After the hearty response to my Romantic Valentine’s Day post, I was delighted and relieved to see that I’m not the only lovesick fool left in the city. Not too long ago, my girlfriend Georgia and her boyfriend Louis got engaged (congratulations, you love birds!) – and, gosh, did he do it right, by creating a quality proposal that involved the following three ingredients:
- Beautiful view or special ambience: Nothing gets a girl more than a full moon reflected on the water, a crackling fire, candles, starry night, rose petals and softly falling snow – not necessarily all at once, but if you can swing it, I say, “Go for it.” You get the picture. (The next full moon, FYI, is on April 17, then May 17. Or see this moon calendar for more dates.)
- Romance (kitsch) factor: This one is a sensitive issue, as one girl’s “Oh, how sweet” is another girl’s “How tacky.” Know. Her. Well.
- Element of surprise: Not always necessary, but can boost your romance factor exponentially if you can work it in successfully.
Combining Louis’ advice and my own extensive knowledge of all things romantic, here are my top three places in Montreal to ask for your lady’s hand in marriage – men, are you taking notes?
In Old Montreal: Okay TomKat did Paris and the Eiffel tower, a little predictable. Why not stir things up by coming to the Paris of North America? You’ll have all the cobblestones, candlelit restaurants with old stonewalls and horse-drawn carriages to last you for days. There are also two perfect boutique hotels nearby that have equally stunning views. Ask for one the balcony suites at Le Place D’Armes (pictured above), which has an awe-inspiring view of the water. By the way, they also have a steamy co-ed hammam.
Or why not go all out and book the penthouse (#510) at Hotel Nelligan. The atrium on the first floor also has these private little alcoves for prime canoodling. Let the concierge be your new best friend in working out the details. If you’re looking for a quiet little restaurant, I’d hit Club Chasse et Peche. It’s located in a quiet corner of Old Montreal, yes, on a cobblestone street. There’s no sign on the door, so it has a speakeasy kind of feel. And the dining room is dimly lit just so.
On Mount Royal: The lookout just in front of the chalet on Mount Royal might be a nice spot, perhaps, when she’s already taking a break on the steps. (Tip: she’ll be less suspecting on a weekday night and there’ll also be less people.) She might say something like “What a beautiful view” and you can reply “Not as beautiful as the future I see in your eyes.” Just call me Cyrano. Or for nature lovers, why not have a picnic by Beaver Lake on a sunny afternoon and, after she’s giddy on bubbly and you’re getting cosy on your cashmere blanket, spring out that little box.On the same day as Prince William and Kate: Granted, this is not a place. It’s an event. But the Loews Hotel Vogue has a package out over the day of the British couple’s wedding, April 28-30, 2011. And imagine that, what girl wouldn’t want to steal Kate Middleton’s thunder on the wedding of the century? The Loews Loves Love deal is set up to make you and your lady feel like royalty, as you “attend” the U.K. wedding (via your television, if this is getting confusing). When you arrive for your two-night stay, you’ll get wedding favours at check-in, a 6 a.m. wake-up call the morning of the wedding (11 a.m. in London), along with a traditional English breakfast and champagne. Cheers! Here’s an idea: how romantic would it be if that diamond solitaire arrived on a silver platter? You could turn to her after she’s stuffed her face with eggs Benedict and ask “Be my princess?” If she were not the type to put her finger down her throat, I’d say you have that one in the bag.
Place D’Armes, 55 Rue Saint-Jacques, (514) 842-1887
Hotel Nelligan, 106 rue St-Paul ouest, (514) 788-2040
Club Chasse Et Peche, 423 St Claude, (514) 861-1112
Loews Hotel Vogue, 1425 de la Montagne, (514) 285-5555
Photo Credit: Quays of the Old Port of Montreal- Marie-Reine Mattera; Place D’Armes- Gleb Gomberg