There’s something really special about the drive up to Ste. Anne’s. Nestled in off the 401 just over an hour outside of Toronto in the green and rolling hills of Grafton, Ste. Anne’s Spa has become a sought after destination for those looking for more than just R&R. On a recent press trip to check out their luxurious accommodations, gluten free bakery and of course top notch spa treatments,but also we were treated to a scrumptious private chef experience by Executive Chef Jeffrey Wilfong.I had been to Ste Anne’s once before, years ago, after having my second daughter. Things I remembered were not the same, and while I can blame my pregnancy addled brain on thinking it was for women only, the rest was a blur of getting caught up on sleep and enjoying a few moments of peace and quiet! This time, I was ready to take it all in. Starting with a jaunt to the on-site gluten free bakery, we grabbed some sweet treats to tide us over until dinner. The Vista Lago cottage would be the scene of this four course pampering and none of us we here to just fill up on (delicious gluten free) bread!
Spa treatments were first up, and a perfect way to start relaxing and bond with my fellow gal pals. A tour of the grounds lead us to the spa, and the bathrobe fashion show began. Guests frequently opt to don the robes around the hotel, the casual and comfortable vibes penetrate past just the spa. The entire time you spend here echoes that sentiment- it’s time to unwind so why bother with pants anyways?
After our spa treatments, and a quick soak in their hot tub, it was time for dinner. The setting couldn’t be any better equipped. Sumptuous king sized beds were waiting in our own private bedrooms. Vista Lago has it’s own deck, hot tub, sitting room, and of course, fully stocked deluxe kitchen. Chef Wilfong greeted us upon our return, already getting his mise en place sorted and plating the amuse bouches. The very sight of him relaxed the group – we were instructed directly by Chef not to lift a finger, leaving the food for him to prepare, and the plates for him to clean up. It felt almost sinful! Chef was mostly a silent partner to our BYOB dinner party, letting us ladies sink our teeth into hours long conversations that just don’t tend to happen in the city. Chef was in tune with this, he’s clearly catered quite a few of these parties before. His dishes were knockouts: a gluten free amuse bouche was presented lollipop style, followed by a what I’m calling a fondue pocket– a crispy battered cheese portion topped with roasted cherry tomatoes was seasonal and a little decadent! Chef was enamoured with his ingredients, many of which are grown locally, right on Ste Anne’s property, including the filet mignon that was raised onsite. Desserts were a sweet finish with crème brûlée torched in front of our eyes, and Jeffrey insisted we leave the plates after we finished- strict instructions to not tidy up- a gal can get used to this! Ste Anne’s has also just announced that a new cooking school will be part of the experience, they’re currently putting the finishing touches on a completely new building to facilitate this new endeavor. I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or Chef Jeffrey! Huge thank you to Ste Anne’s for the generous invitation and thanks so much to my fellow ladies for hanging out and star gazing! If you’re looking for a summer getaway, check out Ste Anne’s site for all the booking details.