Guest review: how Kate’s Pilates holiday in France has got her back on the right track
Kate found herself in the predicament we all find ourselves in at one point or another – time off work but no one else free to join you on holiday. She was desperate get away and decided to just take the bull by its horns and join a singles holiday.
She was looking forward to getting out on her own for a holiday filled with activities that she loved; and found the Pilates, Yoga and wellbeing holiday, run by our host Prue, was the package she was looking for.
She booked with us at GoLearnTo, chose her flights, and found it all to be smooth sailing. We caught up with her so you can get an insider’s view on what to expect during your time in rural France with Prue and her team.
So how was your arrival?
As airport transfers are included, I simply walked off and headed to the cabbie waiting for me. We did wait for one other woman’s flight to arrive, then headed off to the retreat together, which gave us some time for introductions in the car.
We got to the venue a bit early, which was perfect to meet Prue’s son, have a nosy around and get a tour, then relax by the pool and wait for the other guests to turn up.
Overall, everything was easy, laid back and welcoming.
Who else was on the holiday?
There were about 8 guests in the group, which was the perfect amount of people as we did have some say in what we wanted to plan to do outside of the provided activities.
There was a couple, the rest were single, so it was a perfect mix and everyone got on famously… not to mention Prue and her instructors and son.
As you already have the same activities in common, it is the perfect set up for the solo traveller – especially one that may not have friends or a partner interested much in the wellbeing aspects.
What was your typical day like?
Funny you should ask; as there are set plans but you never know where your free time can take you.
You have an hour and a half of Pilates after breakfast every morning, along with some nutritional consultation, followed by lunch. You will have lovely dinners every night, and chilled out evenings in the gorgeous countryside. However, free time in the afternoons can lead you to some of the unexpected. You may just want to just stay the pool or go cycling but Prue has plenty of ideas and reading material to help you find other activities too.
One day, as a group, we were talking about how lush the river looked and how nice the weather was. Next thing we knew, we rented canoes and were on the local river (for a tenner). Prue was delighted to help and her and an instructor gave us rides to the canoe hitch.
On another random day, a few of us decided to hike up and explore a windmill. Quite unexpected, the windmill not only baked bread but they offered us a tour (and one of our group translated), which was completely unplanned. Of course, we brought some fresh bread back for dinner.
Another afternoon, Prue organised for a masseuse to come to the venue and we all splurged on private massages in the gite, which went great after a few days of sporty activities. I truly believe that anything you would like to try or do, Prue can make it happen while you’re in her care.
How did you spend your evenings?
You’ll find yourself isolated and far from the nearest local town, which in no way is a bad thing.
Meals went from about 7-8, then we would all hang out on the patio on the verandah and have a good chat. On a rainy night, we just stayed in the lounge in the farmhouse, some went to bed early, some stayed up, and it all really worked for everyone.
Although wine is offered at dinner (wellbeing is definitely about being well rounded), Prue has a system where you can have some more wine or a relaxing gin and tonic at night, and just pay your tab at the end of the week.
Both days and nights are relaxing and peaceful, but you will also find games, DVDs, access to the pool you can use whenever and hammocks.
Which day was your favourite and what did you do?
Every day was bliss, but I truly loved the Pilates, followed by the yoga.
The Pilates instructor, Angela, was really hands on and corrective with the Pilates, and had a great sense of mastery and how to help every individual improve. Now that I am back in England, I have gone back to local Pilates and encourage my instructors here to correct me and be hands on when I need it.
The food was amazing, the atmosphere, and the quality of hosting – any activities and ideas were encouraged, along with many helpings of food.
The nutritionist and learning about my own personal body and what it needed was above and beyond; along with a personal plan, feedback, and a list of things to get me on track back at home. The plan is not complicated, but easy to follow and recommends supplements. However, it is it is very individualised. The care of the nutritionist (all included in the price) has been helping me meet goals long after the holiday has finished.
What advice would you give to other solo travellers?
If you’re looking for a first time solo holiday, you cannot go wrong with this. Everything from the hosting, to the teaching, nutritionist, food, drinks, farmhouse and rural location couldn’t even be improved (ok, unless the mosquitos hadn’t been so at home there as well).
One great way to tell if a holiday is a great one is by just how well the seasoned travellers rate it. Plenty in our group of 8 have done other solo holidays (and other wellbeing ones), and Prue’s holiday was rated extremely high, with many opting to go back again (I am hoping on getting there next year too).
There is something so nice about being welcomed and having everything taken care of for you but also some excitement in finding other activities to join and see where your day takes you. Nothing beats a host who knows what’s on offer in the area… that’s what a host should do!
As for all of us on the holiday are all currently keeping in touch and perhaps will plan to go away together in the future.
Looking to experience your first solo wellbeing holiday, with individualized instruction and nutrition guidance? Join Prue and make some new friends on her Pilates, yoga and wellbeing holiday in France.