The Clover Mill review
Ayurvedic retreat at a water mill in Malvern, UK
The Quick Read: This is a truly bespoke ayurvedic retreat set in a restored seventeenth century water mill near Cradley in the rolling hills of Malvern. As part of your personally-tailored programme you’ll enjoy daily yoga classes, authentic Ayurvedic treatments and vitalising home-cooked organic meals, all delivered by an attentive team of Ayurvedic experts. Later, rest your head or relax in your luxury eco-lodge, secluded by the surrounding Worcestershire woodland and kitted out with private decking, under-floor heating and stylish, contemporary features inside. Find out all about Ayurveda.
More on the ayurveda spa: The gorgeous treatment rooms here retain original features from the water mill, yet wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury spa. So you’ll find a beautiful rustic multi-storey mill with huge stone wheels to grind flour and wooden beams alongside fluffy robes, massage beds warmed by electric blankets and a stylish spiral staircase transporting you between treatment rooms and the yoga studio. Read a word from the queen on our stay here.
More on the treatments: On arrival you’ll fill out a questionnaire to determine your ayurvedic ‘dosha’ – which will then inform your meals, treatments and yoga classes for your stay. Julie has hand-picked fantastic Tridosha trained therapists who share her passion for ayurveda, and the tri-dosha oils they exclusively use smell delicious and seep in to the skin far better than a ‘sloppier’ oil massage you might have experienced in India. Small special touches and a personally-delivered post-treatment cup of tea will make you feel most at home and well looked after.
More on the yoga: Rather than having the same yoga teacher (which is often the case on yoga retreats), guests will be taught by a rotation of local teachers, each bringing their own styles to carefully-curated classes. The top-floor sky-light studio is a treat to practice in, flooded with the morning light and wooden beams overhead to hold on to during wobbly balances.
More on the property: The Clover Mill’s design adheres to the ayurvedic principles of ‘vastu’, the ancient science of construction that ensures a harmonious balance between man and nature. This is evident in the spacious, vaulted ceilings, timber designs and earth tones used in the lodges and treatment rooms. As well as hanging out in the stylish eco-lodges, guests can relax by the fire in the homely dining room, in the yoga studio, or even in the steam room. Outside, see what’s for dinner in Julie’s orchard, relax with a book besides the pond, or put on your walking boots for a stomp around the weir and local walking trails.
More on the eco lodges: These have floor to ceiling windows that open on to private decking (perfect for self-practice in warmer months) and look out on to wild woodland, plus a deep bathtub with large church candles dotted around it and a walk-in shower with gorgeous ayurvedic tri-dosha toiletries to use. With under-floor heating (ecologically sourced from the wood pellet fed biomass boiler) and luxuriously comfy bedding, they are warm and cosy, whilst still feeling suitably secluded and immersed in the Worcestershire wilderness. Beds can be split in to a twin room of two singles, or fastened together to make a super king size bed. One of the eco lodges is wheelchair-friendly.
Food and drink: On quieter weekends, The Clover Mill’s owner and hostess, Julie makes the meals while at busier times she employs a local gourmet health food chef. Self-taught in ayurvedic cooking, Julie creates colourful, vitalizing dishes, three-course evening meals and countless cups of herbal tea in between. All meals will be tailored to your dosha: on our weekend just a few of the culinary highlights included Cardamom-infused porridge, warm beetroot juice, home-made paneer and spiced parsnip and apple soup made with apples from The Clover Mill’s orchard.
Fellow guests: Sleeping just six guests at a time, expect a quiet retreat and the opportunity for plenty of solitude, should you wish. So far, Julie has welcomed stressed business executives to her 5 day retreat, groups of female friends and yoga groups to her weekend retreats and local Malvern residents for drop-in yoga classes and treatments.
What’s queenly: Founder Julie Dent is the perfect hostess who has put her heart and soul in to creating The Clover Mill – she is attentive without being overbearing and has an infectious enthusiasm for all things ayurveda.
What’s lowly: A pre-dinner yoga class on our Sunday evening would have been appreciated – check yoga schedule in advance to ensure you will get what you need.
Costs: From £499 per person for a two night weekend retreat including all meals, daily yoga classes and ayurvedic treatments. If you’re staying or living nearby, it’s £159 per person for a Day Spa including a bespoke treatment, use of the steam room, grounds and lunch. Drop in to a yoga class for £10 or pop in for an ayurvedic treatment, from £40 for a 30 minute massage.
Getting there: The nearest station is Great Malvern, approximately 2.5 hours from London Paddington and then a 10 minute taxi drive, or Julie will collect you and take you back to the mill.
Reviewed by Sally Lovett
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