*Our stay at Fullers Hill Retreat was gifted in return for this blog post.
All photos used taken by the lovely Esme Robinson.
Sometimes in life, timings can work out so perfectly you can’t quite believe your luck. As was the case when after an incredibly stressful week where I was just about ready to tear my hair out, an email landed in my inbox inviting me to the Fullers Hill Retreat for a weekend of wellbeing. I’m sorry but if that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.
Fullers Hill Cottages is a cluster of six self-catering apartments on a working farm, set in the Cambridgeshire countryside. All apartments are fully furnished and equipped with everything you could need. The cottages can be booked for anything from a short break to hen parties, golfing trips and more. But new for 2019, Fullers Hill have introduced a Wellness Retreat experience where friends or couples – or even solo travellers can book a relaxing stay where all their wellbeing needs will be taken care of. My fiancé Matt and I were invited with fellow bloggers Laura and Lisa and their plus-ones to experience the retreat for ourselves and give our feedback.
So on one miserable Saturday morning, Matt and I squeezed our belongings into a small suitcase and hopped in the car for a short drive to the small market town of Sandy. We quickly found the rest of our group and after a welcome chat with the Fullers Hill team, we changed into our fitness gear and headed over to the on-site studio for some gentle Yoga. We were a group of mixed ability, but with neither Matt nor I had done Yoga before, the session didn’t feel too difficult to follow at all and it was refreshing not to have someone walking around, trying to manoeuvre your body into all sorts of pretzel-esqe shapes. Ultimately, it was all very gentle and relaxing and I really enjoyed my first experience of Yoga.
After a lunch of delicious home-made soup and crusty bread in The Granary, it was time for a Wellness Session with Catherine Rees from Purely Wellness. Catherine guided us through mindfulness and meditation exercises to help us de-stress, focus and ground ourselves. This included various exercises such as mindful eating, a silent walk and mindful mood boards, where we were provided with magazines, colouring books and art supplies to get creative. My favourite part of our session with Catherine was the meditation which had the most incredible effect on me in that I feel so calm and content that I was close to falling asleep! Meditation has always been something I’ve wanted to do but I always struggle to do it by myself.
Shaking off a strong need for a nap, we filled up on gorgeous homemade cake and hot drinks then had a couple of hours of free time. Most of us used this as an excuse to slip into our swimwear and head over to one of the two six-people hot tubs on-site where we ditched our dressing gowns and slipped beneath the warm bubbles with glasses of prosecco. It seemed that we enjoyed the hot tub a little too much as before we knew it, we had just 15 minutes to head back to our apartment to get ourselves presentable for dinner and drinks.
Now I’ve never been a drinker so I was unsure whether wine tasting would be something I enjoyed but I was pleasantly surprised! The Fullers Hill Sommelier Dominic guided us through a selection of red and white wines, generously filling up our glasses and giving us a brief history of each one. There was none of this sniffing your wine and pretending to guess the berries or anything, it was completely unpretentious and accessible. And I even found a wine I liked which is pretty surprising if you know me personally.
After our wine tasting, we were certainly ready for food and were treated to a private chef who cooked us a delicious three-course meal, right in the apartment. While we chatted amongst ourselves, the chef and his assistant cooked and served us a gorgeous array of beautifully presented food in what was an experience I certainly won’t forget in a hurry.
The next morning, after a restful nights sleep, we headed to the kitchen where we found a breakfast hamper full of bacon, sausages, eggs, juice, yoghurt, smoked salmon and sourdough – everything you could need to start the day right. I was sad to leave Fullers Hill Retreat and would have gladly stayed for longer but I was leaving feeling well-rested and rejuvenated. It was exactly what I needed.
So would I recommend a visit to Fullers Hill Retreat? Most definitely. For the duration of our stay, all my worries disappeared and both my body and mind welcomed what the retreat had to offer, almost a little too enthusiastically. I met some lovely people, eat divine food, barely touched my phone and dare I say that it was incredibly refreshing simply just to be.
For more information or to book Fullers Hill Retreat, click here.