Hug a Bestie! How do we feel about a hug?

There’s been a lot said lately about mental health in relation to human contact.

It’s a big hurrah that a hug is cautiously back on the cards.

oohhh helloooo

The Science of a hug

More most of us a hug brings feelings of safety, contentment and happiness. When someone receives a hug, the body releases the hormone and neurotransmitter, oxytocin, often times referred to as “the love hormone.” Increased levels of oxytocin have been attributed to happiness and the reduction of stress and anxiety. Well, yes please to that!

near and dear

Others space

Perhaps it should also be noted that not everyone enjoys close personal contact and it has been interesting to read the other point of view – maybe it is a good thing that one can now politely decline without causing offence. Us huggers need to make a little ‘note to self’ to be a bit more aware of this. It’s cool! A non-physical hug can certainly be a thing …. The warmth of your dearest friends can shine through whether near or apart.

meeting new friends

Zen the Hen

Spare a little thought when you are organising a hen event – not everyone knows everyone and there may be a couple of sistas who sit outside the main  circle of friends. Wyldesistas weekends often include activities such as a relaxed craft or art session – the ultimate ice breaker and way for sistas to bind and get to know each other a little.

TIP: If you are planning a getaway or hen break with us and not everyone knows each other it may be wise to request that an icebreaker session is placed at the top of the list of experiences. 

Finally let us share, with her permission,  this lovely poem by Kent based poet Clair Meyrick

Clair Meyrick Jun 2015

Hug

Hug big…hug good
I know you’d hug me everyday if you could 
I missed our hug
Whole body hug
A not just anybody hug
A somebody loved hug
A wide open hug
A tops of your fingers to my toes hug
I needed a hug
I missed your hug
I would hug you everyday if I could.

A sea swimming paradise

Sea swimming seems to be more popular than ever at the moment, and guess what makes a perfect place for sea swimming? A small idyllic island with stretches and stretches of breathtaking beaches and wild bays. Although it’s having a surge of popularity of late, the benefits of sea swimming are nothing new – for centuries people have been tapping into the healing power of cold seawater and the fresh sea air.

Sea swimming – have you tried it?

If you still can’t quite fathom why people are braving the sea at all times of year in all conditions (providing it’s safe, of course) then bear with us and we shall explain all about this popular health and wellbeing activity…

The positive effects of sea swimming are rooted in science. A lot of it has to do with the cold temperature’s effect on our bodies. As we are submerged into the water, it causes our blood vessels to constrict, making us work harder to get the blood pumping, which helps improve circulation over time. This shock effect also triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which helps our bodies to repair themselves. It is what creates the feeling of relaxation and contentment you get when you get out of the water, and this in turn will help you to sleep better.

Compton Beach

If you’ve tried getting in the sea at any other time of year in the U.K outside the absolute height of summer, you will be familiar with the stinging sensation you get on your skin from the cold. Your brain will release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, to combat this sensation, which helps with mental health and mood after you’ve gotten out of the water.

You will burn a lot of energy and calories as your body works to keep you warm in the water. This increases metabolism function and has proven to help lose weight. The cold water also exfoliates as well as flushing out impurities in the skin. With the added dose of vitamin D from being outside, it’s great for smoother healthier skin.

Totland

So we dare you to take the plunge and give it a go when you come to visit, and who better to egg you on than your Wyldesistas? Check out our guide to where to get your sea swim on, below. We’d advise checking the tides before you grab your towel and head down.

