Ste. Anne’s Gluten Free Spa – Grafton, ON

Ste. Anne’s Gluten Free Spa – Grafton, ON

fullsizeoutput_6d7Last Valentines day I was able to visit the wonderful Ste. Annes Spa in Grafton, ON. I went with my good friend Kayla Logan who is also a blogger and we had an absolute blast.

If you’re just reading about Ste. Annes Spa for the first time it is an All Inclusive resort which is Certified Gluten Free. This is a huge deal for those of us who are looking to truly relax and not have to worry about our next meal. We were more than well taken care of, and the menu is to die for.

So where to begin with this blog post. The beautiful little cottage we stayed in was cozy, historical, and even had a hot tub for us to enjoy after we were done at the Spa for the day. The weather was snowy so a hot tub dip with the snow all around us was so relaxing and beyond our expectations.

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Because the bakery on site is 100% Gluten Free (and certified gluten free from the Canadian Celiac Association also!) they have just a really extensive menu. More than anything I’ve been offered before, I ate like a queen during our stay. They bring fresh juice with almost all meals, and they even use their own ingredients grown on site where possible. True farm to fork experience- they even use their own meat products.

fullsizeoutput_67dFor my Spa Treatment I chose to do the Integrated Lympatic Drainage treatment. It was very soothing and calming and I chose it as I was trying to get the most detoxing experience I could and our lymphatic system could always use a good drainage treatment. I have also had the Eucalyptus Body Wrap which is my personal favourite treatment they have, as I’m obsessed with Eucalyptus. The treatments range in time frames from 30-120 minutes and the rooms are completely relaxing for the duration of your treatment.

untitled (239 of 416)There is an outdoor pool which was closed during our stay as it was Winter, but the property also has Horse Stables, multiple Cottages, the bakery, and more. Inside the property is the steam rooms, treatment rooms, relaxation and quiet rooms, and each one of these rooms comes with some baked goods to nibble on and some fresh coffee and tea to sip on. The total experience is completely a dream and relaxing. Its a Spa Trip I will forever look forward to and always feel it is worth the splurge.

Each meal is set with a beautiful table setting, and they mark each persons name tag with their dietary needs and even a nice quote like the one below.

“I have created this beautiful garden where many people will come to be healed.”

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Overall the 24 hour stay was relaxing, fulfilling and extremely satisfying. There was never a point where I went hungry, and Ste Annes Spa is truly focused on true health and wellness. We were both sent home with a gorgeous goodie bag filled with their own health and beauty line of products. Their beauty line they create using their own essential oils they make themselves. Also they have a new CBD line of products which we love and use daily!

Thank you to Ste. Anne’s Spa for hosting us for this stay. All opinions in this blog are mine.

xo, Erin
Erin@glitzandgf.com

Harvest Restaurant – Brooklin, ON

Harvest Restaurant – Brooklin, ON

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1 Way St Brooklin, ON
phone: 289 278 1799

Being invited to Harvest in Brooklin, ON at this time of year couldn’t have been any more perfect timing. 

A beautiful old home turned into restaurant, it really adds to the feel of this place. Make sure to check out the back yard too.. a really beautiful Willow tree makes for a relaxing setting. And the beautiful lights strung on the deck and patio make it the perfect place for a Fall date night.

Our server greeted us, with some fresh Gluten Free Toast & Butter, already knowing about my Celiac needs. He was more than attentive throughout the meal. Super polite, and very concerned with ensuring his guests were happy the whole time. 
We were started with an amazing Fall Cocktail with Rum, Ginger beer, and some apple cider. Perfect for the first Fall feel weather. Personally, I tend to drink more alcohol in the Winter months than the summer.. go figure! Anyways, this cocktail was phenomenal. 

To start with we shared the Ontario Farm Salad ($12). This salad had fresh Ontario ingredients. Goat Cheese, seasonal vegetables including beets, onions, and goat cheese! Very refreshing. Next up was the Portobello Bruschetta on Gluten Free toast. It was so rich, packed with roasted red peppers, baby spinach, Portobello mushrooms, and a delicious rosemary aioli. It was very rich, but oh-so-decadent. 

The main courses were just as decadent and packed with flavour. 8oz Flat Iron Steak cooked medium rare, and sliced perfectly for us diners. Grilled Shrimp, mashed potatoes and some seasonal steamed veg completed the meal. The steak was melt in your mouth type of steak and whoever is running that kitchen sure knows how to bbq! 
The next main course was a Gluten Free Alfredo Pesto dish.  The noodles were to die for! Also, yes, they do cook the pasts in its own GF pot of water, and make everything to order so they have great practises and are able to focus on keeping it Gluten Free.

To finish we had a delicious Creme Brûlée topped with seasonal Gooseberry! Gooseberry is a fruit that to me is a cross between a berry and a kiwi. The Creme Brûlée was very delicious, as was this entire meal.

