Body, Mind & Soul Yoga Retreat at Elsick House

Ivana and Adrijana at Real Soul Yoga are offering you a truly wonderful, energising, nurturing and relaxing retreat which will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul and help make you feel like new again.

The 4-day “Blooming in May” Body, Mind and Soul Retreat is taking place at Elsick House, Aberdeenshire between 2nd and 5th May 2019.  Find out more, in this guest blog post by Ivana at Real Soul Yoga!

For your gorgeous body

The retreat will include one to two daily yoga sessions (based on Ashtanga yoga) plus a short and sweet massage for everyone (this is optional), however it’s available to everyone that comes along. 

For your mind

Guided meditation and exploration sessions. We will explore meditation and by the end of the retreat we hope you will find what works for you and how you can apply it in your life to manage the daily stresses.

For your soul

The beauty of Elsick House, its luscious gardens, peaceful setting, meeting new retreat friends or enjoying your own company (there will be plenty of private space for reading, walk and having time for yourself).

Hopefully it will be a sunny weekend in May so you can even eat al fresco…

Your gorgeous body and mind also needs rest and deep sleep so you can relax in one of the bright and tastefully decorated rooms. There is a choice of accommodation available (there are 4 x twin rooms, 2 x singles, as well as 2 x doubles and 2 x super kings). Maximum capacity is for 16 people (this includes sharing of rooms)

For your belly

We will have the lovely chef Nikki to prepare delicious, plant based (vegetarian and/or vegan) food throughout the retreat, plus healthy snacks and drinks to nourish and replenish you. We promise you will be fed well. Let food be thy medicine (at least for the weekend).

So what do you think?

Can you believe all of this is on your doorstep?

Would you like to retreat with us for three nights and four days and enjoy some time out for yourself?

More info on the programme

You will have time to dig deeper into your yoga practice which will include daily morning yoga classes followed by afternoon yoga workshops (we will get into those tight hips, shoulders, hamstrings)…. 

If you’d like to explore how yoga and meditation practices bring our thoughts and emotions to the surface, we’d love to organise a session or two where we touch on our inner states and what impact they have in how we show up in the world and indeed on our yoga mat. We’d like for you to not only feel more physically and mentally strong after the retreat, but also more emotionally grounded and self assured.

Of course any of the sessions (including meditation) is optional. Eating, relaxing, resting and sleeping and indeed doing anything which fills your heart with joy is compulsory. It is YOUR retreat and we’d be honoured to hold a space for you to find some time for you.

Host Backgrounds

Finally, most of you know my background, but if not, you will know I’m pretty passionate about yoga, wellness, meditation, health and wellbeing and I attend further trainings and teachings whenever I can. You can find out more about my yoga background here. My friend Adrijana is an experienced and fully trained massage therapist, Reiki and mediation practitioner who is passionate about self-development and metaphysics. 

How much will it cost?

The retreat will start from £399 for the 3 nights (early bird discounts will be available). These prices will include us and our offering, as well as all the delicious meals, lovely rooms to rest in and of course lots of yoga, meditation and reflection practices and the time to just be and enquire within. Nearly whole 4 days just for yourself! Yes!

How do I book?

To reserve your spot or to find out more, contact


Elsick House is a truly special place to be throughout the year.   The house and private grounds surrounding the country house look sensational in all seasons.  From the beautiful borders in June providing a colour explosion and striking backdrop for photos as seen at Michelle & Tom’s – Summer Wedding and Abbie & Neil’s – Summer Wedding to the Beech Hedgerow lining the drive that transform into auburn hues over Winter (Nina & Iain’s – Winter Wedding), be ready to fall in love.

I sat down with our House Manager Alison (while she skilfully prepared our House Keeper’s 60th Birthday Party meal in the Elsick House country kitchen) to get her take on Weddings and to understand how each season offers new opportunities.

Photo Credit: The Gibsons Photography


Spring means Daffodils (lots of them), Bouncing Rabbits and a Birdsong Explosion

Spring at Elsick House is Daffodils (lots of them), Bouncing Rabbits and a Birdsong Explosion. With Elsick Farms based on the wider Elsick Estate, the background hum of birds, bees and new life is punctured by moo-ing calves enjoying the spring pastures.   Spring brings the Marquee back to the walled garden after its winter hibernation.  In addition, the pond at the front of the house comes back to life, framed by beautiful lush grass and tall ancient trees creating a beautiful spot for photos over the bridge.


