Moments to Savour: conscious cookery and mindful eating

Explore mindful awareness with the vegan and vegetarian food that you'll harvest, cook and eat on retreat in the beautiful and historic Sharpham House.

You'll harvest, prepare and eat delicious healthy food whilst developing mindfulness skills that you'll digest long after the retreat is done.


During this retreat you'll:

  • Learn how to prepare and cook delicious creative vegan and vegetarian food  
  • Develop mindful awareness of your relationship and your creativity around cooking and eating
  • Reflect on your intent - how do we consciously approach preparing and eating food?
  • Explore the colour, as well as taste and texture of food, and how they affect the body
  • Explore the filed of mindfulness awareness through creativity and creative enquiry 
  • Experience how a positive relationship to food is important in ensuring overall energy, health and well-being


This retreat is for you if you are:

  • New to mindfulness practice or are looking to sustain and reconnect with your practice in a new way
  • Interested in cultivating a joyous and healthy relationship to food 
  • Want to learn new and creative vegan and vegetarian recipes and culinary skills
  • Are willing to engage fully in the programme of mindfulness practice, as well as in the harvesting and cooking activities – see the typical daily programme below
  • In need of rest, replenishment and renewal
  • Looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life

Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety our retreats might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and details of our booking process.


The retreat schedule will include 2 half-hour guided meditation sessions per day with periods of silence to help strengthen the practice.  

Day 1: Arrive between 4-5pm for welcoming talk and settling in

The group will be divided into 2 for the following 2 days.  Below is the typical schedule for Day 2, with day 3 having Group B cooking in the morning.


Wake up


Sitting Meditation

guided on Day 1

(Octagonal Room)


Breakfast and Tasks


Group A: gathering food

Group B: preparing food


Group A: Mindfulness and food practice

Group B: preparing food


Group A: Personal Time





(Groups A and B): Introduction to Mindfulness (practice + attitudinal qualities


Group A: preparing food Group B: gathering food




Group B: Personal time




Personal time


Body scan meditation

(Octagonal Room)


House moves into silence until 09.00am

Final day - Depart 11.45am

The retreat will move into silence each evening from 9.00pm – 9.00am

“I loved learning more about vegetarian cookery and have lots of ideas now for my kitchen. To hear how Janet plans her meals in terms of colours, tastes, textures, balance between different elements, was truly inspirational.”

“Sharpham has been truly inspirational. The house is put together with so much love and attention to detail in every room. It is a joy to be here in such beautiful surroundings and to learn for my own life many important things. These courses do help to change people’s lives for the better. For myself, I have grown immeasurably.”

“I loved the variety of things that were included in the retreat alongside the cooking - mindful movement, yoga nidra and the walk. It felt as though Linda and Janet were really wanting to give us the best experience that they could.”

“I thought you created a lovely space full of love and care whilst gently keeping us on track with the cooking when our energy got too high! I genuinely felt you wanted us to have the best possible experience.”

[What I really liked about the retreat was] “The beautiful house, the countryside, the people, the amazing food. Sharpham is a very special place. It’s now my 3rd stay and I will return.”

“I had a wonderful stay with delicious food, inspiring nature and people. It felt like a home from home”.

“Food for the body and soul. If I could bottle this and take it away!”

“As a first-time retreatant, having mindfulness combined with cooking (which I love) gave me the courage and interest to pursue a retreat.”

“I feel the retreat has nourished my soul and self through the beauty of the nature all around and the love, care, kindness of the people in the house. I came as a thread and feel I’m leaving as a fabric woven with lots of memories”

This retreat takes place in the beautiful and historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House set in a Capability Brown-designed landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.

Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.

Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to Sharpham House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to Sharpham House

Aerial shot of Sharpham House

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.

Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in Sharpham House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.

We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in the House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

£375 Standard room 

£425 Premium room

£495 Heritage room

Janet Bird

Janet Bird

Janet's passion is about nourishing and nurturing the body, whether it is through teaching, bodywork or cooking. She has over 30 years’ experience of working with movement as a massage therapist, studying many different forms.

Meditation and a devotional life have been integral in all she does, as has the ‘work is love in action’ ethos of the Findhorn Foundation where she has spent the last few years. Bringing these qualities into the kitchen is vital for healthy well-being, and Janet feels that it is from this place that we will be inspired to create colourful, simple, tasty food: well-balanced and full of goodness.

Janet loves to teach and share her knowledge of simple vegetarian cooking and how to bring more awareness of the body into our everyday lives as well as sharing the gifts learnt from being a nomad and living all over the world. 

Dr Jo Gosling.

Dr Jo Gosling.

Dr Jo Gosling has over 30 years’ experience in the NHS, initially as a Macmillan Nurse in cancer care then, after gaining a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in1996, as a Clinical Psychologist specialising in managing chronic pain and weight management.

In 2013, she became a Licensed Practitioner for the Understanding your Eating Programme and introduced mindfulness to the services she worked with. She has a longstanding mindfulness practice of 15+ years and trained as a Mindfulness Teacher with Bangor and Exeter Universities. She is listed with UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisation as meeting the UK Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness-Based Teachers (undertaking regular supervision and a commitment to CPD).  Training to teach Mindful Self-Compassion (with Chris Germer and Kristin Neff) combined with a personal health crisis led to a change of direction in life and she now spends most of her time creating fibre art.

A natural follow-on has been to run workshops on ‘Mindfulness and Creativity-Working from the Heart.’ As a freelance mindfulness teacher she has delivered numerous MBCT groups for people with recurrent depression at the Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter, and is a tutor and supervisor on their post-graduate mindfulness-based cognitive therapies programme. Mindfulness, compassion and the cultivation of joy are her greatest supports on her journey to wholeness. 

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