Rebalance with Nature Weekend Retreat

Jun 03 2017 10:30 - Jun 04 2017 17:30

Witherden's Hall, Popsal Lane, Wingham, CT31AT Kent


Feeling a touch overwhelmed by the world? Fancy getting away from it all to recharge your batteries and learn how to maintain a positive attitude when you head back to big city life? The Mindful Kitchen’s ‘Rebalance with Nature’ Retreat is for you.

During this inspiring weekend on a farm in the Kentish countryside, we will introduce you to nature relatedness; a mindful practice that helps you to relieve stress and boost your creativity. Food, glorious food, is the tool we use to connect you to nature and a more fulfilling life. By blending mindfulness and cookery, you can connect to nature whenever, wherever you are. You’ll be learning new skills that are the cornerstones to weaving mindful habits into your shopping, cooking, eating, and wellbeing rituals.

Your ticket price includes your accommodation, vegetarian meals and two days of workshops. You'll also be making a range of beauty products and preserves to take home. Here's our agenda for the weekend:


10.30 Welcome, Introduction and Intention Setting for Day 1

You’ve arrived! We’ll introduce you to one another and what to expect over the weekend. You’ll also receive your Mindful Kitchen RE-balance/RE-flection/RE-cipe Book, your personal guide for exploration.

10.45 Mindfulness Exercise: What are YOUR Personal Values?

We’ll work with you to determine the personal values which, when you let them guide your life, bring you a deep sense of happiness. Then we’ll consider how much your current lifestyle enables you to live by your values. You’ll be setting your personal intentions for the new mindful habits you hope to begin to develop over the weekend.

11.45 Tea Break

12.00 Interactive Lecture: What IS Nature Relatedness and How Does it Connect to Food?

We’ll explore how nature relatedness is a sure-fire way to boost creativity and reduce stress. We’ll reveal how food is a simple way to weave the practice of nature relatedness in to your daily life. You’ll consider how your personal values shine through in your eating rituals. Your interactive experience involves tasting a glass of English wine. Yes, English wine.

13.00 LUNCH

Enjoy a seasonal meal made with local produce prepared by our Mindful Chef, Marian Reed. If the weather cooperates, we’ll eat al fresco in the garden at Witherden’s Hall.

14.15 Mindfulness Exercise: How Does Food Connect You to Nature Relatedness?

We’ll introduce you to the practice of full sensory tasting, the skill that underpins mindful eating. You’ll learn how to separate the sensation of smell, sight and taste to enhance the experience of all that you eat. We’ll be working with seasonal fruits and vegetables and you’ll develop a plan for how you will put this practice to work back at home over the next year.

15.30 Mindful Cookery Session: Preserve Making Party!

At The Mindful Kitchen, the act of preserve making is a means by which to enhance your awareness of the value of food. Preserve making is a ritual that connects you to a time when people viewed food as a reminder of our connection to nature, much more so than today. To bring these rituals into your life, you need skills! Together, we’ll work with strawberries, rhubarb and cucumbers to make jam, syrup and pickles. You’ll make three bottles to take home.

18.00 Free time

Take some time for rest, reflection or a walk in the countryside

19.30 Group Dinner

Put your new full sensory tasting abilities to the test and enjoy a dinner prepared for you by our Mindful Chef, Marian Reed, made with our favourite mood enhancing aphrodisiacs! You’ll be sent off to bed with a reflection exercise for the next morning.


8.30 Greet the Day with a Yoga Session Lead by Pandora Paloma of Rooted London

Pandora Paloma is a Holistic Nutritionist, Healer and Yoga Teacher. The Rooted London philosophy is simple: Listen to Your Body, Feed your Soul. Using naturopathic nutrition, healing techniques, meditation, guided visualisations, yoga and self-love as medicine, Pandora created Rooted as a space where a positive mindset comes before trends.

