Turning 40, Friendship and Ste. Anne’s Spa

In the months leading up to my 40th birthday I did a lot of soul searching. I realized there were a couple of things I valued but probably also took for granted. The first my health/body, the second my best friend.

I didn’t want turning 40 to be a big thing, I didn’t want to dread getting old. I prepped myself by reading article after article about how turning 40 was the new thirty and how great everyone felt, but truth was, I didn’t feel that way at all. 40 brought with it an annoying pain in my knee that won’t go away and a fatigue that I haven’t felt since having three babies in the house. The milestone birthday definitely hit home that I’m never going to be as young again as I am right now, and I’m going to have to start taking care of my body.


I don’t turn 40 alone though, my BFF who I don’t get to see nearly enough has a birthday in same month and we were in this together! For years we had talked about doing something special to celebrate our 40th birthdays and when the time came, I knew just the place!

Ste. Anne’s is a majestic stone spa location on the rolling hills of the Grafton, ON countryside. Our jaws dropped and our feelings soared as we caught our first glimpse of the rustic stone arches and old world statues in the garden. It was like taking a step into a fairytale.

Ste Anne's Spa, Grafton ON

Upon arrival we were handed our robes and given a quick tour of the main building. I loved that our weekend was already planned and required virtually no thinking from this point on. We didn’t even need to locate where our classes and treatments would take place, we simply relaxed by the fireplace on the couch and waited for someone to come get us.


To start our day we attended a Stretch Wellness Class.  Our instructor lead us over to the building that was much more than I had expected. The room was cozy and warm with a fire burning in the fireplace and sun shining through the large windows. The wooden floors, unique furnishings and view of the garden set the perfect atmosphere to unwind and relax. The 45 minute class entailed gentle stretching of the entire body that worked at re-energizing our limbs and organs. It was a great way to start the day and reminded me of how much I used to enjoy a good stretch session. Now that I’ve had a refresher I plan to keep it up at home.

ste annes spa wellness class

ste annes spa wellness class


Once we were feeling long and limber we headed over to the dining room for lunch before hitting the hills with a good hike. Both of us have a healthy love for nature and photography so we were very excited to get out and about in the fresh air with our cameras in hand. Even during a mucky spring the landscape was still beautiful. We enjoyed coming across all kinds of suprise bridges and resting spots on our adventure. Ste. Anne’s Spa sits on 400 acres of rolling Northumberland Hills, after checking out the three hikes on our trail map, we opted for the Black Trail which was a nice 2.3 km and helped us work up an appetite for tea time!

Ste. Anne's Spa Walking Trails

 Anne's Spa Walking Trails

 Anne's Spa Walking Trails


Ste. Anne’s Spa believes in nourishing the body on all levels and the food did not disappoint! You could definitely taste the freshness and care that went into preparing every meal. One of my favourite meals was the Ste. Anne’s In House Burger I choose for lunch. The free range beef patty came with bacon, brie and sauteed portobello mushrooms, so good! Tea Time was exactly that, we enjoyed a sampler 3 tier silver platter that was simply adorable and scrumptious! The dessert tier came complete with a chocolate tea cup filled with mousse. The good news is Ste. Anne’s often shares recipes on their website blog. I found this recipe for this refreshing Raspberry Sorbet that we happened to enjoy scooped onto the top of a chocolate brownie one meal!

Ste Anne's Spa food

Ste. Anne’s does not serve alcohol but you are welcome to bring a bottle of wine to the table, and we definitely tool advantage of that for our evening meal. When our waiter noticed our bottle she immediately brought us an ice bucket to stand next to our table to keep things cold. The dress code for meals, even in the evening is very casual. You will see plenty of white, with many in their robes and some in their yoga wear. 

Ste Anne's Spa - Dining

Ste Anne's Spa - Dining



Depending on the nature of your stay, there are accommodations to suite every party. For our small girlfriend getaway, we were given the Flower room in the original wing of the main inn. The room was quaint and charming with antique furniture, two comfy beds and seating area that we cozied up in late into the night in front of a working fire place. The bathrooms were modern with an amazing tiled shower including waterfall shower head and heated floors.

Ste Anne's Spa - Flower Room

Ste Anne's Spa - Flower Room

The Fieldstone Grotto

We were really looking forward to visiting the Grotto and got our chance after tea and before dinner. It was a really nice way to relax late in the afternoon. The area is not as big as I had expected but we had choosen a quiet time and had the place all to ourselves. The Grotto is a year-round facility that features a hot tub, a plunge pool for cooling down after heating up in the hot tub, and a lap pool where you can swim against a current. The plunge pool was too cold for us in April but might be great for someone braver for a quick cool down, the hot tub is 104 afterall and we definitely grabbed some cucumber and lemon water to refresh after the heat. 

