Yesterday I was very lucky to be able to host yoga and afternoon tea at Alford Manor House! I have been so excited for this event (and a little nervous about the weather!) We were very lucky, the sun shone, a warm breeze blew and the birds sang which made our yoga feel extra special!
Alford Manor House is a beautiful setting, a real gem in the heart of Alford, it is a Grade II listed building and thought to be the largest thatched manor house in the country. The Manor House was built in 1611 and restored in 2004-2006. The house has beautiful gardens and a tearoom and also the Museum of Rural Life, where you can get a glimpse in to the history of Alford.
The house has a very welcoming feel, I have enjoyed every visit to the Manor house leading up to the event, from sitting in the garden with the lovely Margaret, one of the volunteers at the house, planning how the event would go, to sitting in the kitchen planning the menu for the afternoon tea, you can't help but be taken in by the peaceful atmosphere of the house and gardens.
Of course we were very lucky with the weather! It was a beautiful summers day, the breeze was just right, and many of the 18 participants commented on how lovely it was to listen to the sounds of the trees rustling and the birds singing! But of course we had a plan B! Had it rained the Manor House volunteers had us covered, the marquee had been cleared so we could do yoga in there if needed, which would of be lovely if necessary, but how lucky we were to be in the garden!
The gardens at the Manor House are maintained by volunteers and the herbs and fruits and vegetables grown in the garden are used by the chef in the Manor House kitchen. There is so much to look at, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and many beautiful flowers. The garden is walled so it felt lovely and warm. It really is like a secret garden in the heart of Alford!
Our yoga practice focused on connecting with nature and enjoying being outdoors and we spent time setting our intentions with intention setting jars. Everyone received a Tree Agate crystal to help them to connect to nature, we talked about the benefits of walking barefoot, and we set our intentions by writing them down and placing them inside a little jar filled with rose buds and amethyst and rose quartz chips. We placed our crystals and our intention jars at the top of our mat and we then each planted a seed to take home as a reminder that in order to grow, just like seeds, our intentions need to be nurtured. The yoga was slow and gentle, tree pose outdoors felt particularly special! We closed with a seed themed meditation as a reminder to nurture our intentions in order for them to bloom.
And then it was time for our afternoon tea! I was so excited for this as of course I had been sent a sneak peak at the menu! When Margaret and I met to discuss the food I said I would like a vegan afternoon tea. Margaret absolutely excelled and came up with the most delicious afternoon tea menu, without a doubt the best I have ever had. From creative sandwich fillings to a yummy range of cakes and fruit loaf, fresh fruit skewers, not to mention the delicious scones and homemade plum jam.
Everyone commented on the food and how much they enjoyed it. Margaret, assisted by another lovely young lady did a great job of making sure everyone had a full teacup and got to try all of the wonderful food.
So all that is left to say is thank you, to all that attended, to the weather gods for blessing us with the perfect day, and of course to Alford Manor House and its dedicated volunteers who keep it so beautifully. We had the best day, thank you!
And.. we will be back, Margaret and I have already penciled in a date for next year, I am excited already!
With love, Steph xx