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Alright, so times and conditions are tough. We’re in the heart of a Montreal winter and a lockdown with a curfew. Yikes! While we never want to make light of the severity of the pandemic, I think we can still find ways to celebrate safely! That being said: Honey, if there was ever a birthday or occasion to throw some love into, it might as well be this one! I’ll include Valentine’s Day in that statement. Why not throw yourself and/or your loved one a celebration with so much finesse, that it could ALMOST out-do the classic night on the town. Parties are real exclusive these days, so put on your best, even if just for a party for one. Here is my list of MTL must-haves for your extra fine lockdown bash. With delivery at its busiest and store hours being limited – let’s actually lock-down some solid plans.

CORRINA WITH THE CHEESECAKES

Alright, I have to get this out of the way! Naturally, I have a variety of delicious cheesecakes to suit your special night. The small cheesecake is making a return, perfect for intimate groups, serving 4-6 slices. I can source out specialty items like cake toppers and themed wrap on request. Piped messages, basic gift wrap and candles or sparklers can be included for free. Chocolate messages can be added for a small fee.

For Valentine’s Day, I’m preparing something very special. Lovebirds can enjoy special, themed desserts for their evening. A little romance, a little chocolate. See my menu for ideas.

DINNER TIME

Let’s rewind; a special day deserves a great meal. Some would assume that’s the focal point of a good party. You can definitely play chef and source out some fresh ingredients. Why not try a dish you’ve been dying to taste? You can find great options through local butchers and markets to put together the perfect combination. Or you can also make life easy and try a quality meal kit. Mise En Place offers a variety of beautiful kits, that you can order for delivery on your special day. If you’re looking for something prepared, packaged and piping hot, there are a number of restaurants spanning the city. You probably have your neighbourhood go-to’s and hey, if you don’t, there’s always a delivery service available for discovery. If you’re on the west end, however, here are a couple ideas for a delicious birthday meal. If you like quality seafood or want a true mouth-watering main, give Lucilles on Monkland a call. Down on Sherbrooke Ouest, La Louisiane will spice up your night with the perfect southern dish. From fried chicken to their infamous Jambalaya. You can’t miss out.

DRINKS

You have to have the beverage of your choice on your special day. Ditch the box wine and plan something nice. Running a quick search online to find which wine pairs with the cuisine you’ll be enjoying for the night goes a long way. Or, you can mix your own cocktails based on the theme of your at-home party. Classic and cool winter drinks like an old-fashion, a spiked-hot cider, or even Sangria if you believe in escapism. Whatever you fancy, make sure it’s fancy. Or at least in a fancy cup! But on a serious note, you could also try some convenient pre-made #ACCatHome cocktail mixes by Atwater Cocktail Club or Brahm Mauer Cocktail Kits.

BALLOONS

The balloon game is strong these days. Any colour, any shape, or customized saying can make your backdrop what you hoped it would be. Check places like balloom.ca, Balloon Bar Mtl or Haute Balloon for some ideas.

FLOWERS

Okay, this one is classic for Valentine’s Day, but can apply to other occasions as well. A bouquet of flowers or even a plant goes a long way on a special day, not to mention a beautiful gesture. Like your restaurant delivery, florists tend to be a local pitstop. But speaking from the NDG standpoint, you may want to try Fleuressence on Monkland or Le Depot Des Fleurs delivery service.

SOMETHING SWEET

Naturally, I’ll be biased and will plug my fabulous cheesecakes once more! But of course, I’d have to admit there are other amazing options to couple your mini cheesecakes with at the dessert table 😉 Smash Cakes carries these awesome pinata cakes filled with treats inside. Not to mention that the process of breaking them open is completely entertaining! If you’re looking for a box of gourmet cookies, look no further! Try Blonde Biscuiterie. Truth is, the city is filled with local, home-based bakers as well as established commercial bakeries that all appreciate your business and want to bake for you! Personally, in NDG I quite love the ambience of Croissant Monkland. I grab my morning double-sugar latte and stare at all the freshly-baked goods they box up to send out on the daily.

PRO TIP: DO YOU.

It’s tempting to sink into your couch and pout out of boredom on your special day. But before you start playing It’s My Party, remember, low key is acceptable too. However, if you’re up for a little fun and want to do something special, you’re within your right! Wear something you like. PJs are great and might be your choice this year, but don’t be afraid to shine, even if the crowd is your household, your zoom crew or just you alone. Be intentional about your theme and commit to it! If you want to sparkle, order a great dress online beforehand. If you want to be cozy, grab your most comfy sweater or a fresh pair of sweats. Pull out your best jeans. You get the point. Celebrate, keep morale high, laugh, connect, stay safe and if you have the chance to support local business, do that too!

Love Corrina