The Orange Tree review
Cosy B&B with wellbeing weekends in Yorkshire, UK
The Quick Read: A remote and thoroughly relaxing laid-back little venue, The Orange Tree is a homely and comfortable 8 bedroomed guest house which offers B&B during the week and yoga or relaxation retreats at the weekends. Facilities include a well maintained sauna and a hot tub with excellent views over the moors, and there are lovely local walks and hikes on the moors. Treatments with local therapists can be booked at extra cost. The owner, Edward Harpin, a yoga and mindfulness teacher, is easy to be around and has a calm and straightforward approach.
More on the wellbeing B&B: During the week you can stay here on a B&B basis and do as you choose – tasty healthy evening meals can be served on request too. You can book in for therapeutic treatments, yoga and relaxation sessions, and use the hot tub and sauna too.
More on the wellbeing weekends: The Orange Tree specialises in yoga weekends and general ‘relaxation weekends’ – read a word from the queen on her stay. Both follow a similar structure, with a post-breakfast workshop and practical sessions on the Saturday and Sunday led by Edward, the retreat owner as well as a yoga and mindfulness teacher. The Orange Tree also run a few Silence is Golden retreats each year, which are held in silence – how delicious!
Owner Edward’s approach is light and he aims to make everything accessible and relevant to everyone’s lives. There’s an opportunity for treatments on the Saturday afternoon and optional pre-breakfast or evening yoga sessions on the dedicated yoga weekend. Weekend retreats are full board and include workshops in the attic practice room and use of all facilities.
The relaxation weekends are an ideal introduction for anyone new to stress management, relaxation, yoga or meditation and aim to give people practical tools to take back into their daily lives. Saturday morning’s session includes a gentle qi kung session followed by a deep relaxation accompanied by the Therapeutic Earth Gong which works with sound and vibration levels within the body. Sunday’s session concentrates more on mindfulness and mindfulness meditation, a relaxing, calm Hatha yoga session which is ideal for beginners and another relaxation at the end.
More on the hot tub and sauna: The sauna is on the ground floor and the hot tub – large enough for about half a dozen people comfortably – is found outside in a wooden gazebo, allowing you to be outside, and yet comfortably inside at the same time. The gazebo windows open to reveal beautiful views of the valley below and moors beyond. The hot tub and sauna can be accessed throughout your B&B stay – on retreat weekends, the sauna is generally on during the Saturday afternoon, though it can be turned on if access is wanted at other times. Both are extremely well maintained and are a welcome addition to the wellbeing experience.
More on the treatments: Treatments with local experienced therapists can be booked during your stay. There are a range of health and beauty treatments on offer, although the health treatments, particularly the Swedish massage, tend to be the most popular with guests. There’s also Indian Head massage, facials, manicures and more healing therapies including Reiki and Hopi ear candles. Slots are generally half an hour long on retreat weekends, so it’s a good opportunity to get a taster of a couple of different treatments – ask if you want longer. For B&B you can book whatever you need in advance. Two small rooms are used as treatment rooms and the attic/practice room also turns into an additional two treatment rooms during weekend retreats.
More on the location: The Orange Tree is close to the little village of Rosedale. It’s a picturesque and rural area which hasn’t yet got mobile phone coverage. There is a small grassy garden outside the guest house, plus the cedar gazebo which houses the hot tub. However, with such beautiful scenery on the doorstep, you don’t really need huge grounds. The Orange Tree is also well located for local walks and hikes on the moors, and the friendly staff can supply you with instructions and maps.
More on the property: Inside the The Orange Tree is tastefully decorated with mute colours and a subtle orange theme throughout. Frames containing inspiring quotes are dotted around the house and it all combines to create an understated positive atmosphere, which is in line with the philosophy of all the retreats. There is a communal lounge with roaring log fire shelves, containing a wealth of mind, body and spirit books and comfy leather sofas that you can sink into. The only downside to the communal areas is that they can feel quite crowded if the venue is full on a weekend.
More on the bedrooms: The eight bedrooms are simple, yet comfortable and most have a small ensuite bathroom with toilet and shower. All rooms have a kettle and a nice selection of herbal teas, fair-trade tea, coffee and sugar. Like the rest of the house, the colours are muted and they’re relaxing places to hang out in. If you’ve come alone on one of the relaxation weekends and want some additional ‘me’ time, it’s worth paying the single supplement.
Food and drink: All food is vegetarian, locally sourced and organic where possible. In the long-run, Edward aims to grow more food onsite and hopes that The Orange Tree will become a living, breathing example of how to live more sustainably and authentically in harmony with ourselves and nature. Special dietary needs are also catered for if you let them know in advance. Breakfast is buffet style with fresh fruit salad, a range of healthy cereals, nuts and seeds and juices. There are also fresh eggs from a local farm and wholemeal toast. The food is hearty and plentiful without being overly wholesome or worthy.
On retreat weekends meals are taken in the communal dining area around a long wooden table, so be prepared to socialise and integrate with the other guests. Home-made cake and scones are served on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s nut roast with all the trimmings will satisfy even the most ardent meat eater. Desserts are served with each meal and wine is also available for those who want it (at extra cost).
Fellow guests: Most people come to the Orange Tree for a bite-sized retreat from the stresses and strains of daily life. Retreat weekends tend to attract small groups of friends or couples and there are a lot of repeat visitors. The price means that it’s accessible and attractive to people on a range of incomes. The relaxation weekends tend to attract more women than men (though Edward hopes to encourage more men to attend!), while the yoga weekends are more mixed. Though it is comfortable, it certainly isn’t top-end luxury and so it wouldn’t suit those looking for a posh spa experience or people unwilling to mix or integrate with other guests.
What’s lowly: The Orange Tree is quite a small venue, and it can feel quite busy when it’s full of people.
Costs: Relaxation weekends cost £225 for a shared room, £50 extra if you want a room to yourself and include full board, two workshops and use of the sauna and hot tub. A range of treatments are on offer and prices start at £22 for half an hour. Yoga weekends cost from £245, spa days £85 and B&B rates are just £40 per person per night. During the week, those wanting a room to themselves pay just a £5 supplement.
Getting there: It’s quite remote – it’s not easily accessible without a car, as the nearest train station is an hour (and about £40) away by taxi.
Reviewed by Ruth Rosselson
© Queen of Retreats
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