Refresh and Revitalise in 2024

Pilates and healthy cooking in the Scottish Highlands

9 - 12 August 2024

“We’ve been on leisurely treks through the woods, on well worn paths and by streams and waterfalls.  

We’ve learnt to prepare healthy but utterly delicious meals from scratch creating a cornucopia of delights. The gluten free bread rolls are to die for.  

But best of all has been the connections and conversations. I’ve made new friends. I’m loving every minute. If only time would slow down so I can savour the moments and relive them once we return to our respective lives”.

Rohini, London

Awaken Your Senses​

Are you looking for a place to unwind, learn new things in a gorgeous, relaxing environment, gain strength and flexibility and try out new dishes? If so, join Susannah and I this August for Pilates, healthy cooking, amazing countryside and stimulating company.

Imagine waking up surrounded by the wild beauty of a romantic Highland landscape. Look over the sweeping majesty of Loch Ness as you enjoy a delicious, home-made breakfast. Learn to cook and enjoy eating fresh, healthy food and connect with your friendly hosts and fellow guests. Savour the beauties of nature as you work to stretch and strengthen your body with Pilates. Escape from the ordinary, nurture yourself every day, and enjoy the bliss of an island in time that’s all for you.

All less than 2 hours’ direct flight from London, Bristol Birmingham or Manchester. 

Pilates & Cookery retreat venue view

“The view from the house was absolutely breath-taking. No photos or videos do it justice. To wake up every morning to a different view as not one day was the same”.

Susan, Essex

7 Incredible Benefits You'll Love​

Learn Something New: Whether it be seeing what your body is capable of with Pilates, enjoying a relaxing walk in nature or learning new healthy recipes, you can gain a lot of personal insight and learn the importance of investing in yourself.  You don’t need to be an expert in Pilates or a chef to join us. You just need to have an open mind, a willing spirit and an eagerness to explore.

A New Perspective: When you are put into a different environment, you are given the opportunity to gain a new perspective. Listening to others’ stories and trying new things can help you think outside the box and gain space to gather your thoughts.  

Reflection: By taking a wellness break you are putting yourself in a new place and physically taking yourself out of your everyday environment in order to aid reflection, spend quiet time alone and replenish.  

Make Friends: Enjoy meeting new people (or perhaps reconnecting with existing friends) as you support one another in playing to your strengths and gently stretching yourselves to enjoy new experiences.

Be Present: Learn to release control, trust in the moment, drop your expectations and allow yourself to be immersed in the present by escaping your daily routine.  

Give Yourself A Break: A wellness break is time for you to explore yourself and grow. You can take what you have learnt and bring it home too, by incorporating any new practices that you feel you have benefited from.

Do It For Yourself (And No One Else): Learn to be selfish. “It is important that when pursing our own self-interest we should be ‘wisely selfish’ and not ‘foolishly selfish’. Being foolishly selfish means pursuing our own interests in a narrow, shortsighted way. Being wisely selfish means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of everyone. Being wisely selfish means being compassionate.” It is your wellbeing that is the most important and by taking care of yourself, you are in a much better place to serve others.    

What do you have to lose? You have the chance to devote yourself to yourself: Trust in the process of the journey, take time away from your routine and watch the ripple effect of positive change to those around you…

Where you'll Stay

Welcome to Whins!

Susannah’s gorgeous Highland home was built with hospitality in mind. It’s designed as a friendly, welcoming space where you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape to the full, and make the most of what the Highlands has to offer. You’ll enjoy views of Loch Ness from every bedroom. Can you spot the Monster?

On sunny days you’ll be able to open your own private door to the garden and bask in the invigorating Highland air in comfort and privacy. On cold days there are log fires, hot water bottles and warm drinks (including a wee dram o’whisky for those that like it!). In our huge living room, our giant picture windows allow you to appreciate the ever-changing landscape throughout the day.

Accommodation is in twin bedrooms with shared bathrooms, so it’s perfect for couples, or for two friends. We offer comfy beds with a choice of sheets or duvets to help you feel right at home as you snuggle down for a refreshing sleep. 

All this is less than 90 minutes by plane from London, Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester, and flights can start from as little as £60 return (the earlier you book, the better the prices). No need to hire a car; we can collect you from the airport or station and take care of the driving. All you need to do is relax and enjoy! 

“The accommodation and the location of this wonderful retreat is so calming and relaxing. It is a really great place to be on retreat to find peace and tranquillity. The views of Loch Ness are absolutely stunning”.

Debra, Essex

What People Say about staying with us

“A thousand thanks for the beautiful welcome and care and hostessing. I had a wonderful holiday and have returned inspired ready and eager to run and get going. The time, work, effort, thought and care that you put into everything was amazing. To get such a personalised holiday, tailored to all my interests and needs, as well as to everyone else’s, is something so special and so precious, I can’t imagine it happening anywhere else. Thanks again to you both for being such awesome hosts and giving me such a wonderful and memorable experience every time”.  

Gail, London

“I loved the location, peaceful and blessed with wonderful views.  Susannah and James welcomed us in their beautiful home.  It has been a delight to enjoy the informality but also the ‘history’ of this house and surroundings.  They are very generous hosts”.

