At a Russian Banya (Bathhouse). A while back I was googling around for a tea room, and Google turned up a Russian tearoom and bathhouse in Mississauga. I've never been big on saunas, but their tearoom sounded interesting so Mr. Ivriniel and I decided to give it a go.

The South Western Bathhouse has three different styles of bath, a Russian Banya, a Turkish Bath, and a Finnish sauna. We started with the Banya. I was pleasantly surprised. It was not as oppressive as I remembered a steam room being. We sat in it for a while before going out to the cold splash area. I got into the plunge pool, but couldn't bring myself to dunk. After our first round we went to get some water and tea. The instructions for noobs had advised us to take it all slow.

After that we felt pretty good so we did another short steam in the banya, and then tried the Turkish bath. I liked it the best. It was steamier than the Banya, but not quite as hot, and the tile benches were cool. It also smelled like orange oil, which was nice. Then back to the plunge pool, before trying the sauna. The sauna was the hottest of the three, and the one I liked the least.

Then we headed to the restaurant for a snack. I had some lovely pea soup, while Mr. I had a herring and beet salad called Shuba. I don't care much for beets, but this was pretty good. We had some more tea, and Mr I tried some of their homemade kombacha. It was some of the best kombacha I have had.

We sat around relaxing for a while, and then went back for some more steaming. By the end, I did manage to get my head under in the plunge pool, which felt necessary after getting so warm after all the steaming. Then we went back to the restaurant for some more food. I had a tasty Georgian Chicken Stew, while Mr. I had some pelmeni. More tea and kombacha, and we finished things off with a lovely, light vanilla cake that had a sour cream filling.

The admission for the bathhouse was $30 per person, which included towels, robes, and all the tea you can drink of various varieties.

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It was well worth the visit.

http://banya.ca