Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Four precious days in the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside full of feel-good movement, inspiringly tasty plant-based food, new friends, new adventures, belly laughs and evenings of watching the sun go down from the hot tub with rosé in hand! It was the perfect blend of all the benefits of a wellness retreat with the fun and laughter of a girls holiday. Read on to discover everything we got up to!
Monday - the guests arrive to a slice of retreat heaven!
Fourteen guests travelled to our beautiful retreat location in Ceredigion, Wales and arrived on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. The smell of courgette muffins baking wafted through the house as our wonderful chef team, Jo and Alice prepared refreshments for the guest's arrivals. Each bedroom was the height of countryside luxury with king-sized beds, robes hanging in the wardrobes and Aesop and Diptyque products available in every bathroom. Each guest had a selection of gorgeous welcome gifts waiting for them including a pair of Barre socks and a £15 voucher from Sweaty Betty, a collection of herbal tea, room spray and balm from the Breathe range by Lab Tonica, essential oils from Yougi for guests to pop on their pillows to help them relax of an evening and their very own The Barre Coach branded water bottle. Our guests arrived from 5pm and got the chance to settle into their home for the week, meet the other guests and soak up all the retreat excitement. Dinner that evening was a broccoli and cashew soup, followed by spanakopita - a greek spinach pie served with leafy salad greens and roasted heritage tomatoes. We finished the evening meal with a 'hug in a mug' - a gorgeous spiced hot chocolate drink that left everyone feeling snoozy and ready for bed!
Tuesday - our first IRL Barre class and a coastal walk
Tuesday was our first full day and we woke up to the most gorgeous sunrise. Guests enjoyed an immunity-boosting Smoothie made from Hemp seeds, Pineapple, ginger turmeric and bee pollen before joining me outside for our first Barre session of the week which was set up with all the equipment they would need for the week. It was our first IRL class altogether and we worked through some beginners level full-body sequences and finished with a core and breathwork session. Breakfast followed which was shakshuka eggs and steamed greens served with Jo's delicious artisan sourdough bread. We then got ready and headed down to Poppit Sands for a 6-mile walk! We started off walking inland before popping up along the coast, walking up to Cemaes Head and back to Poppit Sands for a picnic on the beach. Jo had made us a packed lunch of quinoa salad with seeds, green and goats cheese and it was beyond delicious! We then headed home for an afternoon stretch in the garden before everyone had the chance to relax and unwind with some rosé in the hot tub! Jo & Alice rustled up another delicious 3-course meal for dinner, starting with beetroot carpaccio, the main course was a yummy black-eyed bean stew with green herb smash and the dessert was a delicious coconut panna cotta with raspberry purée. Satisfied and sleepy, some guests headed to bed, others continued chatting away in the conservatory and the rest enjoyed an evening dip in the hot tub!
Wednesday - paddle boarding, horse riding and pizza making!
Wednesday was an action-packed day! We were up early for brekkie which was overnight oats and buckwheat porridge served with baked spiced apples, sheep's yoghurt and toasted seeds! We then headed off to Aberporth beach for a private paddle-boarding session with FOSUP. It was a wee bit drizzly on arrival but just as everyone started to get the hang of standing up on their boards, the sun came out and brightened up the bay! Everyone left the session with a new love for paddle-boarding and really chuffed that they'd tried something new! We then headed back to the house for a warming lunch of green minestrone with pesto and seaweed crackers. We had horse riding lessons later in the afternoon at Rheidol Riding Centre for some guests and others stayed back at the house to join Jo for an energy ball making workshop. We finished the day with a 45 minute Barre class before getting ready for dinner which was an evening of pizza making in the garden room! Jo & Alice had prepped the toppings, the dough and the pizza oven and guests were able to enjoy getting creative with their pizzas!
Thursday - a 90 minute Barre session, candle making and a curry night!
We were up early for a pre-workout beet berry smoothie before heading up to the garden room for a 90 minute Barre session which included 45 minutes of classic Barre sequences, 30 minutes of low impact HIIT and a 15-minute stretch. The heavens opened on us so we had to quickly take the session inside the house to finish it off! A well-deserved brekkie of baked granola, buckwheat pancakes and warm plum compote, served with a delicious medicinal mushroom latte followed while we quickly reassessed the plan for the day! We were hoping to get to the majestic cove of Mwnt but with the weather looking soggy, we decided to stay at the house and get creative with some candle making instead! It started to dry up as we sat down for lunch which was a Persian pumpkin soup with black lime green beans in a lemon dressing. It turned into a sunny afternoon so guests took the opportunity to head to the local beach or have a look around the shops in nearby Aberaeron before heading back to the house for a sunset Core & Stretch session. We had some pamper treatments organised for guests that wanted a little extra relaxation throughout the afternoon including massages, facials and manicures. Thursday night's dinner was an Autumn curry night which was so fabulous that the guests gave Jo & Alice a huge round of applause as it was served. The main course was a vegetable coconut curry served with lemon rice, seasonal vegetable baked bhajis, tandoori cauliflower, coriander coconut chutney and lime pickle! It was an absolute feast and everyone loved it! Dessert was a spiced pear parcel with spirulina dream cream - delicious! It was a really special evening and gave everyone the chance to share their favourite moments of the retreat and thank everyone for their contribution to such a fabulous week.
Friday - our final Barre session, the best sourdough and time to say goodbye!
Friday brought an early morning Barre session followed by our final breakfast and what a breakfast it was! Jo & Alice created a vegetarian full English with tempeh sausages, home-cooked banke beans, spinach omelette, scrambled eggs and artisan sourdough bread. It was absolutely delicious and the perfect end to the week! After a quick group picture and a round of goodbyes, everyone headed home feeling relaxed and recharged with new memories and new friends!
September always feels like the start of a new chapter with the summer holidays coming to an end and the retreat was a really lovely way to transition into Autumn. After a week of consistent Barre classes and trying all sorts of new dishes, our retreat guests returned home feeling inspired and motivated to keep up with everything they'd learned. Guests were straight back to our live Barre classes the next day and experimented with all sorts of cooking over the weekend including making their own granola, energy balls, quinoa salad and seaweed crackers!
Here's just a snippet of the amazing feedback we've had so far;
"Thank you for a fabulous retreat - totally professional, fantastic attention to detail, a lot of thought went into it and it was perfectly executed - felt it was extremely good value and a lovely bonding experience - thank you"
"I just can’t wait to come on another one with Gen. It was so nice to meet in person and it was so much fun and such a giggle to hang out."
"It was such a lovely week, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone and doing Barre in person, it was very helpful to be corrected on what I had been doing wrong."
"Huge thank you for such a wonderful, thoughtful and brilliantly planned week!"
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