Simona, Leeds

Pilates & Cookery retreat hosts

Our Pilates and cooking break offers you:

  • The time to enjoy being YOU again. 
  • 3 nights in our welcoming ‘home from home’  
  • 2-3 Pilates workshops each day with an experienced instructor
  • Fun, practical cookery lessons – top tips for healthy meals in minutes  
  • Delicious, wholesome food 
  • Take your new skills, your recipes and perhaps even some food home with you
  • Time to yourself to explore the area, visit a local artist, try optional experiences or just relax.

All accommodation, in-house meals, tuition, recipes to take home, welcome gifts and transfers to and from Inverness airport or station are included in the cost of the holiday. Transport to and from Inverness, car hire if you require it (it’s not compulsory; you can let us take care of the driving) and optional activities are not included. 

Pilates & Cookery retreat Pilates session
Pilates & Cookery retreat cooking session

Strengthen your Mind and Body with Pilates

Pilates is all about mind and body connection. Incorporating the 6 Pilates Principles; breathing, core, control, concentration, precision and flow, to bring dynamic movements that strengthen the body, increase flexibility and improve mobility. Pilates brings awareness of the body, it allows you to align the spine and skeleton so it is in its optimal position, which means less pain and soreness, it allows you to strengthen all the muscles supporting the skeletal system and stretch any that are causing imbalances. When your body is mobile and able to support you, you can do all the things you want.

The morning sessions will be to wake up the body and get it going, with exercises to stretch the body and energise it with a variety of exercises. The afternoon session will be a bit more challenging and faster paced. The evening session will be more gentle and allow the body to release any tension and relax ready for sleep. Sessions will be mat based with various Pilates equipment. All sessions can be modified for beginners, injuries and any other limitations, and are suitable for all ages. 

Cooking and Eating Together

“Food brings people together on many different levels”.

Pilates & Cookery retreat cooking session 2

“Another total enjoyment was the nutrition programme where we all shared in the preparation of the healthy food for lunch, dinner and also the amazing desserts not forgetting the fun of choosing ingredients for our own granola”.

Barbara, Essex

Does the thought of healthy cooking conjure images of limp lettuce leaves, or leave you panicking over the time and expense that you think is involved? Fear not! In my classes I’ll show you how to prepare healthy meals in a short amount of time with ingredients you can buy anywhere. Even if you’re on a budget. Even if you’re multi-tasking and have limited time. Even if, like me, you hate green smoothies. And they definitely won’t be boring.  

During your holiday you’ll enjoy cooking lessons designed to make healthy eating delicious and simple. You’ll get a chance to eat everything we make, and you’ll have a recipe file to take home with you packed with everything we’ve done, plus some extra ideas and a meal planner to use every week.  

The final menu will depend on the dietary needs of the group, but all recipes are free of gluten and refined sugars. They’re designed to make the best use of fresh, straightforward ingredients you can buy anywhere, and to be simple yet fun to prepare, without the need for fancy equipment.  

Here’s a sample of what you might expect to learn: • The three in one soup method • Fish without fuss • Great ways with pulses • No bread? No problem. Portable meals with style • Amazing bakes (no sugar needed)  

There will be plenty of chances to enjoy healthy, hearty meals without lifting a finger. Every morning you’ll be able to sample something different for breakfast (making your own customized granola is a firm favourite), and your welcome dinner is cooked entirely by Susannah, so you can relax with the friends you’ve made.  

Cookery lessons are informal, fun and fully interactive. There’s a maximum of 6 people in every class to make sure you get plenty of individual attention. Whether you’re new to cooking or you’ve had more experience you’ll learn something new, and leave inspired to bring new tastes and techniques to your kitchen. 

About your Facilitators

Susannah Alexander

Susannah is a nutritional therapist, cook and educator, who can’t wait to welcome you to her home, and share her passion for the Highlands with you. She has been a keen cook since childhood, and has studied cookery and enjoyed cuisine all over the world. Susannah specialises in working with busy professionals who want to gain more energy, safeguard their mental health, and develop achievable, healthy habits for life. She has taught cooking and healthy eating to all ages in many unusual venues. As well as achieving first class honours in nutritional therapy, she has studied recipe development and creative curricula, and holds diplomas in adult education and educational leadership.

Ceza Ouzounian- Pilates & Cookery Retreat

Ceza Ouzounian

Ceza Ouzounian is an award winning Fitness Instructor. She uses Pilates to help her clients feel fitter, more flexible, stronger and have more mobility. Her clients leave her class already feeling a big difference in their body, letting go of the day’s stiffness and stresses.

Ceza brings her wisdom and enthusiasm to every class, encouraging and guiding her clients. She challenges them but also knows the importance of listening to the body and working within their limits, always giving modifications and alternatives as needed. Having herself suffered from back pain, she knows how to support her clients to get to a place with no aches and pains and bring the body to an optimal place, allowing them to get on with life.  

If what you’ve read so far has excited you, and you’d love to come and stay with us, we’re delighted! Remember that we only have 6 places on each break, so to secure yours, please click this button and you’ll be directed to our secure pay service. Your investment is just £527.00 (2 spaces left), and includes all accommodation, classes, meals and materials. You can pay in full immediately, or pay a £150 non-refundable deposit now and pay the balance later.

Prefer to pay in installments? We’re happy to help. Please contact us to arrange a payment plan.

Pilates & Cookery retreat cooking hosts 2

“We laughed & chatted & cooked & walked and chatted some more! Here’s to the next time!”

Jenny, Oxford