Enjoying lunch time in the summer at Ste. Anne’s Spa on the terrace facing the rolling hills, beautiful and luscious gardens and the large fresh water pool is a must-have experience. There’s no doubt in my mind that the outdoor patio has one of the best views of the grounds and inspires a very positive and vibrant lunch experience.
In my last post I covered my spa experience and what I love about Ste. Anne’s, today I want to share with you the fantastic food experience we enjoyed and how (almost*) easy it was to eat vegan there! (*don’t worry, I’ll share later). All meals are scheduled to accommodate all the guests fairly, so keeping your itinerary in your robe pocket is a good idea!
The menu at Ste. Anne’s is ever changing so you’re almost guaranteed to have something new and exciting for every meal, every single day. I feel changing menus allow chefs and kitchens to get creative; it also inspires them to use local produce – both of which are utilized by the staff at Ste. Anne’s. Whatever can be sourced locally is, from farms across Ontario. Of course off-season items can come from around the world but they strive to offer local cuisine so you’re guaranteed a fresh and delicious meal. Ste. Anne’s also has a gluten-free bakery off grounds (if you’d like to visit there they will chauffer you at no additional cost during your stay), however you do have the option to enjoy the gluten-free goodies at every meal during your stay. **Note: the gluten-free baked goods are not vegan.. I didn’t get to try any, but the ladies I went with raved at how delicious they were).
- If you’d like to sit outside, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier than your scheduled meal time (you cannot reserve the outdoor patio)
- If you have any allergies or intolerances, try to let the Spa and Kitchen know in advance
- Remind your serving staff of your dietary needs, they will usually place a card on your table with your restrictions to assist in serving your the appropriate foods
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a list of ingredients (I had to double check for each plate that there was no dairy, meat or eggs in my meals)
- You can ask for more! Simply ask your server to try multiple items on the menu and they will accommodate
- You can also easily substitute items (as I did with my main meal, see below)
For my lunch I was able to try their delicious watercress and shaved carrot salad with a very tasty and flavourful cilantro dressing. I actually loved the salad so much and can’t wait to try to recreate it at home. My appetizer was then followed by a customized main dish – their quinoa burger and iceburg salad without the bun and dairy free dressing. I have to say the staff we’re very accommodating with this! It was the only option on the lunch menu that I could enjoy as the remaining selection was either meat (fish, red meat or chicken), soy-based tofu or dairy options.
I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of effort the servers took in ensuring our meals were correct and included only food items we could all eat and enjoy. Dessert was a very special and tasty vegan cake that was just fantastic. I gobbled that up no problem. Everything we ordered was made in house, that day!
Lunch was quite a success in my books and I left very happy to enjoy my massage and a few hours by the pool afterwards. Of course it didn’t end there! We were only too quick to get back to the patio for afternoon tea after such a wonderful experience.
There’s no fancy hats, facinatirs or dress code required, simply wearing your swim suit and a robe is acceptable during this laid back afternoon tea time. I absolutely loved the relaxed atmosphere!
Afternoon tea was a blast to say the least. This was the moment we realized we could ask for more and so, we did. Our table order copious amounts of fruit and veggies with bean and hummus dips along with fruit infused cranberries and gluten free goodies. We ended up ordering pitchers of their homemade ice tea as it was simply to-die-for and is a must-try if you go! To finish off the day we enjoyed some freshly made espresso’s before heading back to the pool lounge chairs to relax some more!
Here’s the unfortunate part: the crackers *even the gluten-free ones* are not vegan, they contain milk-by products (shout out to @veganonearth for letting me know!). Unfortunately I ate some as I was informed they were vegan and ended up with quite a sore tummy afterwards. Needless to say however, I enjoy the over all experience and am very grateful to the staff for trying to be as accommodating as possible to my dietary needs.
Eating out at Ste. Anne’s is most definitely possible for those with allergies, intolerances and dietary choices (like vegans). I would highly recommend eating on the outdoor patio during the summer season as there is simply nothing better!
Have you been to Ste. Anne’s before? What was your experience? Are there any other good spa’s that offer vegan meal options?