Relaxation Retreat in Southern France

We have just returned from our Relaxation Retreat in Southern France, and had such an amazing time, I couldn’t wait to share!

So, I headed off to our location near Bergerac in France a couple of days before, to ensure everything was ready for the arrival of our guests. As the plane headed through the clouds, the sky was beautifully blue with a blanket of fluffy clouds beneath me.

 Above the clouds, the sky was blue

Above the clouds, the sky was blue

 Myself and home owner for our retreat guests, Madeline

Myself and home owner for our retreat guests, Madeline

I had a good couple of days getting everything perfect with help from Madeline, the home owner of our guest Retreat.

On the Friday morning, we set off from the house to collect out guests from the airport. We returned and as luggage was taken to each guest room, we had the chance to sit with a refreshing welcome drink and go through our itinerary for the weekend.

The sun was shining, so it was beautiful and warm. Perfect for our boat trip up the river which followed to kick off the weekend of calm and relaxation.

 The guest house for our Retreat

The guest house for our Retreat

 Our group with a welcome drink on arrival

Our group with a welcome drink on arrival

The boat trip was so peaceful. We glided along the river enjoying a refreshing fruity drink with vegetable sticks and dip.

As we reached the point of our river journey where we’d need to turn back, we took a moment to just drift on the water with a moment of mindfulness to appreciate what we look to gain and achieve on our time at the retreat.

 We head off on our boat trip

We head off on our boat trip

 Setting fire to anything we’d like to let go of

Setting fire to anything we’d like to let go of

 Drifting back to the house

Drifting back to the house

We returned for some healthy lunch and then the afternoon enabled free time to relax in the sunshine, read, walk, and also enjoy back massages and foot and scalp massages over looking the river with tranquil music.

 Imagine laying here enjoying a foot or scalp massage as your look over the lake

Imagine laying here enjoying a foot or scalp massage as your look over the lake

We ended the day with chats over a delicious three course meal made from fresh foods.

Saturday morning we were up at 7.45am to leave for a silent inspiration walk around the lake at sunrise and to walk through the running stream. It was so refreshing and really woke us up for the day.

 Our sunrise silent inspiration walk

Our sunrise silent inspiration walk

 Strolling the grounds on our silent inspiration morning walk

Strolling the grounds on our silent inspiration morning walk

 Silent sunrise walk. It’s amazing what you see and hear

Silent sunrise walk. It’s amazing what you see and hear

 Barefoot through the refreshing stream early in the morning

Barefoot through the refreshing stream early in the morning

 A refreshing morning wake up walking through the stream

A refreshing morning wake up walking through the stream

Some loved the early morning walk through the stream so much, they made sure to do it the next two days too!

 A moment of reflection in the stream

A moment of reflection in the stream

 Crossing the bridge to return to the house for meditation and smoothie

Crossing the bridge to return to the house for meditation and smoothie

 Morning sun

Morning sun

After Saturday morning’s meditation and breakfast, it was time for mindful colouring.

We had 3 mindful colouring designs created bespoke for us for our Relaxation Retreat, by one of my closest friends Aimee Grace of Gracefully Boho. I shared how Gracey came to find art and we got to colouring. The time just passed easily in the warm sunshine. It was amazing to see the final pieces all framed to take home and display.

 Mindful colouring in the sunshine

Mindful colouring in the sunshine

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 A gorgeous framed work of art from our mindful colouring session

A gorgeous framed work of art from our mindful colouring session

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We had a little free time before lunch. Then after lunch was some more free time. Time in which others could do some mindful colouring, time to head out in the countryside for a run or walk, time for a trip around the grounds with the owners of the guest house, or time to chill in the hot tub over looking the lake.

