Editors Note: By the Sea is an advertising partner of BranfordSeven.com.

I snuck away last week while the kids were at school for a much-needed afternoon of relaxation. While unwinding in a soft spa robe on the sofa in front of the fireplace in the sitting room, I was warmly welcomed by Paul and Doreen, the new owners of Branford’s By the Sea Day Spa, which now showcases their exquisite style, evident throughout the newly renovated interior.  The white and taupe walls and sheer draping lends itself to throwing your feet up on the wicker sofas with a good book and not leaving until dark.  I settled in with my cup of White Lion Tea that boasted names such as Mummy’s Passion and Long Island Cola while munching on wasabi snack mix.  Yes, I could get used to this.

My first treatment of the afternoon was a lovely massage by a skilled massage therapist.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have trouble quieting my mind but Alla guided me to relax through a mix of meditative and hypnotic massage. The comfortable table and blankets piled on top of me was just the thing to take the winter chill off.  I am a huge believer in the benefits of massage and whenever I get one, I am reminded that I don’t do this often enough.

My next treatment was a facial. Facials are not in my regular routine so my knowledgeable aesthetician, Erin provided a nice overview of the products and what I should expect. By the Sea Day Spa offers the Eminence Organic Skin Care line whose products have names such as Key Lime Vanilla Age-Defying Masque and Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant.   Paprika in the masque created a light but pleasant burning sensation and I can only assume that this is probably doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing.  I have a keen sense of smell and throughout the facial Erin and I played a guessing game of what fruit or spices were being applied. The veritable mix of these delicious moisturizers and serums stimulated and delighted my senses.

Relaxing into the newly renovated manicure and pedicure studio the richly colored walls made me feel as though I were sitting inside a Tiffany gift box. Erin served me delicious homemade cookies made by the inn-keeper and although the new owners have decided to maintain the day spa element of the business it’s important to know that it is no longer an Inn. They are in the process of converting that portion of the building into additional larger treatment rooms with dual massage tables. While applying my “Thrill of Brazil” nail polish I asked Erin about the changes that Paul and Doreen made to the spa.  She shared with me that the staff  “was giddy with excitement” with the updated equipment and the new facelift the spa has undergone.

Regrettably finished with my services I took Doreen up on the offer to tour the house. I was surprised at the rich history of the building because you would never in a million years think it housed a former nursing home. In fact, the only remaining signs were a dumb waiter and a few pieces of old cabinetry found in the cellar that has been repurposed in the quaint gift shop. The gift shop is full of one-of-a-kind gifts and has a clean organized layout that makes shopping easy.  Doreen also told me that they have further renovation plans that will make use of the rear decks for events, parties and fundraisers as well as exciting possibilities for other parts of the property in the upcoming year. Doreen pointed out the new flooring, sheer drapes and upgraded equipment. Each massage and facial room is equipped with Hot Cabbies for the purpose of heating hot packs, wet towels and stones, as well as new pedicure and manicure furniture. 

Meandering to my car I made a mental note of how I felt.  I decided then that I would purchase a gift certificate for a co-worker because nothing says thank you like a few hours to yourself. 

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