Monday 8th May to Saturday 13th May 2017 (five nights)
Saturday 16th to Friday 22nd September 2017 (six nights)
This energising and healing 5-night retreat in Provence will re-connect you with your body and mind, leaving you feeling fitter, healthier, more flexible and in tune with yourself and the natural world.
Experienced Nutritional Therapist and Medical Herbalist, Sarah Hughes, will give daily talks on gut health, the microbiome and boosting your immunity through diet, culminating in a conscious eating workshop on the last day of the retreat. Guests will also get their hands dirty making such gut-friendly dishes as nutrient-packed sauerkraut, mouth-watering beetroot houmous and, Sarah’s secret weapon, a killer gazpacho that she says will send a cold virus packing.
Day three will be given over entirely to foraging with ethno-botanist and wild chef Robin Harford. Spend the morning gathering nature’s bounty then learn how to turn your precious hoard into a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you will learn nature-based mindfulness practices using plants. These simple practices are tremendously healing and will show you how to develop a loving connection with plants and the natural world, embody nature’s peaceful presence and connect with earth-based wisdom, trust and gratitude.
In addition to these nutritional and plant-based learnings guests will be taken on daily walks in the surrounding countryside and complete each day with a gentle Pilates session to stretch and tone the muscles. Meals will be taken together around a huge table in the main house and will be based on Sarah Hughes’ Gut Health Menu featuring plenty of locally-sourced, organic produce.
Set in the heart of the beautiful Luberon, La Colline Fleurie is a picturesque mini-hamlet comprising three villas with two swimming pools, a tennis court, boules pitch and pretty gardens.
ITINERARY OVERVIEW: MAY
DAY 1 - MONDAY 8th MAY 2017
- Arrival in Provence.
- Orientation and dinner.
DAY 2 - TUESDAY 9th MAY 2017
- Morning - Walking near Saignon.
- Afternoon - "How the Gut Works" with Sarah Hughes.
DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY 10th MAY 2017
- Morning - Walking the Gorges d'Oppedette.
- Afternoon - "Immunity: Our Natural Defence Mechanism" with Sarah Hughes.
DAY 4 - THURSDAY 11th MAY 2017
- Morning - Foraging and wild food preparation with Robin Harford.
- Afternoon - Plant-based mindfulness with Robin Harford.
DAY 5 - FRIDAY 12th MAY 2017
- Morning - Walking the Colorado Provencal.
- Afternoon - "Concious Eating" workshop with Sarah Hughes.
DAY 6 - SATURDAY 13th MAY 2017
GUT HEALTH, IMMUNITY & CONCIOUS EATING
On the first two afternoons Sarah will lead a fascinating session on gut health and the far-reaching benefits of a nutritious diet followed by interactive cooking demonstrations.
On Monday we'll learn how the gut works, what the microbiome is and why symptoms of poor digestion occur. This leads on to an understanding of leaky gut and how to heal it followed by the benefits of probiotic foods and how to make the ultimate probiotic - sauerkraut.
Tuesday's session will be an in-depth look at immunity and the immune system including white blood cells, how our system can get overloaded, the history of antibiotics and where they occur naturally. Learn how to make Sarah's immune-boosting beetroot houmous and gazpacho.
After Robin's foraging session on Thursday, Friday will culminate in a concious eating workshop. This is a very relaxed session, during which participants are free to share their stories and learn from one another's experiences. It is not compulsory to share but participants often find it a powerful and memorable session leading to a deeper understanding of why we eat and how habits are formed.
WALKING IN THE LUBERON
The enchanting countryside of the Luberon is awash with breath-taking views and varied terrain. Walking paths encompass beautifully-restored farm buildings, orchards, vineyards, gorges, fields of wildflowers and majestic cliffs.
Tuesday morning’s walk will likely take us to the striking hill town of Saignon from where we will take a gentle, two-hour walk along country paths and through fields, stopping to admire the stone shepherd huts, known as ‘bories’, that dot the area.
On Wednesday we’ll embark on perhaps the most spectacular walk around the Gorges d’Oppedette, located just a short way from the villa. The scenery here is dramatic and, while the walk around the periphery of the gorges is a well-trodden one, please note that the path is high with sheer drops so if you suffer vertigo or are afraid of heights then please do discuss this with us beforehand.
On Friday we’ll head to Rustrel for an exploration of the Colorado Provençal, once home to a thriving industry in ochre mining. With its eerie desert landscape and strangely-shaped red rock formations one could almost imagine oneself on another planet.
During the morning session with Robin, you will go and gather wild edible plants, then return to the retreat centre to learn how to turn them into wonderful dishes to supplement our delicious lunch.
As you wander and gather, Robin will tell you the stories of the plants that we find. Their folklore and history, as well as their traditional and modern culinary uses. He teaches from a global perspective uncovering how different cultures around the world have worked with these wild food plants.
In the afternoon, you will learn nature-based mindfulness practices using plants. These practices invite you to participate in, and not just observe, plants, so you can reconnect to them in a deep and intimate way.
Please note that Robin’s teaching has nothing to do with shamanism, or magic, and his practices have been developed from his 30 years involvement in the Western contemplative tradition.
For further information on our Zen portfolio and how Zen can help you improve your wellbeing, contact Samantha Gee, on +44 (0)1242 787825.