Top spots for sea swimmers on the Isle of Wight

  • ●  Freshwater Bay
    A popular choice for swimming with locals and visitors alike, the iconic rocks of Freshwater Bay have adorned many a kitsch postcard in its day. Fast forward to today, head to the main beach for your dip – a pebble beach which is very easy to access from the road, with parking nearby.
Freshwater Bay
  • ●  Totland Bay
    Another one on the westside – it’s a great place to be for the evening sunsets over Hurst spit. The mostly sandy dunes make it a lovely spot to splash about, no matter what the tide is doing. You can drive straight down and park on the front. Check out The Waterfront pub or Totland Pier Cafe for post-swim refreshments.
  • ●  St Helens
    Nestled between Seaview and Bembridge, you’ll find St Helens on a stretch of coast where frankly all the beaches are quite lovely. Looking out towards Portsmouth and Hayling Island. It’s worth getting the tides right here, as the low tide is very shallow.
Steephill Cove
  • ●  Steephill Cove
    One of the few Island beaches only accessible on foot, it is a little like walking into a Enid Blyton story with its gorgeous buildings, beach huts, lobster pots and buoys a plenty. Get here early as it’s not much of a well kept secret anymore, but is the perfect spot for a morning dip before the tourist rush. Similarly, later in the day for the same reason. Park in the carpark at the end of Love Lane and follow the footpath signs for the bay.
Whitecliff Bay
  • ●  Whitecliff Bay
    Situated on the most eastern tip on the Island, Whitecliff Bay has the feeling of an Italian cove as you make your way down to its crystal like waters. Protected by the cliff of Culver Down, and neatly tucked round the corner from Bembridge ledge, it’s a protected little bay.

● Compton Bay
One of the Isle of Wight’s most famous beaches – for good reason. A sandy beach stretching for miles, with beautiful views of the white chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down. Great for swimming whatever the tide, with big sand dunes. You can park at either end and make your way down to the beach. The toilets are located in the main Compton Carpark.

Gurnard

● Gurnard
A short walk from Cowes along the seafront is Gurnard, in the Isle of Wight’s northern quarter. In front of the traditional green beach huts, you’ll spot swimmers year round at all times of day. There’s parking all the way along from Cowes, and it’s also easily accessible by bike from Newport along the cycle track and then along the seafront.

Quirky gems to discover on a Wylde Isle of Wight weekend

We can’t wait to be able to welcome people from a little further afield than the shores of our dear little Island. We wanted to tip you off to some of the unusual spots that await you on your Wylde weekend to the Isle of Wight when it’s possible again. Here’s our list of quirky gems for you to discover :

Arty Farty people

The Island has been a cultural hub for centuries, with many greats like Tennyson and Elgar choosing to come here to create work. The first Isle of Wight Music Festival took place here back in the sixties – and that creative tradition continues on to this day. As a result, the Isle of Wight is home to some fantastic creative spaces that are a must-see on your visit here.

Ventnor Exchange

Ventnor Exchange, formerly the old town post office, has been renovated by a homegrown local arts organisation into a theatre, bar and record store. This offers a dose of the bohemian cosmopolitan that Ventnor has become known for. The year-round home of the team behind the Ventnor Fringe festival is a great place to pop in for a drink, browse the records, and check out the regular programme of diverse and critically acclaimed comedy, theatre shows and performances on offer. Find out more on the website ventnorexchange.co.uk

Isle of Wight open studios

There is a rich cottage industry here on the Isle of Wight. To really experience the display of variety and calibre, a visit to the local Isle of Wight Open Studios summer event is your first port of call. See artists and craftspeople at work in their own spaces and get a glimpse into what it is like to be an artist creating here on this beautiful island paradise. The event runs 16th – 22nd July. Find out more on the website isleofwightarts.com

Dimbola Lodge museum and Gallery in Freshwater is a reminder of the cultural sanctuary the Island became to many creative minds. Owned originally by friend of poet Lord Tennyson, Julia Margaret Cameron, a powerful female pioneer in photography. Her images and work can be viewed as a part of the permanent collection. But the gallery also exhibits all sorts of creative exhibitions of both local and international acclaim. There is a fantastic cafe on site run by volunteers and we happen to think they do one of the best cream teas you’ll find on the Island. There’s an admission fee to the museum that helps the organisation continue their work, restoring and protecting the house for generations to come. Find out more on the website Dimbola.co.uk

Festival Island

Festival Island, or so it is known, famously began with the 1960s Isle of Wight Festival event – one of the UK’s first festivals. It is now home to a plethora of festivals and events across the calendar. Covid sadly put a halt to a lot of these last year but, with the hope of things returning to a form of normality this summer, many of these are set to return in some form this year and we for one can’t wait!

