Thirty-Six Reasons to Go on a Culinary Adventure


There are two things in life you simply can’t escape: taxes, and getting old.

(Except if you’re Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which case you’re really just trying to avoid the tax man while growing “young” into a hot babe. Side note – Brad Pitt, circa 2004, was what fantasies were made of.)

Alas, I am growing old… but I’m not old just yet. It’s my 36th birthday this Sunday! Now I’m not one to have over-the-top celebrations, per se… but I do like to do something simple and special to acknowledge the day. Of course, I don’t think I’ll ever beat my 35th birthday, when I met Oprah Winfrey (<< shameless photo plug), but I’ve got something amazing lined up just the same.

As a guest of Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario – I will be embarking on a healing weekend of rest, relaxation and culinary delights. Voted Canada’s Favourite Spa 2006 – 2013 (Spafinder Readers), the destination spa boasts an invigorating, Old World atmosphere, exceptional spa services and tantalizing menus.

Picture it: The Main Inn and Ontario spa cottages are nestled across over 400 acres of scenic, rolling countryside; each uniquely appointed accommodation features its own style and amenities. More than 35 rejuvenating spa treatments revitalize and soothe the senses while the culinary team creates scrumptious cuisine which delights the palette. Now I *could* go through all the amazing spa treatments that Ste. Anne’s offers, but really, you can simply check them out here. And while I’m very much looking forward to a weekend of pampering, what I’m most excited about is the Culinary Retreat that my husband and I will be treated to. 

“Presenting a Ste. Anne’s Spa Culinary Connoisseurs Retreat to satisfy the most savvy food lovers! Spend 1 or 2 nights in one of our private spa cottages and delight your mind, body, soul and palate. Our chef is ready to inspire you with local seasonal fare and organic produce, enhance your cooking skills and rapidly expand your recipe repertoire. Each retreat will have a cuisine focus while you spend time enjoying cooking demonstrations and hands-on learning in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Guests can choose from a variety of themes for their 1- or 2-night retreat: Gluten-Free Cooking, Organic and Whole Foods, Diva Dinner Party, Staying Local, Hors D’oeuvres, or Winter & Seasonal Soups. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll indulge in your sweet tooth – with a private baking lesson with Ste. Anne’s Pastry Chef Khushroo Khambata.

“Khushroo is the magic behind the scenes at the bakery. Khushroo’s love for cooking began at a young age, experimenting with raw ingredients in his mother’s kitchen. His interest was never lost and from there he has travelled the world, from India to Austria to the Caribbeans he has been mastering his craft.”

And the accommodations? I’m sure I’ll need to write up a separate post dedicated solely to the beautiful Casa Del Sol cottage where we’ll be staying. The cottage is located only 100 metres from the Main Inn with lush green scenery that backdrops the cottage. Guests can relax on the wrap around porch and enjoy a beautiful sunset. Casa Del Sol features 5 bedrooms, a large full kitchen, full living & dining room, private porch, 3 bathrooms, 2 gas fireplaces and private parking. I can’t think of a better place to blow out 36 candles! And maybe indulge in a little birthday cake –

I am so looking forward to this weekend away! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram as I detail my spa experience, and stay tuned…. upon my return, I just may have an AH-MAZING giveaway for you (something like a $2,000 value spa getaway. Shhh! I’m not saying any more).

Click here to visit Ste. Anne’s Spa.