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Nourish and Flourish Day at Oak Tree Barn, Somerset

On Friday I spent a really lovely day at Vanessa Dennett’s barn in Burrington North Somerset.

It was a retreat day called Nourish and Flourish – and my goodness it lived up to it’s name.


I arrived at 10am to be greeted by the lovely warm and welcoming Vanessa and four other creative business owners.  I was delighted to spy some very tasty freshly baked cakes on arrival too.

The first hour was a relaxed affair of sitting around the table munching on the lemon muffins (they had chia seeds in so that means they were completely healthy!) and getting to know each other.

Lemon chia muffins at Oak Tree Barn.

Lemon and Chia Muffins

I think we would have sat there all day, it was so cosy, but at about 11am Vanessa ushered us out of the door for a nice countryside walk. The barn is slap bang in the middle of rural Somerset, so it was a proper country walk – fields and bluebells, the works.  I think there is a kind of magic to walking that allows you to loosen up and really talk to people.  I ended up having some real deep and meaningfuls with people who I’d only just met.  

Group walk at the Nourish and Flourish day at Oak Tree Barn.

Our wholesome ramble

After our wholesome ramble we headed back to the barn where Vanessa prepared us lunch.  I loved that there was no pressure on the day to learn anything, just a really relaxed environment to share thoughts and ideas about running our businesses and just chat generally.


Vanessa hit the mark again with lunch with some lovely salady concoctions and basil nut pesto. And the conversation just continued to flow.  You wouldn’t think we’d all been strangers a few hours earlier.

And despite Vanessa’s encouragement for us to go and get cosy on the sofas, we continued to chat at the kitchen table pretty much for the rest of the day! We had so many subjects and thoughts and ideas to share I don’t think any of us wanted to miss a beat.

Winding down 

The day was finished off by a little wander around the garden to meet Vanessa’s super friendly chickens, to admire her glorious new Shepherd’s Hut (I have Shepherd’s Hut envy now) and to check out her lovely vegetable garden.  And of course there was more cake before we left (almond and apricot liquor cake – mmm).

I came away fired up, refreshed, inspired, focussed and very happy! I really must go back for another dose of this later in the year.

If you want to come on a retreat nature just like this, myself and marketing expert Karen Webber are running The Wilderness Tonic retreat in the Peak District on Friday 31 January – find out more here.

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