How to Throw a Bachelorette in Montréal

Alexandra Gauthier

Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.

Since its radical beginnings during the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the bachelorette party has become a cultural staple in the Western world as an anticipated pre-wedding ritual. Far from uniformly conventional, these iconic soirées are often as unique and diverse as the brides-to-be themselves. Of course, as with any epic celebration, location is everything. Montréal has a decades-long reputation as a cheeky, indulgent, bohemian (even sinful) locale, so where better for you and your crew to whoop it up before your big day? Read on, O nearlywed, to see how your stagette in la belle ville could look. 

Act I: She's got the look

No matter where your day or night takes you, the first order of business is to look and feel your best. We recommend kicking your bachelorette off right with The Duchess High Tea mani-pedi package in Old Montréal's Loft Nail Bar, where you can munch on elegant treats from neighbouring patisserie Bar à Beurre as you're buffed and polished to perfection. With nails looking fresh, the next stop is McGill Street's BLØME for a red-carpet worthy blowout. Top off the look with some dreamy headgear courtesy of local florist Atelier Végétal, who sell a DIY Flower Crown kit, or simply hit up Imagine le Fun on Mont-Royal Avenue for some good-time, kitschy tiaras and sashes. 

Act II: A change will do you good

A hands-on workshop or class is the perfect way to bond with your bachelorette party squad, and there are options to fit every interest and vibe. Get behind the wheel at Little Italy's Les Faiseurs for a private introductory ceramics class, or roll up your sleeves for a different circular experience at a Montreal-Style Bagel Making Workshop. If your interests are on the sweeter side, try the bachelorette package at The Lincoln Apartment Bakery downtown, where you can learn how to make an indulgence of your choosing, such as French macarons or sumptuous éclairs. If you're looking to blow off a little steam (months of wedding planning will do that), it's time to get your body moving at a workshop that's as intensely physical as it is fun. Enter two modern bachelorette classics: pole dancing and burlesque. After 60 minutes at the Milan Pole Dance Studio in the heart of Old Montréal, you'll be both invigorated and forever changed (if temporarily a bit bruised), while St-Hubert Plaza's Arabesque Burlesque will transform your party crew into an amateur burlesque troupe by the end of their bachelorette package session. A third, slightly offbeat, but entirely life-affirming activity we recommend exploring is an Aquamermaid swimming lesson, which is exactly what it sounds like: leave your bipedal life behind for an hour and learn to navigate the waters in a colourful tail, no sea witch required.  

Act III: A little something refreshing

One of the best parts about a bachelorette party is using it as an excuse to go all-out and be as extra as you please. You want to eat three dinners tonight? You can! In fact, you should. Here's how:  

Start your evening with some wine and nibbles at one of Montréal's many chic wine bars, such as a charcuterie board at Mile End's Buvette Chez Simone, or some oysters at Vinvinvin in La Petite-Patrie. This is a good time to really inspect one another's manis from earlier that day and discuss your newly forged bagel-making or burlesque skills. Resist the urge to eat your fill in small plates, however challenging that may be. 

Taxi, ride share, or métro over to dinner (you've been drinking, so prioritize safety) at any one of Montréal's exceptional dining locations. Love the heat? Find yourselves at the stylish, pan-Caribbean Tropikàl in Saint-Henri, or drinking natural wine alongside fiery Thai at Pichai in the Plaza. Does your bachelorette call for carb loading? Split several pizzas and pasta dishes at internationally-acclaimed Elena in Saint-Henri, or an outlandish BBQ spread at Verdun's Blackstrap BBQ. After some sushi? Kyo in Old Montréal has something for everyone on its Izakaya-inspired menu, and can seat large groups should your party be on the larger side. Needless to say, there's no wrong choice here, so long as you get exactly what you want. 

Save room for dessert (a truly hilarious ask, we know) because your next stop is the iconic Plateau restaurant, l'Express for a chocolate tart, an orange crème caramel, or an order of some foie de volaille for a midnight snack (you luxurious queen!) 

Act IV: Hot child in the city

At some point between your many dinners, you've changed clothes, freshened up, and listened to some of your favourite hype songs; the time has come to go out. Depending on your preference of nightlife, there are a few different options. If you're interested in chic bars, Saint-Laurent Boulevard—otherwise known as the Main—is the quintessential Montréal bar crawl strip. Among a host of others, two excellent choices are the terminally cool Barbossa or Pinterest dreamscape come to life, Le Darling. If your bachelorette was always about somewhere to dance, the incomparable Peel Street mainstay Salsathèque (reopening date TBA) will leave you with all kinds of stories to tell, and '90s classics will keep you on the luminous, checkerboard floor of downtown's Electric Avenue (reopening date TBA) until the staff turns the overhead lights on. If you're looking for some after-dinner entertainment, then look no further than to what's become a bachelorette rite of passage: the drag show. Visit the perennially reigning Queen of the city, Mado Lamotte, whose eponymous bar Cabaret Chez Mado has been the central home to Montréal's drag scene for over two decades, or catch a show at the renowned Bar Le Cocktail. Have fun, just remember that a drag bar isn't a petting zoo! 

Act V: What a wonderful world

Congratulations, you made it through the night! It's time for a relaxing day to wind down. If you've any room left for food, grab the remaining members of your bachelorette gang and partake in an extravagant brunch such as the Full English Breakfast on offer at the Burgundy Lion Pub in Little Burgundy, or the delightfully flamboyant offerings of sister brunch restaurants, Janine or Régine (in Verdun or La Petite-Patrie, respectfully). Finish off your now 24hr stagette marathon with some peace and quiet, where you can nap, reflect on your future nuptials, or just zone out in a steam room. We recommend leisurely detoxing on the deck—or in the water circuit—of Bota Bota, a floating spa on a docked boat, or the cavernous and serene Spa Scandinave, both located in Old Montréal.  

We hope you make memories to last a lifetime! Remember to take care of your friends, tip the service staff, and drink plenty of water!  

Alexandra Gauthier

Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.

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