For years I’ve been on the “detox” bandwagon after my mum led by example when growing up in Australia. The benefits include weight loss, clear skin and clarity of mind to mention a few. Yeotown has to be up there with the most enjoyable and luxury detox experiences in the country. Find out what I loved most while detoxing at Yeotown health retreat in Devon:
Yeotown is set on a luscious green property in Devon which sits adjacent to a flowing river. With only a 2 hour train ride out of London, it’s easily accessible for Londoner’s that would prefer not to get on a plane for their break. In recent years, Devon has become a trendy haven for retreats alike and it’s easy to see why with lush rolling hills and plethora of outdoor activities.
Detox can be a dirty word with all those food groups you have to go without. You can kiss good bye any caffeine, meat, dairy, sugar or processed foods as soon as you check into Yeotown. They also suggest you cut down on these food groups in the lead up to retreat to ensure you don’t suffer from intense withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea.
But instead of a strict free-from diet, Yeotown’s focus is on nutritional, delicious and energy packed wholefoods. Yeotown’s resident chefs Caroline and Julia serve up the most creative dishes which leave you wondering why you even eat meat and dairy in the first place. At first, I found the portion size surprisingly small, by the end of the week, I was more than satisfied with the meals served each day. I even left half of my raw chocolate cake as I was too full! And for the people that know me, this NEVER happens.
Their ethos is to retrain your brain to know what you actually need to get you through the day. Most of us (myself included) eat way too much. Each morning, the chef would post the menu for the day which would be greeted with some “oohs” and “ahhhs” from the guests and a bit of discussion. Food actually made it into our topic of conversation nearly every time we sat down to eat.
With twelve hikes to choose from, Yeotown guests are really spoilt for choice when it comes to the trails. With variety of terrain and coastal views, guests are treated to a new hike each day led by owner Simon or one of the local walking guides. I won’t let you in on my favourite, as Yeotowner’s like to keep things a secret, but these views don’t even do it justice. Just remember to take really comfortable, worn-in hiking boots. The worse thing that can happen is form a blister on the first day.
When most people think of retreat, they think of minimal basic accommodation and facilities. Yeotown is a plush, luxury haven, fit for the most FUSSY guests. Think Mr and Mrs Smith meets Town and Country magazine. Each room is tastefully decorated with individual themes and colour palettes. The bathroom has underfloor heating, the cosmetics are organic and there is a selection of soothing Pukka teas to ease you off to sleep. It’s quintessentially a countryside manor house with a holistic ambience.
During the five day retreat, guests are treated to three massages. A deep tissue, a Shiatsu and a Tui na massage. I was in complete need of a massage each day after the intense hiking and cycling sessions. As my mum used to practice massage therapy, I know if the treatment will be good as soon as it begins. And the therapists at Yeotown gave some of the best and intuitive treatments I’ve ever received. Owners Mercedes and Simon trial each and every therapist before they can treat and clients. And the proof is in the pudding. And just look at this lucious treatment room. It was the epitome of what Wood and Luxe stands for.
From the walking guides to the management team, each staff member at Yeotown Health Retreat loves their job. They are passionate about what they do and find joy in helping the guests. Being in London most of the time, this joy and enthusiasm in people is limited. So with Mercedes and Simon’s warm hospitality, everyone feels part of the family by the time they leave.
Being a dedicated yoga student for over 15 years, I’m very picky when it comes to yoga classes. Also, after completing my yoga teacher training, yoga classes have never been the same. I find myself deconstructing every class and find myself thinking “oh this is cool” or “I love this sequence.” They warn you in your teacher training that yoga will never be the same and this is so true in many cases. However, Mercedes magically made me forget the ins and outs of a yoga class with her creative sequences and positive energy. I would jump out of bed each morning as I was always looking forward to our daily 7am vinyasa yoga class. We also had a guest teacher called Molly and she was equally magical and inspiring.
Each day at Yeotown was filled with special moments. I throughly enjoyed the post-hiking sauna sessions as well as walking past the cooing doves that lived outside the treatment rooms. My absolute favourite time of the day was listening to the woodfire crackle as I curled up on the sofa with a book. It was warm, safe and super relaxing.
From the inspiring yoga classes to the creative detox meals, Yeotown is everything you want in a holistic wellness retreat and more. As soon as you arrive at you will immediately feel at ease. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the magnetic essence of the retreat has guests returning multiple times a year. I’m giving the retreat 5 out of 5 and I can’t highly recommended it enough.
Have you considered going on a retreat? Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to answer in the comments below.