Detox Into Lunch …

When on the road and am asked what I do, I’m often told how lucky I am. And I couldn’t agree more. But writing about food and wine on the road can take its toll. Not that I’m complaining. I find those whiny types really annoying. But when I bounced into Victoria, BC recently I was intrigued by the Fairmont Empress Hotel’s spa, Willow Stream’s Winter Wellness Detox Treatment. Lord knows, my liver could use a detox!! But Willow’s detox wasn’t about my liver but the whole body.  And considering the bounty of spas in Napa and Sonoma they no doubt could take a page from Willow’s detox treatment.

 Spa Manager for the last 18 years, Anita Voorsluys said at lunch in Empress’ Q lounge after my treatment. “ People used to think spas are a luxury, now they are almost a necessity. No matter how healthy a lifestyle you lead, you are constantly exposed to environmental toxins.  These stressors are burdening our natural detoxifying system so daily detox is needed more than ever to keep body toxins low. This treatment was designed to stimulate the lymphatic system, nourish and replenish the body with essential nutrients as well as release mental stress. “

My detox journey kicked off by giving a pet to Winston, Empress Hotel’s canine ambassador. The detox treatment started with a full body dry brush exfoliation to remove dry skin and surface impurities. I’m fairly ticklish but could stand the brushing, knowing how much my wine soaked skin could use it. A mineral infused towel followed which cleansed my skin, preparing it for a warm, organic aromatherapy massage.  A wrap followed, using the California-based, Kerstin Florian signature oil, Grapefruit Black Pepper. It is a refreshing, energizing oil, that is boosted with a special Ayurvedic root, Manjistha which is well-known to stimulate the lymph system and purify the blood.

Marion the masseuse asked throughout if I wanted it harder or softer or had any spots that needed extra attention and I asked for some extra help with the knots in my neck, the bane of every writer I know.  Marion finished with an acupressure facial massage that included an authentic Jade rolling which felt great and a scalp massage that energized me into my lunch with Anita and Empress PR Pro, Tracey Drake, at the newly refreshed Q Lounge.

The gals had fish and chips and salmon, but I couldn’t resist the carnivore in me and had a nice steak with fingerling potatoes and salad.  Bartier Bros. 2016 Cabernet Franc was a good accompaniment with the steak. Fully sated, I couldn’t agree more with Tracey’s comment, “that the Empress was very proud of its recent $60 million renovation and between its spa, dining and bedrooms, it remains a must see and stay for anyone on the North West coast.”