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Canada, Weekend Getaways

Cinq à Sept in Montreal

Cinq à sept (pronounced “sank-ah-set”), or pre-dinner drinks in English, is a Montreal tradition, bringing together friends and colleagues at the end of the work day (work, of course, is optional, but the theme remains the same!).  It is the perfect segue from afternoon activities to dinner and evening outings.  At it’s most basic, wine, beer, and cocktails are served along with finger foods and other hors d’oeuvres.  Sit on the patio in Old Montreal or at the bar of your favourite restaurants and bars and join in on this age old tradition.  Dig a little deeper and experience a favourite amongst Montrealers – the vernissage or art opening, also held as a cinq à sept.

patio culture in the Old Port of Montreal

The traditional cinq à sept (5 to 7) caters to all from upscale cocktails and people watching, foodie favourites with delectable amuse-bouche (appetizers in English, pintxos or tapas in Spanish) and the old fashioned beer and wings.  Dress up, dress down…just don’t miss out on the fun.

girls weekend in Montreal

I recently celebrated a birthday and a girls weekend escape to the vibrant city of Montreal…the perfect venue for celebration and fun!  We wined, dined and laughed our way through the day and well into the night.

With the hot summer weekend, my cocktails tended towards sangria, but there were plenty of girlie drinks and custom martinis to be had.  Here are some of my favourites:

5 a 7 in Montreal

Terrasse Nelligan – This stunning rooftop patio sits atop the Hotel Nelligan in Old Montreal.  Sitting on the 5th floor of the hotel, the terrasse gives you 180 degree views of century old architecture and the river port along the St Lawrence river.  Popular for private groups, locals and tourists alike, we arrived to find a wedding party enjoying cocktails in the sunshine.  I loved how the simple sangria has gone so gourmet this summer – filled with exotic fruit and a refreshing blend, the white sangria was divine!

perfect for cocktails...Terrasse Nelligan in Old Montreal - patio with a view

Trendy Mile X is making its mark on the nightlife in Montreal.  Like everywhere in town, patios were overflowing.  We managed to snag the last table at Baldwin Barmacie – cocktails spread beyond the 5 a 7 for a fab night out!

Baldwin Barmacie cocktails

Anywhere in Old Montreal is pretty spectacular in summer.  We wandered through the cobbled streets around Place Jacques Cartier and the place was packed!  The atmosphere was weekend fun and lines were forming at all of the patios!  People watching in the old port is an art and a sport…come early and enjoy the show!

5 a 7 in Old Montreal

Montreal’s spirit and fun is infectious….while I was celebrating with my girlfriends, brides-to-be were hitting the street for their last hurrah with crazy costumes and home made fascinators – this bride to be was exceptionally fun, stopping to serenade us in her hen’s night regalia!

Hens night in Montreal

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


17 thoughts on “Cinq à Sept in Montreal

  1. Looks great and those cocktails are very tempting. Well it is Friday so I suppose it’s time to find the bottle opener! See you in Dublin! 🙂

    Posted by paulfarrugia | August 16, 2013, 11:02 am
    • The cocktails were heavenly! Will have to adopt the 5 a 7 tradition closer to home – very civilized! Perhaps we will continue the trend in Dublin – I am sure there are a few local cocktails to sample! hehehe

      Posted by Anita Mac | August 16, 2013, 6:22 pm
  2. by the way, for some reason wordpress keeps connecting my old blog. We actually blog at globalhelpswap.com! 😉

    Posted by paulfarrugia | August 16, 2013, 11:03 am
  3. I’m glad you all were able to enjoy this great Montreal tradition. And happy belated birthday!

    Posted by Trips By Lance | August 16, 2013, 5:10 pm
  4. So civilized … and what what? Free nachos! Ouai!

    Posted by fotoeins | August 16, 2013, 6:38 pm
  5. hahaha! i love this and wish it wasn’t a week ago but right now!!!

    Posted by Lauren DiMarco | August 16, 2013, 7:32 pm
  6. I wish I could’ve been there to celebrate your birthday with you (and oh my, those cocktails look delish and I’m not even a big cocktail person). Happy belated birthday, Anita!

    Posted by Jack and Jill (@JacknJillTravel) | August 16, 2013, 7:47 pm
  7. wonderful, what a great tradition!

    Posted by ksbeth | August 16, 2013, 9:01 pm
  8. Looks like lots of fun ! Always wanted to go to Montreal :-))

    Posted by luxurychictravel | August 17, 2013, 6:49 am
  9. I love the name of this tradition, makes perfect sense. It is killing me that I didn’t go with you ladies to Montreal. And lastly, hope you had a fab birthday!

    Posted by Ana Silva O'Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld) | August 17, 2013, 12:49 pm
  10. Sounds neat!

    Posted by marciawood | August 17, 2013, 1:30 pm
  11. Glad you go to celebrate your birthday in such a fun way! Cinq a sept sounds like my kind of happy hours!

    Posted by ilivetotravel | August 17, 2013, 4:08 pm
  12. You do realise that a cinq a sept can also refer to a rendezvous with a lover……?

    Posted by frugalfirstclasstravel | August 18, 2013, 2:58 am
  13. Great photos and great times! Would love to do this every single day, haha.

    Posted by The World Wanderer (@TheWrldWanderer) | August 18, 2013, 9:39 am
  14. I love the French version of happy hour. Like many French expressions it rolls off the tongue so mellifluously. Looks like a great time was had in Montreal, but when any RWTBEXers get together this is assured.

    Posted by Traveling Ted (@travelingted) | August 18, 2013, 4:16 pm
  15. I fell headover heels in love with Montreal when i went 3 years ago. Definitely going to have to revisit. Thanks for sharing this.


    Posted by Hanah | August 20, 2013, 3:36 am

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