DINE and Destinations - - TASTING NOTES -

There is a lot of buzz about Hock­ley Val­ley Re­sort and Spa. It’s a smooth 45-minute drive from Toronto, and we get the sense of it from the mo­ment we open the mas­sive doors to a slice of tran­quil­ity. We are im­me­di­ately em­braced by an em­blem­atic, quiet state of mind. Ush­ered into the spa for our sig­na­ture or­ganic pedi­cure, we ea­gerly an­tic­i­pate ex­treme pam­per­ing. We’re not dis­ap­pointed. Our toot­sies are im­mersed in a pep­per­mint foot bath, fol­lowed by a scrub de­rived from lo­cally sourced and nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and es­sen­tial oils, and end­ing with a hy­drat­ing foot mask. A hot stone mas­sage stim­u­lates re­flexes. To com­plete the ex­pe­ri­ence, we’re given nail care and groom­ing. My feet feel pure, com­forted and, yes, loved. And there is more joy in this heav­enly place. A sea­son­ally in­spired body wrap is a beauty treat­ment from an­cient times. It be­gins with a full body ex­fo­li­a­tion and, then, we are co­cooned in a cus­tomblended, lo­cally made wrap us­ing the strength and heal­ing ben­e­fits of es­sen­tial oils. Head and face, too, re­ceive at­ten­tion with a scalp mas­sage and mini fa­cial with hy­drat­ing mas­sage cream. No mus­cle in my body re­calls tension, no patch of skin re­mains un-il­lu­mi­nated. And now, we will feed the in­ner woman. Lunch in the calm and un­pre­ten­tious din­ing room is a match for the per­fec­tion of the spa. Ravi­oli with On­tario Ri­cotta and D.O.P gor­gonzola fill­ing is glazed with brown but­ter and sage pre­pared by a chef with the light touch of an an­gel. Lo­cal trout and veg­eta­bles from a nearby gar­den sing of fresh­ness and prom­ise health. A day like this is a gen­tle re­minder that we no longer need to travel great dis­tances to enjoy ful­fill­ing so­lace for mind and body. —SW www.hock­

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