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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
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!
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!