A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Solstice Retreat

19-21 JUNE 2024

Midsummer Solstice Retreat 2024
at West Lexham, Norfolk

19-21 JUNE 2024

Looking for a retreat that offers a bit more than yoga and meditation, where your peaceful experience and moment to breathe is accompanied by sybaritic celebrations, and experiential encounters? A retreat that both women AND men will enjoy?

Step this way.

Experience the magic of Midsummer Solstice 2024 with us at West Lexham, a beautiful biodynamic farm nestled in a breathtaking rural setting. Picture yourself in gorgeous converted natural buildings, surrounded by stunning lakes and lush landscapes. Our solstice retreat offers tranquillity, a chance to play on the water, connect with nature – and yourself – and have a whole lot of fun doing it!

Enjoy breaking bread with new friends. Our mouthwatering menus include fantastic fresh food straight from the kitchen garden. Explore the grounds, take out the boat, swim in the clear lake…

As the sun reaches its zenith on the Midsummer Solstice, immerse yourself in a retreat that will rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Let’s get back to being who we really are again.

#MidlifeComingOfAge

As the sun reaches its zenith on the Midsummer Solstice, join us to celebrate, making memories that will last a lifetime.

In brief:

  • Learn about biodynamic gardening with head grower Lucy Burnie
  • Eat seasonal foods, most of it from the garden or surrounding area
  • Swim in the pool or the stunning wild, clear water lakes
  • Enjoy a personal, one-to-one tarot reading with Josie
  • Yoga
  • Floral workshop to create your own pagan, midsummer solstice head dressings
  • Magical, ethereal themed Midsummer Night’s Dream dinner on the solstice eve
  • Fireside storytelling and intention-setting for the summer and months ahead
  • A special solstice breathwork group at dawn to take you into the summer

Day 1

On arrival, you’ll check into your room and have a chance to shake off the outside world. You’re welcome to have a romp about and explore the grounds, or just sit in peace and let it all go. Later in the afternoon we’ll meet Head Grower Lucy Burnie, who will walk and talk us through the biodynamic gardening and gardens. We’ll wind up having a refreshing summer drink and some element-inspired canapes, relaxing around the mosaics in the Orangery. Later that evening, we’ll enjoy a rested and informal dinner together, where your hosts Sam and Josie will head the dinner conversation. There will be a chance to think about what makes you happy, where you want to head as we reach the cusp of the summertime. And some plans will be made for Day 2.

Day 2

Wake up in a beautiful place, with nowhere to go and nothing to do except have a nice time. There is yoga in the morning to prepare you for the day ahead. Throughout the day you’re free to come and go pretty much as you like, and dip in and out of the activities we have organised. Perhaps take a swim in the crystal clear lake, or have a paddle on a board or in the boat. Walk and sit in the beautiful grounds.

Josie will be doing tarot readings throughout the day at set times – you’ll get a full itinerary before arrival – but you’re encouraged to come with between one and three questions in mind. What would you like to know about? How do you feel about the path that you’re on right now? What can the cards tell you?

After you’ve let lunch go down a bit, join the floral workshop. Pagan tradition describes flower garlands and headpieces to celebrate nature’s peak, the flowers and herbs symbolising life and fertility. For a couple of hours we’ll be immersed in creating.

In the evening we have a Midsummer Night’s Dream themed dinner. Meet by the fireside for a pre-dinner cocktail. Capture the magic and mischief of Shakespeare’s theme as we join the table, threaded through with lights and summer flowers. There will be music.

Following dinner, we return to the fire and consign to the flames that which we want to let go of. The fireside warms us, and the night is all ours. We will pass midnight together, the magic hour, for those who wish to stay up late enough!

Day 3

Begin the second half of the earthly year with dawn breathwork. Watch the sun rise, and connect into nature’s rhythms. Join us for guided breathwork or simply come with your mat and your own practice. Following breakfast there will be time to enjoy the venue, or perhaps sit for the tarot if you need, and departure at leisure.

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This is not like other retreats

Our time at West Lexham will include yoga, breathwork, and tarot readings. And we promise you’ll connect to the earth and the elements in ways that have been celebrated for thousands of years. There will be fire! Water! Amazing food!

And can you believe there’s a full moon whilst we’re there too, on the 21st?! A Strawberry Moon – which coincides with the solstice about once every 20 years.

Hit the pure, fresh lake for some wild swimming – or perhaps the swimming pool if you prefer? Grab one of the paddleboards, or baggsie the little rowing boat that lives on the lake. There’s a fascinating tour of the biodynamic grounds with head grower Lucy Burnie – learn how you can harness the power of biodynamics for your own growing. You’ll also get to work with a floral specialist to create flower crowns and garlands, ready to wear at our Midsummer Night’s Dream feast on the second evening. Celebrate life, fecundity, the fertility of new dreams.

