04 Oct 2022
Last Updated: October 4th, 2022
Thanksgiving may be the last long weekend marking the end of the beautiful season, but why not celebrate it with gratitude and enjoy a few days of relaxation before the marathon that is autumn sweeps us into the holidays? Old Montreal is your top choice for an urban getaway, as a couple or with your friends. For a great weekend, follow our guide!
Drop off your bags at the hotel! Old Montreal has the distinct honour of hosting some of the nicest hotels in the city, focused on the human experience and service beyond compare. Each of these establishments has their own cachet and distinct identity, and it’s up to you to choose the one for you.
And don’t forget, many of these hotels offer advantageous discounts on activities from their neighbouring businesses (spas, museums, etc.). Why not try the gourmet getaway offered at the Hotel St Paul? This offer includes a night in one of their Design rooms, one “Serrano and Manchego” , a Spanish specialty of charcuterie and cheese, one glass of sparkling wine or wine per guest, served at Bar @Pol and one Continental breakfast.
Once you’ve checked into your room, your next destination is Babacool, you’ll find that the ‘cool’ in Babacool is there for a reason! We fell in love with their Mediterranean tapas that will appease any palate, both meat and veggie fans alike. And of course, our hats are off to their cocktails! With its vibrant ambiance and impeccable interior design, it’s already become a must-see in the neighbourhood!
In the evening, take some time to take a stroll through the Place d’Armes and the surrounding side streets, or drop by McGill street to find Vandale!
After enjoying your breakfast at the Hotel St Paul, head over to Gallery Youn on St-Paul Street.You will love their selection of works, excellent staging, and warm reception! If you are feeling in an “art” mood, St-Paul Street is your best bet, and you can go to the end of Bonsecours street to the Peter Hart Gallery, where the artist and owner will welcome you with a big smile.
Around noon, Nelli Café + Vin Nature is a wonderful place to let yourself be tempted by their specialty natural wines. We have a preference for their orange wine, but don’t hesitate to ask for their recommendation. Their menu is streamlined and they serve satisfying portions. If you are feeling more in the mood for an English pub, we suggest you try out Wolf & Workman.
In the afternoon, you should take the opportunity to wander around if you’ve got the time. Whether you go shopping or just want to search for some inspiration, Old Montreal is an unrivaled destination when it comes to fashion and design. Start out with the Denis Gagnon boutique-atelier, where they also offer a selection of items from “Objets choisis”. Of course, you should also stop by Édition Objets choisis for designer objects, Nü Space for decorative objects, and Maison Pepin for a blend of home décor, furniture, and culinary tools. And Aesop too; their products are always excellent for skin care routines, such as their soap and hand cream duo – both fashionable and effective!
For dinner, enjoy the last terraces of the season. Terrasse William Gray on the 8th floor of the William Gray Hotel offers a finger-licking fall menu. We suggest the grilled acorn squash with ricotta, spinach, gruyère cheese and green herb sauce, impossible not to enjoy.
Later in the evening the Coldroom is a surefire success. If you manage to find the door to this speakeasy, you will enter into an unparalleled world, with renowned mixologists serving up unique cocktails and atmosphere.
Otherwise, to finish off your night on a magical note, direction "The House of Murmurations" in front of the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel. This public activation will give you a multi-sensory experience thanks to light, sound and movement that blend to highlight the architectural characteristics of the site of the future PHI Contemporain project. Meet at the intersection of Bonsecours Street and Saint-Paul Street East.
Want a coffee before breakfast? Petit Dep is open early!
And at 10 a.m., Dandy opens its doors and honestly, if the place evokes a “wow” from you once you get past the door, just wait until you see the dishes they have in store for you. Their ricotta pancakes and latte accompaniment is (almost) a requirement!
And on your way, there’s an obligatory stop: Café Olimpico. David the barista is one of the Gens du Vieux who is an excellent source of information for neighbourhood life, and will share his favorite restaurants… or his thoughts on the last European soccer match!
For this morning’s warm up, Château Ramezay presents the Roald Amundsen - Lessons from the Arctic exhibition. Expect to walk in the footsteps of Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen, the first white person to cross the Northwest Passage in the early 20th century and reach the South Pole.
All this adventure makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Time to go waterside, where Pincette Lobster Bar offers its Atlantic cuisine. And if you prefer Mediterranean food, you should stop by Solmar. If you can’t make up your mind, travel toward Place Royale for the Sea Salt.
Old Montreal is the perfect town for an afternoon at the spa, and each establishment has a unique feel, according to your needs: Bota Bota has a breathtaking view and gives you the feeling of being on a cruise ship, Scandinave Spa is a Nordic retreat in the city, and Spa William Gray gives one of the city’s most upscale and relaxing treatments.
After leaving the spa, if you want to open up your appetite or simply enjoy happy hour, Bistro des Soeurs Grises has 9 beers on tap brewed on site and tapas that go alongside them marvelously. These include chorizo tacos served with pico de gallo or their ceviche with tilapia filet and blanched shrimp. Oh, and they also serve sautéed cactus tacos for the more adventurous!
And for dinner, wander toward the Jellyfish to keep with the oceanic theme and continue to lose yourself in the river, the baths, and the Arctic. We love this “Crudo+charbon” restaurant with its sober elegance and distinguished cuisine, its balanced dishes, and how one can find both art and gastronomy right at the end of their fork.
Aloha espresso bar is the only Hawaiian café in Old Montreal, and if you’ve never tried their dreamy coffee from this island, it’s now or never! For breakfast, their “Dragonfly” power bowl will give you the energy you need all morning long, combining the gourmet flavours of chocolate and peanut butter.
After that, enjoy the exceptional offerings at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum this Monday and discover their current exhibit “VIKINGS – Dragons of the Northern Seas”. This is the last day to come and see this immersive exhibition and discover an exceptional Viking collection. Reserve your time slot quickly to make sure you can see this exhibition before it leaves!
Or if you’re more in “lunch” mode, Venice is always a great place for a relaxed ambiance and pokés to die for, but if you’re looking for something more upscale, you should try restaurant Helena on McGill Street. Portuguese cuisine mixed with local ingredients is an excellent choice.
Spend the afternoon roaming the streets and enjoying the colours of the season. If you wish to learn every little secret of the neighbourhood, you can reserve a private guided tour through Guidatour which will show you, according to your interests, the history of le Vieux like no one else can!
Photos: Babacool (1-2), Venice (3), Nelli Café + Vin Nature (4)