SHA WELLNESS CLINIC, ALICANTE, SPAIN
I love the fact that SHA builds its philosophy on an entirely integrated approach to wellness, combining the very best of Eastern and Western health practices. What’s more, its bespoke programmes are made to suit each individual’s needs, working with natural therapies to achieve optimum wellbeing. This includes its exceptional macrobiotic menu, aka the SHA diet, which works on a fundamental level to restore harmony in the body. Typically shunning coffee, sugar, anything processed and limiting meats, dairy and eggs, this longstanding regime of macrobiotic eating is based mostly on wholegrains, lots of vegetables and beans and pulses. It may sound rather prescriptive, but I can promise you it is anything but. Dishes include buckwheat croquettes, orange pecan pancakes, and even healthy chocolate cake. shawellnessclinic.com
THE WELL CONNECTED, BRIMSTONE HOTEL, CUMBRIA, UK
Specialising in yoga and fitness, The Well Connected takes over the chic setting of the Brimstone Hotel to put the emphasis on enjoyment, relaxation and rejuvenation, and the food is equally on point. The menus are based on vegetarian and dairy- and gluten-free principles with not a refined, sugary or processed food in sight. This free-from approach doesn’t compromise on taste or flair, with delicious dishes such as beetroot buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, main courses such as pea and mint ravioli or polenta tart and even desserts like chocolate and avocado pot and cardamom and lemon drizzle cake are on the menu. Other highlights, which include relaxation therapies such as an incredible Indian head massage and the most luxurious tropical and deluge showers, mean you will come away with more than just the ability to do a perfect headstand. A complete restorative retreat. thewellconnected.co.uk
UMA BY COMO, PARO, BHUTAN
This magical retreat is situated on a mountain in the Eastern Himalayas. Features such as natural landscaping and age-old handcrafted techniques make it like no other place you will ever visit. Adorned with indigenous flowers and in keeping with the landscape, the resort fully commits itself to a sustainable organic and eco-agricultural ethos, preserving the heritage of the kingdom, which for years has been untouched. This approach is also applied to the food, which is organic, local and seasonal, and some of it is grown on site. The food can be catered to your taste, but the Bhutanese dishes served are simply unmissable – the red rice and chicken soup with ginger (like a hug in a bowl), a divine mesmerising steamed cinnamon scented milk custard and the cabbage dumpling with chilli sauce made with local cheese, are all memorable. comohotels.com
ITHA108, ITHACA, GREECE
Nestled among olive trees with far-reaching views of the Ionian Sea, this natural beauty of a yoga retreat is former headhunter Ingrid Gottschalk’s labour of love. Every detail of the retreat, from the carefully curated interiors with Indian charpoy daybeds to the bamboo pergola, has been meticulously considered. The food sings the praises of the local Greek produce, not least since the olive oil is actually cultivated by Gottschalk herself. Based loosely on vegetarian Ayurvedic cuisine, the retreat’s menu is also organic, local and seasonal, with daily trips to the market to source the very best and freshest ingredients. Typical dishes encompass mushroom polenta tarts, cinnamon-butter griddled peaches and, of course, the very best olive oil. By its own definition, Itha108 aims to create a happy balance between deliciousness and healthiness.