The Round the Island Yacht Race is one of many famous sailing events that are held on the Island. This year it takes place on 3rd June. It is always a true spectacle to see the sea littered with hundreds of colourful sails all around the Island’s shores. Watch from pretty much anywhere, with a sea view prosecco not compulsory but advised.

Ventnor Fringe Festival

Ventnor Fringe, a multi-award winning arts festival has been running for over ten years now. Originally set up by a group of local young people, it has made a national name for itself by drawing artists and audiences alike from all over the UK and internationally. The arts festival takes over the town of Ventnor, transforming it into even more of a quirky mecca for the creative, weird and the wonderful . This year, the festival is taking place across ten days from 23rd July – 1st August. An open access arts festival where anything goes – with a range of unique venues, including a local launderette, a parisian bus bursting with books, and a pop-up seafront bar. You never know quite what you’ll find each year and we’re glad to see they’re back again for more fun! Find out more on the website vfringe.co.uk

Last but certainly not least is the Isle of Wight Festival – traditionally the event to kick off the British festival season, due to Covid they have moved to September so we’re holding out for an Indian Summer with good weather for its return. This weekend is never one to disappoint so see the rest of the summer out in style. The line-up this year so far includes the likes of Liam Gallagher, Tom Jones, Duran Duran, All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Kaiser Chiefs to name just a few! Find out more on the website isleofwightfestival.com

Gastronomic adventures

It’s been said many times that the Isle of Wight has some of the finest produce in the UK, so try some of the hidden gems that make the most of this tasty bounty while you’re here on your Wyldesistas escape.

First off, take your taste buds on a journey at Cowes restaurant Call It What you Want, where you and your soul sistas can sample their take on soul food. From the menu, try their iconic Louisiana and Creole style dishes like the three fish chowder, their take on traditional gumbo along with customer favourites such as their iconic ribs and the jambalaya. Expect flavours from further afield than the shores of the Isle of Wight, packed to the punch with local ingredients. These guys have now branched out to Newport, where alongside takeaway lunches you can pick up some of their best loved dishes to reheat yourself at home. Find out more on the website ciwyw.co.uk

Tansy’s Pantry

In the last few years Veganism has become a huge thing, which we think is wonderful as it’s kinder to the planet and ourselves. With this in mind, we are proud to say that Island has an amazing range of dedicated plant based eateries alongside most island businesses offering a range of vegan options for diners. While you’re here be sure to check out the fantastic Tansy’s Pantry famous for their ‘vish and chips’ dish along with their weekly changing curry of the week.

Peach Vegan Kitchen

We can’t go to Newport without stopping off at Peach Vegan Kitchen for an oat ‘mylk’ Flat White and Peanut butter blondie. Not only do they do the tastiest coffee and sweet treats but a full breakfast and lunchtime menu too, as well as stocking some fantastic zero waste and cruelty free products in their zero waste store.

Craft vegan pizza

Did someone say pizza? Craft Vegan Pizza in Ryde is not to be missed! Making artisan craft pizza well vegan they make a lot of their own fabulous products made in-house including their own selection of vegan meats and cheeses that adorn the delicious sourdough bases. The newest addition to the menu is their selection of vegan seitan doner kebabs all served in a sourdough fold with crunchy salad and slaw

Want us to show you around? Enquire about a package here

The Scent of Summer

Oh how we all love our perfumes, fragrances and signature scents.

Seems we aren’t the first, as the power of scent has been used since the ancient Egyptians who would use it to bathe or as a marker for religious ceremonies, the ritual of bathing in fragrance has continued across many cultures over thousands of years.

