Ste. Anne’s Spa is a breathtaking place. From the hot and cold baths, steam rooms, spectacular outdoor swimming pool, to the delectable food options, it is the perfect place for anyone looking for a relaxing and enjoyable day or weekend!
My day began with an amazing tour of the facilities, which included the hours of operation, benefits of the facilities offered, and a whole lot more! I was given time to enjoy the facilities, before going to my morning yoga class!
First stop, I found myself jumping between the cold plunge pool, which is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (yup absolutely freezing), and then quickly hopping into the hot tub, which was around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Although I had never done that before, it was a true pleasure, and I felt so incredibly relaxed. Next stop was the Eucalyptus infused steam room… Wow! I experienced the ultimate cleanse! I could feel the eucalyptus infused steam clearing me from my chest to my nose – what a feeling!
The wellness class included an amazing yoga class, which allowed me to calm my body and mind. After a crazy journey to Iceland four days before, and a hectic workweek, this yoga class was just what I needed! The yoga class at Ste. Anne’s Spa was incredible, as the instructor did not push any individual, and modified all of the stretches and techniques to work for each individual participant. In fact, the yoga instructor, Jackie was also a Celiac – which made me extremely excited, as she totally understood me and we had a lot to discuss!
Ste. Anne’s is well known for their restaurant, and after my incredible visit there, I can totally understand why! Ste. Anne’s Spa can take care of anyone! With their fabulous gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options, anyone with an allergy or food restriction will feel included and be able to enjoy food without hesitation! As a Celiac, it was an absolute pleasure (finally) being comfortable and having the ability to dine safely. In fact, as soon as I sat down at the restaurant, the manager provided me with a seating card that indicated I was Celiac. This added an extra level of caution in the restaurant and made me feel like they took my allergy seriously and understood how to handle my order. Alas... a resort that could cater to those with Celiac Disease! Check out their incredible menus to see more! http://www.steannes.com/menus.html
I was absolutely blown away by the variety of food options, and the delicious meals to choose from. The chefs have clearly taken significant time to perfect their recipes, and all of the food options that I had tried, were incredible! Although I was too full when the waiter came by to offer dessert, I couldn’t resist the gluten free Carrot Cake on the menu! So there I was – eating my Celiac heart away and feeling like a princess at Ste. Anne’s Spa! This Carrot Cake was the best slice of gluten-free cake that I have EVER had, and I truly cherished every bite (I am still dreaming of it to this day!).
Full me then decided it was time to do some exercise, as there was still more AMAZING gluten-free foods coming my way! SO I decided it was time to try out Ste. Anne’s Endless Pool. This in fact is a pool with a treadmill inside. I had never done this before, and because I was so full I decided I needed to give it a try! SO cool – what an amazing way to burn calories quickly, and not even feel like you’re working out! Following the Endless Pool, it was time to hike the stunning trails at Ste. Anne’s Spa! And boy, were the trails beautiful! Wildflowers galore, quiet trails, and stunning views, I could go back any time!
Bakery tour here I come! Escorted to the bakery, I felt like royalty (which I was for 1 day, I’ll take it!) The lovely staff members at Ste. Anne’s Bakery were so friendly and approachable. They’re passionate about the work they do and very proud of their successful gluten-free bakery. They understand the importance of providing gluten-free foods to individuals, and this made me oh so excited!
After getting all clean and ready for a behind the scenes tour in my apron and hair net, I was amazed at how much was going on back there! From the chocolate room, to the ice cream maker, to the bread area, scones, and you name it, it’s being made in their kitchen! The tour consisted of taste testing as well – and all I need to say about that is, I am only a phone call away Ste. Anne’s Bakery, if you ever need a full-time taster! – but I am serious! What a fabulous bakery, I am so happy that I had the opportunity to see the hard work and dedication that goes into the bakery daily!
Time to rest and unwind again – FACIAL time! Using the incredible Ste. Anne’s Skin Nourishment products, I was left to enjoy a 1-hour, relaxing facial before driving back to the busy city of Toronto. These products left my skin soft and hydrated, perfect after flying for hours to and from Iceland!
Thank you Ste. Anne’s Spa, Bakery and Skin Nourishment products for making me feel like a princess! I definitely will be coming back and telling everyone I know about my incredible experience at your wonderful resort!
Well… Italy may be all about wheat, but they actually have embraced Celiac Disease, and understand its severity entirely! It was a complete shock to me. Although I had read countless articles on Celiac Disease and gluten-free places in Italy, I never could have imagined it to be this safe!
