How romantic is Montréal? Well, a set of lush lips adorns Tourisme Montréal’s logo, standing in for the “o” in the city’s name!
With European ambience and cobblestone streets lit by gas lamps, where horse-drawn carriages clip-clop past old world buildings, you have the backdrop for a perfect Valentine’s Day.
Old Montréal in particular is “romance central”. There are plenty of dreamy boutique hotels to cuddle up in including the sumptuous, celebrity-favorite Le St-James, formerly a bank. The original vault is now a dramatic spa that feels like a castle keep: indulge in a candle-lit double massage with your sweetie. Small, cozy and tucked into the shadow of Notre-Dame Basilica de Montréal, Auberge Bonaparte is a country-style getaway where you’ll feel like you’re in a small French village.
Pick up a box of hand-made chocolates at Le Maître Chocolatier and nibble them enroute to the Essence Workshop where you and your loved one create your very own perfume. Sign up for Cook and Date’s special Valentine’s Sensual Desserts event: sip bubbly and cook with local chef Anthony Crisafulli to create a sit-down, multi-course dessert menu. Or stop in at the chic new café at the famed Birk’s jewelry store for high tea or lunch and browse Canadian diamonds between sips.
The wooded trails of Mont Royal Park are a serene place for a snowy stroll or a horse-drawn carriage ride. A Valentine’s guided snowshoe trip around the summit by the lights of the city with Les Amis de la Montagne finishes up with mulled wine and chocolates. And there are plenty of places in the city to skate outside arm-in-arm, but the most romantic are Parc Lafontaine’s meandering ice paths that twist and turn to the sound of music.
Dine on fine European cuisine in the warm, dimly-lit Club Chasse et Pêche – there’s no sign on the door and the top-rated Old Montréal eatery has a comfortable speakeasy atmosphere. For inventive modern cuisine created from local Québec products, try the Relais & Châteaux Europea, a contemporary restaurant set in a downtown Victorian.
Mont Royal Park’s lookouts over the glittering city are a perfect place to smooch until the wee hours, as is the new Snow Village where you can spend the night in an ice hotel, visit an ice chapel or keep one another warm with frosty kisses in an igloo.
By: Margo Pfeiff