Saturday, 30 September 2017

Heavenly - Our first Relax & Restore Retreat day!

We had a wonderful Retreat day today with Laura.

The day was spent taking part in yoga and meditation.... 

Mindfulness walking in the grounds ....

After a delicious and nutritious lunch Laura led a 'gratitude' session

Deliciously Ella's Bean Stew served with brown rice and smoked quinoa, roasted cauliflower, sweet potato wedges and houmous

followed by


This is a great book The Wellbeing Journal, it has been developed in partnership with Mind, the mental health charity, with all royalties going to the charity.  It's full of colouring pages, quotes to contemplate and plenty of space to record your own thoughts, feeling and experiences.
I love the colourful illustrations.

We had some great postcards, everyone chose one that spoke to them today to take home.

We finished the day with a very very relaxing Yoga Nidra session, which is lying down on the yoga mat with a blanket, cushion and eye mask whilst Laura's calm and gentle voice guided us through some breathing and relaxation.

One hour of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 4 hours sleep!
(I won't mention the snoring!)

A really great day, join us for our next one on Saturday 25 November

11.30am - 4:30pm


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Oils in the style of Turner

This week's Art class with Claire, was with Oils.

Creating work inspired by Turner.

Claire spent the first part of the morning demonstrating and talking about Turner and his life and style.

Some of our artists managed several works of art during the day.

For some it was quite hard to begin with, learning how to work with the paints, especially if they had previously worked with watercolour.

Once you find the movement within the paint and your brush the magic happens.....

There is always time for a cuppa whilst paint dries!

We had to allow them to dry flat in the hall.

These paintings will take several weeks to dry, depending on the depth of paint.

As you can see there are some great seascapes, light in the skies and some Venetian images.

The colours in the painting below are fabulous.

 At the end of the class we always leave time to enjoy the 'gallery', it's an opportunity to see everyone's work from the day.

 We have a space available on our Venice Watercolour Class, please email me if you would like to come, it's on Thursday 5 October, 9.30am - 3pm, £70 to include all materials and a 2 course lunch with wine.


For those of you who enjoy Turner's work, there is currently an exhibition in Winchester;

at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre
Until 15 October

after that it will be transferring to the Willis Museum (The Sainsbury Gallery) in Basingstoke
21 October - 16 December 2017

There will also be some interseting workshops and talks during the exhibition.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Autumn Aga with Sarah

Sarah was here yesterday taking us through some great new Autumnal recipes

Great tips on using the Aga, interesting ingredients and freezing ideas.

The pudding was a huge hit, Sarah made some pastry with cocoa powder in it and turned it into a gorgeous raspberry and chocolate tart.

Below are some delicious cheese biscuits, ideal as a canape.

We had a variety of main dishes, but this was the most popular, a warming smoky fish pie.

After Sarah's demonstration, everyone enjoyed a tasting lunch of all the food cooked.

I love this photo of my Aga post Sarah's washing up!  All her useful pots drying out before taking them home! 

And finally, here is a roasted butternut squash!

They are lethal to peel and chop, so in Aga-Land, apparently we can just throw it into the roasting oven whole for 45 minutes, then afterwards blitz it, skin, seeds and all (think of all that fibre) and use it in making a delicious butternut squash soup. 

Sarah will be back on Thursday 30 November for our Christmas class, this will be about entertaining and preparing for Christmas parties and get-togethers.  Delicious ideas that can be prepared ahead, or frozen.  With plenty of help and support on using your Aga over the Christmas season.

9:45am - 1:30pm

Friday, 15 September 2017

Acrylics & Collage Class

We started our Art Term with an Acrylics and Collage Class with Claire.

- Cafe Scene -

The majority of the class were new to Arylics.

Claire started the morning talking about acrylic paints and how they are best applied.

Using a canvas board attached to hardboard, Claire then demonstrated how she plans her painting with blocks of colour, preparing your paint beforehand is key, make sure you have got enough mixed up in the colours you need.  She shared a lot of tips with everyone.

Once the blocks of paint had been applied it was time for the collage.  Photocopies of cafe scene photographs were used, waiters, menu boards and customers sitting at tables and chairs.

We used pva glue to stick these onto the dry acrylic paint.