Ste Anne's Spa Grotto

Ste Anne's Spa Grotto

Spa Services

Ahhh….decisions, decisions…..It was a tough time for us spa newbies to decide what we wanted to try out. We knew we wanted our treatment to be relaxing and nothing to vigorous that would leave us sore the next day. In the end, our two minds were in sync like they usually are, and we both picked the Coconut Breeze treatment. This treatment uses a heavenly homemade lime and coconut body butter that is gently massaged onto your body after an exfoliation and hot shower. We both raved about our spa therapists who did an amazing job of making us feel very comfortable and relaxed. It was an amazing experience that of course has us wanting more! 

Ste Anne's Spa - Girlfriend Getaway

Our 40th birthday getaway was a complete success and we couldn’t have asked for more. We took our friendship to a whole new level after all these years as we bonded in spa robes and wine by the fireplace. It sure was fun to have a good old fashioned sleep over once again. We explored the countryside, learned some new stretching techniques and had our bodies completely rejuvenated. Our complete Ste. Anne’s experience from our first look at the stone gate to the last sad goodbye was completely spa-mazing! 

Ste. Anne’s, you had us at hello.

Ste Annes Spa

Ste Annes Spa



disclosure: We received a complimentary stay with Ste. Anne’s Spa, however, all opinions expressed are honest and my own.



  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your 40th, love the building and the meals oh my I’d probably add pounds instead of shedding them. 🙂

    • momvstheboys says:

      Probably not, they really do use very natural and healthy ingredients in their food. It still tastes amazing though!

  2. loucheryl says:

    You are so lucky. I’m so happy you had such a good time. Happy 40th Birthday. I wish I could visit St. Anne’s Spa one day. I really need to get away and chill for a bit. It’s been too long.

    • momvstheboys says:

      It’s always been a dream of mine to visit a spa and we definitely found the most amazing one for the first time experience. I’m afraid nothing else will compare lol

  3. I went for my first “girls wweekend” since having kids in the fall and it was AMAZING. I am looking forward to doing it again soon, and St. Anne – wow!!! Love that you can get outside, enjoy the pool and oh look at the food.
    I think my next girls weekend needs to be at St. Anne’s!

  4. I am an email subscriber to St Annes Spa as I knew I may have wanted to visit soon. Now I know I want to go! Maybe an over night momma rejuvenation trip?

  5. kristen visser says:

    wow looks like such a relaxing great place! I have seen pictures but have never had the opportunity to go. it is on my bucket list of things to do 🙂

  6. Oh, it all sounds heavenly!!! Thanks for sharing all of those details & photos.

  7. Oh my goodness! Now this is celebrating your birthday in style! St Annes looks incredible, I would love to visit it one day.

  8. Wow! Ste Anne’s is a beautiful place! I absolutely love the look of the property and the stone spa. I think this is a great way to spend a 40th birthday. The suite looks great and the hot tub looks perfect!

  9. How nice! What a gorgeous place! The Flower room is really beautiful. Happy birthday Jennifer!

  10. Susan T. says:

    Happy birthday! I turned 40 this year too and I’m not stressing about getting older, although I would like to be less tired and sore! The spa looks like the perfect place to spend time with your bestie!

  11. Awesome spa trip!

  12. Victoria Ess says:

    The photos of you two look fabulous! Great idea to go here!

  13. mrdisco says:

    that looks like a great place to relax

  14. Elizabeth Vlug says:

    Happy 40th!! I love St. Annes and am lucky enough to live close by, although I think an overnight stay would be fabulous. One day…

  15. Looks like a lovely place

  16. I have heard so many good reports about this spa. I wished I lived close.

  17. Visited there once and it was SO WONDERFUL

  18. loucheryl says:

    This place looks like heaven. I really need a getaway. This place would be great. 🙂

  19. Carole Dube says:

    What a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday! I have been to St-Anne before but never to the spa!

  20. Happy 40th!!!!!

    I’ve read a few articles on St. Annes……I want to be there 🙂

  21. Looks like an awesome place to relax and recharge!

  22. Wow what a beautiful looking place! How nice that you and your friend was able to do this together…and Happy 40th. How I would love to be 40 again and have been able to done this and to take care of my body differently….I’m now 66!! I have never been to a spa and would love to do this with a friend.. Maybe one day. The pics are fantastic and all the food looks so yummy. Visiting that Grotto would be just up my alley!! Heaven!! Good on you girl for having a wonderful time….keep on going as often as you can.

  23. Elva Roberts says:

    Ste. Anne’s Spa sounds like a little bit of heaven to me. I would love to go to a place like that with one of my daughters or sisters to relax and be pampered. AT 40, you should have lots of wonderful memories to make and age is really only a number. Your best days are always ahead.

  24. What an amazing way to celebrate your 40th birthday. I am in awe of St.Anne’s. I had no idea it was so luxurious. It’s just sweet perfection.

  25. Looks like a great way to recharge every year

  26. kathy downey says:

    Oh my,this certainly looks a great place to relax

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