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Retreats - get in the know...

Guest Column from The Ibiza Kitchen

What is a retreat?

You've probably heard of a retreat before, but never really considered what's involved. In a nutshell, it's usually a week. Usually a group of people with the same passion, staying together in a gorgeous location, doing something they love. Cutting off from the world, leaving whatever problems, whatever stresses, whatever they have at home behind. For one week only, they are in their space, in their zone, being who they want to be, mentally and physically. Whether it be yoga, fitness training, cooking, surfing, horse riding, bike riding, scuba diving, paddle boarding, deep sea swimming there's a retreat with a passion behind it.

A retreat, is a place to rediscover, a place to define. A place to find who you are, lose yourself or reconnect with what you love. A retreat isn't just yoga, there are thousands of retreats all over the globe, which cater for those who want to escape, want to emerge themselves fully into an experience which may shape or change them forever. I have worked at many retreats and I know the bond between the guests, the experiences they have in that week, it truly does make a positive impact on every aspect of their life.

What do I do?

I cook and provide catering services on the island and specifically for retreats, in fact I have a team of excellent people who work together, we all cook and serve. Over the week of the retreat we make food, three times a day, with a few snacks here and there. It's like organising a pop up restaurant for a week in a villa. Each week, each client has their own requirements. I may have a week with a group of yogis who want cleansing food, easy on the digestion. I may have a group doing an art class, who love classic dishes and love wine. Each menu, each week specifically designed to make the guests feel they are getting the food they want, with each menu I design with a real understanding of what the outcome will be. The food is an integral part of a retreat, it has to be amazing. The service has to impeccable. The food is usually talked about, shared and indulged. It is something the group bond over.

On a retreat I can start work at 8am and be home for 10pm. I am absolutely passionate about providing healthy cookery with a gourmet twist. I try to make people feel indulged yet walk away at the end of the week feeling good, perhaps loosing a few pounds, glowing skin, happy smile and a spring in their step. I live in a job which I Iove, my attachment to my job, it shows in every dish served.

Why Ibiza?

Usually a retreat will also include some of your local area, Ibiza is the perfect mix of everything needed for a retreat. I have worked on retreats which take guests to polo lessons, diving, beach riding, even clubbing. It really does depend group by group. There's also group trips hiking around the gorgeous countryside, taking in the shops, pamper days for the ladies, beach trips, sunset trips, water sports etc. This island is so beautiful, retreats come to Ibiza to utilise its natural energy and inescapable beauty.

Who would go to a retreat?

Retreats, they used to be seen as very spiritual places, for those who wished to reconnect or change something profound in their lives or themselves. From there grew the yoga retreat and the explosion of retreat world in Ibiza. Retreats have changed dramatically. The spiritual “retreat” is now in the minority, I tend to cater for experience weeks, A modern retreat, is filled with everyone, retreats are more akin to a wellness holidays, from the fitness expert to a bloke who wants to ride bikes, if there's a shared interest in something, there's probably a retreat for it.

What's the price? How do I find a retreat?

Prices for retreats range from about 800 pounds a week to up to 3000 pounds a week dependant on where you are going, what you are doing and where you stay. Some retreats tend to be very simple, then there are the luxury retreats on the island which cater for the 5 star quality. In Ibiza there are 100s of retreats, the first thing to do is type in your passion then retreat Ibiza. See what comes up in Google.

Ibiza's first cookery retreat

I have started a new concept retreat for the island. It's a cooking retreat. It's a week of cooking all types of food all week, with guest celebrity chefs to teach the guests, the focus healthy food with exciting experiences, foraging walks, beach horse rides, art classes, daily cooking classes, wine and cocktails. This retreat is a mix of all the good things I've seen in my years of catering; I hope to make this an experience unlike any other retreat on the island. It's being held at one of the islands most prestigious retreat locations, Can Verru Ibiza.

A retreat recipe

Protein packed meals are a what's needed to keep those bodies fuelled and muscles burning during workout sessions. This chicken roulade stuffed with wild mushrooms provides a double protein hit. The wilted spinach for extra iron. The dressing is basil, oil and walnut. A tasty meal for lunch or dinner, tastes healthy and substantial.

WORDS | Anne Marie Duperouzel

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