As our boat bounds across the Solent from Portsmouth harbour, Spitbank Fort emerges from the English channel. A mysterious grey relic fit for a Bond villain…
Stepping off the boat, i’m relieved to find instead, a beautifully restored luxury 8 bedroom hotel. The location for my overnight Yogagise retreat with yoga teacher, Sarah Highfield.
The fort, considered an ancient monument, was originally built to keep out the French back in the 1860’s. But no luxury hotel is complete without a healthy supply of Laurent-Perrier, so thank goodness this rule has since relaxed.
After a guided tour and swift lesson on military history, we are left to explore the secret passageways around the fort.
Guests can cosy up in little snugs or climb the lighthouse for the highest vantage point. Fly kites from the bird’s nest. Fish for mackerel. Or watch catamarans sail around the fort in the afternoon sun.
The open space on the roof provides the perfect spot for yoga. I breathe in the sea air whilst saluting the sun but it doesn’t last for long. We are still in Portsmouth don’t forget…
The distinctive sound of a fog horn summons us to dinner, where pre-drinks are served in the Victory Bar. Followed by a candle lit supper in Officer’s Mess.
The onsite chef has devised an elegant menu using locally sourced seasonal ingredients. All topped off with a cheese course served back in the Victory Bar.
But it doesn’t end there… Before we sneak off to our bedrooms, adorned with antique furniture and collapse into our beds fit for Napoleon himself. We head to the roof where we end the night toasting marshmallows around the fire pit. And sink our aching muscles into a hotpool while gazing at the stars…
The dates for Yogagise at Spitbank Fort are: Monday 26 June, Tuesday 11 July, Tuesday 25 July and Monday 7 August and costs from £975.00 for two people, per room. For more information visit the website.
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