Explore the grounds, drink in the peace of the beautiful countryside. As part of the journey we’ll be delving into what our midlife coming of age means, for both men and women. The solstice offers us an opportunity to let go of negativity, and things that no longer serve us well. Manifest things for the future. Reassess your life, your goals, and generally reinvigorate intentions for the second half of the year.

And alongside all this we’ll be eating amazing food, making new friends, and luxuriating in this wonderful venue and all it has to offer.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this extraordinary experience. Secure your spot at the Silver Midsummer Solstice 2024 retreat.

We can’t wait to spoil you with mouthwatering food and drink! Summery sensations and ingredients will fill your stay – and your tummy. Food fresh from the garden where possible. Completed menus will be confirmed and posted here shortly – please make sure you are signed up to our newsletter to receive details as they are launched.

Day of arrival, whilst walking the grounds with the head grower Lucy, you’ll enjoy a refreshing summer cooler drink and a selection of garden-inspired nibbles, such as linseed crackers with green pea mousse and pickled radish, all from the garden.

Breakfasts

As there are early activities both days, there will be a fruit bowl and coffee/tea station for those who want to grab something fast before their yoga or breathwork. Breakfast will be served, buffet-style, after the classes. And you can expect to see options such as homemade granola, yoghurts and seasonal fruit compotes, warm frittatas, roasted courgette and broad bean salad with walnuts, tomato and peach and basil salad, and sourdough bread, butter, jams, nut butters.

Lunches

These will be light and filling, and buffet-style. Previous examples include garden-grown tomato soup, savoury muffins with spinach and feta, and almond butter puffed rice bars. Or caramelised pear and lentil salad with roasted baby tomatoes, walnuts and rocket, homemade focaccia, and banana bread with pecan crumble.

Dinners

Dinner in the evenings will kick off with a mocktail and more nibbles – expect to be spoiled! Think olives, smoked almonds, local cheese and grape sticks… and dinner is always set up with cutlery, napkins, flowers/candles etc, and dinners are plated and served at the table, restaurant-style. Previous dinner examples include green/homemade burgers with olive oil, smashed & baked potatoes, superslaw, home-made mayo, and kimchi ketchup. The Midsummer Night’s Dream dinner on the eve of the 20th will be magical, with particular emphasis on the food and the theme. Expect summer on a plate – think elderflower, strawberries, peaches, new potatoes, smoked salmon, dill… and plenty of elemental Midsummer surprises!

On top of that..

Guests will have a fruit bowl to help themselves to that will be kept topped up, and water, tea and coffee available at all times at a station, including French press filter coffee, herbal teas, black tea, Earl Grey tea, and oat as well as dairy milk. There will be veggie and meat/fish options for dinners. This is NOT the confirmed menu details yet – full menu to follow, images below for illustration.

If you would like to order alcoholic cocktails or wine for dinner, this is not included but can be pre-ordered. After you have booked we will be in touch about this and a few other things to confirm too, such as dietary restrictions etc.

All bedrooms at the retreat can be either a double bed, or two singles. The rooms are all the same standard, so your room selection is completely randomised. This is a perfect retreat to come to with a loved one, or a good friend that you’re happy to share with.

Solo traveller? If you’re happy to share a twin room with someone you don’t know, please drop us an email on retreats@silvermagazine.co.uk and if we have others, we can try and pair you up.

We may offer single occupancy if we have any rooms left towards the end, but unfortunately as with all events like this, single occupancy will come with a supplement, although we’ll shave it as close as we can. If you want to hear when the possibility of single rooms comes up, best to sign up for our newsletter.

Accessibility

West Lexham is a farm and the terrain is rural, with gravel pathways and so on. And some of the venue’s buildings are Listed, making adaptation for wheelchair users difficult. If you have mobility issues, there may be a workable solution – please email us initially on retreats@silvermagazine.co.uk.

West Lexham is an aesthetic mission to restore the old buildings of an old farm, creating a sustainable paradise. A family home that has been opened up to share with those who want to partake in contemplation, appreciation, and transformation; its ethos is one of optimal living.

They’re committed to sustainable values; the heating and hot water is powered by a wood chip biomass boiler, with solar panels helping to provide renewable electricity. Drinking water is drawn from a fresh chalk well, available at every tap. The lake is pristine clean, being fed by the chalk-filtered stream; wild swimming in it is hugely encouraged!

The kitchen garden uses biodynamic principles and grows organic produce. The biological waste treatment is powered by microorganisms, meaning they don’t use harsh chemicals. For this reason, the venue is careful to use only organic, natural cleaning products and encourages guests to use the natural soaps and shampoos provided in each property.

Every type of tree and shrub indigenous to the UK grows happily on the 21-acre estate. The ecology of the floating water meadows has earned its title as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with the restoration of the rare chalk stream and surrounding wildlands creating an active habitat for biodiversity.

