MMM is a Montrealer’s best friend, always seeking out new hidden gems and fun things to do throughout the city. The MMM girls share their latest local discoveries each and every week, as well as our feelings as mothers, students, teens and quadragenarians. Today MMM brings you their five favourite places to escape to, right here in Montreal!
10:00 AM – Au Festin de Babette
There’s no better way to kick off your great escape than with a nice, relaxing coffee. At Babette’s, time stands still as you take in your surroundings – get lost in their family-friendly atmosphere and charming French décor. If the weather’s nice, settle into a spot on their terrace. If not, take a seat inside and watch the people stroll by on St-Denis. Try one of their amazing brunches, each named after a neighbouring street (our favourite is the Drolet). If you’re feeling extra indulgent, savour one of their decadent hot chocolates!
Au Festin de Babette, 4085 Rue Saint-Denis
Closest BIXI Station: Duluth / St-Denis
11:30 AM – Lachine Canal
Hop on a BIXI and head straight down to the Old Port. Once you’ve reached the docks, take the scenic, tree-lined bike path along the canal. It’s a true pleasure! Take in views of downtown and the Farine Five Roses factory, stop for a selfie with some ducks and sprawl out on the grass for a few minutes. Here, the atmosphere is calm and quiet, perfect for clearing your head and enjoying an astounding view of our beautiful city.
12:00 PM – Atwater Market
It’s such a joy to explore the rows of the Atwater Market. We at MMM tackle the place in three steps:
1) We begin by strolling along the inside section of the market. Our mouths start watering the second we lay our eyes on the offerings laid out by butchers, cheese shops, bakeries and other fine grocers. We buy a few gourmet treats.
2) We chow down on one of the Satay Brothers’ famous buns and immediately feel as though we’ve been transported to Asia. Yum! (https://www.instagram.com/p/uBkMwvp1i_/?taken-by=memyselfandmontreal)
3) We walk around the outdoor portion of the place, taking in the sights and smells of fresh flowers and plants. Who knows, we might even splurge on some seasonal fruits!
Atwater Market, 138 Ave. Atwater
Closest BIXI Station: Saint-Émilie / Atwater or Atwater / Rufus Rockhead
2:00 PM – Bota Bota
After such an active day, you deserve a little break. What better way to escape than hopping aboard a boat? I promise this one won’t bring you anywhere too far from home physically, but you’ll definitely feel as though you’ve found yourself in a whole new, relaxing country, surrounded by Scandinavian décor. Bota Bota is the most zen destination in the entire city. Alternate between hot and cold baths, saunas and hammams, then take a little nap on one of their hammocks, on the bridge, or in the garden. You’ll emerge as a totally transformed (and intensely chilled out) person.
Bota Bota, Old Port of Montreal, Entrance at the corner of McGill and de la Commune
Closest BIXI Station: de la Commune / McGill
6:00 PM – Le LAB 2
It’s time to cap off our dreamy day with a delicious cocktail. One of our favourite bars, Le LAB, now has a space in the Quartier des spectacles. We recommend the Lemon in the Sky (lemon meringue pie) or the Casse Noisette, but all of their drinks are equally delicious! With good music and a great atmosphere, this place will make you feel like you’re at the prohibition era’s best party.
Le LAB 2, 279 rue. Ste-Catherine E.
Closest BIXI Station: Sanguinet / Ste-Catherine
If you’re the adventurous type, keep the night going with dinner and a show at Place des Arts. The rest of us will head home to rest our heads, now filled with images of our stunning city and our many moments of ultimate escape.
Have a great ride!