The Fisher King Centre
Year round detox weeks in Somerset
The Quick Read: This is a simple but warm, comfortable, clean and calm place to detox that only takes a maximum of four people each week, so you will be assured of one to one attention. The house is set off a quiet residential road in Glastonbury, a 20 minute walk from Glastonbury Tor, with circular walks from the door. There’s just one, well-tested six-day detox on offer, which starts on a Sunday evening, ends the following Saturday and runs all year round. Don’t worry if you haven’t detoxed before – you will be hand held through the process by expert therapists Michael and Fiona. Childcare can often be arranged for people with babies or young children. Fiona also offers private healthy eating workshops and courses.
More on the outside: The large white house is set off a quiet residential road, a 20-minute walk from Glastonbury, with circular walks from the door. On warmer days you can enjoy a generous terrace and spacious, sheltered garden surrounded by trees with flowers and foliage around the edges and a reassuring statue of Buddha contemplating a lotus flower. When the sun comes out, spread a rug on the grass and chill out with the resident cat. Read a word from the queen on her stay.
More on the inside: A cosy living room is the main breakout space, with big windows, traditional fireplaces, small wooden side tables, ethnic rugs, cushion-strewn, comfortable sofas and a host of interesting knick-knacks on every surface, from globes and crystals to Buddhas. In the evenings you can watch films here from the large DVD library of popular cinema releases, with quite a few recent titles. The living room is also where you do the yoga class, and hang around on the inversion table!
Inevitably, you’ll spend a lot of time in the tiled, country-style kitchen, meeting over the juicer at regular intervals and chatting if you want to at the big wooden table. At the top of the house is a small, simple attic room where the treatments take place. Filled with light, it is an invigorating space for Michael’s massages, for which you lay on a couch, on a mat on the floor or sit in a chair. Downstairs there is also a traditional and an infra-red sauna. You can have a shower here, or soak in a big corner bath in the shared bathroom upstairs – with its walls tiled in dark blue, it’s a simple, restful place to relax.
More on the bedrooms: There’s just one double room and one twin room – neither are lavish or luxurious, but they are welcoming, comfortable and feel loved, and on our visits we were graced with vases of fresh flowers. We were drawn to the double with its royal blue and green walls – strong colours, but surprisingly calming. The bed’s comfy, there’s a cheese plant in the corner, a wall mirror framed with a mosaic of colourful tile fragments and simple uncluttered furniture – a bed, bedside cabinets and a small chest of drawers. The view of the pines through the wooden-framed windows is also very peaceful. For couples with children, or people seeking true privacy following a bereavement or trauma, there’s a two bedroom flat a short walk from the house.
More on the detox: Your personal programme will be devised according to your own case history, following a consultation and an iris examination. You’ll get a session of colonic hydrotherapy with Fiona every other day, and you can also choose to do an optional liver flush, which is quite a full-on experience – ask for more details. Three treatments are included during the week – carried out in a simple blue loft room, these will include shiatsu, reflexology and deep tissue massage. Michael, born and bred in Hong Kong, offers an excellent ‘an ma’ massage, a combination of Thai and shiatsu. When you can fit it in, a sauna is a great way to encourage the body to relax and unwind as well as release those nasty toxins – either in the infrared version or the traditional Swedish sauna.
Because there are so few people here at any given time, the shape of the week’s additional activities is very bespoke. There’s the option of a guided walk on the Thursday, and extra therapies including cranio-sacral therapy, counselling, hypnotherapy or extra yoga can be arranged at an extra charge, though we felt what was included was ample. Michael also does tarot readings, if you’d like a little fun. Fiona and Michael discourage laptops, phones and iPads, so that you calm down more quickly and take the body to a deeper level of relaxation and recuperation.
More on Michael & Fiona: Michael is a nutritionist, bodyworker, iridologist and committed vegan, and his colleague Fiona is a colon hydrotherapist and reflexologist. She is especially brilliant at doing the colonics, and genuinely loves doing it – strange perhaps but true! They have been running detoxes here for over 12 years, and are friendly, truly compassionate people with an expert knowledge of nutrition. Fiona can also help you arrange a trip into Glastonbury.
Food & Drink: A cleansing drink of psyllium husks, bentonite clay and organic apple juice, plus organic vegetable juices and supplements, take the place of solid food. The supplements include kelp, spirulina and niacin, which opens up the blood vessels and can create quite a startling hot flush that turns the skin bright red. There are plenty of herbal teas to fill the gaps in between, and specially levitated water to make up the recommended three pints of liquid a day. Fiona and Michael used to run a restaurant, so once the cleanse is broken with a wholesome corn chowder, they prepare a very tasty breakfast the next day to set you on your way – a delicious homemade muesli is followed later by a lunch of avocado, tomato, quinoa and other salady bits.
Private healthy eating workshops: Fiona also offers private workshops and courses on how to prepare healthy, raw, wheat free or gluten free diets or those specific to food allergies and intolerances. She can come to your house to help you change your lifestyle (from £100 a day).
Fellow guests: Those already into doing an annual detox, of all ages and backgrounds, those suffering from cancer and other diseases, but also those who have never detoxed before and who are willing to commit to a week of it in a still, quiet place. If it’s your first detox, though you won’t get the camaraderie, chat and variety of people in a bigger group, the small number of people taking part means you get one-to-one attention and the chance to ask all the questions you want which makes the process feel safer and more reassuring.
Costs: Detox weeks cost £950 per person for 6 days all inclusive of accommodation, three sessions of colon hydrotherapy, four treatments (shiatsu, reflexology, deep tissue massage), an iridology assessment, all supplements and cleansing preparations, fresh, organic vegetable juices, nutritional consultancy and a personalised treatment plan, purified water, use of a sauna, an infra-red sauna, a trampoline and an inversion table and a yoga session.
What’s queenly: The Fisher King Centre only takes a maximum of four people each week, so you will receive all the one to one attention you need. The detox weeks start on a sunday at 8pm and run till the following Saturday, and run all year round – so you don’t have to worry about making a particular date. Childcare can often be arranged for people with babies or young children.
What’s lowly: The bathroom is shared, but it’s kept properly clean, and has a big corner bath – there’s also a shower next to the saunas downstairs. There’s not a lot of storage space in the bedrooms, but you don’t need much in the way of clothing – days can be spent in pyjamas if you so choose. You’re not told you need cash to buy supplements to take home – ensure you bring some, as they are unable to take cards.
© Queen of Retreats
Reviewed by Olivia Mackinder