Great Day Trip—and Best Spa Food

Treatment we had: One-hour deep-tissue massage, $95.

What we liked: In sleepy Winchester lies a hidden gem—Le Papillon Day Resort, a salon and spa that understands the meaning of a day spa. After being greeted by a friendly receptionist, I was led on a tour of the spa—which includes three pedicure chairs with special hygienic drainage systems.

I was escorted to the third level—a roof garden, open in warm weather, occupies the top floor—where there are men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam saunas and thoughtful amenities such as toothbrushes, razors, flatirons, and shower caps.

My wait was brief in the green meditation room—which had tea, water, snacks, current magazines, and iPods—before being called in for my appointment with Theresa, who the receptionist had assured me was the best therapist for a deep-tissue massage.

After a brief consultation, she began. Her strokes were nice and firm—she obviously knew what she was doing. An hour later, Theresa Lesperance showed me several stretches that I could practice at home to help relieve chronic shoulder tension.

What you should know: After steaming and changing, I headed downstairs to the spa’s restaurant—basically an oversize kitchen with a big table—for a four-course lunch, just $25 including wine pairings. Dishes on the changing menu have included seared sea scallops, house-made pasta with spicy tomato sauce, carrot-ginger soup, and chai-infused crème brûlée.

Bottom line: A day spa that lives up its name—I’d be happy spending a day there.

Le Papillon Day Resort, 650 Cedar Creek Grade, Suite 100, Winchester; 540-722-0722;

>> See all 2009 Great Day Spas