Summer is regarded by many as one of – if not the most – relaxing times of the year. A time when thoughts turn to time off, jetting off, cooling off, out-of-office emails, sandy toes and sunscreen. A time to kick-back and enjoy some well-deserved rest.
And sure, while a sangria-soaked beach holiday can work wonders for stress levels (the same goes for a chilled-out city break), there’s definitely something to be said about enjoying a staycation this time of year. Particularly if they involve things like yoga, lie-ins, good food and spa time…
The Wellness Tree Retreat offers these kind of blissed-out breaks. Held at a five-star hotel on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, they offer small groups of guys and gals a chance to take three days off to regroup, recharge and reset, spoiling them with a range of relaxing activities like yoga, mindfulness workshops, long walks, spa treatments and more – all year round.
WHO RUNS IT?
It’s a family business, spearheaded by Emma Pratt (left) and her mother Angela. The pair have combined their areas of expertise in all things wellbeing and relaxation to create an unforgettable experience for guests, selecting the best yoga, mindfulness, foodie and hospitality specialists to help deliver their programmes.
The women’s holistic approach allows guests to focus on not only the body, through nourishing menus and gentle daily exercise, but the mind as well. Booking yourselves up for a Wellness Tree experience means you’ll be encouraged to give your mind somewhat of a makeover – focusing on the good, clearing out the bad and the fuzzy – so that you leave feeling inspired and ready to return to your daily life with renewed positivity and better clarity.
Whether you choose to engage in all of the workshops, or to simply just take advantage of having the space and time to relax, they’re on hand to make sure your headspace is as clear and as happy as can be.
WHERE IS IT?
The retreats take place at Irton Manor, Scarborough. And it’s the perfect place; a five-star stately home, sitting within 35 tranquil acres of garden, parkland and woodland, right on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. You can nab a bedroom here, or lay your heads at the nearby courtyard cottage or luxury lodge, which is set slightly away from the main house (great for groups).
WHAT’S THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
Take your pick…
Double bed, beautiful bright room, with ensuite bathroom.
The Royal Oak
Super king bed, patio doors and a Juliet balcony, dressing room, master en-suite bathroom with a separate shower enclosure, south-facing overlooking the gardens.
Two single beds, en-suite with a bath, south-facing overlooking the gardens.
King-size bed and patio doors with Juliet balcony, en-suite bathroom with separate shower cubicle, south-facing overlooking the gardens.
Situated in the East Wing, twin beds with private bathroom, overlooking the gardens. Large bathroom with separate shower cubicle is situated directly outside the room.
WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
A range of good-for-you workshops; yoga, candlelit meditation, silent woodland walks, mindfulness workshops, spa treatments and free time. The ‘Be Mindful’ workshops adopt an integrative, mind-body-based approach, allowing guests to manage their thoughts and feelings. You’ll be encouraged to concentrate on the present moment, using techniques such as controlled, ‘mindful’ breathing and other gentle relaxation exercises.
Yoga is done in the morning – a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing. With over 100 different forms of yoga out there, there are so many ways to relax, tone and stretch your body, but here the sessions (led by an expert on-site instructor) focus on being gentle. Beginners will fit in just fine.
Programme-wise, here’s a taster of what to expect…
4.30pm: Arrive at Irton Manor, enjoy a refreshing drink on arrival before being shown to your room. Time to unwind, unpack and explore your beautiful new surroundings…
6.30pm: Welcome drinks and weekend briefing in the Orangery…
7.30pm: Evening meal is served…
8.30pm: Relax in one of the beautiful communal rooms, or in your room, in preparation for the next day…
8.30am: Optional morning yoga. Slowly awaken your senses and release those endorphins ready for the day ahead. Or free time – a swim in the indoor pool, perhaps?
9.45am: Breakfast is served. Enjoy it out on the terrace if it isn’t too chilly…
11.30am: Mindfulness workshop
1.00pm: Lunch is served. Ask, watch and learn about nutrition and making healthy meals…
2.00pm: Free time. Have a massage or explore the beautiful grounds outside…
4.30pm: Afternoon Tea is served – nab a scone or two!
5.30pm: Relaxation and visualisation workshop. See things more clearly…
7.00pm: Dinner is served…
8.30pm: Meditation by candle light around the indoor pool
8.30am: Enjoy a morning woodland walk (silent and guided) though the grounds and woodland…
9.30am: Brunch is served!
10.30am: Workshop and debrief of future goals and embracing change…
12.00pm: Depart feeling restored, positive and empowered!
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
Food is an important part of the retreat. Emma and Angela’s emphasis is on wholesome, fresh produce, made with organic ingredients and sourced locally where possible. But that doesn’t mean fancy salads – rest assured, you won’t be going hungry here.
You can watch the on-site chef in action, too, as she cooks delicious meals in the open-plan kitchen and living room, and you’ll leave with your own recipe cards, should you fancy making any of meals at home.
Food-wise, here’s a taster of what to expect…
Superfood porridge with quinoa, chia seeds and blueberry compote
Wild Alaskan smoked salmon with slow-roasted vine tomatoes and dill-infused scrambled eggs
Wild mushrooms and poached eggs on toasted rye bread with a parsley ad chive dressing
Bibimbap with brown rice and organic eggs with a fresh coriander, cucumber and sesame salad
Butter bean and falafel salad with crispy kale and tzatziki dressing
Pearly barley and roasted beetroot risotto with charred organic goats cheese and broccoli sprouts
Goan fish curry with coconut, lime and coriander-scented cauliflower rice with a cucumber salsa
Ginger king prawns with udon, sweet potato and courgette sesame noodles with a lime and chilli dressing
Lemon and thyme-scented corn-fed chicken with roasted garlic and herbed black quinoa
Sautéed wild mushrooms and watercress bouillabaisse with king prawns, mussels and haddock with a super green salad
Raw chocolate, avocado and lime cheesecake
Raspberry frangipane with coconut cream
Raw strawberry and chocolate tart
Caramelised poached pear with a pecan crumb
HOW MUCH IS IT & WHEN CAN I GO?
The next workshops in 2017 take place on:
Book up now to take advantage of the girls’ special early bird offer – £345 per person (based on two people sharing) instead of £385. Groups of four or more will also receive a 10 per cent discount.
You can either pay in full at the time of your booking, or pay a non-refundable deposit of £125, following a final payment of the remaining balance, which is due eight weeks before.