It's no secret that modern day-to-day life can be tough. I don't know about you, but I often find myself stuck on the treadmill of commute, work, sleep and repeat with an overwhelming urge to hop off and hit pause. With this in mind, I made the decision to take the plunge and booked into one of Yoga With Catherine's relaxing and restorative weekend 'Breeze' retreats in North Cornwall. Spoiler alert: it was wonderful!
Having practised yoga for a number of years but never been on a retreat, the 'Breeze' retreat was the perfect introduction. Spread across three days and two nights, the mini getaway combines yoga, glamping, foraging and delicious plant-based meals set against the backdrop of the beautiful Cornish coast. Seriously, these views are to die for! There's nothing quite like waking up to the sun rising across the rolling green fields and over the turquoise sea.
The retreat started on the Friday afternoon, with everyone arriving from 3pm to be welcomed with a gorgeous goody bag full of tasty treats and skincare luxuries. Our group was fairly large (there was 14 of us) and though it's always slightly daunting turning up to these things alone, everyone was so friendly and we were immediately put at ease by Catherine's calm and warm presence.
Our accommodation for the weekend was immaculate bell tents, completely kitted out with comfy mattresses, cosy duvets, soft blankets, decorative rugs, bedside tables and proper pillows. It was as close to home comforts as you can get whilst in the middle of the remote countryside! Each tent also had it's own individual composting toilet, outdoor table and campfire, which were nice touches. There was also a beautifully rustic outdoor kitchen, shared 'living room' tent and luxurious wood fire hot tub that we could relax in after dinner, gazing up at the stars. Bliss!
The first yoga class took place that evening in the lovely wooden yoga shala, and was incredibly restorative, allowing us all to stretch out after long journeys and take a moment to ease into the weekend. Across the next two days, there were three more classes - the morning ones tended to be more dynamic and energetic, with the afternoons more meditative and relaxing which was the ideal combination.
Each evening, a vegan dinner was served in the communal living room tent, right next to the outdoor kitchen. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, so was slightly nervous about forgoing all meat and dairy products for the whole weekend. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious food provided, with generous portions of risotto on the first night and cauliflower curry with all the trimmings on the second night, followed by melt-in-the-mouth cheesecake and creamy chocolate mousse, all freshly prepared by the amazing retreat chef, Este. She also provided incredible brunches and afternoon teas, including frittatas bursting with flavour, gooey flapjacks, scrambled tofu (much tastier than it sounds!), mushrooms, sausages and hash browns. We certainly never went hungry!
On the Saturday afternoon, we were taken on a foraging walk from the campsite to the small but buzzing seaside town of Port Isaac. Learning en route about which local flora and fauna were edible and the benefits they each had was fascinating and really informative - though I still maintain that I won't be nibbling the greenery on my walk to work just yet! We arrived in Port Isaac mid-afternoon, with the local sea shanty festival well underway. Full of charm and character, the sun glistened on the sea and the town was alive with music, beer and the sound of the waves. It reinforced my belief that there are few places more beautiful than Cornwall!
On the Sunday, we enjoyed another dynamic yoga class and huge breakfast before leaving the campsite loaded up with another homemade treat - a packed lunch from Este, which consisted of a cornish pasty, fresh fruit, flapjacks and chocolate. The perfect end to a wonderful weekend away!
Bookings are now being taken for 2020's Breeze retreats. Please visit Yoga With Catherine's website for more information.