Terrasse lovers, Montreal is your town. With the winters we get, it’s no wonder summer makes us want to hang out outside all the live-long day. There are terrasses of every ilk here, from bars to restaurants to rooftop to street-side, but my hands-down favourites are hotel terrasses. Like hotel bars, there’s a sense of adventure built into the experience…
First of all, they’re usually posh and ultra well maintained. The service is without reproach and the drinks are usually inventive, thought up by world-class bartenders. Plus the best part is that the people at the next table probably come from somewhere really far away and interesting. You’ve got the choice to either make friends with an international crowd, or enjoy the total anonymity of the feeling that you’ll never meet the people around you again! Either one is magical, depending on the day. Here are the Top 5 spot to get your hotel on.
1) There’s no better location, location, location than the Hyatt Regency’s Six Resto Lounge terrasse, situated nothing short of on top of the Quartier des Spectacles. In the summer, that means that your afternoon cocktail is accompanied by the sounds of anything that happens to be on the main outdoor stage of the Jazz Festival or the FrancoFolies… for free.
2) Vast and well appointed with comfy seats, the Hotel Sofitel’s terrasse is part of Le Renoir restaurant, which means that your nibbles come courtesy of French chef Olivier Perret. Come on Sunday morning for a brunch buffet that hits all the spots, from omelettes to pastries to roasted salmon! Otherwise, lunch is popular, in part for the conchiglioni with Québec asparagus and lemon confit.
3) Right off the main lobby and bar, the gorgeous Sinclair terrasse in the Saint-Sulpice hotel is a great Old Montreal interior court to bring a gang of friends for dinner or for a quiet tête-à-tête. Treat yourself to the $60 tasting menu that includes wines or go à la carte and order one of the 25-plus choices of wine by the glass. Whatever you do, keep room for dessert: the milk chocolate crepe cake with bittersweet crust and spiced red wine jelly will knock your socks off
4) There are no better rooftop hangouts than the happening Terrasse Nelligan at Hôtel Nelligan on St-Paul, a beloved after-work spot for the area’s professionals. The cocktail list is reason to go alone – the refreshing Piscine is my fave, featuring sparkling white wine with fresh raspberries, served on ice – but the biggest draw is the backdrop, offering an extensive view of the Old Port and St-Lawrence River.
5) For Montreal’s quintessential garden terrasse experience (complete with duck pond) and a three Michelin starred meal to boot, head to the Ritz-Carlton’s Maison Boulud. Celebrate a special event in style with chef Riccardo Bertolino’s five course dinner-time tasting menu at $90; you’ll be telling your future children about it. Otherwise there are more casual options, like brunch, which includes great scrambled eggs with mushrooms, leeks and fresh herbs.
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