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Pamper Me Girls Getaway

by Pam Belgrade

Being the only female in the house I must say I always look forward to a little getaway with my friends to catch up, rejuvenate and enjoy some girl-time.  There are many appealing girls’ getaway activities here in the Burlington area whether you are a visitor or a local craving a little pampering.  If you are looking for inspiration, here is one I’d recommend.  You can win this fabulous getaway with gift certificates for all the dining, shopping, and activities along the way by entering online – look for the link at the end of this blog.   

Pamper Me Girls Getaway

Day 1 – RELAX and INDULGE

Victoria at the spaGoing to a spa is an indulgence that many of us don’t treat ourselves to often and is a perfect outing for a girls getaway.  Being pampered -having a relaxing massage, enjoying a glass of wine or specialty tea, and chatting with your BFF is one of those small luxuries that help reduce stress and rejuvenates you.  In Burlington we have some wonderful day spas that you can enjoy and the Blair Lancaster Spa is a favourite. This day spa is part of the Chocolate Trail and has been highly recommended by our guest bloggers Victoria and Christie. Indulge in a chocolate treatment (the pedicure is one of the best) and sip some chocolate chai tea all the while relaxing in a shiatsu massage chair with warm neck wrap.  Don’t forget to bring some flip flops if you go for the pedi so you don’t have to walk in spa “flops”. 

Follow up your spa visit by walking to Paradiso Restaurant located in the historic Village Square. Paradiso is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and Chef Adam McKay has once again shown his creative flair in their lunch menu.  Try delicious options such as, crab ravioli in a spicy basil sauce perfectly presented by the chef – it’s one of my favorites.  

Casteleyn Belgian Chocolatiers along the Burlington Chocolate TrailAfter starting your day with the chocolate spa treatment, continue the decedance along the Burlington Chocolate Trail.  It is the perfect outlet for the chocoholic in you and let’s face it what women doesn’t like chocolate! Personally I think it should be its own food group.  Along this self guided trail you and your friends can indulge in a wide variety of chocolate treats. I can say that I have tried most of the chocolate indulgences along the trail (the sacrifices I make for the job!) and they are absolutely to die for.  From Paradiso it’s only a short walk over to Casteleyn Belgian Chocolatiers on Brant St. where Belgian trained chocolatier Mark Casteleyn creates amazing chocolates and truffles made with the finest ingredients. I am sure that after you sample one of these chocolate temptations you won’t walk away empty-handed. I know what you’re thinking, how can it get better than this?  Well, hop in the car and head north for award-winning handcrafted melt-aways (my fav), cookies, and chocolate creations at Walker’s Chocolates. This family run business is a Burlington staple and all their chocolates are made in small batches and hand-stirred in copper kettles to let the full flavour of fresh butter, fruit, and nuts develop slowly in the traditional way.  After a sample and likely more goodies in your shopping bag you can pop down to visit our friend Angelo at Mrs. B’s Gifthouse. From the moment you open the door, the smell of freshly baked biscotti tempts you and Angelo is always welcoming with a cup of coffee and of course a sample of his delectable all natural, made one batch at a time biscotti.  We are often the lucky receipents of Mrs. B’s chocolate delights and can attest to the goodness of all of them!  Both of these stores are located in the same plaza in mid-town.  

Holiday Inn PoolAfter your spa treatment, lunch and chocolate delights check into the Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre conveniently located in midtown.  The Holiday Inn is one of the Burlington Hotel Association (BHA) member hotels and has recently been beautifully renovated. Take some time to relax by going for a swim in the largest indoor hotel pool in the city, melt off those chocolate samples in the sauna (or in the fitness centre if you’re keen).  Back in the room you can freshen up then head down to the Alloro Bar on site for a drink before heading out to dinner.

FB_IvyWith a fabulous pedicure and your sassiest girls getaway outfit on you’re ready for a visit to Ivy Bar and KitchenThis popular night spot for the 25 plus crowd boasts a great dinner menu, I tried the lunch menu at Ivy during the summer Taste of Burlington program and enjoyed their Caesar salad, spicy dry rub chicken club and powdered donuts with blueberry ginger dipping sauce. I had to take a doggie bag home so I enjoyed it the next day too!  After dinner on weekends (Fri/Sat) you can stay and dance the night away. The scene is full of great music, bustling bar action for a more sophisticated night out, and plenty of areas to dance, socialize, snack, or mingle the night away.  The nice thing about the Ivy is it is not far from the hotel. The perfect end to your day.   

