Essex couple turn garden into wellbeing haven

WE would all like some release from our everyday stresses – but one family in Littlebury have gone a step further by devoting their lives to helping others to “feed their soul”.

Giles and Juliette Bryant have used their decades of combined experience in health and wellbeing to open a Retreat Centre at their home.

The pair have installed a Yurt – a portable, wood-framed dwelling of Mongolian origin – in their back garden where they offer one-on-one sessions in yoga, healing and meditation. They have also grown a medicinal herb garden, run workshops such as raw chocolate making, and provide nutritional advice using ancient recipes.

“People can come here to relax and unwind from the stresses of their life and connect with nature,” said Giles.

“It is so important to take time out, and the feedback we have had has been really positive. People have come in for an hour, completely forgotten everything else, and left with a different outlook on the challenges they face.”

Giles and Juliette, who have two sons, seven-year-old Samuel and eight-month-old Eliah, have taken their ideas into schools – “it is good to teach children from a young age to help prevent issues when they are grown up”, says Juliette – and run a series of online films, called Juliette’s Kitchen, to show people how to make recipes such as nettle soup.

Giles trained as a barrister before ditching the robes to concentrate on yoga, conservation and music, while Juliette has a background in nutrition, meditation and drama.

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“I trained in law but it did not feed my soul,” said Giles. “But I have used those skills in research and presentation and aligned them with what I do now.

“I have taught over 5,000 classes and worked with people from all walks of life, from children to the elderly. That has proven to me that these tools are accessible to everyone.”

Juliette, who got into healing work 15 years ago while helping her terminally ill mother, said: “The aim is to empower people, to show them how simple and effective it is to use the things around them and incorporate them into their daily life.”

The pair are holding an open day on June 21 at their Retreat Centre, 4 Bakers Row, Walden Road, Littlebury. The day of free wellbeing will include universal yoga, meditations, world peace ceremony and labyrinth building. For details or to book visit, call 07740 663493 or e-mail