After lunch, it was time to put in the detail and blend the collage into the painting.  If you click on the photo below, you can see Claire's close up, see where she painted in people, where she left collage and added some gold pen to help things stand out. 

Claire spoke about creating a pathway into the cafe, creating depth in the doorway and adding shadows to the floor, all these touches helped complete the paintings.

Below is our brilliant gallery from the day....


When you stand back from the paintings, it is very hard to tell which bit is paint and which bit is collage. 

There are a couple of spaces left in December on our Pen & Wash class and also our Winter Scene.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Our first Relax & Restore class .....

A great start to the Autumn Term

A lovely relaxing class with Laura.

This was the start of our new 6 week Relax & Restore programme, which runs every Monday morning from 9:30am - 11:30am.

We started with some calming meditation and breath work, taking a break for warm banana cake!

This was followed by some restorative yoga, lovely stretches that are held for slightly longer, they are very relaxing and comfortable.

We finished with a calming relaxation, a lie down with blankets, cushions, eye-masks and Laura's twinkly bells.

If you would like to join us for our next 5 week programme, after half term, please email me as the spaces will fill very quickly.

The dates are:

Monday 30 October
Monday 6 November
Monday 13 November
Monday 4 December
Monday 11 December 

The cost is £125

Monday, 4 September 2017

September - Welcome to the New Term!

It's the start of the new term and we have a lot going on, so I thought I would update you with what's new and which classes still have spaces available.

Firstly starting next Monday, the 11th, for 6 weeks we have our new Relax & Restore class with Laura.  This is from 9:30am - 11:30am and is a great start to the week.  Enjoy restorative yoga and meditation in peaceful and relaxing surroundings.  We will provide all the equipment you need plus fruit, cake and water.  The cost for 6 sessions is £150.  Small group.  3 spaces left.

Our Relax and Retreat Day with Laura on Saturday 30 September sold out in record time, so we have another one in the diary for Saturday 25 November.  A perfect day to escape and treat yourself to yoga, meditation, relaxation and delicious food.  The day runs from 11am - 4pm and costs £75.

Sarah returns for 2 Aga classes this term, we have Autumn Treats on Tuesday 26 September, this will include warming recipes such as stews, soups, pies, tarts and pudding, whilst also demonstrating how to use and make the most of your Aga this season.

On Thursday 30 November we have a NEW Christmas Class, called Christmas Parties, from canapes to roulades and tarts to flapjacks this will be full of delicious ideas full of festive flavours.  This is a great class for learning what can be made ahead and frozen at this busy time of year.

Both Aga classes run from 9:45am - 1:30pm and cost £70, this includes a tasting lunch of all the food cooked, a glass of wine, refreshments and a booklet of the recipes to take home with you.

Claire has a full Art term here, with only a few spaces available.  There are 2 spaces on our Acrylics class on Thursday 14 September.  The Pen & Wash class on Tuesday 5 December has 3 places available and our Winter Scene Watercolour on Wednesday 6 December has 6 spaces available.

 All the classes run from 9:30am - approx 3pm and cost £75 (Acrylics £80).  This includes all of your materials, lunch, wine and refreshments throughout the day.


Our local Framemakers store has been in touch; they are holding a local Art Exhibition and wondered if any Treetops Artists would like to display their work.  If you are interested in submitting up to 3 pieces of work, please email me asap, as all forms and photos need to be in by
27 September.
  There are prizes available, you can sell your work and there will be bubbly on launch day
Saturday 7 October!


During the summer, local social enterprise Recovery in Mind got in touch asking if they could use Treetops as a venue to run Wellbeing Workshops.  RinM run classes in West Berkshire for those with mental health challenges, they are all free and are providing a much needed service.  They rely on funding, grants and donations.

To support them, we thought a great day here for you, with all the proceeds going to RinM would be a great way to support them.

We will have various tutors throughout the day, running classes in pilates, yoga, mindfulness walking, a creative activity, healthy eating and it will be great fun, as our guinea pigs discovered on our recent pilot day!

We have two dates booked; Friday 29 September and Friday 13 October;
timings are 9:30am - approx 3pm and the cost is £80.

Please help us support Recovery in Mind.  For more information about them please click on the link: 

That is all for now!  We hope to see you this term

Best wishes