Day 2 – ART & RETAIL THERAPY

Art Etc. Gift Shop GlassesAfter a night of dining and dancing you’re sure to have appreciated a good night’s sleep in the comfort of your home away from home at the Holiday Inn plus your morning will be just that much better after enjoying the aromatherapy amenities by Bath & Body Works, standard in all guest rooms and suites.  A quick trip down the elevator to Alloro for a delicious breakfast (if you’re there on Sundays be sure to enjoy the brunch) and you’re off to spend your second day indulging in some retail therapy. First stop is downtown to browse the Burlington Art Centre (BAC) and Art Etc. Gallery Shop. The Burlington Art Centre has the world’s largest collection of Canadian contemporary ceramics and has displays of photography, weaving, textiles and various types of paintings.  Ease into your day by wandering the various galleries, walk through the beautiful greenhouse, a little oasis displaying art in nature and have a coffee at the onsite cafe.  Before you head out take some time to peruse the gallery shop for beautiful ceramics, art glass, paintings, jewellery and art all hand-crafted by Canadian artisans.  I rarely visit without coming away with some treasure and who doesn’t love a one of a kind gift.  An added bonus ~  admission to The BAC is free.

West Plains BistroBy now you are probably starving, plan to stop in Aldershot for lunch at the West Plains Bistro before continuing on to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). This quaint Bistro is conveniently located on Plains Rd. halfway between downtown the RBG.  It is a very popular spot for locals and visitors and offers European flair with fresh market ingredients.  If the weather is fair you can enjoy your lunch on the patio and feel like you are transported to Paris with the painted murals and lovely flowers.  I have tried a number of their lunch menu items and the quiche, crepes and baguettes were all exceptional and serving sizes generous.  

Koi at RBGYour last stop of the day is the RBG a National Historic Site of Canada that features over 2,700 acres of breathtaking gardens and spectacular nature sanctuaries.  If the weather is good you can enjoy the four outdoor display gardens where there is always something in bloom from May until September.  In the off season you can visit the Atrium with its living wall and the Mediterranean Garden under glass which features a koi pond and many seating areas to enjoy this little escape from the cold.  After taking in the gardens, be sure to pop into the Gardens’ Gift Shop which has everything for gardening enthusiasts plus unique Canadiana, RBG merchandise and art and crafts perfect for gift giving.  Every year I pick up Christmas gifts of books, jewellery, scarves, hostess gifts etc. at this shop and they have always been a hit!  

After two days of “girl time” we hope you will arrive home feeling refreshed and with treats and treasures to share with family and friends or keep for yourself.

If this sounds like the perfect getaway for you and your girlfriends then … ENTER TO WIN A GIRLS GETAWAY WEEKEND VALUED AT $600

Prize includes:

  • $100 Blair Lancaster Spa gift certificate
  • $50 Paradiso Restaurant gift certificate
  • Chocolate Trail Retailers $20/$25 certificates – Castelyn Belgian Chocolates, Walkers Chocolates, Mrs. B’s Gifthouse
  • Overnight stay in standard room at Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre including breakfast
  • $75 Ivy Bar/Kitchen gift certificate
  • $20 Burlington Art Centre Art Etc. Gift Shop Certifcate
  • $40 West Plains Bistro gift certificate
  • Royal Botanical Gardens $40 gift certificate/admission passes

So after writing this blog I am now inspired to make a few calls and plan a little getaway – maybe even a staycation in Burlington. 

Cheers!

tourburlgirl

P.S.  On our website visit Girls Getaways where we have featured numerous ideas which you can mix and match to suit the time you have, your budget, the season and your gal-pals interests.  To help you determine the best time to visit we have also highlighted some prime weekends where more things are happening in the city.  We hope you enjoy your visit and return again soon.

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