Photos, Videos and Story submitted by Aysha Tayab-Ratsep
Before we could allow the holiday frenzy and festivities to begin, my husband and I decided to leave town to recharge and give each other a relaxing experience. What better way to do so than to spend a weekend at Canada’s number one wellness retreat for three years in a row? Enter Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing.
The sense of calm and serenity was instantly palpable the moment we checked into the retreat. Our room was comfortable and spacious.
After a restful sleep in a quiet space, we started our day bright and early with a wonderful breakfast.
Don’t be fooled by the chocolate in these buckwheat pancakes; the entire dish was healthy. I mean, the dish was adorned with fresh fruit. All the food served here was healthy and plant-based. Being the flexitarian that I am, I was open-minded to this concept. The meals here gave me some great inspiration that drove me out of my culinary rut. But more about that later.
Since there was a spa in this retreat, I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to be pampered. All treatments were to be booked 24 hours in advance. Before our arrival, I booked a 30 minute back, neck, and shoulder massage. I wasn’t given a time for this treatment when I booked it over the phone. At first, I thought to call back and ask but then I thought that I wasn’t on any schedule while here. My day planner was not coming with me on this trip. It was our time to relax and just go with the flow and find out when I got there. Before my massage, the two of us spent time in the Great Hall.
It was absolutely stunning and probably my favourite part of the retreat. The view outside was the perfect complement to the space and was just beckoning me to take it all in.
When I had my massage, I knew that it was exactly what I needed. As someone who works at a computer all day, I never realized how much tension I carry. 30 minutes can go by fast but the relaxing effects of this treatment stayed with me long after it was over. Not only was my body feeling more relaxed but my mind was also more at ease. The running commentary in my mind came to a complete silence, a rare occurrence for my mind that runs a mile a minute.
We spent the rest of our day reading, relaxing, and exploring the rest of the retreat. There was so much to explore.
There was a room for yoga and meditation.
There was room to nurture your creative side.
But there’s nothing like fresh air in a serene and quiet space. We went for a short walk toward the trails and embarked upon a few surprises along the way.
The outdoor hot tub looked so inviting. We also saw some horses for guests to feed and just enjoy their company.
Now about the rest of the food we indulged during our stay. Not only did they taste wonderful but we were in admiration of how artfully these dishes were presented. Our lunch was a lovely cucumber salad with a quinoa chilli.
Dinner was lighter fare of swiss chard and walnut salad and pasta with plant-based alfredo sauce. The salad with a base of swiss chard was a pleasant surprise for me and an idea I’ll be bringing home. I guess you can make friends with salad.
Our last meal here was breakfast the following day. It was a hearty and plentiful dish of quiche with assorted vegetables and greens. The perfect ending to fuel us on our drive back home.
If you’re in need of a recharge and a place to relax, then Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing should definitely be on your bucket list! If you’ve been there before, then feel free to tag Hastings County in your photos on social media!
Story and photographs by Aysha Tayab-Ratsep
As one of our six Local Wanderers exploring Hastings County, Aysha enjoys Arts and Culture, Agri-Tourism and Paddling adventures.
She grew up in a rural community, suffers from an incurable travel bug, and is an ambassador for the road less travelled.
Learn more about Aysha and her adventures as well as the other five Local Wanderers and the excursions they've experienced across the County here.