The world’s best kept secret!
With the rise in holidaymakers seeking total wellness from their breaks away, yoga retreats are now abounding. I can open Instagram at any given time and am guaranteed a hit of plentiful yoga retreat opportunities from dozens of my favourite instructors in the space of a couple of scrolls. We are, effectively, spoilt for choice. 2019 therefore, is the time to get exclusive with your choice of wellness retreat. Ibiza is over, juice cleanses are done; it’s time to look off the retreat-beaten track to find a holiday that is sure to truly over deliver on all levels, to fulfil your desire for luxury, wellness, and a sustainable feel-good experience. Enter Reclaim Yourself, the retreat company owned by the venerable Jools Sampson, who takes extra pride in the little details to deliver exceptional yoga retreats in extraordinary places. One particular destination highlight on Jools’ retreat calendar this year is five days in the spectacular Azores. To describe its unspoilt serenity as the Atlantic’s ‘best kept secret’ would be something of an understatement.
Of course, the ultimate stand-out retreat experience is built on far more than fantastic locations; and Reclaim Yourself has all angles covered. Jools unites quite a team of wellness aficionados to achieve an unparalleled level of expertise, which sets their trips apart from the cookie-cutter masses. At Azores, yoga is hosted by the esteemed Adam Hustler. And me? I am the Azores chef and recipe creator. My name is Bettina Campolucci, plant based chef and author of 5 star Amazon rated cookbook, Happy Food and I have joined forces with Jools to ensure meal and snack times are a healthy yet undeniably lavish affair. I don’t underestimate the power of food to make or break the retreat experience!
Having cooked for and hosted my own retreats for more than seven years, I know exactly what goes into serving up the perfect menu to complement twice daily Vinyasa yoga workshops, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking and exploration of the crater lakes, waterfalls and volcanic wonders of Azores. Juice fasting just doesn’t cut it for me as acceptable healthy eating for adventurous guests, take a little glance at my social profiles and you will be assured that not only do I make food an intrinsic part of the retreat experience, but that hunger in the name of health isn’t a part of my food philosophy. On the contrary, I advocate the power of filling up on plant-based food to abundance, and guests can expect to feel surprisingly light and energetic as a result. I have invested all of my experience and knowledge into a tried and tested colourful, low-gluten, locally-sourced menu to deliver mealtimes that are defined by the exotic influences of my multinational, multicultural upbringing and which provide a hearty dose of gut-healthy ingredients, too.
My approach to food as a conduit to holistic wellbeing is a simple one: I want to free food from labels, judgement, and guilt; I believe that eating seasonally and locally does more for the good of our health than we realise, and I don’t think healthy eating should ever be boring, inaccessible or time-consuming. I aim to empower guests with the inspiration to make healthy food choices for themselves once they are back home; this, along with unrivalled yoga classes, heart-led curation and the unparalleled destination of Azores… there really is no other retreat like it.