How to crush "Galentine’s Day" in Montréal

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. All were transformative. 

This article was published on December 20, 2023.

In Leslie Knope’s words (you know, from Parks and Rec), it’s all about “ladies celebrating ladies.” Every February 13, gal pals have the best excuse ever to get together and make a ruckus: it’s "Galentine’s Day". This affectionate February celebration doesn’t involve romance and mushy clichés, but rather quality time spent sharing, laughing, feasting and getting noisy with your most beloved lady friends. It’s only the best day ever.

Slay this stay

There are a few rooms in Montréal that just scream “gal” — any room in the Honeyrose Hotel, decorated in tones of blush with a subtle roaring 20s vibe, for example, an opulent property or at the glamorous Ritz-Carlton Montréal, which comes complete with a renowned tearoom. If you’re travelling before mid-2024, however, get your gals to go all-in at by booking the Barbie Suite at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth: it’s a universe of power pink, turquoise, lavender and ochre that sleeps four. Any other of their less girly but stunningly appointed suites will do nicely as a fall-back. 


Kick it, breakfast-style

The French-influenced Café Commodore at the Honeyrose serves up a luscious breakfast, while the creative offerings for brunch at Rosélys (within the Fairmont) draws crowds of locals as well as visitors. At the Ritz, if you’re willing to leave the comfort of room service, enjoy eggs Benny with smoked ham and spinach as you gab  in the lap of luxury at Maison Boulud, the onsite restaurant signed by 2-Michelin starred chef Daniel Boulud. Try to book a spot overlooking the garden.

Hop to a shop

There’s so much fun shopping in Montréal, but if you want to explore a spirited neighbourhood full of life while you’re at it, shop the awesome vintage strip of Boulevard Saint-Laurent in Mile End. Between tawny Laurier Ouest and Bernard you’ll find a dozen shops that sell unique designer vintage pieces mixed in with local designer wear and homeware finds. It’s so Montréal and guarantees whatever you find there is truly one-of-a-kind. For a mid-day break, stop for tea at Cardinal or a sandwich or three at the gorgeously designed Pastel Rita.



Another option if you prefer to stay downtown is to pop over to the Four Seasons Montréal, in the Golden Square Mile, where you can start with a session at the hotel’s Guerlain Spa, maybe — or segue right into a day drinking tipple at the handsome Marcus Lounge & Bar or a shopping spree thanks to the connecting door between the Four Seasons and Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, a glittering designer-forward department store. From there, you and your gals can stroll eastward along Sainte-Catherine Street back to your hotel, with the option of dipping into the underground city if the weather calls for it! There are 33 km of shops to explore there in complete comfort. 


Express your feels

If invigorating self-expression is what your gang is in the mood for, let us oblige! Axe throwing sound like fun? Head to Rage or TNT Axe Throwing and let off some steam among hysterical giggles. Be warned: it’s an addictive release of tension. Otherwise, you could kick it old school at one of Montréal’s many adult-oriented arcades, where you can mix vintage Street Fighter battles with tasty cocktails, or go mellow by booking one of the cozy cabins in the Grande Roue de Montréal Ferris wheel (they’re heated in the winter) and keep on catching up with an incredible view all around you.


Go for dinner…

Once the dinner bell tolls, the world is your oyster (and mignonette). You could always surprise everyone by espousing tradition and choosing from one of the many Valentine’s Day specials on offer (most have expanded dates that start before February 14), but if you want to forge tour own path, here are a few recommendations for groups of 4 or 6: Grinder in Griffintown makes a mean steak amidst a party atmosphere, while Jellyfish on McGill will serve up Asian and South American influences food with a side of glamour. Monarque in Old Montréal is moody and classy and requires early reservations for good reason (try the braised veal cheeks). For a relaxed good time try Majestique or Le Darling on the Plateau, both bars that invite loud conversations and serve up delicious grub, including fresh oysters. Downtown you’re sure to be bowled over by the fan favourite Bouillon Bilk or its sister restaurant Cadet, followed by a nightcap at Pamplemousse just up the street. If you’re into venturing a little further, Montréal Plaza on the Saint-Hubert Plaza will wow you with its whimsical interior décor and sophisticated small plates to share.

… and drinks

Call it a wine crawl! Montréal is specialized in buvettes, aka wine bars, so pick a handful and get tippling. Otherwise, fun after-dinner bars downtown include Furco, Pullman and Club PelicanoBig in Japan on the Plateau or if you find yourself in Mile End, Datcha or Doubles Late Night. If you’re set to light up the night, gal style, check out the options for live music (they’re plentiful every day of the week!) or hit up the clubs. Remember to request late checkout!

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. All were transformative. 

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