Arriving at Middle Piccadilly in Dorset last weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. This little rural idyll prides itself on being the ideal place to switch off, kick back and recharge. Something I have needed for a while, something we could probably all do with. I find switching off virtually impossible, I feel I am always connected to an online world, and always doing or thinking what I should be doing. A weekend of not doing anything other than sleeping, thinking, relaxing and eating incredible food was just what was needed.
We were greeted as we walked from the car by Eliana, a fascinating lady who is the co-owner Dominic’s mum. Dominic and his wife Lisa couldn’t be there to greet us but arrived shortly afterwards with a flurry of teenagers. You see this isn’t just a business for them, this is their home, and has been since the family bought it decades ago when the house was a wreck. It is clear that a lot of money, effort and love have been poured into it to make it the welcoming place it now is.
Bruce and I had been invited to spend the weekend there to switch off and were surprised to find out we had the place to ourselves. Middle Piccadilly can only host eight people at a time so we didn’t expect to be the only ones there and had prepared our “small talk” to get to know the other guests over dinner. You see lunch and dinner are eaten communally, in the farmhouse kitchen, with the food all prepared by Dominic from locally sourced ingredients. The food was so incredible I am going to do a separate post. Meal times are the only timetabled events during your stay, unless you book treatments. You are free to do whatever you want at other times. Wander the grounds, sit and read a book in the lounge, go into the nearby village, talk to the sheep, you can do what you like. Which for me took some getting used to, but once I had I didn’t really want to leave.
The treatments are all based on natural healing and should be booked before you arrive as the therapists are not on site all the time, but booked as and when required. We started off by having the most incredible whole body massage. Not something that was based on aromatherapy oils or delivered by somebody in a clinical white uniform. But totally relaxing with no sounds other than the cockerel on next door’s farm. So often I have been for a massage and heard the phone ringing in the clinic, or car doors outside being slammed. There was none of this here. It was peaceful. Calm. Still.
And afterwards we could then go and sit with a cup of tea, go to sleep, have a bath. Not jump in the car and get back to the next item on the to do list. It really couldn’t have been more perfect.
Eliana spent time chatting to me about my headaches and asked me some other questions to get a picture of me as a person rather than just one symptom and came up with a suggestion as to why I might be getting my headaches. Something that made sense and that could be treated without resigning myself to being on drugs for the rest of my life. It will involve a trip to my GP for a formal diagnosis but if it is confirmed then it will be eye-opening.
The photo at the top is the window I wanted to share on Window Wednesday today. Taken high up in what they call the “Star Hut” at Middle Piccadilly. A wooden building in the garden, reached by a small wooden bridge, and where Eliana runs workshops for shamanic healing. I am not sure I can totally embrace shamanic healing if I am totally honest but during my session, my healer Sandy did make some interesting observations. Such as my love for churches despite not being religious, there might be more to that than I had realised. So it definitely gave me a lot to think about and to ponder on in the coming weeks.
Don’t come to Middle Piccadilly if you want to see piles of celeb magazines in a waiting room or rows of cosmetics for sale after your treatment, or to stay in five star luxury. This is not that kind of place. It is rural. And rustic. And only one of the six bedrooms has an en suite, so bring pyjamas if you need a wee in the middle of the night (there are two bathrooms for the other bedrooms though so it is only across a small corridor). There is only wifi in the area near the media room, not in the rest of the property. And no phone signal. But those are all positive things. They are what being at a retreat is all about. About disconnecting from the outside world (hence there being no newspapers either or a tv in the lounge). About spending time reflecting and thinking that maybe there is more to life than chasing your tail and crossing things off a to do list.
Do come if you want to be fed the most incredible food, switch off, read a book from cover to cover, not worry about what needs to be done later that day, lie in the bath for an hour on a Saturday morning, sleep like a log and be given food for thought on what happens when you get home.
Middle Piccadilly is a very special place indeed and one that would definitely recommend people visit if they feel the demands of modern life are just getting a bit too much
Eat, sleep, relax, repeat