How do you feel right now? How do you want to feel? Do you want to learn more about yourself and live more in the moment?

With each of the workshops on the Creative Tools Retreat – in photography, cookery and creative writing – we aim to lead you on a journey of self-exploration and equip you with tools of creative expression that can enhance your daily life. There will be plenty of time to relax and reflect: read a book, write, chat over a cup of tea, sit out and watch the sun set.

Claire Bemister, self-portrait (2019)

Claire Bemister, self-portrait (2019)

We live in a culture dominated by the human portrait. Yet we all know that much of what we see online isn’t real.

portrait Photography workshop

Find joy in real beauty

Turn your gaze outwards, get out into the light, and explore the beauty of real humanity in this workshop with acclaimed portrait photographer Claire Bemister.

Claire will help you capture moments of joy and meaningfully share them with friends and family. Learn how to harness the settings on your camera, discover effective composition techniques and play with lighting to take more real, more dramatic and more expressive images that you will genuinely cherish for years to come – not just for the momentary dopamine hit of an Instagram “like”. You will need to bring your own camera for this workshop.


Philosophy & Creative Writing workshop

Be inspired by timeless wisdom to express yourself


Let teacher, writer and speaker Adam D’Souza introduce you to timeless wisdom from the last three thousand years. Inspired by the ideas, you can begin to tell your own story.

Adam will introduce you to accessible philosophy from ancient Greece to twentieth century sci-fi – relatable ideas which transcend religious and cultural boundaries.

We endeavour for these ideas to inspire you to make a journey of self-discovery through creative writing. You are invited to create a storyboard, a technique used by professional copywriters and playwrights, to draw out the story inside you. Use memories from your own life or create imaginary worlds – the choice is yours. These workshops will explore both internal and external communication: your self-narrative, how you interact with the world, and how these are intimately connected. Our hope is that you return to your daily life as a more empowered, expressive and confident communicator.


Cookery workshop

Therapeutic cookery

The need to connect, nurture and commune, both in crisis and joy, is something we can all relate to. The power of cooking to create a communal bond of togetherness through the ‘breaking of bread’ is recognised in cultures throughout the world and history. This is often overlooked in our busy modern world.

Professional chef and cookery instructor Jacqueline Wise will take you on a culinary experience to expand your cooking repertoire. Cooking outdoors on an open fire with delicious local ingredients, you will relax and reconnect, enjoying multiple courses as the sun sets over the woodland. This hands-on workshop is suitable for all abilities and will leave you feeling more confident in the kitchen, with skills and recipes to cherish forever. Learn how to make your own flat breads from scratch and how to cook steak over a wood fire. Discover tenderisation and marination techniques, and how to flambé with brandy like a pro chef. Rest assured, no one will go hungry!