Sunday fun day! The best Sundays in the summer are spent lounging by a body of water, soaking in the sun and feeling zen. Some Sundays, that means going to the beach, drinking too much and making a mess, other Sundays that means going to the spa and embracing relaxation. And what better spa is there than Balnea Spa?
We fell in love with this spa last summer and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better spa that has more things for you to do. Read our review on last year’s fun in the sun HERE! The thermal experience is 70$ for the full day, but there are evening specials, or morning access for a reduced rate. If you combine your thermal experience with a treatment like a massage you also pay a reduced rate for the thermal experience. Click HERE for more details, packages and their rates.
This spa is anything but typical, with hiking trails surrounding the property, a yoga studio, and more! The thermal experience includes the three step cycle of hot – cold – rest. We loved the hot cycle which is a 15-20 minute dip, and then a cold submersion (head and all) for 15-20 seconds which we avoided after we put one little toe in the cold bath. Our favourite was the 15-20 minutes of rest which is the last cycle. We love resting! Especially in the sun, especially after a dip in the hot pools.
The spa is part indoors and part outdoors, with fire pits, relaxation areas in the forest, dark rooms surrounded by a large aquarium, hot and cold pools everywhere on the property, a sauna, and plenty of nooks and crannies, outdoor beds and reclined chairs in the blaring sun and the shade to simply escape. You leave your cell phone in your locker and you disconnect for the day. You won’t realize how much you need the break until you actually do it.
Every Sunday all summer long Balnea Spa has their Été des Chefs, a popup kitchen near the lake at Balnea Spa where a different chef prepares a signature dish on Sundays. No need to dress and go to Balnea Spa’s Lumami Restaurant, this little popup kitchen is available on the grounds of the Spa, overlooking the lake. The 10 dishes and 10 chefs wow you with their culinary ability!
On this particular Sunday, Chef Charles-Emmanuel Pariseau from restaurant O’ Chevreuil presented his smoked salmon prepared in the Blood Tennessee manner. O’ Chevreuil is on Wellington street in Sherbrooke (not in Montreal), if you find yourself in the area, this dish is available at his restaurant between July 3rd to September 10th.
We loved the smoke salmon prepared in the Bloody Tennessee manner, which entails a generous piece of smoked salmon prepared like gravlax with coarse salt, parsley, lime and lemon zest, sugar and pepper. Dollops of the Bloody Tennessee sauce are made up of tomato purée with Jack Daniels, clam juice and tabasco for that Clamato feel. A creamy celery mousse lay under the salmon and razor thin slices of radish and julienned green apples added a nice crunch to the dish. Steak spice and dried bacon bits with greens decorated the plate.
If you want to make the recipe at home Chef Charles-Emmanuel Pariseau provided it HERE! Served with a Trapiche Verietals Chardonnay, it was the perfect light lunch for a gorgeous day at the spa. Été des Chefs is also a gastronomy competition, so this dish will be part of the 10 that a jury of foodie specialties will judge the best dish!
This year there was an ice cream stand next to the popup kitchen and the flavours were out of this world. Mr Wilson, ice cream merchant extraordinaire had a little booth with both traditional and unique combinations for those craving a frozen treat after taking in the sun. Who doesn’t crave refreshing ice cream in the summer?
La Balnea ice cream flavour was crated for the Balnea Spa, we had the choice between yogurt or ice cream, obviously we chose ice cream. Vanilla ice cream with rosemary nuts, freshly ground pepper, basil and olive oil made for a delicious combination of flavours. We also had the Bombshell with refreshing strawberry sorbet, strawberries, basil, basil oil and a balsamic reduction. All the toppings were fresh and delicious, so much so that we need to recreate them at home!
After lunch we headed back to our favourite spot at Balnea Spa, the pier on the lake with the large floating mattress-like apparatuses that floated on the lake and were so thick that they could not be tipped. The perfect spot for reading your book and disappearing onto the lake! If paradise is like this please sign us up, we promise we’ll be good 😉
Being fast moving city people in our usual lives we needed a coffee. We were told that we can go inside to the little bistro that had its own little menu separate from the popup kitchen, and even a picnic basket that you can order and enjoy on the grounds. Once again you can enjoy the bistro’s food and beverages in your bathing suit with a gorgeous view of the spa’s grounds. We enjoyed our cappuccinos feeling very zen.
It felt wonderful to get away from the city, the incense inside the spa was soothing, and the waterfalls outside really added to the stress reducing experience. All our senses were set to relax-mode, Balnea Spa creates the perfect ambiance which goes further than just providing you with great facilities, they set a mood. In our fast moving, technology filled lives, it’s nice to disappear sometimes.
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