant still has a line-up outside the door, with people anxiously awaiting their greasy breakfasts complimented with large milkshakes.
In order to work off all the the delicious food we’d been eating, a hike through Montreal’s park, Mount Royal, was in order. We took a path off Av du Park, and up we went.
Around 1pm, we finished our jaunt through the park and walked downhill through the city to Old Montreal for our planned pole dancing class at Milan Dance Studio. The instructor taught us the basic moves that allowed us to put together a fairly long routine. I was quite impressed how quickly the girls caught on and we had lots of laughs trying to channel our inner sexy vixens. Personally, I was left sore for days, and had a few bruises to show for it. I would definitely do it again but make sure that you book in advance as the studio is very popular with the bachelorette crowd.
The sun shown for the rest of the afternoon so we enjoyed Old Montreal and grabbed a light snack and headed down to the waterfront. We all decided we needed a break before our evenings festivities.
That night, I booked us in at Le Bremner for dinner in Old Monteal. Walking down the steps under street level, the host with a fantastic mustache welcomed our group. The menu changes based on what is in season. We ordered a collection of dishes to share – all with some variety of fresh seafood and rich sauces. Sharing worked well as any one dish would have been too rich for any one of us to eat on our own. I’d recommend any of the cocktails!
Afterwards, I organized for us to have a section at La Champagnerie right next door. A highlight of the evening was getting Diana to saber a champagne bottle – skills she will definitely need in the future! The music was a mix of hip-hop and top 40 and we danced the night away.
We ended the night in the only good way there is to in Montreal… with freshly baked Montreal bagels. We recommend Fairmount Bagels.
Sunday morning had us packing up and checking out, but before we called it a weekend, a spa visit was in order. We headed to Bota Bota in the Old Port of Montreal for their water circuit and oh what a dream it was. We followed their instructions of starting in the hot tubs to get our heart rate up for about 15 minutes, then dunking into one of the cold baths (and were they ever cold!) for 20 seconds, and finally to a relaxation area for a nap. Rinse and repeat! We initially were only going to stay for an hour and a half, but while there we were all relaxing and enjoying ourselves so I moved our brunch reservation out so we could enjoy the full three hours at the spa. I would recommend trying their new area on the first floor of steam bath, cold dip in the river, and then a nap in a coon hammock and I promise you’ll drift off into a relaxation state you haven’t experienced before.
After the spa, we headed to boozy brunch at Rosewood. We sat on the second floor, along with two fairly large groups of guys also enjoying their boozy brunches, and ordered an assortment of avocado and egg on toast, egg skillets, and french toasts along with bottomless mimosas.
The rain was pouring down after our brunch, which was a good signal that the weekend was over and it was time to head to the airport. Montreal – you were a dream and perfect location for my best friend’s Bachelorette.