I recently went to Italy with Our Retreat on a beautiful week of Pilates and Yoga hosted by the brilliant Lottie Murphy and Emily Spriggs, this new location marked a new chapter for not only Our Retreat but for myself as well.
The last few years I have watched Our Retreat grow and evolve, from it’s first ever Ibiza retreat to now hosting many retreats around the world based in the UK, Italy and of course Ibiza. As Our Retreat has grown and evolved so have I, it almost feels like we have grown up together. Our Retreat feels like family.
No matter where I am in my life, what stage and what I need from a retreat Our Retreat always provides. What I have loved about watching this retreat business grow and learn is how each retreat I have been on just get better and better.
This year was the first year in Italy for them and I was so happy to be invited along by Our Retreat to experience it. The hosts were Pilates teacher (and one of my closest friends and mega babe) Lottie Murphy, then Yoga teacher and Barre Instructor Emily Spriggs. The combination of Lottie and Emily styles of trainings and personalities just WORKS. I loved the combination of Pilates, Yoga and Barre. My body felt lengthened, stretched, and muscles were worked and engaged I didn’t even know I had.
If I am honest I was worried about not having a strict gym routine over the last few months as I have been travelling a huge deal. But what I loved about this retreat is how amazing I felt…no gym, no equipment really just my body and some fantastic teachers. For me Pilates and Yoga is a lot about the teachers and Lottie and Emily work so well together and their teaching styles support and compliment each other so well. If anyone wants to try Pilates, yoga or Barre these ladies should be on your radar. Better yet, why not go on a retreat hosted by them ey?
A few more things which made this retreat so wonderful were, the location and villa, the company and of course the food. I adore Italy, so there was no question in my mind that it would be a dreamy retreat location. I had never explored Sardinia either and it was stunning – very different from any other bit of Italy I have been too. Much greener and almost jurassic park looking…sadly we didn’t have the best weather so didn’t explore the beaches as much as we would of liked. The other Italy retreats they did boat trips and paddle boarding….which looked like my idea of heaven. But even in the rain Sardinia I loved you.
The villa was also perfect, big spacious and homely. From the moment everyone arrived it was like a weight was lifted from everyone, I felt like my whole body relaxed. The villa itself immediately felt like home, yes it was modern, spacious and beautiful but also had a lot of traditional Italian decor and vibes…which I think made us all relax and switch off.
The food (always the most important bit right): ok so we were in Italy…on a retreat and did I mention the chefs were two Italians and boy did they know foods and flavours! You already know the food is going to be insane right….but that doesn’t cover it. Not in the slightest. Honestly one of the best menus/food I have ever had on a retreat. The meals were fresh, locally sourced, delicious and SO much focus on flavour. The portions were great as well….something I am a big fan of as you guys know.
I don’t think I can even do the food justice but I will include some pictures which hopefully will do the talking for me. One of my favourite foodie moments was the cooking class where we learnt how to make pesto, Italian tomato sauce for bases such as pasta and pizza. And because we were in Italy…pizza of course. We may the most delicious pizzas I think I have ever had. Oh did I mention all the desserts? And the curry…and the breakfasts. Ok I loved it all, I can’t choose a favourite. Of course being a retreat it was all healthy, vegetarian (I think some/a lot vegan) but oh my goodness the flavours.
So that was a pretty whistle stop tour through the Our Retreat Sardian Retreat….I also learnt and took away a huge amount from the retreat and I thought I would share some of the key things.
- Exercise for the enjoyment – Lottie and Emily made each session so enjoyable, I loved the classes and at no point did it feel like a chore. I fell in love with Pilates and Yoga all over again which is a testament to their teaching.
- Yoga for my mind – I saw this so much, but after really focusing on my yoga the last few months I have seen such great improvements in my practise. But for me Yoga has never been about the moves its been about my mind. I am 100 miles an hour and yoga gives me the opportunity to switch off and calm down.
- How I don’t need a gym/strict routine – sometimes panic if I don’t have a workout structure or routine. But this retreat showed me how enjoyable it can be to just go with the flow and step away from the routine.
- Food for enjoyment and love of flavours – once again the food on the retreat was insane. I really stepped back and appreciated the food and flavours. The chefs passion for flavours and local produce really fed through in their cooking and its something that I took away with me.
- I don’t need coffee as much as I think. I realise this every time I go away, I rely on coffee so much in London. It’s just so part of my routine and life I enjoy the taste and smell so much. But having breaks like the retreats gives me the opportunity to have breaks and a bit of time off. Also reminds me I don’t ‘NEED’ coffee, I just like it. Which is. a lot healthier way to view my coffee addiction haha.
- Friendships As much as I love going to retreats by myself and fully recommend that. Being able to share this week in Sardinia with some of my closest friends made the whole experience so much more special. I am reminded again and again how important friendships are. Shoutout to my roomie Venetia Falconer for the late night life chats, for being my tea drinking buddy and all round queen. To Lottie for being an inspiration, a wonderful teacher and an all round great human. To them both for their support and friendship, for the laughs, memories, continuous chocolate snacking and matcha latte drinking. Friendships in your mid to late 20s are so dam special….I could write a whole blog on this but maybe another time (your eyes are probably tired already!)
Here’s to the next few chapters Our Retreat, here’s to growing, evolving and creating something unique. Here’s to the family you have formed, for helping change, support and impact peoples lives in such beautiful ways. I have a feeling this is only the beginning for Our Retreat and I can’t wait to see what the next few years have to offer.
To find out more about Our Retreat and the retreats they offer and trainers they partner with visit their website HERE, I have also done a few other reviews of previous retreats HERE and HERE. So you can get a vibe for the different retreats and what they offer. I have said this time and time again, everyone should experience a retreat, they change everything and I feel so damn lucky to be part of the Our Retreat journey.