The beach is open, the patio is bathed in sunshine and shade from umbrellas and stately elms while the staff at Thermëa by Nordik Spa Nature is ready to welcome you in your robes for some seasonal summer dining.
As veteran visitors know well, Thermëa is the full package when it comes to accommodating guests. Along with Scandinavian spa treatments, facilities that include huge thermal baths, steam rooms, saunas, relaxation chambers and an impressive beach perfect for reading, one of our favourite things about this place continues to be its Restö.
Its seasonal menus always bring what you are looking for, be it something indulgent or something befitting spending the day in your swim suit.
"People think spa food and they immediately expect minimalist health food, but we offer much more than that. While still emphasizing freshness and nutrition, we also have menu items that are comforting and familiar," said Thomas Stuart, Director of Food and Beverage at Thermëa.
"Our Croque Nordik is our version of a croque monsieur and has become one of our signature items; a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with béchamel sauce and broiled to perfection. We also focus on getting our ingredients as locally as possible. The Croque Nordik has organic sourdough from Red Spring Bakery, smoked ham from Brandon, Manitoba, and cheddar cheese from Bothwell."
Plus, as regulars know well, the novelty of eating in your robe never wears off.
“It’s all about being comfortable. And I think that’s the height of being comfortable—eating in your bathrobe,” Stuart continued.
Stuart has been at the spa since it opened, even doing some carpentry while it was being built
During his time running the kitchen he hired Maximus Navarro– aka Chef Chicco–who has been with the spa since 2015, when he moved to Winnipeg from the Philippines.
After starting as a line cook, Chef Chicco worked his way up through the kitchen ranks and took over from Stuart as Head Chef two years ago.
In the video below, Chef Chicco introduces us to a few new dishes for summer, talks about local suppliers, and showcases some staples that may never leave the Restö menu because they are simply so sublime.
This season, you can expect plenty of local pop on your plate.
As you’ll see in the video, a few current can’t-miss items include the Angus beef, a cut of chuck, that’s cooled in its luscious braising liquid before being sliced and quickly barbecued. It comes served on creamy polenta, peanut-achiote demi-glace and a smattering of seasonal vegetables.
Another classic that isn't going anywhere is the tomato toast, featuring everyone’s favourite local tomatoes from Greenland Gardens, presented on Red Spring Bakery sourdough with a layer of zippy aioli binding it together.
Salads are always in order and hyper local this summer, while the smoked Arctic char with Nature’s Farm eggs (the best, brightest orange yolks from an organic feed that includes marigolds) on Red Spring rye bread is always a classic, too.
This summer, Chef Chicco will be hosting three intimate Chef’s Table nights on July 19, 26, and August 2, all starting at 6:30 p.m. The five-course menu includes dishes like king salmon with puffed skin and vanilla lemon beurre blanc; fresh burrata with local confit tomatoes; a beet sorbet palate cleanser; a Cornish game hen Ballantine; and a lemon meringue pine nut torte.
With only 12 seats available, you should call today at 204.890.2908 to book.
Summer at Thermëa also means the wood-fired pizza oven is open at the beach, along with the Biërgarden, where you can get frosty cans of local beer.
As for the beach itself, it has so much going for it–from the dazzling little waterfall feature that greets you on the stairs (the water literally runs below the foot path and instantly makes us want to make a paper boat to traverse its waters–to the cool misting area to step through amongst all the gorgeous trees.
When looking upon such a scene, one thing that always surprises us (and this is a good thing for those of you looking to visit in the heat) is that Thermëa has traditionally always been much busier in the wintertime versus summer.
For staff—who are like that Hair Club for Men guy (they aren’t just employees, but also regular clients) this is a bonus.
“When we poll the staff on their favourite time to come they almost always say summertime, because there is more to do,” said Thermëa Marketing Manager, Janis Banman. “Plus you can dig those toes into the sand.”
As for helpful hints from the staff, Banman gave us a couple of tips to ensure your Thermëa experience is one to savour:
- If you are attending on weekends (Friday to Sunday), use the online system to book in advance to ensure you can get in on your preferred dates. This is a must in winter and is a pro move for summer too. Walk-ins are still welcome, although you are risking it, so it's best to book ahead here.
- Looking to experience the spa when it’s not too busy? “Tuesday and Wednesday nights is what I recommend to my friends and family if they are looking for a super chill night, particularly if you get here around 4 o’clock.”
- You can order from the Restö to your home! Here’s how.
- Capacity at the spa was decreased during the pandemic, and it has been kept that way. So no matter what, it should never seem too too crowded. Plus, that beach is always generally the quietest area if you are looking to open a book and listen to the birds and waterfall.
- Can’t decide on what local beer to try? Try them all! Thermëa serves flights, including little glasses of Nonsuch Brewery's fabulous Nifty vodka seltzers.
- Arrive hungry, because mornings are the jam! The Restö runs a café pop-up breakfast daily from 9:30 to 10:30 where guest can get breakfast sandwiches, pastries, lattes, coffees and of course mimosas to start their spa experience. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m.
- The spa has very good coffee from Thom Bargen whose owners (Thom and Graham) come to calibrate the machine, while Restö staff often go to the Sherbrook Street shop to learn how to handle the espresso machine.
Thermëa by Nordik Spa Nature is open 7 days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info on treatments, restaurant menus and all that other fun stuff, go to thermea.ca