Over all this place is Gluten Friendly- they do have a shared fryer, so that takes it down a notch. They are fully trained on Celiac Disease and can handle any request, but in terms of being 100% Gluten Free- they are not. So as always, do your research, call ahead, and make reservations.

harvest

 

Couples Resort

Couples Resort

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139 Galeairy Lake Rd,(End of)
Whitney – Algonquin Park, On, K0J 2M0.
Toll Free: 1-866-202-1179
info@couplesresort.ca

**To book- please call the front desk, and mention glutenfreedurhamregion.com to get the best rates available**

THE RESORT —
I was invited by Couples Resort to come for Valentines Day weekend with my sweetheart. This resort is about a 3 hour drive from Whitby. It is a beautiful drive with absolutely no traffic. Lots of trees, and such a stunning landscape to experience. It’s certainly not one of those bothersome drives that becomes painful, as it is just taking in the beauty that our province provides us.
Upon entering the resort, we checked in at the front desk. Mary met us with a friendly smile, and gave us all the information we need to explore the resort (and surrounding areas). There is so much to do while staying here, but the great part is just staying put in your room is just as satisfying. We were able to get a great balance of exploring the outdoors, and enjoying the comfort of our room.

On site is a spa where you can receive a variety of treatments (RMT Massage, Mani/Pedi, Body treatments), there is a solarium with a nice small gym and dry sauna, some shorter walking trails, as well as the Gallery.

We got ourselves checked in, checked out the dining room (I didn’t even have to tell them – they already had “Celiac” noted! Huge boost of confidence there!), and then went to unpack and see our room. 

THE ROOM–

The room is beyond any expectation I had imagined. In your washroom you have a European Shower which has a sauna in it. A large closet to hang your jackets, dresses, and store your luggage. There is a small kitchen with a Keurig to brew coffee in the morning, a sink, as well as a microwave and mini fridge. One really great thing is the drinking water is right from Algonqiun— very clean and refreshing. I made sure to drink tons of water while here, there is something about water right from your backyard that fills my hippie soul with happiness! A wood fireplace awaits, and is situated directly in front of the King Size bed. A TV which includes Shaw Satellite TV service as well as Netlflix. A comfy large couch, and your own balcony which has a personal hot tub for your and your honey to enjoy in private. Oh, and did I mention the gigantic whirlpool bath tub right beside the King Size bed? Oh yes. It is pure luxury and bliss. I have never felt like such a princess and so relaxed than staying at Couples Resort. We stayed in the Reubens room, which boasts 10ft ceilings, and is just about 1000 sq ft. With all that this room has to offer, you may never want to leave it! There is really no negatives to this place! The few suggestions I would have as a Celiac Diner is that for room service, It would be nice to have a little “GF” sticker, or marker, on the lids as our first night we ordered room service but had trouble identifying whose was whose as we ordered a few of the same items. Same with breakfast, a little difficult to decipher, and some of us who require a Gluten Free diet sometimes need that extra bit of confidence. I also found that after using the Sauna I wanted something a little more than water to drink, but there was no vending machine, or access to any juice or anything outside of dining hours.  The rooms are beautiful decorated and the renovations they have done are top notch. The decor is outstanding and really adds to the amazing vibe this room has. All of the furniture is carefully hand crafted, and the wallpaper to match.

THE FOOD–

When it comes to dining, this place has it down pat. Everyone is fully understanding of what “Celiac Disease” is, means, and what it requires. You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you will not be looked at funny or asked “is this gluten?” while staying here. You just advise while booking any dietary restrictions and they know about it the entire time you are staying.

For breakfast I had a Gluten Free Waffle, Omelette, and the Couples Retreat breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns). Let me tell you it has been a long time since I have had a waffle and these puppies were fluffy, sweet, and so filling. Perfect meal before venturing out into the cold to enjoy all this resort has to offer. Each morning it was a good variety of protein, carbs, and fresh fruit to enjoy.
For dinner the first night I had the 10oz New York Strip Steak, which came with fresh, crunchy green beans, and Double Smoke Bacon Confit potatoes. The steak was grilled exactly as I asked and it was seasoned wonderfully. All of the flavours and sauces complimented each portion that made up the meal. For starters I had Citrus Prawns, and Pork Belly the first night, and an Artisan Duck Salad, with Honey Tomato soup the next night. Again, everything is so fresh tasting, extremely colourful, and packed with flavour. It has been a long time since I have had Tomato soup so that was a real treat for me! I had a delicious Buccatini Carbonara, with Gluten Free Penne instead of the Spaghetti. It was served with a thick, creamy Black Pepper, Egg & Creamy Parmesan Sauce, as well as packed with Double Smoked Bacon. My taste buds were on overload! Normally I don’t allow myself much dairy, but it was well worth it on this vacation to indulge and enjoy all that this menu has to offer! They have Vegetarian options as well, for those of you that eat Vegetarian. They offer multiple desserts- I had the Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, the Creme Brûlée, and the Chocolate Ganache Tower. All so tasty and filling. For someone like me who tends to skip dessert, I was all in at Couples Resort! I indulged and it was worth it.
Over all I was super impressed with this vacation. It is the perfect place to visit for a getaway where you need some quality time. The whole package is here— and you won’t leave feeling disappointed, or hungry.  It is a beautiful drive, in a beautiful part of Ontario. I will absolutely be returning, and would highly suggest this spot to anyone who wants to have some alone time to relax and be romanced!