Summer Sunshine

Following the beauty of spring, summer delivers beautiful borders, a blooming pergola, summerhouse cocktails and a sun drenched marquee. Although not guaranteed, summer provides more opportunity for outdoor weddings. We were extremely lucky in 2018 with the wonderful summer – we do hope to achieve many more in 2019!

As you will be aware, we cannot control the weather but we do give it every opportunity. You can decide on the morning of your wedding if you want to be married in the marquee (for weddings greater than 50) or if you want to be married outside. The marquee is set up in two halves with windows the full length so that your guests can enjoy the magnificent walled garden and rose pergola while they wait for you to walk down the aisle. The marquee is a lovely bright space, south facing and offers a complete blank canvass for you to personalise.

Marquee Weddings

Our typical hire package involves a 3 night weekend (Friday to Monday) stay.  We can however, offer weekday hire, venue only and a 2 night option depending on availability. If you have any specific requirements, get in touch via email at

As Elsick House is an exclusive use venue, the whole house and grounds are yours for the duration of your stay. It is your home for the full hire period which means you have the opportunity to arrange a summer BBQ with your friends the day after the wedding, hog roast, lawn games or perhaps hire in a hot tub and watch the stars in the sky with your bridesmaids the night before the wedding, sipping champagne reminiscing about old times. You can chose for your wedding party preparations to start in the drawing room with family and friends or have your make-up artist and hairdresser visit your king size room with your bridesmaids. We want you to feel right at home at Elsick! We have some lovely examples of the Marquee in summer here.

Apricot Tree – Anne and Pierre

Hayley Fraser Photography – Stephanie and Matt

Photo Credit: Hayley Fraser Photography


Autumn brings changing colours and conkers a-plenty

Autumn is a magical time with changing colours and conkers a-plenty. As the air turns cooler, leaves turn and fall from the tall trees, bronzed beech borders transform the drive, birds arrive and others make their journey to warmer climes – the garden is rich with berries, seeds and conkers. As the evenings draw in, there’s no need to retreat to the house just yet. In the evening, the house and garden is lit up to ensure you and your guests can enjoy the garden into the early hours.

Photo Credit: Blue Sky Photography

As mentioned previously, we can set up hot tubs on our new patio – just a hop, skip and a jump from the kitchen fridge, the Champagne can be topped up without getting too cold! While the weather may be too chilly for an outdoor wedding at this time of year, Elsick House can accommodate smaller house weddings for up to 50 guests where you can choose to be married in our reception hall like Angie & Jim’s – House Wedding or in the drawing room. If your numbers exceed this, our marquee is still available until October and can accommodate up to 250 guests. See Louise & Peter’s – Marquee Wedding for some ideas.


Winter Wonderland and that Festive Feels

Last but not least is winter at Elsick House and the festive feelings this time of year brings. The open fire in the drawing room is a perfect place to gather around with the family the night before the wedding. The drawing room can also be set up for an intimate formal meal the night before if you choose or alternatively order in a pizza for a relaxed informal night. This is always a great opportunity for the wedding party to meet, relax and settle in to the house for the weekend.

The house can be dressed in any way you like and rooms can be flexible to suit your numbers and room pairings. The fireplaces in the dining room, drawing room, study and bedrooms can be beautifully framed to create a real focal point for your winter wonderland. In 2017 Robin’s Egg transformed the house for Nina and Iain’s wedding.

With the dark nights we offer the opportunity to light up the house, creating a stunning atmospheric backdrop for photos and impressive statement for evening guests arriving. Winter weddings at Elsick House are considered off season therefore are available at a lower cost when compared with summer weddings. Since the marquee is not available from November to March, Elsick House can accommodate only House weddings during this time.


So, what season are you?

We hope this has given you lots of food for thought. Be sure to click on the links above to see some beautiful examples of real weddings at Elsick House.

Keep up to date with news and special offers by following us on Facebook @elsickhouseofficial and on Instagram @elsickhouse. Current availability to book a wedding at any time of year can be viewed on our website


Take a look at the video of The Queen showing Sir David Attenborough the trees that were planted in Buckingham Palace’s garden for her children here.

