A Hemsley & Hemsley heavenly yoga break with Chaya Yoga retreats

Spring cleaning for the mind, body and spirit in Kent, England

Last weekend I escaped London and set off for a few days of spring cleaning my mind, body and spirit in Kent; England’s oldest county known as the ‘garden of England’.

My retreat hosts were three wonderful ladies, Annabel, Daisy and Lucy, who became friends while working at a London marketing agency.  Their shared passions of wanderlust, food and the power of yoga inspired them to set up Chaya Yoga Retreats offering meditative yoga, healing therapies and nutritionally rich food in beautiful and inspiring settings.

Alongside their boutique-lux trips in Bali, Goa and Spain, Chaya Yoga Retreats run a series of short and sweet retreats in Kent where I happily spent my rejuvenating weekend. Taking place within a converted dairy and granary farm house, it’s a quick and easy escape for City dwellers like me taking just 90 minutes from my front door to theirs.

I spent my blissful days enjoying sunrise and sunset yoga, crispy countryside walks with 2 willing dogs, bedtime meditation and daydreaming with the freedom to do nothing at all.  We also had the choice of reflexology, acupuncture and reiki as well as personalized Satvick (Sanskrit for Balance) Healing with the very uplifting and intuitive Rhona Clews.  We enjoyed local nourishing superfoods and power smoothies including some Hemsley & Hemsley inspired dishes like the buckwheat noodle salad.

(See Chaya Yoga’s recipes for raw chocolate and after supper hot frothy almond milk below!)

There’s just over 2 weeks to go until their two week paradise break in Bali and Lombok.  My heart is sold so maybe I’ll see you there.

See www.chayayogaretreats.com/retreats/indonesia for details and a last minute 15% discount!

x Melissa, Hemsley & Hemsley

Raw Chocolate Recipe – serves 12

use organic ingredients where possible
12 oz cacao butter
4 oz coconut butter
12 oz cacao powder
8 oz dark agave nectar

Optional additions:
8 drops peppermint / orange oil
Raisins, chopped almonds, desiccated coconut

How to

Gently melt the cacao and coconut butter using a bain-marie , stir in cacao powder, agave nectar and any optional additions, add to some moulds (we used hearts) and refrigerate for at least 1 hr.  So simple!

Frothy hot almond milk – serves 4

use organic ingredients where possible
1 large handful of whole almonds (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
1 litre of filtered water
a nut bag

Superfoods and fruit of your choice to flavour (our favourite is 4 dates, 1 teaspoon maca and 1 teaspoon cinnamon but bananas, berries and most other superfoods work brilliantly too)

How to

Soak a handful of almonds overnight.  Rinse them off in the morning and add to your blender with 1 litre of water.

Once suitably blended (the liquid turns a delicious creamy white) drain using a nug bag (to remove any pulp from the nuts) and either:

If using a Vitamix or high speed blender – add liquid back into the blender, whizz on double speed on the highest setting until hot and frothy,


Whisking in a pan if you are warming through or heat in a porringer or bain-marie to retain the raw goodness of the nuts, or use cooled off boiled water.