Stylish manor house and gardens in French vineyard country ideal for yoga, cookery, wellness and nature retreats
From €5,000 per week
IN A NUTSHELL
Set in rolling countryside in south-west France, this 1850s-built house is a stylish, home-from-home, 12-bedroomed property ideal for wellness, yoga, nutrition, cookery, back-to-nature, restorative and fitness retreats. Owned by British couple, Margaret and Jack Reckitt, who run the venue with the utmost care and attention to detail, it offers airy accommodation in the main house and sensitively restored courtyard barns. There is also a heated pool, a yoga studio, tennis courts and a small gym area, as well as landscaped gardens. Nearby you'll find medieval hilltop villages and the UNESCO city of Albi.
INDOOR RETREAT SPACES
The bright, airy yoga studio comes complete with wooden flooring, a mirrored wall, sound comfort and air conditioning, as well as props, mats and blocks. Manoir Mouret has a small gym area with cardio equipment. As well as a large, well-equipped commercial kitchen for cookery retreats, the retreat barn is perfect for group activities and workshops, while the shady pool house is ideal for less formal activities. The Media Room is an ideal space for writing retreats in the cooler months. There are also plenty of nooks throughout the property for break-out groups. The Studio makes a good private space for a massage/treatment room.
OUTDOOR RETREAT SPACES
There are five acres of landscaped gardens, full of mature trees, where you can sit and relax or meditate, or you might like to swim in the large pool, which is heated from May until September. The piece de resistance is the potager - the bountiful kitchen garden, where much of the retreat's food is grown. There is also an all-weather tennis court.
The house and its courtyard barns have 12 immaculate bedrooms which are all en-suite and furnished in an individual, restful style. There's Le Manoir, an elegant house with its own entrance hall and a central staircase, which has five bedrooms; The Grange, which has three bedrooms, its own private terrace and mezzanine seating area; the two-bedroomed Mauzac with outside metal steps to a private balcony, and two-bedroomed Duras, which has its own entrance and a private terrace. There is the Studio, which is separate and self-contained, with a king bed and en-suite shower room. This can be used for people working at the retreat. All bedrooms have fans and a few have air conditioning.
The vibe is comfortable and homely so relax over a juice in the pretty dining barn, or chill out in the pool house. For the heat of the summer several of the key communal spaces, including the studio and dining barn, have air conditioning. For winter retreats, the property is all centrally heated.
As well as using the yoga studio, the gym and the pool, the countryside surrounding the retreat is criss-crossed with walking routes and, for lycra lovers, the quiet country roads are perfect for cycling. This part of south-west France is dotted with medieval hilltop villages with their weekly markets and charming cafés where you can experience life like a local. The UNESCO city of Albi is close by with its stunning 12th century cathedral, food market, cobbled shopping streets and Toulouse Lautrec Museum. Manoir Mouret is in the heart of one of France’s oldest vineyards with excellent boutique family-run wineries.
When you organise your own catering, there is a small additional charge for the use of the commercial kitchen. You can let the retreat hosts hire you a local chef, or they will do the catering for you, using local seasonal, organic produce, and mostly fresh vegetables and salads grown on the estate. Their menus are mainly wholefood and vegetarian, but they will cook locally sourced meat and fish upon request. A typical brunch is spinach and goat's cheese frittata and green salad, while dinner might be smoky lentils and harissa roast cauliflower with aubergine and white cabbage salad.
Rainfall is collected in large underground tanks to water the potager and gardens. Solar panels provide hot water and single use plastic and packaging is kept to a minimum. The kitchen garden provides year-round produce for the venue. Several weeks a year, Margaret and Jack work with the charity, The Compassionate Friends, to host complimentary breaks for bereaved parents.
Margaret and Jack’s love of this special place is reflected in the way they care for their guests.
The Less Than Ordinary
This is rural France and you might feel you're in the middle of nowhere.
344 Route d'Amarens