In honor of those not actively avoiding the hallmarked date of love, here's a wee guide to celebrating Valentine's Day in Montreal, complete with seductive ideas to suit an array of budgets and lifestyles.
And gentlemen? Check out my piece from last year on how to do Valentine's Day right. You'll thank me later. Trust me. ;-)
Want to show your loved one to a sentimental evening on a tight budget? Treat your sweetheart to a dose of romance with an affordable movie rental. Chosen by yours truly
, these seven critically acclaimed movies have nothing in common with each other except that they all, in one way or another, explore love. Cost:
$5 or less, plus taxes.
Who doesn't like bubbly? Especially when a bottle costs less than $20 and yet ranks better than prestige brands two, three or four times times the price.
Sure, romance can be had in any restaurant, even a well-made poutine
can set off sparks, but these five restaurants have a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that sets the mood for a night of wooing and cooing. Cost:
from roughly $60 to $200 for two plus taxes and tip, depending on the restaurant, and including wine.
Usually CookandDate courts the singles market but on Valentine's Day itself, they're opening the field to couples. Spend an evening sipping on wine and munching on the fruits of a professional chef's labor as you and yours are taught how to cook. On February 14, 2013. Cost:
details available upon registration
I think venue host Comedyworks sums it up the best: "It’s Valentine’s Day Eve and love is in the air! Or is it? Whether you’re in a committed relationship or desperately single, or something in between, come and join us as we laugh off this awkward holiday." On February 13, 2013. Cost:
Get a head start on Valentine's Day with this afternoon delight. Hard to go wrong with an aphrodisiac like chocolate. "Also on the programme is a chocolate fashion show that will marry the spectacular talents of master chocolatiers with those of well-respected Québec fashion designers." From February 8 to February 10, 2013 starting at 10 a.m. Cost:
free admission, tastings extra
Enjoy an evening trek walking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing through one of Montreal's large parks. Many treks are followed by downtime by an indoor fire with live music and warm beverages. Top choice goes to Mount Royal's "Valentine's Day special." Cost:
admission varies by park. As low as $14 per couple. Snowshoe or cross-country ski rentals extra. In the case of Mount Royal's Valentine's Day special on February 16, 2013, it's $48 per couple, which includes snowshoe rental, mulled wine and chocolate.
A relaxed couple is a happy couple. And my Valentine's Day picks from this list of top Montreal spas
go to 1) Spa Évia
's couples massages, ranging from $140 for 60 minutes to $175 for 90 minutes and 2) Le Bath Room
's private baths for two. Offering a ceiling-free private flotation bath for couples at $130, $230 will get you a flotation bath and
massage for both you and your valentine. Cost:
$130 to $230 plus taxes.
If my spa suggestions sound amazing but the price isn't quite as inspiring as activity descriptions, then how about picking up some fine chocolates at the very affordable Oscar candy store at Plaza St. Hubert (rent is cheap in the area so prices are not as jacked up as at other locations: 6356 St-Hubert, corner of Beaubien, (514) 272-8415) to feed your darling as he/she relaxes in a luxurious home bath -- think candles and rose petals, two clichés that work
-- followed by a massage courtesy of Lush's Happy Valentine's Gifts
. Buy online or go to one of Lush's Montreal stores in person (map
from roughly $15 to $60 for chocolates, bath products and/or massage oil.
Yoga poses for couples
dominate this two-hour workshop, offered on St. Valentine's Day by Montreal Kripalu Yoga studio Joy of Yoga. On February 9, 2013 at 7 p.m. Cost:
$70 per couple, plus taxes.