Anyone who knows me knows that I love being by the sea, I also love getting a chance to recuperate, recharge my batteries and re-energise. It’s not often all of these things come together so magically but being part of Sandra Watson’s Devon seaside Heart and Sole Wellbeing retreat ticked every box.
Sandra is a fitness expert (that’s where the play on the word sole’ comes from) with a comprehensive knowledge of nutrition natural remedies and juicing, she is also an NLP practitioner, and has a passion for mindfulness and meditation, all of these elements show up in this wonderfully relaxing yet definitely energizing two day retreat, which Sandra offers in various different guises (some are detox juicing only) in both Devon and Northumberland.
The Beach house in Devon is gorgeous, light and airy with great interior design, copious fairy lights draped around driftwood, a state of the art kitchen with gorgeous crockery and a wonderful attention to detail. The bedrooms were comfortable and warm and best of all its just a hop skip and a jump to the beach, a sweeping expanse of sand and a causeway where you can walk across when the tide is out to an art deco hotel on an island. Idyllic. Despite it being Autumn, Sandra’s enthusiasm was infectious and she has us walking, working out on the beach and part of her plans involved guests ruminating on their deepest desires and then venturing off for an evening ceremonial ‘burning’ of the writing. In fact it was just a little too wet and cold that evening so the next morning we took our folded ‘dreams’ and released then into the sea.
It was a full weekend; we did lots of stretching, some simple guided meditation and visualization, (Sandra has a wonderfully soothing voice) and there was time for lots of chatting and reading too. Sandra gently encourages us to reach our full potential, to reinvent ourselves, as we peel away our limiting beliefs and create a magical outcome. She encouraged a gratitude list, and our ‘wish list’ we spent a few hours creating our own vision boards (she provides all the materials) and it was a joy to paint, colour and stick pictures on the board alongside some lovely women, who started out as strangers and became friends.
In addition to the holistic approach to everything I felt wonderfully pampered with superfood juces, (we started each day with a wheatgrass shot) but this particularly retreat wasn’t only detox juicing, we had delicious veggie food, breakfast smoothies, amazing vegan moussaka, avocado salads and an amazing thai curry dish to name just a few. But it was the desserts that will go down in history, man alive – we had the most incredible raw chocolate cake EVER! OK so this wasn’t a retreat to lose weight but it was all incredibly healthy food, and who doesn’t like cake by the ocean?
Sandra is so friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and this is a very ‘realistic’ retreat for all women, we’re not talking a boot camp, or a restrictive programme, this is very relaxed and holistic. She kindly sent us some of the recipes so that we could carry on the good work at home, and she can offer an individually tailored nutritional programme
I arrived feeling pretty exhausted and stressed out, I left with renewed energy, determination and my mojo back..