As Autumn draws in, I cannot think of anything more relaxing than leaving the office early on a Friday evening to escape to the Park Hotel Kenmare. Catching the 5 o’clock train from Heuston station, I leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind as the train passes through fields and farmlands, reaching its final destination as the night draws in. A friend who regularly joins me, hits the nail on the head when she describes the hotel as having ‘gracious hospitality’. The staff are warm and welcoming and with log fires and an oldy-worldy interior, the hotel feels as refined as an elegant old lady. Continue reading “An Autumn Spa Break at the Park Hotel Kenmare”
Letter writing is a gift. Today, I will sit down and write a letter to respond to an invitation long overdue. Instead of texting, tweeting or messaging, I will write a proper note on beautiful Florentine stationary. I will use the ink pen my husband gave me long ago as a Valentines gift and write in indigo blue. Once I have made my greetings, I will try and write an appropriate letter suitable for the time elapsed. Writing at my own pace, I will scribe whatever comes into my mind and simply let the words flow. Continue reading “The gift of letter writing”
As you go from Place de Vendome, in the centre of Paris in the direction of Jardin des Tuileries, on the corner of Rue de Castiglione, you can find the Six Senses Spa Paris. I had heard about its unique interior, and was curious to experience its fabled futuristic and ecological environment on my recent visit to the capital. Upon arriving however, I discovered more of a rural retreat in the city than something from the future. And while its iconic cocoon shaped treatment rooms were very contemporary, throughout the rest of the Six Senses Spa Paris, there was a sympathetic focus on nature – which I liked very much. Continue reading “Unwinding at the Six Senses Spa Paris”
As if by chance or maybe destiny, I find myself in the lucky position to be able to attend a week long yoga retreat taught by Paula and David from ashtanga.ie in the small hilltop town of Montefiore, on the east coast of Italy. The road to Angeli di Montefiore where the the yoga centre is located is steep, winding and narrow but offers the most beautiful panoramic views overlooking sloping valleys down to the sparkling blue Adriatic Ocean. The owner Heike, who picks me up from the nearest bus stop, tells me that angels brought her to Montefiore and indeed the old stone farmhouse and courtyard alongside the purpose built yoga shala do seem to have a celestial mystique about them.
Why Herbal Tea? Well over a year ago, I decided to give up coffee. This not only meant passing up on a morning ritual with my husband and his beloved Gaggia but it also meant giving up romantic notions of sipping cappuccinos in Italian piazzas. On top of this, it abruptly ended my 4pm latte fix and also meant that I no longer had the option of an expresso in lieu of a guilt laden desert. And it soon got worse. Continue reading “Coffee, Herbal Tea and me”
Manju Pattabi Jois is one of the most experienced teachers of Ashtanga yoga in the world and as the son of the Sri K. Pattabi Jois the renowned guru of Ashtanga Yoga Tradition, he has been practicing yoga since the age of seven. Manju has been coming to Dublin annually for many years and his workshops are typically full, drawing a large crowd of yoga practitioners. When I was just starting out in yoga as a beginner, I attended one such workshop and remember being genuinely inspired by his wise and learned approach. Last week, he held a 5 day workshop in ashtanga.ie and though my schedule was tight, I managed to sign up for one morning of mysore practice, pranayama (breath) and chanting. Continue reading “A morning with Manju Pattabi Jois”
” Simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life. Balance of physical, intellectual and spiritual life. Work without pressure. Space for significance and beauty. Time for solitude and sharing. Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life: life of the spirit, creative life, and the of life human relationships” .
I cannot help but pick up Lindbergh’s timeless classic ‘Gifts from the Sea’ and find the book a calming read. My small pocket sized edition is printed on thick creamy paper and has been on my desk for many years. Not only is it a beautiful read but it also contains messages of simplicity and solitude that are shared themes of Unwind and Let Go. Continue reading “Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh”