Yoga on a Shoestring, Poundon House
Yoga on a Shoestring weekend at Poundon House, Oxfordshire, UK
Anyone who loves period dramas, historic houses – and great yoga.
Those who need an ensuite bathroom.
Surrounded by the rolling Oxfordshire countryside, this retreat offers the chance to kick back in a stunning Queen Anne-style country house with fantastic yoga and food. The Roscoes still live here and it feels like a warm, albeit grand, family home, brimming with antique furniture, open fires and works of art. Experienced yoga teachers combine dynamic and restorative styles, while meals are vegetarian and tasty – ensuring you’ll leave feeling recharged.
A stunning, welcoming and beautifully-decorated Edwardian country house, which is very much a family home too.
There are no ensuite bathrooms, thought there are two separate shower rooms, plenty of beautiful bathrooms and separate toilets.
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This is a great weekend of yoga and relaxation in the sumptuous surrounds of a country manor.
There are five yoga classes of 60 or 90 minutes – one on Friday evening, two on Saturday (morning and late afternoon), and two on Sunday, first thing and pre-lunch. Earlier sessions are more dynamic, second classes more restorative. Pranayama and meditation are included and quality mats and props are provided.
Massages can be booked and are held in one of the beautiful bedrooms or bathrooms. Therapists and treatments offered vary depending on the weekend. During the retreat we reviewed, the therapist Jessica Lambert offered fantastic deep tissue massages.
Bedrooms: There are nine bedrooms, made up as triples and twins, with one double (the romantic room, which has a canopied bed). With names like the Green Room, the Old Nursery and the French room, all are unique with lovely antique furniture, beautiful wallpaper and top quality beds. None are ensuite. There are toiletries provided and hairdryers in a basket in the hall.
Other spaces to be: The house is spacious and there are extensive landscaped gardens with lavender beds and an orchard, so you’ll always be able to find somewhere for some quiet time.
Poundon House is only a 30-minute drive from Oxford, so combine a trip with a visit to one of England’s most important towns. Shoppers might be tempted by Bicester Village, which is a closeby – the discount designer clothing outlet. Horse-riding through the can be arranged through the owners at extra cost.
When to Go
Yoga on a Shoestring runs several retreats at Poundon a year. In the winter the countryside looks beautiful in the frost and the roaring fires add atmosphere. Spring brings flowers and summer warm days for wandering the grounds and surrounding areas.
Dinner is served each night in the beautiful yellow dining room, while breakfast is taken in the huge, warm and welcoming kitchen. The food depends on the caterers for each particular weekend, but all is vegetarian, seasonal and often organic with minimal use of salt and sugar. On the weekend we attended Elspeth Humm was catering.
Breakfasts were a vast affair of cereals, muesli soaked overnight, fruits, yoghurt, homemade breads, homemade peanut butter, avocados, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms and scrambled eggs. Lunches were soups and salads.
Evening meals were dahl and vegetables or stuffed butternut squash. Desserts were delicious, sugar-free vegan cakes. There were plenty of help-yourself teas available all day, as well as coffee, and while alcohol wasn’t provided, guests are welcome to bring their own wine for dinner.
The family aims to be eco-friendly, helping to conserve the area by planting bee-friendly lavender paths and wild flower areas. No chemicals are used in the orchard and waste is recycled where possible.
Poundon, Nr Bicester, OX27 9BB
Airport: London Luton, London Heathrow and Birmingham airports area all around 50 miles away.
Transfer time: Around 1 hour 15 minutes.