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A Soul Enriching Weekend

Kellie was one of our guests at our recent Suffolk retreat, and has written this lovely blog about her experiences.

A Soul Enriching Weekend

I have just returned from one of the most enjoyable, luxurious and soul enriching weekends in my life – a Reading Retreat.

If you were to climb into my mind and discover my fantasy weekend, it would be a 3-night escape to a beautiful country house where my every need would be met and all I had to do was read, and that was what I experienced at Reading Retreat.

It started on Friday afternoon where I was met by my two hosts for the weekend Sara and Cressi. They took my bags from the car, showed me to my gorgeous room and then had me settled in the kitchen nook with a mug of herbal tea while we waited for the others to arrive. They also presented me with a very well thought-out goody bag for the weekend and beyond.

I had already spoken with Cressi as she had called me before the retreat to give me my “reading prescription”. I was amazed how quickly Cressi “got me” and my reading taste with a 10-minute conversation. I also felt no judgement from Cressi about my taste in books – I am not really into highbrow literature preferring true crime novels, psychological thrillers, and a bit of chick-lit. Not once was I made to feel inferior about my tastes and Cressi gave me a great selection of books to choose from.  I chose all of them!

I was then shown around this beautiful house. They had very cleverly set aside 2 quiet reading rooms, both with very comfortable chairs and great light and one with a wood fire. The house rules were that if you were in those rooms you didn’t disturb anybody reading. It was lovely to sit around a room silently reading with like-minded people, although you could also read in your own room if you wanted. At any time, you could go into the kitchen where you would find our hosts, who were quick to offer a snack, drink, and a bit of conversation.

The food was amazing. 3 beautiful home cooked dinners, 2 lovely warm but light lunches and a hot or cold breakfast every morning and an abundance of home baked snacks whenever you got a bit peckish, including a midnight snack menu for reading into the early hours.

Dinner and prosecco with a visiting author, Guinevere Glasfurd, on the Saturday night was a major highlight. At first, I felt a little overwhelmed and shy (see above about my reading tastes) but she was lovely and made sure everybody at the dinner table was included in the conversation.

There was also some really lovely little touches that the hosts had thought of – a box of toiletries in case you had forgotten anything and little reading lights to borrow if you needed one but I think the best thing about the whole weekend was the freedom I felt to be myself and do nothing but eat, drink and read. I stayed in bed reading both Saturday and Sunday until lunchtime and on Sunday I stayed in my pyjamas all day until dinner and no-one raised an eyebrow. The hosts had very thoughtfully planned a walk for each day but had no problem with me skipping it to read in bed.

If you are a busy person who loves to read, I can recommend going on one of Sara and Cressi’s retreats. It really is the perfect way to spend 3 nights and I think I’ll be planning a once a year retreat from now on.


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