Retreat 2020

A retreat called Nourish and Nurture... feed the creative soul

Last year my good friend Ali Ferguson (The Purple Thread Shed) and I ran our first ‘Retreat called Nourish and Nurture,’ in the beautiful CardyNet House in Lower Largo.

We arrived a day before our guests, not quite believing that we would be welcoming them into this beautiful space a mere 24 hours later. We used this quiet time to add the finishing detail and to organize ourselves for what we knew was going to be a busy week ahead.

My hope was that when everyone arrived they would be immediately drawn to the view and the verandah and the waves. And the space. The beautiful, open plan, vaulted gallery with open fire and huge squishy sofas.; the glass wall that opened out onto the beach below: And wow. Their reactions were everything I hoped that they would be, and as each guest relaxed into the week ahead, my own nervousness started to fade. Everything was going to be fine. We had food. We had wine (and gin). And we had the anticipation of everyone crafting their very own journals – each, in the end, completely different and showcasing so many of the techniques learned across the week.

And now, Ali and I are so so excited to announce dates for this year's 
‘Retreat called Nourish and Nurture’

We started planning it literally 5 minutes after we said our goodbyes to the wonderful women who attended last year and now we're ready to offer nine lovely ladies the opportunity to join us again this June at the beautiful Cardynet House and take their places round our table.

This time the focus will be on creating a PatchWood Sampler – Patches of wood drilled and stitched together to tell a totally unique story. These creative sessions will be led by Ali, whilst I’ll be focusing on leading creative sessions on food, photography and styling.

We’ve built in free time – to walk and paddle the coast line; to explore the beautiful East Neuk of Fife; to read the beautiful books and magazines that we’ve scattered throughout the house; to chatter and to indulge yourselves in being nourished and nurtured. 

We can’t guarantee the weather – the waves might be gentle, or crashing into the shore. The sky might be as blue as the sea or as dark as the sea. But how utterly fantastic to be able to purposefully potter, form friendships around a laden feasting table, and create a deeply personal ‘Patchwood Sampler’ against such a beautiful beautiful backdrop. Oh the simple beauty in making and doing and chatting and being.

I really really hope you might feel tempted to join us - full details are below.
And if you're interested, you can read more about last year's 'Retreat called Nourish and Nurture' here.

The Accommodation
Of course we have chosen the most stunning of venues  – Cardy Net House in Fife – a house by the sea where we will make and chat and cook and eat and be for 3 days and 4 nights. We will consciously practice beautyFULL living and show you simple ways to bring this way of living into your home life – in a very real way rather than an Instagram photo kind of way.
We have chosen this beautiful venue in Lower Largo, nestled in the East Neuk of Fife quite deliberately. In Victorian times it was built as a fishing net factory and employed 30 women to make nets for the then booming herring industry.
Today Cardy Net House is a beautyFULL contemporary dwelling overlooking the often wild Firth of Forth and enjoying spectacular views across the water to Edinburgh. You can step forward onto the beach or step sideways into the mature and compact walled garden.
It’s the kind of space that makes you see differently. Simply to be in it's stunning communal space is an experience in itself. We have space to cook, space to eat, space to make and space to relax. On your arrival you'll find some little treats to help you settle in.

The Food

if you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them. The people who give you their food give you their heart.’ Cesar Chavez.
Morning, noon and night you will enjoy the most delicious food, prepared open plan and shared round one long table. My focus will be on taking seasonal, local produce and creating fabulous dishes that are easy to prepare, packed full of flavour and served on tables set, styled and foraged by us all. The conversation and the wine will flow.

Creative Sessions

Creativity is at the very heart of this Retreat and we have gorgeous making & doing sessions lined up
  • Patchwood Story sampler - This will be our main making activity and we'll be working on it throughout the three days. Starting with a dozen or so ‘patches’ of wood, sandpaper & paint, Ali will guide you through her own unique process of creating a very personal heirloom wall hanging from your own collections of small personal & family treasures.These ‘treasures’ could be found, foraged, collected, inherited or simply cherished – we’ll give you lots of suggestions on booking. Each object will be hand stitched onto your wooden patches and these will then be stitched together to create your ‘Patchwood Sampler’ – with a story behind each and every ‘patch’. It’s such a beautiful process of curating & displaying some of your small, sentimental & often random objects that often remain unseen in the bottom of drawers. And, we’ll warn you now, a process that becomes more than a little addictive! You can see examples of Ali’s Patchwood Samplers on her website: Woodwork (link)
  • Hands on sessions in the kitchen - Carole will share some of her creative magic in the kitchen as we prepare and make delicious food together. Flatbreads, ice creams, easy mayonnaise, delicious dips, langoustines and lobsters. Puddings to die for. We'll feast together, and sometimes cook together, enjoying the best of local, seasonal produce delivered to our doorstep. And then there's cake. There's always cake!
  • Creating beautyful tablescapes – Carole will lead you through the basics of setting and styling the beautiful tables around which we shall eat, using foraged materials and favourite props to create the most magical settings.
  • Photography – Working with your mobile phone or dslr camera, Carole will outline the basics of food styling and compostition and explain how to bring your photographs to life. So bring your camera and create the stories that you want to tell. Outwith what we have planned, there will be so many opportunities to spontaneously capture the moments, the landscape and the friends that you will make .
  • Time out – We don’t plan to overfill your days. Long walks, slow meals and drinks on the veranda will gently feed your creativity and your inspiration. And if you would like time out alone, to read books or to catch up, or to wander and explore, that’s fine too.
 A very rough schedule - and like all the very best schedules - with a good bit of room for spontaneity, laughter and anything else that springs to mind!

And last but not least

£875 for a room on your own with your own bathroom (this will be either a double or twin room)
£800 for a room on your own sharing a bathroom with one other
Two of the rooms with the shared bathroom are in the gorgeous Cardy Cottage - two doors up. A beautiful cottage and perfect as a little quite space. The bathrooms have rather lovely roll top baths with a shower. There are no handles so do let us know if climbing in and out of a bath could be a problem. We only have two rooms available with a walk in shower. 
You will arrive late afternoon on Monday 22nd June and leave after breakfast on Friday 26th June. 3 whole days and 4 gorgeous nights and yes....we're very aware that we're asking you to take time out midweek!
We've no fancy booking systems - it's just us. We're proper old style and believe in comunicating rather than clicking. Spaces are very limited,(only nine in total) so if this gets your heart fluttering, grab your place at our rather gorgeous table now.

We are:

Give us a shout to claim your place at the table.

We look forward to welcoming you!