Spritz away in the name of tradition!

make your own perfume

Most of us will have experienced a whiff of familiar fragrance, only to recall a memory we’d forgotten we had- that is your scent memory at work. Scents are the only sensations that travel a direct path to the emotional and memory centres of the brain, impressive stuff when you consider that scent has the magical power to transport us, taking us back to moments of happiness and helping us momentary escape our everyday.

women enjoying perfumed flowers

Why not mark THE get together of the summer with your own bespoke fragrance?

Get together with the girls at one of our popular bespoke fragrance workshops. Find out how to blend your favourite essential oils to create your own personal scent.

After years of similar fragrances dominating the market, we are now seeing a move back to more organic and natural fragrances- make a scent your ancestors would approve of!

lavender benefits

Indulge in the sweetest of florals that perfectly conjures a scene of sunset, gazing over the wild flower meadow and watching the sky change from turquoise to orange to pink.

Florals not your thing? Let the spicy, woody notes transport you back to the earthy shade giving forest, reminisce about long leisurely walks and carefree talks.

Even once your stay with us is over you can simply transcend your surroundings with a whiff of your newly created perfume and relive those fun filled days through scent.

Let’s pack this long-awaited summer full of good smells, good feels, and good memories.

Ain’t no party like Wyldesistas Party!

a little glass of something?

After the recent news of the slow ease of restrictions, we are now ever more hopeful for the summer. Therefore, in our book, that means we need a drink – or drinks – to celebrate! Check out our guide to the boozier side of the Isle of Wight before giving our cocktail the ‘Wylde Meadow Fizz’ a try… Maybe for the weekly zoom with the girls or, if you haven’t got one scheduled, do it now and share this with them.

The Isle of Wight provides the perfect backdrop for all types of holiday but one thing they all have in common is the need for a decent tipple. It’d be rude not to sample the local delicacies when visiting a place. The Island is home to a thriving food and drink scene with a huge selection of local, high quality, products. Why not visit the source and see where they’re made, and check out the local establishments that sell them?

Go directly to the source – see where and how it’s made…

The Isle of Wight Gin distillery

Isle of Wight Distillery, near Ryde – home of Mermaid Gin. Go and see where the gin is made and how, then have a drink in The Mermaid Bar. Immerse yourselves in the world of spirits and learn the best serve, with views of the stills. Whether a gin aficionado or novice, the distillery’s talks and tastings give remarkable access and unrivalled insight into the distillation process.

We also have a really fun ‘Gin Experience’ picnic on our books for those gin fanatics!

Julie Jones-Evans

Boojum & Snark, Sandown – a taproom, pico-brewery, art gallery and micro-museum named after a Lewis Carrol poem penned while he was staying in Sandown. The Island’s first and only dedicated craft beer taproom. With beers on tap from many small and super-craft breweries, they also produce their own beer made on their diddy Brewmagic electric kit. So get a dose of culture as you browse the gallery’s exhibits and enjoy one of the many beers available.

Adgestone Vineyard Tours

Adgestone Vineyard, near Sandown – offers the full grape to glass experience, with guided audio tours around the 10 acre site amongst the huge variety of vines. Learning about all aspects of viticulture, the growing season and some interesting history leading up to the successful modern English wines. Then it’s on to the cellar to see where the magic happens and wine is made. The tour finishes with you learning some expert sommelier tips and tricks in the wine tasting session, where you’ll sample the wines and can pick the brains of the expert staff.

Cocktails and Fizz – where to get a round in

Drunken Lobster

Drunken Lobster, Ventnor – The newest kid on the block from the Smoking Lobster team, who are also opening a new site in Cowes. The Drunken lobster, though – perhaps as the name suggests – is very much about the cocktails. Choose from their expertly designed cocktail list with that all important Asian twist. Accompanied by chef-made Asian light bites on their tapas style menu. They even have a private room you can hire for you and your group to get a truly exclusive dining experience.

Artisan

Artisan, Ryde – Artisan is known for their very own dedicated gin and cocktail lounge alongside the main bar. Here, sit back and enjoy as the Artisan resident mixologist mixes you up something special, or talks you through the vast gin list, making sure you can enjoy the perfect tipple. You can hire out the lounge for your own private group where they even offer the opportunity to have your own cocktail masterclass.

