This is the place where I decided to spend my Easter week end this year! Crazy cow? Not likely.
Otherwise called a holistic sanctuary, Yeotown is located in Devon 2 hours away from Paddington station and 45’ away from the amazing north coast.
You get to be pampered in the ways of a healthier lifestyle in an amazing little country cottage, decorated in the best possible taste (it helps if this has to be a home away from home for the holidays). I was at first apprehensive about the diet (no starch, no meat, no dairy etc) and the fitness program (outdoor intensive activities regardless of the weather!).
I was both impressed and totally won over by the hosts total commitment to this lifestyle which they approach in a very educational manner and the seductive cuisine of their amazing vegetarian cook, Julia.
I got the best out of the hikes thanks also to good weather, an incredible coast and Devon countryside scenery, yoga vinyasa flow classes with the hostess, Mercedes, and core strength work out. This, coupled with me time in the evening reading in front of a lovely fire. I can’t wait to go back for more.
Today all we have time for is the usual morning yoga session and a hike. At 3pm we say our farewells and it’s off to Tiverton train station for those of us heading back to London. I feel terrific. The retreat was a perfect combination of hard work with just enough pampering and little luxuries to power us through. I’m much better rested; lighter, stronger and cleaner than the day I arrived a-week before, possibly more so than I’ve ever been.
On the train ride home, I watch the car fill with hung-over-looking, smelly, granola-types returning from a music festival. I’m still unsure of whether or not I’ll be able to maintain what I’ve learned over this rejuvenating week away, but what I do know is (as much as I love music myself) I’m glad to be feeling as far away as humanly possible from the haggard state in which my new fellow passengers currently appear.
All I can think about is croissants and coffee. And I can’t stop. I’ve signed up for a detox week at Yeotown: a yoga-centered retreat in Devon. I’m beginning to have second thoughts as my train pulls up to Tiverton station at 11:04 am. I shudder to think about an earlier experience at a boot camp, which left me completely shattered. I try to console myself with the thought of a total transformation by weeks’ end but anxiety reigns supreme.
The driver collects us and my feelings feelings of nervousness begin to dissipate as soon as we pull up to a charming old farm in a lush green setting scattered with pink flowers. I’m even more at ease when I see my room – It’s bright, clean and cozy – A stack of old Vanity Fair magazines sit on the windowsill and fun fashion photographs cover the walls.
After I unpack there’s a brief nutritional consultation, in which I’m informed that the headaches I’m inflicted with after hard exercise, since I drink plenty of water, are possibly due to an insufficient amount of protein in my diet.
After a light but delicious lunch of butternut squash salad with spinach it’s off for an afternoon hike - In the pouring rain. As we power up and down the rocky cliffs the Devonshire coast, our Irish guide, Dave, boosts our groups’ moral with his funny anecdotes and extensive knowledge of the history of the area.
Still, we can’t get back to the farm soon enough. Soaking wet and exhausted, I’m desperate for a hot shower as soon as we return. Once clean and warm again, we are served Yeotinis – A rather cruel name for a green juice full of all kinds of unpronounceable probiotics.
The evening vinyasa flow yoga session taught by Mercedes, one of the founders of Yeotown, is one of the best I’ve ever experienced. And having completed a month long yoga teacher training myself two years back, I’ve become markedly more discerning in my critique.
Post yoga the five of us (There are four other women with me on the retreat) gather around the table for a dinner of delicious cod with Yeotown co-founders Simon and Mercedes. The discussion hinges around the various activities of our day, how delicious the cod is, and our (already aching) rear ends. After a brief sauna and shower I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at 10:00 pm.