So the weekend just gone I had the pleasure of taking a break. And I mean, really taking a break. I spent three nights at Seren Retreat on the Gower Peninsular in South Wales, check out the website for more information: http://www.serenretreat.com
Their house sits surrounded by beautiful countryside. There are stunning steam side walks out of their back yard. Wild horses come to visit in search for apples. And the pigmy goats who enjoy the fields are a joy to watch. So it definitely felt like an escape from my day to day life. Although we didn’t turn on the TV once, we were able to use the wifi which was useful for communicating with the outside world, as the signal is non existent! So it is worth bringing books.
The meals are all made by Alaea, and follow a similar formula based on Ayurveda. All the meals were natural, free from processed food or sugar, and mainly vegan (except Rex’s delicious honey from his bee hives). I won’t lie, when I first saw my dinner of a side salad with millet and a bowl of soup, I imagined it was a starter! But in fact, I was satisfied and realised that perhaps I don’t actually need as much food as I think I need.
Breakfasts are a type of porridge, with an interesting grain such as millet or quinoa, in an interesting milk such as hemp or almond, sweetened with interesting fruit such as dates, figs or goji berries. Every morning was delicious, especially with some of that honey.
Lunch was similar to dinner, although slightly more substantial, with extra grains to go with the soup and salad. Each soup was home made, interesting, different and delicious.
In the day time we experienced the treatments, one day an Ayurveda massage from Alaea, where we understood my energy (fire energy grounded in the earth) and then I was slathered in oil. Very relaxing. The next day Rex delivered a polarity session, which was a blend of reflexology and what reminded me of Thai yoga massage, the dry massage where you are fully clothed and receive a massage which involves mobility. Some people experience really emotional reactions to this type of therapy as well.
The yoga Rex teaches is a type called Kundalini, which was a bit different to my usual yoga class. Very focussed on breathing and energy. I came away from each session feeling calm, and you are able to take home some notes to carry on some of the practise when you go back to your usual life. Some of the breathing techniques I am hoping will be useful after a busy day at work.
In our free time, we explored the coast line, which was absolutely stunning. Pack your walking shoes! Top spots are Three Cliffs Coast and Worms Head. We were particularly lucky with the weather, I even came home with a Welsh tan!
Ultimately it was not a cheap weekend. I probably could have had a mini break in Europe for the same money, but while I was there I didn’t spend another penny. It definitely was a very different experience compared to my usual holiday, but I came away feeling rested, taller and more healthy (if a bit desperate for some bread or cheese!). I also feel inspired to make more positive changes to my lifestyle now I am back. I’m currently writing this while drinking a Deliciously Ella Best Breakfast Smoothie and have some nuts and dates packed into my handbag for an afternoon snack. I also felt that all that space and time gave me the room to think, and I came back home with two realisations which I can now action, so I feel more empowered. And can you really put a price on that?