Gasronomy

Gastronomy, Cowes – known more for their tasty culinary delight – the locals of Cowes know that Gastronomy has their own dedicated cocktail list that is as tasty as the food they serve. They like to make the classics but with their own unique twist, such the Cinnamon Spiced Espresso Martini, the Pineapple and Stormy Cocktail, and the Rum and Passionfruit Iced Tea, to name but a few. Stay for dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

Isle of Wight Made – drink like a local

Isle of Wight Cocktail Co

Isle of Wight Cocktail Company – Wight Lady Martini is one of the creations from the magician mixologists of the Isle of Wight Cocktails Company, who are known for their iconic Old Fashioned, Espresso Martini, and Bloody Hell Mary, among others. The Wight Lady Martini is a gin based cocktail with just 3 simple ingredients to make a perfectly balanced drink with a clean finish and a smooth and silky head.

We often include these amazing cocktails in our packages!

Tipsy Wight

Tipsy Wight – Wild Mint & Cucumber Vodka Liqueur is made from three fairly unusual and flavoursome cucumber varieties (Sumter, Vectina and Alibi) blended with wild mint all grown in the gardens of the Tipsy Wight farm to produce a delicious and refreshing taste for the summer. Serve neat over ice, or make into a longer drink by pairing with a tonic or a soda.

Goddards

Goddards Planet Lager – The Island’s first Vegan lager is also gluten free, from the Island’s longest established brewery. Brewed using local malted ‘Planet’ barley, Pilsner and Vienna malt, lightly hopped with an enticing mix of new and old world hops. It has a dry, crisp & clean flavour with an aromatic expression of fruity and herbal notes. Goddards are more famously known for their ales but Planet Lager is pretty special.

So now you fancy a little something yes? Here’s our very own Wyldesistas cocktail recipe!

Wylde Meadow Fizz (Serves 1)

Wyldemeadow Fizz

all of the experiences and venues above can be included in your Wyldesistas getaway

Virtually Beautiful

I first met Karen Lockyer, MUA and founder of Graceful Discraceful more than a few years ago when I was working as a photographic stylist.

As I have gathered quite a few years myself I have been enjoying Karens @gracefuldiscraceful insta feed and welcomed the chance to join in an online facial workout session.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of the online session and if I would be able to follow what was going on. I needn’t have worried as Karens instructions were super clear and easy to follow. 

An information and fact-packed prep sheet was provided alongside the simple health questionaire Although no-one knew each other the atmosphere of the group was fun, with great questions being asked and some giggles. It would be a fab experience to do with a group of friends while we are still all locked down …. and even when we aren’t!

here we all are!

There were some enlightening tips to be gleaned during the workshop which was in two parts – facial massage and facial excercises (cue the giggles) 

I was especially interested in the lymphatic drainage aspect of the massage section as I had heard of this but didn’t know where the ‘nodes’ were exactly. I do now and have been keeping the practice going.

Also brilliant for me was a demonstration of using a jade roller …. one of those things you buy that sits in a cupboard (or is that just me?) but now I know what to do with it.

Karens approach is simple and natural and in the age of electronic beauty ‘tools’ really refreshing to learn some useful basic hacks that don’t entail spending lots of cash… and can help slow the aging process (oh yes please!)

If you want a get together with your friends I can certainly recommend this and at only £20 per person it’s really good value for money and a great addition to your skincare routine.

I’m off now for some scissor action and a bit of tapping and slapping!

We are hoping to host a ‘real life’ workshop with Karen as soon as we can – meanwhile here are contact and booking details

To Book :

Please email Info@gracefuldisgraceful.co.uk to secure a place and joining details will be sent.

Next Available Dates:

Friday March 12th 11-12  1 space available

Saturday March 27th 2.30 – 3.30 3 spaces available

Please contact me for group bookings 3- 5 participants or one to ones

( Workshops run for approx. 60 mins but please allow more time for chat and interaction. I always have time for a natter after.)

