Aside from barbeques and fun in the sun, summer is also the season for lazing around and taking the time out for yourself. I like to soothe my body and soul at this time of the year. I believe one of the best ways to nourish my body is to prioritize personal wellness. I’m already in the middle of a 21 Day Meditation Experience – Desire & Destiny, and another excellent way to incorporate wellness is by occasionally achieving optimal relaxation at a spa! I took a day trip to Burke Williams Spa in Orange County and discovered R.T.E at the Union Market out there in the Kaleidoscope Courtyards. It was a marvelous day to clear my mind and allow the silence and meditation to bring a sense of peace back into my life.
Burke Williams Day Spa
Burke Williams is a luxury spa with a wide variety of spa services designed to help you relax, renew, and rejuvenate. It is full service, so the facilities include a steam room, wet room, jacuzzi, and quiet-relaxation areas that you can retreat to after your treatments. Showers are available with top of the line products and the dressing areas are also filled with face, body, and hair amenities to help you prim yourself before leaving the spa. I love the dry shampoo, it’s great for freshening up your hair if you are not planning on washing it after your treatments.
The spa atmosphere is reminiscent of a British Colonial plantation with its shuttered windows and elegant furnishings, and it invites you to settle in and enjoy the warmth and magic of a tropical escape. The therapeutic aroma of their signature essential oils wafts through the air and you can help yourself to pitchers of fruit-infused iced water and snacks throughout the spa.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by friendly staff in a beautiful reception area. I was given a tour of the spa and shown to my locker, where I found spa slippers and a very soft and comfy spa robe to wear for the duration of my visit. I must warn you that this is an European style spa and that means clothing optional. Demure is not the vibe of this spa. I, however, am a bit modest, so I chose to enter the changing rooms to slip into my spa apparels. Then after locking up my belongings in my locker, I headed to the opulent waiting room for my therapist to come greet me for my treatment. After enjoying a glass of cucumber and lemon infused water and reading a few pages out People Magazine, which I never have the time to do, I heard my name called and I was off to a Signature Burke Williams Massage.
I had the best of both worlds, a combination of firm Swedish strokes with the deeper slow strokes of Deep Tissue creating a focused yet nurturing massage. As their flagship massage, my massage therapist included their “Signature Blend” of essential oils, therapeutic heat packs to relax the muscles, and medicinal Chinese herbs to balance, strengthen, and polish the skin. The personalized session left me feeling refreshed and revived. I returned to the serene spa facilities and took some meditative time in the quiet room, where I found ice cold towels to refresh me. I then picked up a few cucumbers for my eyes and another class of fruit infused water. Ahhh…I think this was my favorite part, just to lay and do nothing in silence. Tension was a thing of the past. As I left the room, I could have picked up a piece of fruit, but I thought to save my appetite for later.
I emerged ready to take on the world, but not before hitting the steam room and dry sauna as well. I relished every moment of my visit and was so glad that I chose to take a break from the everyday and let myself unwind. Now I was hungry!
R.T.E. Restaurant at Union Market
Feeling free and alive from my Spa day, I was seeking a meal that would do justice to this experience. I wanted to nourish my appetite with fresh fare that would leave me feeling just as invigorated. I was enthused to find a Union Market in the same center. Union Market is new concept in the food market, where a warehouse-like food market hosts artisans offering cocktails to craft beers, boutique jewelry, clothing and all kinds of fun stores. Most vendors are one-of-a-kind small business owners that you will not be able to shop or dine with anywhere else, and often locally sourced. Union Market has curated an entirely original experience and there resides R.T.E.
R.T.E. uses fresh, simple, local ingredients to prepare delightful meals that leave you feeling just as fresh and nourished. They say that they are “passionate about skewers” which fits right in with the summer ambiance because these guys bring you the best of “BBQ-on-a-Stick” with fresh fare like Lamb with spicy cumin dry rub and Zucchini or Mushrooms in garlic herb seasoning. These are essentially Yakitori skewers and are somewhat unique in the sense that they have interesting marinades rather than relying on the traditional Japanese salt, ponzu, or teriyaki sauce.
I enjoyed the Beef Short Rib in Korean Kalbi marinade and Shrimp with spicy cumin dry rub along with Truffle Sea Salt Tater Tots. My plate was just the right size for a light lunch.
I was greeted at the counter with refreshing Strawberry Basil Aqua Fresca. It was simply delicious and quite pleasant right after the spa.
Wellness, should never be neglected, especially when you know you can look forward to an experience as depicted above, which will allow you to see and feel your natural glow unfold.