9.45 Morning Tea, Reflections on Day 1, Intention Setting for Day 2

10.15 Interactive Lecture: How My Beauty Regime Provided the Path for me To Re-balance my Relationship with Nature. Lead by Maria Stone, Founder of Miel Magazine and Zero Waste Living Guru

Beauty products are made from the same natural resources as food and are also a path to connection to nature. Miel Magazine Founder and Zero Waste Living devotee, Maria Stone, will lead a session explaining how she had a natural awakening with her beauty regime and decided to ditch the over the counter purchases for homemade, organic alternatives. Together, you’ll make a selection of organic beauty products to take home.

12.15 Tea Break

12.30 Mindfulness Exercise: Developing New Habits. Introduction to Beginners Mind Via Food Waste

Maria Stone shared her story of how she put her intentions to connect to nature into practice. What will your story be? Good intentions require us to develop new habits. Developing new habits requires awareness of what triggers our current behaviour and then taking a new approach (or using beginner’s mind) to the situation. We’ll be discussing how habits are developed and we’ll practice using beginner’s mind, setting new intentions and forming new nature relatedness habits using the topic of food waste.

14.00 Mindful Cookery Session: Flexing Your Zero Food Waste Muscle Memory

Mindful Chef, Marian Reed, welcomes you in to the kitchen for a creative cooking session. You’ll be putting your nature relatedness and zero food waste intentions to use! Marian will be presenting you with a range of ingredients and instructing you how to put techniques for flavour mastery, pantry management and leftover wizardry to use. You’ll develop your Zero Food Waste Kitchen muscle memory as we whip up a sumptuous vegetarian Sunday lunch.

17.00 Reflections and Intention Setting for Your Return to the Big City


Witherden's Hall is a converted barn, spa and workshop space in Wingham near Canterbury, Kent. Adisham is the closest rail station. It is on the Dover line and departs from London Victoria. The journey time is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. A taxi ride from Adisham station to Witherden's Hall is 5 minutes. If taking the train, we suggest that you book the 8.07 train leaving London Victoria on Saturday 3 June and that you book the 18.23 train leaving Adisham and returning to London Cannon Street on Sunday 4 June. If you drive, free parking is available at Witherden's Hall.


Heather Thomas, Founder of The Mindful Kitchen

Heather grew up in a small New York State town where she passed the farms that produced her food on her way to school in the morning. By osmosis, she understood that she was dependent on the land. When she went off to university in Boston, she discovered that not everyone saw the world in the same way. That perplexed her and she vowed to do something about it...someday. Initially her career brought her to London where she spent more than a decade working in the arts (Tate and the Royal Academy of Arts) and charity sectors ( In her spare time, she started to explore mindfulness and got her certification in the Japanese art of Reiki. Yet, that voice inside of her head that kept saying do something about food culture kept getting louder. In 2014, she packed up and moved to Denmark to put herself in the centre of the Nordic Food Movement, earned her MBA at Copenhagen Business School, completed a thesis of the business of food waste and started-up her own foodie business. She is the founder of The Mindful Kitchen, a social enterprise that's developed a technique to blend mindfulness and food to teach people how to connect to nature through food. The Mindful Kitchen is featured as a part of Ace Hotel London Shoreditch's programme, has done workshop collaborations with Hoi Polloi restaurant and will be presenting at The Good Life Experience in Summer 2017. We also create private events for corporate and individual clients in the UK and Denmark. Heather also works as a consultant at Sustain, the UK alliance for better food and farming. In 2017, she trained in climate change communications with Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project and is a certified Climate Reality Leader. She splits her time between Copenhagen and London.

Marian Reed, Co-Founder of The Mindful Kitchen

Marian grew up in Philadelphia, in a home where her Italian grandmother taught her the true value of food - not to mention how to cook like a chef! Food has been Marian's passion throughout her life. She's worked on orchards, as a fishmonger and in the kitchen at a restaurant where she's learned from chefs trained in New Nordic cuisine. Marian is the chief recipe developer at The Mindful Kitchen. She'll be cooking your meals and leading your Mindful Cookery sessions in the kitchen. Marian and Heather were both drawn to Copenhagen as an epicentre of a new food culture. They met at business school and together founded The Mindful Kitchen.


Should you have any questions, contact Heather at

General Admission

Not Available