Conscious Christmas Gifting Retreat

There’s been a great deal of positive talk recently about giving and buying consciously this Christmas, so when the lovely Emily from Weekend:IN got in touch about joining herself and Olivia with Canopy & Stars for a night away filled with workshops on the subject I jumped at the chance!

It was hosted at The Lost Garden Retreat, a very special location in Ipswich where you can hire a safari tent that sleeps up to six people. Combined with a fully equipped kitchen, plumbed bathroom, private deck and wood fired hot tub; it amounts to a dreamy place to spend a few nights away!  There’s also no wifi onsite so it’s a place that you could getaway with friends and family to chill out or with a large group of friends, as there is the possibility of hiring all four of the safari tents out at once (each one has a different decoration theme!). Elisa and Richard spent 10 years converting the site and have plans to install tree houses in the future too!

Photo by Sophie Carefull
Photo by Sophie Carefull

The Lost Garden Retreat is part of Canopy & Stars who’s aim is to connect people to the wild with every property they host. From safari tents in Ipswich to cabins in France they visit and inspect every venue who applies to be part of the Canopy & Stars family; which means every venue embraces the same standard of stay. 24% of the company is also owned by a charitable trust who supports a number of environmental causes, they’ve also just formed an alliance with Tree Sisters, which means they plant one tree for every booking they take, with the aim to reach 1 million trees. They’re also offering a Canopy & Stars £50 voucher for every Canopy & Stars £150 gift card that is purchased, which means money back for you to spend with them too!

Our first workshop was with Work Bench London, who are made up of the joyful duo Katie & Kirstie. They run regular workshops in London where they help you design and carve your own wax ring which is then sent off and cast in either recycled silver, gold plated, gold or in platinum. We tried out their new at home carving kits, which provides you with everything you’d need to carve your own wax ring to be cast at home. The great thing about the kit is that it provides you with two waxes, which means you could cast your second creation for £45 extra.There’s also a signet ring and wedding ring kit too!  It also provides you with the tools to carve further waxes which you can email Katie and Kirstie for more information about. I loved this workshop so much and the at home kits are a great way to give people the experience who might not be able to make the London workshops.

Lunch (and breakfast the next day) was provided by Abel & Cole who source organic local vegetables and produce, which you can order online. You can even order Christmas boxes from them too!

Photo by Sophie Carefull

After lunch Ali from the Positive Planner introduced us to their latest product The Positive Bullet Diary. Their company ethos is to encourage people to try and make their mental health a priority. Their planners (The Positive Planner, The Positive Wellness Journal and The Positive Bullet Diary) encourage you to carve a bit of time everyday, away from a phone screen or computer and assess how you’re really feeling. The brand was born after Ali started journalling after the birth of her first baby to help her through her post natal depression. After the positive impact journalling had for her, the idea to create something for others too, led her to launch the kick starter that has then propelled the brand to where it is two years later. The journals provide a really great present to give someone the gift of time for themselves, even if that’s just 15 minutes a day.

Photo by Sophie Carefull

The evening dinner was then created by chef Vernon Blackmore a local chef from The Table in Woodbridge who specialises in sourcing fresh local and seasonal ingredients. The starter of fresh seafood are some of the best I’ve ever tasted, especially the oysters.

 

 

Photo by Sophie Carefull
Photo by Sophie Carefull
Photo by Sophie Carefull

After dinner I retreated to my four poster bed (not something you’d expect to find in a safari tent!), which ready with a hot water bottle and the comfiest Bedfolk sheets gave me the best night’s sleep in a long time! I was also greeted to a little surprise from Kinshipped who create sustainable wrapping paper and luxury gifting basics, perfect to wrap Christmas presents in this year too!

Thanks so much to Weekend:IN and Canopy & Stars for inviting me, I loved finding out more about companies who are trying to make a positive impact on the world and are consciously thinking about how their brand impacts it too.

Photo by Sophie Carefull
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