I needed a break… some much awaited me time. So when I heard about the all vegan Yovedic Retreats, held in unusual locations with some Ayurveda and yoga thrown in the mix, I knew this was the retreat for me.
I couldn’t face the battles of “Is this cooked separately to meat” and “Can I have this without the cheese/fish/ chicken…?” So I decided to go for a stress free option and opt for a vegan retreat in Portugal run by 2 sisters and their best friend.
As a vegan for nearly 25 years I feel we are so lucky being in the UK – there is such a huge vegan choice now however going abroad can bring up language barriers as well as lack of understanding of our plant based needs. I am all for sharing the positive vegan message however can you blame me for wanting a trip where I didn’t need to worry?!
As we pulled up to the Santa Marta de Portuzelo Castle outside Porto, Portugal I knew I had made the right choice. The small Gothic and romantic castle is breath taking.
The rooms are all traditionally and lovingly decorated and the views are stunning. No creepy feel to this historic building (like I have encountered before with old buildings!) Just a calm vibe with lots of areas to relax without constantly bumping into the other guests.
Now I could go into details about the sunrise yoga with the incredible Laura (I did get up for 2 of the 5 days, well I was on holiday so getting up at 6am everyday was too much of an ask.)
And I could tell you about the relaxing Ayurvedic Marma Massage that Halana gives and the incredible experience I had with the reiki where I saw and felt a stunning white light…. However for now I am going to tell you about the delicious sattvic vegan food we were given.
Sattvic is part of the ayurvedic philosophy and is in connection with your constitution. All fascinating stuff. There are basically 3 types of people according to ayurvedic living: Vata, Pitta and Kapha and food wise we sometimes need cooling foods, fiery foods or more neutral foods that are perfect for all 3 types of people.
How Hunni the incredible vegan chef rustled up gourmet vegan food, three times a day and giving reiki sessions in between is beyond me. I can just about get my vegan fry up out to 3 of us at home on a Sunday – and even then the toast is cold.
Hunni is now the newly appointed chef at The Muddle Puddle if you would like to try our her creations closer to home.
Our delicious vegan food included:
- Carrot and coriander soup, cauliflower and chickpea curry with rice, breaded coconut sweet potato and fresh spinach salad, baked chocolate and cinnamon banana.
- Beetroot soup, chickpea and mixed bean patties w lentils and pesto sauce, baked apple w soya cream.
- Pea and mint soup, katsu curry with sweet potato, chocolate mousse.
- Lentil soup, baked red pepper stuffed with creamed leeks with coconut rice, fresh spinach and pomegranate salad with toasted seeds, your chocolate creation (Freshly made chocolate we made ourselves from the chocolate workshop from the day before.)
- Butternut squash and rosemary soup, the love stack [stack of sweet potato, beetroot, crispy courgette discs] and creamy almond.
- A creamy almond sauce with rice and a spinach and pumpkin seed salad, peanut butter and banana ice cream.
The retreats are ideal for single travellers who want to make new friends, connect with other like minded people and who would like independence to do their own thing too. They are ideal for friends and couples who want to unwind and take time out for a healthy relaxing break.
I asked the team what made them stand out? They told me;
“Beautiful locations, delicious food, fantastic treatments, amazing yoga classes for all levels and fun workshops. You will be made to feel at home and truly be taken care of by the three Yovedic ladies.
You will have the pleasure of meeting a new group of friends to share an amazing journey with.
There will also be lots of time to relax and well deserved you time in the beautiful surroundings.
Expect to leave feeling relaxed, light and full of life as well as having learnt lots of new information and also going home with your own tailor made health plan to follow yourself.”
New friends made, some much needed time out and I am already asking Yovedic Retreats where their next retreat will be held!
Find out more at Yovedic Retreats on all of the socials and on their website: