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If the looming Christmas party schedule is giving you The Fear before you’ve even mulled the wine, this little getaway could be the perfect antidote.

A silent residential mindfulness and cooking retreat will take place over two days (Friday December 8th – Sunday, December 10th) at the foot of the Ballyhoura Mountains, near Mitchelstown.

It’s a triple whammy of chill: participants will learn to make great veggie recipes, while eating tasty, nutritious food and unwinding in an idyllic forest setting.

And don’t worry; you don’t even have to be spiritual to enjoy all the stress-blasting benefits.

The gurus tell us that mindfulness should be applied to everyday tasks like choosing, preparing and eating food. This two-night learning escape is geared towards people who would like to know how to prepare nourishing Christmas meals that are vegetarian or vegan and cater for people with food allergies.

After each lesson, the group will sit around the table and eat mindfully and in silence. There will also be sitting meditation sessions, slow, mindful walking meditation, reflections around the food we eat, and time to go for longer walks in the stunning mountain surrounds as well as rest.

Yeah; you can actually schedule in a nap (or three).

The retreat will be led by Marjó Oosterhoff, manager and resident teacher of the Passaddhi Meditation Centre just outside Adrigole on the Beara Peninsula.

Marjó will be joined by Paola Vais, a fellow teacher and chef who has been cooking for mindfulness retreats for many years. A Ballymaloe graduate, Paola has cooked in many different settings, from restaurants to tall ships, and is always asked about her delicious, nutritious recipes.

Guests will arrive at 6pm on the Friday, with the €180 ticket price covering the two night stay in twin rooms in the cosy Ballyhoura Mountain Lodges, all food and cooking practices and meditation sessions.

Want to have your vegan cake and eat it in silence? Sign up here.


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