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 a previous 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 at-home flick courtesy of your Netflix subscription. 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:
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Getty Images
When was the last time you actually saw a movie in theatres?
Cost: anywhere from $2.50 to $24 per person
Who doesn't like bubbly? Especially when a bottle costs around $20 and yet ranks better than prestige brands two, three or four times times the price. Cost:
in my world, you won't be paying more than $24 for a fabulous bubbly
Martin Poole / Getty Images
Love potions come in many forms, so it seems. Some are songs
. Others are science
. And yet others are moderately successful Hollywood romcoms starring Sandra Bullock
But in Montreal, love potions are the domain of Atame Aphrodisiac Restaurant owner Gaston Barcelo, a mixology consultant and aphrodisiac connoisseur who generously shared the secret of his own in-house concoction with me, a syrupy sweet affair with a hot kick... and a couple of touted mood enhancers that might just get that blood flowing, if you catch my conspicuous drift.
Cost: reasonable, provided you have some of the ingredients lying around your kitchen already
Sure, romance can be had in any restaurant, even a well-made poutine
can set off sparks, but the restaurants compiled on this list 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.
Photo courtesy of Le Chop
If money is an issue, then consider giving Le Chop's participating restaurants a try. Just one caveat: the reduced price menus are not offered February 14 through February 16.
Cost: table d'hôte menus range from $19 to $27 per person.
Photo courtesy of Toqué © Dominique Malaterre
Photo © Evelyn Reid
Get a head start on Valentine's Day with this afternoon delight. Hard to go wrong with an aphrodisiac like chocolate. From February 7 to February 9, 2014
Cost: free admission, tastings sometime free, sometime 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 14 and February 15, 2014, it's $48 per couple, which includes snowshoe rental, mulled wine and chocolate.
A relaxed couple is a happy couple. Cost:
varies by treatment