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SILK RETREATS : our luxurious pause in a crazy year.

I can close my eyes and picture very well what I need to feel relaxed, to take a pause. I have the knowledge about what helps my body to fight infections and for my mind to be at peace. Does it mean I do all of these things ? Sometimes, it just feels that it requires too much effort. We can make time, we can cook better, we can sleep longer, we can choose to relax over hoovering. I really do believe that we have choices, even when it doesn’t feel like we do. Having said that, I remember that I haven’t eaten a fruit for the past 3 days, that I skipped breakfast this morning, that I haven’t been on the yoga mat for the past two weeks. Also, J. and I have barely have had head space to really connect lately.

I don’t need to list all the tings that went down this year. I know you know. What I want to share though is a positive outlook. Not the positive where everything is rosy, and all will be absolutely fine. We don’t actually know. But we can hope. Also, we can help. Ourselves, and others. And this is Shona and Sabine mission at heart. They offer a range of retreat styles from structured fully organised to light touch flexible packages. They can guide you through your daily yoga and meditation classes. Shona, your private chef, will be on hand to make sure you’re eating and drinking exactly what your body needs.

portrait of two women sitting on different steps of a stone staircase outdoors. Woman with dog on her laps

Hit that pause button.

Stopping is hard ! I find that being an entrepreneur, I have to be quite strict in imposing myself a certain routine of self care. That’s on top of the strict routine to actually get shit done. I have this one way dialogue with myself : “take that coffee outside, walk around while you are having it, talk to a friend if you can, write down for yourself what’s bothering you, create time for yoga and a proper lunch without looking at your laptop… !” From time to time, although we know what’s good for us – whether we do it or not- the best way is to be reminded by people whose job it is to look after others.

We took our pause at Silk Retreats right before students were going back to J.’s school for the new academic year. He and his team had been working tirelessly all August to prepare for this very special “rentrée” in the middle of a global pandemic. Needless to say he was exhausted. I felt that a family retreat would do us good before starting again.

Nourish body and mind.

I love food. I am a big fan of Indian cuisine and Asian food. Living in Africa, London, The Emirates and Asia have taught me loads about spices, food and I love cooking all sorts of dishes at home. Our children have grown up with rich flavours and I intend to continue that. We follow a fairly balanced diet at home and we try our very best to be responsible consumers. Sayan has just decided to be a vegetarian after watching A LIFE ON OUR PLANET  and we make sure we support her. I actually love my cooking time. I do. The girls are in front of the TV, or in the shower, or getting their stuff ready for the next day, while I am in the kitchen, music on, glass of wine in hand. That’s my time. I love how cooking has become a relaxing & creative outlet for me. However, I love even more when someone will do that cooking for me, so I can just sit and enjoy the meal without all the effort that comes beforehand.

This is where Shona comes in.

Over the last 10 years Shona has cooked everywhere from soup kitchens to castles, but the way she cooks has always stayed the same: simply prepared meals using only the finest ingredients.  We chose to take a pause at Silk Retreats and that’s exactly what we got. Every single detail of each meal (breakfast included) has been thought out to be perfect with colours, flavours, textures. It’s all the 5 senses in absolute fireworks mode. Relaxing also means this : feeling it all, truly and mindfully, and think to yourself “bloody hell, life is so beautiful !” It is not possible to ignore how alive I felt with each bite. Shona’s sense of hospitality is not comparable. Beyond the obvious simple but on point comfort, she’ll become quickly liked by the kids thanks to her warm and friendly nature, a great person to chat to about any topics, and equally will just make herself scarce to leave you space to unwind. She has a wand I am sure, as she makes it look really easy.

a flat lay view of a platter of crudites and dips stack of pancakes decorated with berries young girl drinking a red berries smoothie man serving himself some pancakes

This is when Sabine comes in.

I started yoga a while ago. I started it because I  needed a “life jacket”. Now, yoga is more a want than a need, it has become a true channel for creativity, respect & intention. Sabine embodies these, and more. Taking a break from the fast pace London life, she escaped the office by going backpacking solo around India. Traveling alone healed her from the loss of identity she’d felt working in an industry that didn’t suit her. Living in third world countries alone taught her a lot about inner strength and resilience. Spending just 5 minutes talking to Sabine makes you feel heard and cared for. She brings calm and serenity even in a year such as this one.

Our pause at Silk Retreats was short but it helped us regenerate as well as feel ready for the few weeks ahead that proved to be quite the challenge. We took time to breathe, to enjoy nature fully, to be with one another fully and we laughed a lot. Eating delicious food and having meaningful conversations in candle light are just pleasures that make you feel good for weeks. And oh boy have we been craving connections this year !  I feel like having Shona and Sabine look after us again will now be born more of a want than a need. A little like my experience of yoga.

Find out more about Silk Retreats. Follow and support Sabine & Shona.

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