&Breathe: the baby shower gift she really wants
Being a mum is exhausting. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Well, Clio Wood has found a way to give mums that well-deserved break whilst re-booting. &Breathe, Clio’s award-winning postnatal retreats have partnered with the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire to offer mums 24 hours away from reality. Childcare, healthy food, exercise, spa time and cocktails all included… bliss right? Well our lucky editor, Amy Rose was invited to experience the retreat first-hand.
Before we had even got to the check-in desk the staff at Four Seasons were opening up a trunk full of new toys and asking Milo to choose one. He opted for a tractor, obviously, and from that moment on, he was home.
After a few bounces on the massive bed in our massive room and demolishing the complimentary chocolates, we were the first to lunch. Here, we had a delicious yet super healthy lunch and met the other mums taking part in the retreat as well as Clio and ‘Chief Butt-kicker’, Caroline Bragg.
Full of yummy goodness, we donned our yoga pants and hit the fitness room. Bearing in mind, I am made up of 87% jelly, this was bound to be interesting. We started off gently, it was calm, and relaxed. Caroline taught us how to really work our pelvic floors, turns out I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time – which is probably why I can’t go on the trampoline for longer than five minutes anymore.
Things started to get a little tougher, my legs were starting to wobble and then we took a break to try Clio's homemade protein snacks. But we didn't sit still for too long, because up next was what we were all (not) looking forward to... cardio. Although it was tough on the old legs (and arms, bum, feet etc.) it was surprisingly fun (and we could take a break and go at our own pace if we wanted). The children even took a break from hurtling exercise balls at each other to join in.
Then it was the kids’ dinner, bath and bed. This is when Carol, who I can only describe as a gift from above, arrived. She took over story time and got Milo to sleep within half an hour. I felt like a spare part so did what any respectable mother would do, and sauntered down to the bar for a glass of wine… first one there, of course. Some might feel slightly strange about leaving your precious child with a complete stranger, but Carol made me feel completely at ease. Some of the mums with younger children managed to get their baby’s to sleep first, so their ‘Carol’ merely had to sit in the room in case they woke up.
The evening involved fantastic adult conversation (which surprisingly didn't centre around our children!), gin cocktails and an incredible dinner at the hotel’s Wild Carrot restaurant.
After a blissful night sleep, Milo and I shared pancakes for breakfast before we sprinted to the kids club, waved goodbye and I darted to the spa. Included in the retreat is a morning of spa time and a treatment. I had the best full body massage I have ever experienced. The spa therapist used a special Little Butterfly London oil, which is really gentle on the skin and also suitable for baby massage. We then spent some time in the stunning pool and steam room before realising the time and rushing to get dressed to collect the kids.
Then it was time to hit the road. Despite the fact Milo had a tantrum about having to go home (I nearly joined him), not only did I feel incredibly calm (which was a godsend for my normally anxious self), but I also felt so empowered, there’s something about spending time with like-minded women and their children that’s good for the soul!
The 24-hour retreat is priced at £495 per mum and baby, so it’s not exactly cheap, but for what it includes, it is worth it. Whether it’s a ‘push present’, baby shower gift or her future birthday and Christmas presents all rolled into one, this has hands down got to be the best gift you could give a new mum.
Wednesday 16 May 2018 - from £495 per mum & baby
Sunday 10 June 2018 - from £495 per mum & baby
Monday 17 September 2018 - from £495 per mum & baby
November date TBA - from £495 per mum & baby
- Luxury 5* accommodation with all baby/toddler equipment provided
- Relaxed buffet lunch when you arrive so you can chow down with or without baby
- Super dinner and pre-dinner drinks with all the amazing new mamas you'll meet during your stay
- Breakfast the next day for you and little ones
- Baby-listening during the dinner so you can enjoy delicious food in peace (with extra bookable babysitters available too)
- Cardio Exercise Class with &Breathe's specialist trainers - highly experienced in pre- and postnatal fitness and exercise
- Pelvic Floor and Pilates Session to tackle your core and learn about taking care of your all-important pelvic floor
- Self-care workshop including mindfulness techniques, nutrition advice and cooking demonstration
- Light refreshments available during sessions
- Relaxing spa treatment, including childcare
- Specially-designed &Breathe sessions which welcome babies too
- Plenty of time to get to know some other awesome mamas
- &Breathe expert advice and support
- &Breathe goody bags