The photos below show various Royals at Elsick House.  Like at Buckingham Palace, many of the trees in the grounds at Elsick bear planting plaques, bearing witness to Elsick’s popularity with royal guests over the decades.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth marks the late Duke’s sixth birthday tree planting

Queen Mary attending the third birthday of James Carnegie (3rd Duke of Fife)


Trees still have all their plaques so it is a great opportunity for a treasure hunt with the children!

We carried on the tree planting tradition in 2017 to commemorate our first marquee wedding couple and our first house wedding couple.  Both couples came back to Elsick House to plant a tree to mark this memorable occasion along with the Duke and Duchess of Fife. We even managed to make use of the “Ceremony Spade” for the event which has been used by the Royals families since 1920.

Lauren and Justin – Our first House Wedding Couple

Jennifer and Keith – Our first Marquee Wedding Couple


Why don’t you treat yourself and your family to an exclusive evening at Elsick House – perhaps for an anniversary, a milestone birthday or an engagement party?

Imagine your guests driving down our North drive, through the fabulous iron gates and arriving at the grand front door of Elsick House.  We will welcome your guests with a drinks reception in the reception hall with a little jazz playing in the background to set the scene.

Your guests will be welcome to explore the ground floor as they catch up and wait for dinner to be served.  Your guests can lounge on the chesterfield in the study or sit around the open fire in the drawing room while sipping a glass of red.

A three course dinner will be served by our catering partners Hudsons Catering from their glorious fine dining menu while you reminisce about the good old days!

If you would like to find out more, please get in touch here


Setting the scene

Marquee wedding guests are encouraged into the country house via the grand reception hall for your drinks reception.  The ground floor is for your guests to explore, whether this be in the comfortable drawing room, dining room or in the snug study.

 With a glass of champagne in hand, we encourage your guests to explore the grounds via the door by the study.  This door takes your guests into the south facing gardens of Elsick House.  The rotating summer house can be used to serve your guests further beverages. Perhaps you could have a beer barrow by the string quartet in the corner or an ice cream cart by the lawn games laid out for the children and big kids!

Canapes and champagne top-ups can be arranged by your waiting staff to keep your guests content while you head to the barley fields, woodland or lake with your photographer.

As the sun dips slightly in the sky, we encourage your guests to move from the garden to the gated walled garden towards the sun dial at the rose pergola.  The rose pergola provides a romantic and elegant walkway to the entrance to the marquee.  Perhaps lanterns sit on the steps or flowers drape the handrail to link the marquee to the herbaceous borders below.

Your guests enter the floored marquee to see your tables assembled, your personalities shine through as months of planning, tears and craft adventures come to fruition.

Once your guests are seated, you enter the marquee to a roaring applause.  The new Mr & Mrs, family and friends are reunited once more to celebrate into the small hours.

The joys of a Marquee Wedding at Elsick House

Our marquee is installed as standard with windows along its south facing wall. We love the light, bright and airy feel of the marquee. The height of the marquee allows you to play around with height in terms of hanging flowers, balloons or creative lighting. As the sun begins to set, uplighters around the perimeter frame the marquee beautifully in time for your evening guests, dancing and evening buffet!

The marquee is large enough to be segregated into two main areas. The first area is where your day guests enjoy your beautiful meal provided by Hudsons Catering. This area is segregated by the marquee curtain ensuring the space feels right for your numbers. The area behind the curtain is where your dancefloor is hidden, waiting for your evening guests and band to arrive. Your band can enter directly to the dancefloor area to set-up as required without interrupting your meal and speeches.

The marquee is large enough that no table movement is required. If additional tables and seating are required for evening guests, these are set-up behind the curtain on the dancefloor so no table movement is required – it’s seamless!

Further details

The marquee is 25m x 12m, can accommodate up to 200 guests and is available for weddings and other events from April to October.

The marquee costs include tables, chiavari chairs, wooden flooring, chandelier lighting, PA system, bar structure, cake table, heating and toilet facilities. All you need to think about is your design and perhaps your florist to create the finishing touches.

The grounds are completely private to you and yours for the duration of your wedding weekend.

For further information or to arrange a visit, get in touch here