SLOW LIVING RETREAT PART TWO: GATHER AND TEND

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. It’s one of my favourite things to be able to gather round with a lovely bunch of folk and sit and eat glorious food in a beautiful setting – it feels like a really special way to mark an occasion.

When Emma and I spoke about organising the Gather and Tend retreat at Tilton House, we were both sure we wanted to be able to eat outside in the beautiful courtyard. We were so lucky with the weather and it was a real treat to be able to dine outdoors at the beginning of October. If you missed Part One of the slow living retreat you can catch up here, but before you do, have a closer look at this glorious table and find out what we got up to in the afternoon sessions.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 

We knew that we wanted the table to look seasonal, so we added pumpkins, gourds and seasonal flowers. Plus, of course we were able to add the floral arrangements that everyone had created from their morning session with Emma.

The chef from Tilton House was brilliant, she did such an amazing job of all the food. She was squirrelled away in the kitchen all morning making everything from scratch.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 

Many thanks to Vanni (one of our attendees) from Sugar Plum Bakes for making incredible personalised biscuits with everyones name on for the lunchtime place settings.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery
A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery
A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery

Of course everyone wanted to take lots of photos of the table before we actually sat down and ate anything…

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery

In the afternoon, Emma spoke about how to set up and style a still life vignette, and everyone worked with the arrangements they created earlier to set-up and photograph their own. It was so wonderful to see everyone get lost in some creative play.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery
A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery
A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildbume Imagery

Head over to Emma’s blog to see the vignettes that everyone created.

After tea and the most moist homemade lemon cake, it was time for the final session of the day. It was such a pleasure to teach a gentle yoga and meditation class to this lovely bunch of women. It’s a little stroll from the house into the woods where the yurt is nestled. Hiding away in this cosy space for a bit and tending to ourselves, and sinking into a lovely deep relaxation was the perfect way to wind down the retreat.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildblume Imagery
A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 
Photo by Wildblume Imagery

We did some gentle stretches, a long deep relaxation and then we all sat in a meditation practice for eleven minutes. I always find it fascinating to hear about peoples experience of completing a meditation. For some, I know it is there first experience of siting in meditation at all, and for others, it’s the first time they have completed a meditation that length. The meditation we did had a mantra and a moving mudra which I always think is a really accessible way to try meditation. 

We were so lucky to have some brilliant  independent makers contribute to the most the wonderful goody bags. Just look at this thoughtful packing below from Grace Alexander Flowers; filled with flower seeds.

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 

Thank you so much to…

A couple of weeks ago on a foggy autumn morning Emma and I made our way deep into the Sussex countryside with a basket full of pumpkins and a boot full of the most beautiful flowers for our first slow living day retreat, Gather and Tend. Time to slow down and sink into your day, surrounded by nature. With space to follow your creativity and a chance to connect and restore; through yoga, meditation a mindful walk-shop, floral arranging and still live vignette creation. 

You can see all the  items photographed above and please do go and check out all these wonderful small independent businesses.

It was such an honour to have a lovely group of women attend the day and to be able to lead them through the various workshops. I am trying to soak in all that Emma and I have achieved with organising and hosting Gather and Tend. There has been a lot of thought and work behind the scenes in putting together this slow living retreat. I know I am guilty of overlooking my achievements and moving onto the next goal before I have given myself a chance to exhale. It’s been such a pleasure to collaborate with Emma on this. I couldn’t have asked for a better co-host, and am missing our weekly Skype calls. Big thanks again to Sarah Lou from Wildblume Imagery for capturing the day for us.

If you would like to hear about our next retreat and other Geoffrey and Grace news then please subscribe to my newsletter here.

 

A big thank you to the The Real Flower Company for gifting us the flowers for the days workshops.

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