The Book Matchmaker Reading Retreat

Ever wondered what goes on at these retreats that are popping up everywhere now?!  Me too.

Well, last weekend, I got to go to The Book Matchmaker’s first ever ‘Reading Retreat’ as a small member of the Team behind it all, and I’m here to tell you all about it. {*Spoiler Alert* It was such a gorgeous weekend away!} Although, it was stated from day dot that I wouldn’t be available to help after 4:45 on the Saturday as it was Wales v England in the Six Nations…and no amount of washing up, reading, afternoon cat napping was going to keep me away from that one!

The Location

Set down a sweeping drive within the grounds of a sprawling 12 acre estate, Scarlet Hall, Malpas, Cheshire is the perfect marriage of rural meets regal.

A home and farmstead since the 1640s, this Grade II listed manor house boasts open-plan and light-filled spaces in nothing but abundance. An inscription found on the inside of one of the old chimneys, “Ye Friends Meeting House,” says all you really need to know about this warm and welcoming self-catering house in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.

Taken from the Website

Lunch outside…in FEBRUARY!

Spread between the main building and the coach house, Scarlet Hall can sleep up to 22 in 11 luxurious bedrooms.

Each and every room is just absolutely beautiful. The perfect setting for sitting back, relaxing, reading and just taking some time out.

The Reading

There were books dotted about the house free for you to pick up, grab that blanket and snuggle up on the sofa with…or you just got cozy with the one you brought with you. There were books read in a day{!!!}, most of us finished a book while we were there and started a new one. I managed to finish The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann and started The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne. So far…I can’t put it down!

The house had all of these cute little corners where you could loose yourself in your book…

Whether it was inside or outside…

The People

It really was the loveliest bunch of people who all had one thing in common…a huge love for books! It was as if we all knew each other before setting off. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, everyone chatting over breakfast/lunch before squirreling away in between meals to read…and then giggling over a glass of wine in the evening. Watching the rugby was great fun…with two of us supporting Wales, not forgetting Sriti who had come all the way from India for the retreat becoming Welsh for the day and the rest of the group English…between the wine, a bit of banter and trying to explain Rugby to Sriti who had never heard of it before, it was such good fun. Also helped that we won…

Also…#notahendo was used a couple of times!

3 Birthday’s while we were there…!

The Food!

The exclamation mark is needed as there was so much of it! And it was all very, very good!

But yes, the food…there was so much of it. From croissants at breakfast, freshly made soup for lunch, the best jacket potatoes from the Aga to an Indian Afternoon Tea followed by an evening meal cooked by a lovely Chef who joined us for the afternoon/evening. Sunday saw us up early cooking a fry up followed by more lunch and then another chef joined us that evening to cook us up a treat! Not to mention the cake station and never ending tea/coffee throughout!

It was all soo good!

We all decided to dress up a little on the Saturday evening for our meal which was lovely…seeing as most of us were in pyjamas for the rest of the time!

Shropshire Lad showing us how he pulls his pork…#notahendo!

I’m bloody hungry again now…

And then it was time for the toasted marshmallows!

The Pool

There was also a pool and sauna available the whole time we were there…how she didn’t get her book wet I’ll never know! #goodskills. A few of the ladies were so good and even managed a dip before breakfast.

All the little extras

There was so much thought gone into this whole weekend. All the little extras just made it. There were the bookish themed decorations…the Book Matchmaker themed place names…cute balloons…birthday cake and gifts as there were 3 ladies celebrating their birthday while we were there…the aprons we were given to try out over the weeken and a mobile beauty therapist there on the Sunday for those of you who fancied an extra treat!

And last but by no means least, The Host!

Katy, aka The Book Matchmaker, like I mention above, had thought of everything! From the cute names on all of the bedroom doors…to the food…the wine ;) …the thoughtful birthday gifts/celebrations…the magazines…the goodie bags!…all the extras…the LOLS…to the inflatables in the pool…basically, all of the above! Even though I was part of the Team, I still managed to read, relax, WATCH THE RUGBY, get to know people etc and I was just so pleased to see it all come together so brilliantly for her.

Well Done You, Katy…you should be soo proud of yourself.

A Big Shout Out To Clare and Hannah, who are also on The Book Matchmaker Team. Both are great fun to be with, always with a great playlist on the go and make a mean soup…special mention to Nigella Lawson too!

So, back to my first sentence. Ever wondered what goes on at a reading retreat? I hope you’ve got more of an idea now…and get yourself booked on one asap.

Now onto the next one…see you there?!



For more information on The Book Matchmaker, see HERE.

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