Restaurants I visited had separate kitchens, with separate cutlery for those who ate gluten-free, and those who ordered from the regular menu. I also usually expect to find just a few salads that are gluten-free, with a limited number of menu options to actually enjoy. However, at many of the restaurants, I sat reading through the menu for 30-45 minutes, that’s how many options they could provide for people like myself! Have I got you yet? Ready to plan your trip to Italy? Well, I am ready to go back – so if your answer is no, I’ll take your place!
I began my travels in Sorrento, and to my surprise, there were TONS of gluten-free options at our hotel breakfast! Hotel Plaza was absolutely AMAZING to me! They showed me all of the gluten-free foods that I could relish, and even introduced me to a waiter who could provide me gluten-free bread. This gave me the opportunity to make sandwiches to bring with during the day! The dinners were slightly more difficult, but once I found one restaurant, I stuck to it! Sorrento Ristorante Pizzeria L’Abate was absolutely amazing! I met with the owner during the day to explain my allergy, and he had no problem understanding. He showed me fish, meats and salads that I could choose from. Throughout my visit in Sorrento, I found MANY pharmacies that actually had entire walls of shelves filled with gluten free treats and snacks. Clearly labeled, and one of my (now) favourite brands, Schar! Sorrento was breathtaking! I literally fell in love with the city the moment I stepped into it! http://www.labatesorrento.it/en
Next stop, Rome! I thought I was in Celiac heaven in Sorrento’s hotel, but then came Hotel Art (by the Spanish Steps), and they had even more! Yogurts, rice crackers, bread and more (all packaged) with the famous Sans Gluten logo! I was definitely in my element! Mama Eat was right up my alley for all things lunch and dinner! Recognized by the Italian Celiac Association, with two separate kitchens, I was one happy customer! With options like pasta, meats, sandwiches, pizzas, crepes, sweets, you name it, it could be prepared entirely gluten-free with no possible chance of cross-contamination! After one visit, I just HAD to come back every night I stayed in Rome. I couldn’t get enough of this fabulous food and incredibly knowledgeable staff! http://www.mamaeat.com/english/ Throughout Rome I made several stops to excellent gluten-free gelato and popsicle stands, because who visits Italy without a cool, incredible refresher? Not me! That’s forsure!
Ready for some more adventure? Florence, here I come! Florence was another beautiful stop, with TONS of amazing gluten-free options! I stayed at a very cute hotel, called Strozzi Palace Hotel, which was even more fantastic! At breakfast, the hotel provided tons of gluten-free options, and they always gave me a takeaway bag for the day! The bag was jam-packed with bags of gluten-free bread, cookies, and anything I could think of. What an incredible treat! Another restaurant recognized by the Italian Celiac Association, Ciro & Sons Firenze was absolutely to die for! With an abundance of gluten-free options, I was in Celiac Heaven again… Tasting foods like pizza, pasta, gnocchi (for the first time EVER), I never could have imagined that in Italy of all places, I would feel so at home! Ciro & Sons even brought me starter bread (which of course I never get to enjoy), which made me so incredibly happy and satisfied. If you know me by now, you know that after visiting once, I just couldn’t get enough! 3 visits in 3 nights, trying 3 different amazing looking meals – thank YOU Ciro & Sons! http://www.ciroandsons.com
Last (but not least), Venice was the next stop on the list! What a beautiful city on the water! I did not select the option to get my meals through the hotel, however, it was absolutely a fabulous hotel, that was extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free options, and which direction to point me in. The hotel was called Royal San Marco Hotel, which I highly recommend and definitely can accommodate gluten-free (it just wasn’t included in the cost of the hotel). First stop here was Grom! A dedicated gluten-free ice cream & gelato place that I had read rave reviews about, and was craving. YUP! You guessed it, visited Grom every single day that I was in Venice. http://www.grombakery.com/bakery.php I even debated skipping dinner and eating another fabulous Grom ice cream, but that would mean I couldn’t try a new place for dinner! Dinner was at a restaurant called Osteria La Lanterna da Gas. They brought me the foods I could try, and even provided me with all ingredients to check (which I always do!) I had gluten-free lasagna – my first lasagna in Italy and boy was I in paradise! https://www.facebook.com/lanternadagas
I am still dreaming of Italy – and would never have guessed how amazing this country filled with gluten would be to me! I am SO ready to go back… So anyone, need a Celiac travel buddy? I am so down!
Love to all xo,
Welcome to MCL World
I am currently in my 20's, working a full-time job in downtown Toronto, and enjoying the foods I have always dreamed of. I absolutely love to travel, and I am always excited to explore new gluten-free restaurants that I can feel comfortable at in a new city or country!