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The Wellness guru a luxe retreat

Columnist Eve Kalinik on an English country retreat that promises to refresh body and mind.

I first visited 42 Acres (42acres.com) a few years ago, when it was starting to become one of the destinations for inner reflection and a place to find a deeper and meaningful connection to oneself. To say it is a life-transforming experience is no exaggeration. Nestled deep in south-west England, its idyllic countryside setting epitomises peace, tranquillity and an escape from the stresses of modern life.

DO

42 Acres is all about discovering and reconnecting with yourself to bring about a positive inner shift. Tuning into your true sense of self and finding some precious headspace requires the right environment. Wander around the grounds and you feel you’ve been transported into another world entirely thanks to its lush countryside, which is teeming with wildlife. The retreats are guided by different practitioners and take on various themes but each includes a combination of activities and practices throughout your stay. Choose from a programme of different experiences, from an emotional detox to Sacred Intentions yoga and women-only retreats. Expect meditation, yoga, sound healing, walking and even dancing around the spectacular fire pit.

42 Acres, Somerset
42 Acres, Somerset

STAY

42 Acres is surrounded by 700 further acres of ancient forest. Its ethos centres around sustainability, working with reclaimed materials and renewable energy to create an experience that is both joyful and luxurious. In the main house, skylights, original exposed beams and stand-alone baths await in guest bedrooms decorated with beautifully sourced tiles, fabrics and linens. Communal areas such as the library, the snug and the reading space evoke a stylish, eclectic and cosy ambience. Most recently, a magnificent 30ft yurt has been erected, and this plays host to many of the yoga classes. Beyond the main house are the quaintly named Deer Cottages, possibly in honour of their namesakes, which pass by peacefully from time to time.

42 Acres, Somerset
42 Acres, Somerset
42 Acres, Somerset

EAT AND DRINK

Resident head chef Mark Mabon is as passionate about foraging and sourcing local, ethical and sustainable ingredients as he is about whipping them up into tasty and innovative dishes. While vegetables and plants are seen as the centre of the plate and most of the retreats follow a vegetarian menu, the food at 42 Acres takes an all-inclusive approach. The property prides itself on supporting small-scale artisan growers and organic produce, with a passionate focus on wholesome, honest and delicious food. Raw cheese, fresh sourdough, the chef’s own sauerkraut and digestion-boosting kimchi feature alongside other health-giving dishes such as beetroot and sprouted sunflower-seed pâté, polenta toasts and raw chocolate mousse. A warm glass of comforting turmeric milk is the perfect way to round off the day before bed.

Radić Pavilion, Hauser & Wirth gallery, Somerset
Hauser & Wirth gallery, Somerset

DISCOVER

If you do want to go further afield then Frome is a pretty nearby town that’s steeped in history and quintessentially English – head to Nunney Castle (english-heritage.co.uk) and then onto Sam’s Kitchen Deli (samskitchendeli.co.uk) for mouth-watering wood-fired pizza or the River House (riverhousefrome.co.uk) for hearty riverside fare. You’ll also find the exceptional Talbot Inn (talbotinn.com) nearby in Mells, which offers a stylish take on the British pub experience. And if art is your passion, put the Hauser & Wirth gallery (hauserwirthsomerset.com) in Bruton on your list, with a lunchtime stop at the beautiful, light-filled At The Chapel (atthechapel.co.uk) for delicious, seasonal food.

Nunney Castle and, right, 42 Acres, Somerset
At The Chapel restaurant, Somerset

Eve Kalinik is a BANT and CNHC registered nutritional therapist and a passionate foodie; follow her on Twitter and Instagram @evekalinik or visit evekalinik.com

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PHOTOGRAPHS: jason ingram, heather edwards

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