Grand Prix, for me, is all about the parties and the excuse to go all glam over the course of an entire weekend. I started attending F1 parties 5 years ago when the Ritz-Carlton first invited me to their prestigious Grand Prix party. Knowing that this year’s event at the Ritz is beyond most people’s budgets, I’ve put together a high-low activity list for you. Whether you’re prepared to go all out or choose to have a simple happy hour or brunch, below are some of the best places to see and be seen, no matter your budget.ALL OUT RITZY
The most illustrious Grand Prix party happens tonight at the Ritz. In an effort to make this year’s fête even more exclusive, the Ritz has limited the number of tickets to 500-700 (as opposed to last year’s 1200) and they’ve upped the price of last year’s VIP ticket from $425 to a whopping $600. There’s also no longer an after 9pm ticket option. If you have a champagne budget to spend on one evening, then this is THE party you should attend. It never disappoints and you will be partying with la crème-de-la-crème of Montreal celebs and socialites. Get your tickets here: Ritz Montreal Grand Prix Party 2017
Photo: Dan Peres
Wear something urban chic and head to the pop-up Moët & Chandon beach bar in front of the Ritz-Carlton’s Maison Boulud restaurant for a glass of bubbly. Order a Moët “piscine” (champagne on ice served in a generous globe-shaped glass) and small bites for balance. From the terrace, just far enough removed from the Grand Prix-goers, you can sip your Moët and admire the other chic clients’ attire and some of the world’s fanciest sports cars parked in front of the Ritz. No reservations necessary and only a modest champagne budget required. Open all weekend.
1228 Sherbrooke St. West
BRUNCH IT UPFANCY BRUNCH
For the ultimate in French savoir-faire, head to the Renoir at the Sofitel for Sunday brunch – by far the most unforgettable brunch buffet I’ve ever had! From fresh oysters and an entire cooked salmon laid out on display to the sumptuous desserts by French pastry chef Roland Del Monte, this is the finest brunch to splurge on. I suggest not eating the night before! $61 per person, champagne mimosas are $25 extra. The only seating is at noon on Sunday. Reservations are a must. (514) 788-3038
Restaurant Le Renoir
Sofitel Montreal, 1155 Sherbrooke St W
For a fun-filled affair, Terrasses Bonsecours down in the Old Port is hosting a unique version of their weekly Boozy Brunch. This Saturday (noon – 5pm), in honour of Grand Prix, the Terrasses are turning their regular Saturday Boozy Brunch into a full-on TIKI party! So, let’s have a TIKI KIKI and don’t forget to dress the part! A $50 ticket includes: a full Tiki-themed brunch, tunes by DJ YO-C, a flower lei, a mixology demo and a TIKI welcome cocktail! More info here: Grand Prix Tiki Brunch
364 de la Commune Street East
(Inspiration: Uma Thurman, Cannes Film Fest 2017)
HOLLYWOOD GLAM, TWO WAYS
Le Richmond is rolling out the red carpet Saturday night for an over-the top soirée inspired by Hollywood. Dress in your most lavish gown and enjoy Piper Heidsieck champagne, canapés and an Oscars-worthy evening. VIP tickets are $400 for the 7pm champagne and canapés portion or $200 for the after-party, starting at 10:30pm. Whether you go for the Hollywood high-roller happening or the penny-wise after-party, be prepared to party until 3am. For reservations: Le Richmond
377 Richmond Street, Griffintown
(Highlights from last year)
GO HIGH OR GO LOW AT AUBERGE ST-GABRIELWRAP IT UP IN STYLE
F1 CANADA 50TH ANNIVERSARY CLOSING EVENING
The Auberge has many prestigious parties over the weekend, but aside from the Sunday night closing party, they’re all sold out! Don’t miss the chance to unwind with the race car drivers and local celebs during this hot-ticket event. $80 gets you in, bottle service gets you friends. Book your tickets here.BELVEDERE, MY DEAR
A pop-up terrace with a pool party theme hosted by Belvedere Vodka at the Auberge. Be sure to reserve a spot as this will be a happening terrace all weekend. Perfect place to wet your toes and your whistle. Reservations recommended, no cover charge. More info here.
426 St-Gabriel street, Old Montreal
Have fun! And celebrate responsibly.