Morning HIIT workouts, treks in the countryside, cooking up a storm, chats over a bottle of Prosecco (because, BALANCE)…Yep, THIS is pretty much what happens when five health, food and fitness blogger girls go away for a long weekend…
One of the best things about social media and blogging is coming across like-minded people, having a shared interest and passion, wherever they are in the world. I’m very lucky that in the past couple of years since living in Manchester, I have met some amazing people who I now call my close friends thanks to our mutual love for all things healthy living and eating.
This weekend, my gals Vicki, Sophie, Katie, Sophia and I headed over to West Yorkshire to stay in the stunning Swallow’s Nest cottage, a brilliant find thanks to Air B’n’B. Leading busy lives, this was a chance for us all to chill, have fun and get to know each other a bit better – and of course, get our heads together for some exciting blog projects on the horizon. This was the perfect setting; an interior that we all referred to as ‘house goals’. Just look at the photos…
You may have seen what we got up to over on our social media channels (soz for spamming!), but I thought I’d write a little post to share some of our highlights. I already can’t wait for our next getaway together!
GETTING OUR SWEAT ON OUTDOORS
Considering we all love fitness in our own ways, this weekend was the perfect opportunity to make the most of the countryside and use it as a fitness space.
Kicking off the first full day, it was only right that personal trainer Vicki led a 30 minute HIIT session in the morning, a sure-fire way to get our hearts going. Using the land around the cottage to sprint, jump and lunge our way through a workout, it was a lot of fun and gave our bodies the burn. This was before the sweat fest…
A 5km trek around the stunning reservoir in the sunshine on Saturday afternoon was a great chance for us to chat and walk while enjoying the gorgeous scenery. Growing up in North Yorkshire, I’m a country girl at heart so this was a home from home. I’ll point out that Slaithwaite isn’t exactly flat, particularly the long windy road up to the cottage – as Sophie said, it was a bloody killer – especially after our workout earlier in the day. Our bums and thighs were definitely feeling it later…
MAKING THE MOST OF A STUNNING KITCHEN
A huge space, plenty of natural lighting and a modern decor, the kitchen at Swallow’s Nest was simply a dream. One of the best things about the weekend was being able to be in the kitchen together and do our thing – it would have been a crime not to make use of it. Friday night drinks were courtesy of Sophie, introducing us to Bombay Sapphire gin, slimline tonic and Rose Diamond rose water…divine! We also stocked up on snacks from a nearby Aldi store to put on a tasty spread.
After our workout on the Saturday morning, we all did our bit to cook up the most Instagrammable brunch – a combination of smashed chilli and lime avocado, sauteed kale in coconut oil, tomatoes and poached eggs (shout to Sophie for poaching 12 eggs B2B perfectly) after we all whizzed up our own protein smoothies. Just. Look. At. That. Spread.
In between other things, I was happy to whip up some baked treats using the ingredients we had in – including these Oaty Chocolate Cookies with a peanut maple drizzle (thanks Sophia!) and Chocolate Chip Banana Breakfast Bars… I’ll be sharing the recipe for these soon. I’d like to say thanks to Naturally Guilt-Free for providing me with some amazing raw, gluten/dairy/refined sugar-free treats too!
On Sunday when Sophia and Katie had left (boo!), the remaining three of us cooked up a super simple but incredibly delicious dinner using up what we had in the fridge. Sophie had mentioned about making a Shakshuka (Baked Eggs) style dish, and what do you know, we had eggs, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh herbs to use up – it was meant to be!
Before we left on the Monday morning, shout to Vicki for making the three of us breakfast – look how cute these Chia & Oat Protein Puddings are, topped with berries and our fave Pip & Nut, The best way to end a top weekend!
EXPLORING THE LOCAL AREA
As well as the food and fitness side, it was nice for us to explore a new place together, an escape from the busyness of city centre living. On the way back from our walk on Saturday, we stumbled across the friendly Green Valley Grocer which stocked all kinds of health foods alongside local produce, much to our delight. Cute coffee house and restaurant, Vanilla Bean also caught our eye, which we stopped at for coffee and booked for dinner later that evening.
After a chill-out afternoon out in the garden, we had a laugh getting through a few more bottles of bubbly while getting ready and blasting out the tunes.
Then – MORE Prosecco and delicious tapas at Vanilla Bean. We pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves (we forgot that unlike big cities, restaurants or shops don’t stay open late, even on a Saturday night) which was fine for us, as we giggled and stuffed our faces. Like I said before, balance and all that. It’s fair to say we must have walked off most of the meal thanks to the hilly walk of doom back to the cottage…
The five of us also discussed some pretty exciting ideas from a blogging point of view, which we’re going to start working on now we’re back. What I love about these girls is that they share the same passion, drive and ambition when it comes to doing things – so watch this space for some things coming up in the near future!