 Two people that started off as almost strangers, and became friends

Two people that started off as almost strangers, and became friends

 Enjoying the views

Enjoying the views

 Time to relax in the hot tub

Time to relax in the hot tub

Early afternoon and Julie arrived to hold a mindful yoga session. Julie is a fabulously serene local yoga and mediation teacher, who’d experience is long and vast. Julie regularly meditates with world renowned wise buddhist monk, Thich Naht Hanh, who lives just 30 minutes away in Plum Village meditation center.

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After yoga and meditation, there was some more free time just before dinner. We had a lovely healthy dinner, and followed it with a peaceful candlelight and singing bowl meditation with incense aroma. Afterwards, we chatted and laughed… some until we cried! :)

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After Sunday morning’s meditation and breakfast, we fought the rain and headed to the local market to delight in the stalls, plus take a wander around the church and quaint buildings in the village.

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 Myself and Alex at the market

Myself and Alex at the market

 The quaint village market

The quaint village market

We came back to enjoy vegetable wraps for lunch with local olives and pesto from the market.

We set the log burner in the lounge and enjoyed the warming glow as we continued the afternoon with our life planning/mindset workshop. A chance to reflect, take notes, brain dump, and look at things from a positive perspective. I started by sharing part of my story and what brought me to meditation and mindset work. We all had good chats and really made strong bonds in the group.

More free time was available to just switch off and relax before dinner. We had another delicious meal, this time with a prosecco toast to celebrate our last night together. After dinner we sat around chatting, listening to the water, and gazing at the stars. We also collected our ‘jar of thoughts’ and took in in turn to pick from the jar to share in the group (these were thoughts we’d each shared and put in the jar for our final evening).

 Our group on the last night

Our group on the last night

Monday was time to say goodbye. We had a relaxed morning, enjoyed meditation, breakfast, and a little down time before the airport.

It was an amazing weekend of relaxation, clarity, and positivity. It was a chance to refresh, to push comfort zones and return renewed and ready for the world.

There were serene and peaceful surroundings, beautiful views and sounds, and enough time to reflect. There was healthy food and treats, and mindful moments to just enjoy.

 Banana bread, fresh from the oven

Banana bread, fresh from the oven

 Apple slices with homemade granola and dark chocolate

Apple slices with homemade granola and dark chocolate

 Chicken or veg wraps with local olives and pesto

Chicken or veg wraps with local olives and pesto

 A jar of thoughts

A jar of thoughts

 Homemade granola

Homemade granola

 Homemade vegan chocolate cake with homemade banana ice cream

Homemade vegan chocolate cake with homemade banana ice cream

 A moment to read and reflect

A moment to read and reflect

 Books and fruit to enjoy

Books and fruit to enjoy

All in all, we had the BEST time. We had such an amazing group of people who all arrived as strangers and left as friends.

I felt truly blessed to be able to spend the weekend with such special souls and see people almost change over the weekend. Some said it was life-changing, that they feel they have their glow back, that it made such a positive impact and that they need to appreciate and be proud of small steps made.

We can’t wait to return to France next year for two more dates! If you are interested in joining us then register your interest here.

Take a look below at the testimonials:

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The weekend relaxation retreat was just what I needed, I had been looking forward to it so much. After an exciting summer, moving forward in my life, planning a move abroad and feeling very positive, I had some disappointing news just before I went away and I thought at first that it may mean I didn’t get as much out of it as I expected. How wrong was I?  

Clare (and Alex) organised lots of lovely things for us to do, not just yoga and meditation, but other mindful activities and also we all had the chance to just offload ‘stuff’ and talk to others who had the same insecurities, fears and problems.  We laughed, cried, reflected and relaxed. We slept well, ate healthily and learnt so much about ourselves. We had free time every day and we were not pressured to join in with any activities that may not appeal.  

The house and grounds are stunning and the sound of running water from the waterfalls was very soothing. The rooms were comfy and mine overlooked the river so when the window was open, I could still hear the water. We were able to use the hot tub, make hot drinks whenever we wanted and I felt really at home. Peter and Madeline, our hosts, were brilliant and nothing was too much for them.  

I had an amazing time. Thank you.
Linda