5 Reasons A Shamanic Rural Retreat Is The Ultimate Recharge
We here at MTV like to think we keep a relatively open mind about life, the universe, and dubiously behaved reality TV stars.
So when we were invited to venture into deepest, darkest Dorset to experience a rural retreat with a rather unconventional twist, we leapt at the chance.
Middle Piccadilly is first and foremost a country retreat for those wanting to switch off from the world. Located in the middle of the sweeping, endlessly green countryside a mere ten minutes from the preposterously idyllic town of Sherborne, and just two hours and twenty minutes from London by train, it’s a haven full of good food, welcoming staff and homely vibes.
Oh, and Shamanism.
With a philosophy that encourages clean, smart living on every level, the retreat offers balm for the soul as much as the body, with the owner’s mother an established, well-versed holistic therapist with decades of spiritual healing on her resume.
Whether you’re getting your Shaman on, or simply seeking a quieter recharge break, Middle Piccadilly offers something for everyone. Here are five reasons why…
THE FOOD IS SO GOOD (AND HEALTHY)
Owner Dominic is many things - welcoming, charming, lovely and a chuffing great cook. A vegetarian menu may sound terrifying to the cow-nommers amongst you, but with all the ingredients being both homegrown and homemade, you’re guaranteed a genuinely delicious and hearty meal every sitting.
After a long day at work followed by the train down to Dorset, we were given a filling and ridiculously tasty vegetarian roast dinner (nut burger instead of meat), followed by a pomegranate and raspberry ice creamy dessert of delights.
For those of you wanting to go a little more detox hardcore, there’s also a juice cleanse option designed to help you lose weight and cleanse your innards of all modern life’s ails.
SPA TREATMENTS AHOY
With a bunch of cosy spa rooms on-site, you have the option of treating yourself to an array of mud wraps, body scrubs, massages, facials and more esoteric treatment therapies (can you say ‘Colonic Hydrotherapy?’).
We opted for an incredibly relaxing Therapeutic Massage, which immediately diffused tension and - this could just be us - sent us straight to sleep in a snoozy, chilled blissful haze of massagery.
COUNTRY RAMBLING FTW
There are numerous country walks in and around the retreat, all of which offer beautiful views and rolling green fields. Spot a sheep, count the cows, flee a local badger - the rural world is your oyster.
Even the roads are delightfully named.
HOMELIEST HOME AWAY FROM HOME
From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel part of the family and furniture. A connection that makes more sense when you realise owner Dominic and his family have pretty much built half of the stuff around you.
The building may date back to the 16th century (there are still parts of the original house made out of wattle and daub), but the family are an insanely creative one who have crafted pottery, and a phenomenally crafted kitchen stuffed full of beautifully intricate woodwork. Throw in a cosy log cabin feel in other parts of the property, comfy sofas galore, and conversational, friendly owners, and you’ll feel instantly at home and - most importantly - looked after.
Eliana is 86-years-old, terrifyingly worldly wise, remarkably chipper (let’s just say she can touch her toes and I cannot), and 100% fascinating. Having travelled the world, and led life very much to the fullest, she discovered a gift for the spiritual/mystical arts pretty much through happenstance, and has since studied with Hopi and Inca medicine men to refine the art.
So there’s really no better person to guide you through an Intro to Shamanic Healing 101.
The experience itself was pretty blissful from the off. The lights went down, the candles were lit, and I was soothed into closed-eyed semi-consciousness by the shake of an Incan rattle.
Slowly, Eliana talked me through a series of visualisations in which I left my body, walked outside and communed with spirit guides to address past ails.
Along the way, I discovered my Power Animal is a tiger (Katy Perry would be proud), and my chakras are remarkably balanced (bonus). I left the session feeling soothed and peaceful, which should be the aim of any treatment. Even if you're not fully at one with the cosmic universe, it's nothing if not a fascinating and potentially self-illuminating experience.
I left a weekend at Middle Piccadilly fully recharged, relaxed and with my eyes a little more opened.
MTV Travelled With... Middle Piccadilly, who offer overnight stays (including all meals and room board) for just £120 a night, as well as an array of specialised 'Live Smart, Live Clean' packages tailored to your needs.