I had a wonderful time at the writing retreat. I went there with a basic idea for a new novel and I came away with most of a plan and 25,000 words. This plan was helped along by a brainstorming session with Annie as we tried to work out the specifics of my YA book, and her ideas and insights really made me think about my plot in a whole new light. Add to this an inspiring walk through the nearby forest and I came away with a new way to structure my novel as well as a few plot twists I hadn’t thought of before. I found my time there extremely productive and it’s given me a kick start on my novel that I wouldn’t have got at home.
The retreat room itself is wonderful and cosy, with everything you could need to sit down and get straight to work. From the balcony you have a lovely view of the forest, and seeing the Autumnal colours of the trees was a wonderful way to get motivated for a day of writing. Even at this time of year, you can sit out there with a cup of tea and enjoy the view while thinking of your next plot device.
I’ve been home less than 24 hours and I’m already missing the wonderful vegetarian food that was delivered to my room three times a day! As a vegetarian myself, it was great to go somewhere and not have to feel awkward asking for ‘special’ meals, and every single thing I was served was delicious, with the homemade desserts being a particular treat! I ate my first and last evening meal of my stay with Annie and Ian in the main part of the house, and they’re both great hosts who made me feel very welcome.
Overall, the retreat offers you a perfect location, wonderful hosts, delicious food and an inspiring environment to get on with your current work in progress. I can highly recommend it and I’m hoping to go back in the future!