OUR SPACES

The Barn is an inspiring and rejuvenating indulgent space that is home to bright and spacious rooms with en-suites. A favourite of all the venues, there is a studio, cosy sitting room with log burners, and a sunny dining area. The elegant design is rustic at heart. The building opens out onto a private garden that catches the morning sun. There is a luscious lawn and fire bowl for you to enjoy.

From the minute you arrive, everything is covered. Your fee pays for your accommodation, your food and drink, all the activities… We don’t want you to have to think about anything except having an ace time.

There is one simple cost to cover all this, which is £875 per person, based on two people sharing a room (see special reduced booking rate below). Whether you’re coming with your partner, a friend, or even having some parent/child time (over 18s only please), all rooms can be doubles or twins.

Your rooms are all en suite and everyone is provided with a bath towel. If you would like to go wild swimming or use the swimming pool, please bring a beach towel. Because the venue is biodynamic and organic, there are natural soaps and shampoos provided in the rooms and you’re encouraged to use those if possible, to protect the natural bio-balance of the farm.

Once you book, you’ll receive an email from us regarding things like your room set-up, any dietary requirements, information about alcohol and so on, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

There are two payment options – if you simply book and pay for your stay straight away, you’ll enjoy a 10% reduction in the cost. That’s a saving of £175 between two people. Otherwise, you’re welcome to stagger your payments in two instalments – pay 50% now, and the balance afterwards. Again, we will email you about this to agree the date of your second payment. We want to support you if it’s a bit of a stretch.

What are our retreats about?

Mostly, we just want you to come and have a fantastic time. Leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Meet new friends. Eat amazing food. Take time away from the outside world. But there is a theme that runs through all our retreats, and it’s all about coming of age.

Around 100 years ago you’d be lucky to make it past 55, so a lot of what we deal with now in our extended midlife is untrodden ground. It’s no wonder we’re struggling to make sense of it all.

For most of the big, transitional times in our lives, we prepare. We look forward to being old enough to vote, to drive a car, to leave home. To visit the pub… legally! Milestones.

And as we age there are more rituals and milestones. Retirement, pensions, care, even your funeral is a familiar ritual.

Your mid life is a bit of a blind spot

As ‘middlescents’ we have no rule book. Many of us find ourselves with changed lives. Children have flown. We have the joy of menopause. Perhaps we don’t connect with our partners anymore – hell, we don’t even know who WE are any more.

We are born absolutely the person we should be. And then life happens, and we are changed irrevocably by it. Work, parenting, stress – we do it all for decades, and then what?

Suddenly it’s our time again, and we don’t know who we are, or what our purpose is. We’ve lost sight of ourselves. It’s time to revisit who that kid was before life knocked them around. Not because we want to be young again, but because it’s who we are inside. Enter the traditional ‘midlife crisis’, right?

We prefer to call it a midlife metamorphosis. Your Midlife Coming of Age.

Our retreats are about this, about becoming the real you again. There’s a chance to do all the things you’d expect at a retreat. After all, we want you to relax and unwind. But we want to bring you a chance to be YOU again. To reconnect with who you should be. A modern elder, connected to the child inside.

Sound cheesy? Meh – maybe a little, but we have a lot of fun. Why not come along and try one of our retreats and see for yourself?

Why you should trust us to run a great retreat

Firstly, because we make sure to choose the very best – in venues, in food and drink, in entertainment… and because we genuinely do want you to have a cracking time, and for our retreats to be a little bit different. So a lot of love goes into the planning of these.

But more than that, we have a solid background in professional event planning and execution. The Silver Lifestyle events team is headed up by Sam Harrington-Lowe, a seasoned event organiser with a knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. With a stellar career spanning over two decades, she’s been behind thousands of events, ranging from high-profile parties in London for the likes of Gordon Ramsay, to the exhilarating first-ever Powerboat Grand Prix. Sam and her team have extensive experience, and operate with utmost professionalism.

But don’t just take our word for it. Mark O’Halloran says, “Sam is a joy to work with. She really does take the time to understand what you want to achieve and then doesn’t just deliver it, but works out how to make it better than you imagined. Sam’s also brilliant at taking care of all the ‘unexpecteds’ on the day of an event to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Strategist Teri Thomas had this to say about Sam: “I’ve worked both for and with Sam, and have always found her to be professional, focused, and enthusiastic. A lady of many guises and talents.”

Al Tredinnick, Head of Commercial, didn’t mince words when he stated, “Sam is always a joy to deal with! Her events company is probably the most innovative and original events company around.”

And BBC broadcaster Briggy Smale highlights Sam’s creativity, efficiency, and intuition. “Sam is hugely creative and innovative. She has great attention to detail, is personable, efficient, and always one step ahead.”

We could go on, but you get the picture.

With a brilliant team working on the retreats, the Silver events team doesn’t just plan; they conjure magic. Come along and find out what that’s like.