Friday, 21 July 2017

Smith & Riverstone Spa

If you heard my rambling CBC interview on the weekend morning show a couple of weeks ago, then you know that I plugged Thermëa  as one of my favourite places to take myself on a date. I'll write about that one eventually but that spot, to me, is a wintertime date and not a mid-July one, so you'll have to wait. Anyway, I realized that in addition to blogging, spas are a thing I do now; I have a pretty screwed-up back so I often go for massage. Since I don't have insurance anyway, I decided that I'd spend my money seeing a RMT at schmancy spa places and make an event out of it. My most recent excursion like this took me to Riverstone which is adjacent to Smith, so I'll tell y'all a little about the spa-ing before we go into cocktails, etc.

One thing I really dig about Riverstone is that the spa/sauna stuff is included in the price, so when I go in for a deep tissue massage, which is pretty pricey anywhere, spa or no spa, I get all the extras and don't have to shell out extra. It's a pretty decent place; all inclusive in that there are no BS fees for robes or anything like that, the towels are full sized and not these tiny pool-towel things you get sometimes, flip-flops are included. The saunas are small-ish but good; there's a steam room and a dry sauna as well as super fancy showers. It's gender segregated because the spa stuff is in the changing areas, so that might be a good thing if you feel weird about being alone in a swimsuit in a co-ed environment. However, there isn't really a silence policy, so you will hear all about Janine's new house, which Stephanie thinks is a great investment, although it's really too bad that the counter-tops aren't granite like her last one. Just as an example. There are also small snacks in the waiting are for the massage and other services, so that's a pretty cool touch.

As a huge history nerd, the HBC theme in Smith does it for
me so hard.
After the spa, I headed over to Smith. You can order drinks and such from there to Riverstone, but for some reason the receptionists didn't want to have me drink before my massage, so I had to put some pants on to go get my food and booze. I was there on the weekend during the day, so the menu was specific to weekend brunch. Often I find day menus a little disappointing, but this one had a 'mimosa bar' which was pretty cool. I tried all three which were fun spin-offs of the typical OJ and bubbly. They also have an extensive beer/wine/scotch menu but I prefer to drink things that I can't make myself (e.g. too many ingredients) when I'm out and about and on a super classy date with myself.

Smith has a HUGE sit-in bar, so there is plenty of solo seating; I imagine this has something to do with it being in a hotel. There are also TVs mounted about, so you really shouldn't feel weird if you're here by yourself. In fact, there is a good chance you won't be the only one. They have a great variety of small plates on the menu, so I got myself a Ploughman's Lunch. I wish the server had described the plate as she set it down; without the menu, I had forgotten what kind of cheese it was and that the white stuff was aioli. It was kind of annoying that there was no salt or pepper at the bar, so I had to eat my boiled egg plain. The olives were WAY better than the last time I had them here; they are scotch smoked and I found both those flavours so overwhelming on the batch I had ordered previously that I actually didn't finish them. Perhaps I am not the only one who prefers to taste at least a little bit of the olives that they ordered.

Anyway, there have been folks who've informed me that they'll feel a little out of place going out alone. This will probably be one of the most comfortable solo-dates I can recommend to you.

Price: $$$
Rating: **½

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