Luxury Spa Resorts in Canada - Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat - Spa Cuisine in Canada

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Luxury Spa Resorts in Canada - Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa

by Wade Rowland - Part 5

Days are begun at Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat in a sunny yoga room overlooking the woods, with easy stretching poses demonstrated by one of the therapists. A long walk in the private woods is a fine way to work off lunch.

Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat review Chef Dale Caverly
Photo © Christine Collie

Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat review Chef Jill Boadway
Photo © Christine Collie

And you may need to do just that, because the food is irresistible. Chefs Dale Caverly and Jill Boadway, recent additions to the staff, are both well-trained in the Western tradition, but experienced in the cuisine of Ayurveda as well. Caverly, an alumnus of the famed Henri Berger kitchen in Ottawa/Hull experiments with grains, beans and spices in a style that can only be called "world cuisine". Presentations are as imaginative as the food itself.

Our dinner featured a salad of tropical fruit with balsamic vinaigrette and an entrée of grilled sea scallops and eggplant on a bed of millet, served with quinoa, rare and super-healthy South American grain, broccoli and potato quenelles, ornamented with brown butter and a red pepper coulis.

Dessert was no less inventive: vermicelli in a creamy custard with mango, blueberries, kiwi and sunflower seeds. Both were delicious and satisfying. And just as importantly, for Caverly, they represented an ideal balance of nutrients. Lunch that day had been a delicious mini-smorgasboard of Indian dishes served on individual platters with lots of fresh Indian breads.

Boadway, who was on morning duty when we were there, conducts sun-up yoga sessions (she's a qualified yoga instructor) before supervising the breakfast buffet and whipping up inventive made-to-order omelettes. She's travelled in India, cooked in ashrams, and run courses in what she calls 'whole food cooking.' Before deciding to follow her passion and enrolling at the prestigious George Brown College culinary school in Toronto, she'd graduated with a BSc in ecology from Queen's University.

The popularity of food at the spa has led the owners to begin planning an ambitious expansion of kitchen and dining facilities, and by spring they expect to open a stand-alone restaurant on the premises, serving their unique spa cuisine. There'll be space for the cooking classes Boadway is anxious to begin, as well.

Elemental Embrace is a relatively new facility, but we think it's got its act together. The concept of authentic Ayurvedic wellness in a spa atmosphere with Indian-trained and qualified therapists is one that seems sure to catch on. The engaging and entrepreneurial Teja brothers have plans to expand into the U.S., but Brighton, they say, will always be special because it's where their mom intends to continue working and living, following the Ayurvedic path.

The day spa price of $195 includes lunch and a $120 credit for Ayurvedic and spa massages. A six-day custom pancha karama detox package (including room and board) can cost $2,500, depending on the nature of treatments prescribed by the resident viadyas. (Canadian dollars.) A full listing of facilities, treatments, packages and prices is available at More details on Elemental Embrace.

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