Saturday, 23 January 2016

Winter City Retreat

A yoga retreat without having to leave London? Oh, ok, January, maybe you're not turning out to be so bad after all... The V-Curious Chef, Rowena Humphreys, has teamed up with yoga instructor Sarah Hunt to offer a city retreat - a two hour yoga and meditation session followed by a delicious plant-based vegan feast. Held in the beautiful Coate Studios in Hackney, the retreat really does feel like a blissful reprieve from London life and from the cold and gloomy winter. The studio is bright and high-ceilinged and unlike my gym yoga classes the relaxed vibes are not ruined by the BodyPump class next door or the knowledge that in precisely 45 minutes you will be thrown back into the real world and the working day stretching before you.

After warming up with a herbal tea, we started the yoga session - the time flew by as Sarah guided us through a mix of meditation, gentle stretches, balances and some more dynamic flowing yoga before ending with a blissful relaxation exercise. I've never done a yoga class with blankets and bolsters before - the mix of these props and the longer class length meant that I had the opportunity to really stretch out my stiff muscles and properly sink into a chilled out state by the end rather than just going through the motions with my body and not properly connecting my breath and my brain. The class allowed me to work at my own level as a regular practitioner of yoga but was also suitable for complete beginners.

After the yoga class, we decamped to the next door dining room to re-fuel. Rowena's food is entirely plant-based and vegan - we started with a warming butternut squash soup topped with cashew cream and roasted chickpeas before tucking into a selection of sharing salads. The salads were delicious and so filling, I really wish I could have eaten more of the Mexican-inspired butternut squash dish as it was just so good. We finished with cacao and date energy balls - the perfect lunchtime sweet treat to provide energy for the rest of the day without a mid-afternoon sugar crash.

Check out Rowena's Eventbrite page for upcoming dates and my review of the V-Curious supperclub here.

winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Herbal tea in a name-labelled mug - love little touches like this.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Blankets and bolsters for a chilled out yoga class.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
The studio is lit by natural light from the huge windows and was scented by the flickering candles dotted about.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Lunch is served!
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Salads, beetroot ravioli and cashew cream - I love sharing dishes at events like these as it definitely helps get conversation flowing between guests when you're sharing food and passing the dishes around. 
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Butternut squash soup with cashew cream and roasted chickpeas.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Mexican-inspired butternut squash salad.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Brown rice topped with seeds.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Asian-Inspired carrot and cucumber ribbons with sesame seeds.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Yum - obviously went in for seconds.
winter city retreat v-curious sarah hunt yoga
Cacao energy balls rolled in coconut flakes for dessert.

lilylipstick
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4 comments

  1. Ah this looks like you had a lot of fun!
    Sophie
    x
    A Story of a Girl

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks like so much fun. That food spread though! x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Little hello to say thanks for coming and writing up this wonderful piece. I've recently put up a new and improved energy ball recipe up on my blog too so check it out :) www.v-curious.com/blog xx

    ReplyDelete

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