Back when I worked for Frommer’s, writing travel guides about Canada, Ste. Anne’s Spa was a favorite day trip. Just ninety minutes east of Toronto, in Grafton, Ontario, this luxurious retreatÂ is surrounded byÂ some 400 acres of scenic countryside. Those grounds include anÂ apiary, rolling hills whereÂ cattle graze, and extensive gardens filled withÂ herbs, greens and vegetables. All of this farm-to-table bounty made the spaÂ a popular destination for gourmands, and I’m delighted to learn that Ste. Anne’s Bakery has just been given the official sealÂ of approvalÂ byÂ the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP).
This is not to say that Ste. Anne’s only recently started baking sweet gluten-free treats. For the past four years, they have offered gluten-free cakes (such as lemon cheesecake, Devil’s Food, and Opera cake),Â cookies, pies, jams, chocolates, fruit butters, and butter tarts. (TheÂ Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour â€” yes, there really is such a thing! â€” includes Ste. Anne’s as its only gluten-free stop.) There’s also a savory quiche of the dayÂ as well as a long list of breads (including basil focaccia, lavash, cinnamon raisin, and five-seed bread). What’s new is the GFCP’s certification, guaranteeing celiac safety. The bakeryÂ is 100% gluten-free, so there is no risk of cross-contamination.
I always thought the main attraction of Ste. Anne’s was its elegant spa and hotel. But the next time I visit, I’m making a beeline for the bakery!