Observe Makes Excellent : A Inventive Retreat in North Devon

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Praktyka means ‘follow’ in Polish,” explains Henry Trew. “And that’s one thing that we’ve been striving for in our lives: that stability between being busy with work, discovering time for a private life, and having the ability to additionally develop a artistic follow, whether or not that’s yoga or artwork. It’s about discovering sufficient hours within the day to do the stuff you need to do. That’s what we wished to map onto this place.”

“This place” is a verdant nook of North Devon, the place Henry and his accomplice, Ania Wawrzkowicz, have established a slow-growing eco retreat known as Praktyka that gives vacation lodging, workshops, and retreats.

the heartwood at praktyka, north devon. 9
Above: The Heartwood at Praktyka, North Devon.

5 years in the past, the couple packed up their East London lives and went on a analysis journey throughout Europe. “We had a unfastened concept to search out someplace with a little bit of land to make a house for ourselves and to arrange a venture that may carry different individuals collectively by means of lodging and inventive workshops,” Henry explains. “We had a imaginative and prescient, however we didn’t actually have an in depth plan.”

Over the course of their journey—which took them by means of Poland, France, Spain, France, and Portugal—Ania took notes on the locations they’d stayed, making a listing of what labored in every location. “We all the time requested ourselves: What was wonderful about this place? Why why did it work? What components would we wish to combine into our future life?” Ania rediscovered the pocket book just lately and located an imaginary map she’d drawn of what that life would possibly appear like. “Seeing it once more, I may see the way it correlates very carefully to what we have now created right here.”

the heartwood, praktyka. 10
Above: The Heartwood, Praktyka.

In 2019, their journey introduced them to the sting of Exmoor, the place they discovered a Nineteenth-century farmhouse with sufficient land to comprehend their imaginative and prescient. Work on the venture started simply as lockdown hit. Over the subsequent couple of summers, when borders have been nonetheless troublesome to cross, the UK skilled a growth within the glamping business: “It appeared everybody was placing up bell tents and shepherd huts of their backyard,” Henry remembers. “We wished to do one thing with a bit extra thought behind it.”

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