Island detox. Spring cleaning body & mind

When Spring defies the clutches of the winter months, the Island is bathed in the yellow glow of daffodils, mimosa and primroses. As warm light pours through the windows we are instinctively called to sort things out and have a good clean as the longer light-filled days begin to illuminate some of the grubbiness that has accumulated during the darker months. And it’s not just the home that gets a good spring clean, we are drawn to clean up our eating, detox the body and freshen our outlook as the days draw out. 

The Island’s vibrant wellbeing community are offering a wide selection of retreats to detox the body and mind this spring: Godshill Park Farm are hosting a Spring Yoga Weekend amidst the backdrop of daffodils and new born lambs, the Wellbeing Experience at Ventnor Botanic Garden have an abundant schedule to purify yourself through yoga and Revive Island are hosting a weekend focusing on a digital detox by swapping your phone, your notifications and meetings for campfires, dancing, yoga and adventure. Alternatively, how about a sound bath to cleanse the energetic body through healing vibrations? Serenity Sound Healing offer one off private gong bath sessions or you can enjoy a whole weekend of chanting and meditation at the Woodland Retreat exploring the Yoga of Sound.

Massage is a lovely treatment to cleanse the system and a day at one of the Island’s luxury spas like Lakeside Park Hotel in Wootton, or the West Bay Club in Yarmouth is very relaxing. A firm favourite is The Cabin in Ventnor which overlooks the sea and favours organic products.

Simply getting outside is healing on the Isle of Wight, airing the lungs and blowing away the cobwebs of winter. Would you consider walking for your supper? Local forager Paul Noakes organises some great walks through his company Fruit of the Land  Together you search for wild food resources that grow on the Island, the act of foraging itself helping to change the way you see the world. Below is a delicious Nettle Soup recipe that has numerous cleansing benefits including stimulating hair growth, controlling blood sugars and providing relief from water retention. 


  • Half a carrier bagful of stinging nettle tops, or fresh-looking larger leaves
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large onion (or a dozen crow garlic bulbs if you want to be truly wild), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, or even light fish stock
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • A few drops of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few drops of Tabasco


Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the nettles, discarding anything you don't like the look of and any thick stalks. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5-7 minutes until softened.

Add the stock, nettles, potato and carrot. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, purée the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into warmed bowls and float a teaspoonful of creme fraiche on top. As this melts, swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and Tabasco.