Griffins Hill Retreat yoga and food blog
Eating and sharing with like-minded people: Why I love Griffins Hill
Okay, we know this customer review below is kinda glowing, and we are chuffed (mwah, Cecelia). But we think Cecelia Morris is well qualified to give us compliments. She and her husband, Ian Choppock, treat themselves to an annual yoga retreat, travelling far and wide in their goal to nail the ideal experience. Griffins Hill was among the first they tried, and now they are regulars. Here's why.
By Cecilia Morris
Sometimes, in our search for a retreat combining yoga, a beautiful setting and wonderful food, we leave disappointed. But there is one place that my husband, Ian, and I have continued to return to over the past several years.
This is the wonderful restorative retreat that Frank Jesse, a senior yoga teacher, and Jane Gibb, chef and landscape gardener, provide in the setting of their home at Dunkeld, a little village in Western Victoria.
We arrive and unpack. The view instantly transforms us. At the foot of the Grampians -- what a grand landscape! The night sky is amazing, and the moon never seems so majestic as here. The bedroom with en-suite faces this view like a picture-perfect postcard.
Then, there is the excitement of the food. Being somewhat of a foodie, I am not easy to please. But Jane excels in cooking and presentation, producing exotic and healthy dishes from around the globe. Her extensive vegetable garden, and wonderfully sourced fruits and cheeses, all locally produced, make meal times a glorious adventure.
Frank bakes bread daily, which is so tantalizing I would come here for the food alone. The flavour, scent and presentation of meals are compelling. And to sit on the balcony, with the mountains as a panorama, eating and sharing with other like-minded people is an experience not to be missed.
Now I haven’t mentioned yoga. Frank gives outstanding sessions of Iyengar yoga. Even for Ian, who is a beginner, Frank's instruction is perfect. Although I do attend yoga in Melbourne, Ian only does yoga at these retreats. He is always eager to attend Frank’s classes. No gymnasium can provide the flexibility and mind focus that Frank’s classes offer. In the afternoon, we do a "restorative" yoga practice - meaning a focus on breathing and supported postures. It is the only time that I feel totally revitalized and, at the same time, internally calm. With Frank’s attention to detail, I have learned how to adjust my body when I am in a pose.
As a somewhat seasoned traveller and explorer of life, Griffins Hill is a must in our yearly calendars so that we can experience life to the fullest. I leave with renewed energy and the ability to understand my body and its needs both physically and mentally. I continue to practice at home, and I continue to enjoy life to its fullest.
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