Graceful Disgraceful Virtual Facial Workout – Karen Lockyer Make Up Artist

gracefuldisgraceful | Facebook

Graceful Disgraceful Make up Experience – will be coming back soon – fingers crossed

Graceful Disgraceful – Karen Lockyer Make Up Artist

Your bespoke WyldeSistas girls-getaway to the Isle of Wight

So, we can’t really do a lot right now, but we can dream about what we would rather be doing. It’s important to have things to look forward to – to excite us beyond this smog of days that blur from one to the next. Before the pandemic there were a lot of experiences that we took for granted, and it has forced all of us to take stock of the important things in life…

Being social and able to spend time with more than one of your mates is one of the biggest things that we’ve been missing. WyldeSistas are here to make those longing dreams into reality with a range of tailored Island escapes. Our ethos, after all, is about getting together with the girls to make long-lasting memories in your own Island paradise. Check out our menu for your WyldeSistas girls-getaway…

Assemble the tribe! 

Who are your Amazonian sisters? Who’s got the best campfire stories, remembers to pack the chocolate and who do you just plain miss the sight of? Your art group, your hens, your netball team – anything goes at WyldeSistas. We believe friendship and sisterhood are key factors to wellness and an enriched life; something we’ve all been desperately missing!

Pick from the unique accommodation 

The team behind WyldeSistas – Owner Helen was also founder of one of the UK’s first glamping businesses, Vintage Vacations, but is more recently known for providing amazing eco retreats at Tiny Homes Holidays. Having spent 18 years working on tailored holiday experiences Helen and team are dedicated to providing distinctive holidays. You and the girls can choose from a truly distinctive selection of bespoke accommodations designed to suit a range of budgets. 

There’s accommodation to suit all types of traveller, whether you’re a glamping chicksta, a true soul sista or an eco hedonista there’ll be something here for you and your crew. Choose from a selection of unique retro-styled heritage buildings, our range of glamping options or …….

  • The Mission; a converted tin tabernacle with hovering mezzanine bedrooms.
  • Scout Hall, as the name suggests this building was formerly an old scout hut equipped to sleep larger groups in style. 
  • The Shack by the sea is the tiny seaside escape that provides a more boutique option. 
  • Vintage Airstream Caravans, glamp in style in a restored Airstream caravan
  • British Vintage Caravans, Debbie or Gloria provide a lo-fi in style experience
  • Tipis and Bell tents, pitched in a beautiful location enjoy the outdoors.
  • Tiny Homes eco cabins; these geometric homes, each with individual architecturally stunning designs offer an eco-conscious option for the aspiring Greta Thunbergs and  Mari Copenys among us.

New accommodation is regularly added to the books …….

The adventures to be had…

WyldeSistas is about having fun with the girls. It’s a package holiday with a twist; choose from a range of unique outdoors activities, crafty workshops and wellness experiences. 

You can get in touch with your inner goddess and take part in a floristry workshop, then head back to the Tiny Homes for a movie night with your fave flick, popcorn and sweet treats. 

Feeling outdoorsy? We’ve got tree climbing and paddle boarding, and if you’re feeling those creative juices, give the meditative art class and pottery painting a go. Once you’ve exercised your body and mind, wind down with a sound bath followed by a spa treatment. 

Feeding the flock

As well as providing you with all the hot tips on local eateries (and places to get the drinks in of course!). We have a range of catering options that have been designed to suit a range of budgets and can be tailored for various dietary requirements. We do breakfast hampers that are included in all of our packages, so the most important meal of the day is covered. Book a self-catered BBQ pack and enjoy dining al fresco, or, if you’re not feeling the urge to cook, pick from our selection of homemade ready meals. Larger groups might like the option of hiring in a food truck for the evening, for which we have a number of recommendations. 

We can’t wait to see our nearest and dearest and get back to living life to the full again, ever more grateful of the important tribe of people around us. Good times are coming again so indulge yourself in a little dreaming – get the girls involved over Friday night drinks on Zoom and why not plan your ideal WyldeSistas menu.