I love to be warm. I’m the type of person who wears jeans in 36-degree weather when everyone else is sunbathing. So when I discovered there was a wood burning fire in each lodge at the Ribble Valley Everything Retreat, I knew I was in for a treat.

So far, so good. As I (nearly) tripped over the threshold, my heart stopped when I saw a frosty fireplace. My dad may have been a Scout master but I can’t light a fire for toffee. I could sense my dad’s disappointment. Sorry dad.

Everything Retreat

After an hour of utter failure, my inner fire starter finally flickered into life, as did the stove.

Known nationally as a foodie’s paradise, Lancashire’s Ribble Valley is a much-loved destination full of great places to eat, and inviting hotels and B&Bs to stay. Now there is the Everything Retreat in Mellor, a collection of 12 luxury lodges, each with a fire and a fabulous coffee machine. Oh, and instructions on how to make a fire.

While the 100-thread count sheets, cosy duvet and more mattress toppers than you could shake a (kindling) stick at resulted in what the Italians call ‘Sogni doro’ (golden sleep), I left the log fire burning all night.

The morning after, I woke up to dense mist rolling across the hills, obscuring what was no doubt a gorgeous view of the Lancashire countryside and its resident sheep. I tip-toed across the heated floor and, learning from my mistakes of the previous day, I lit a fire in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Nevertheless, I had to brave the freezing weather to collect my breakfast from a wooden locker outside. Enough to feed a hungry Italian family, I enjoyed a lovely fruity meal accompanied by coffee. Bellissimo.

Bedroom at Everything Retreat

All too soon it was time to go, but still a moment left for a good ho ho ho. After saying farewell to my piece of northern paradise, I made my way to various events laid on for the press, including a yummy lunch. Note, however, that if you’re planning to stay at the Everything Retreat, food, drinks and activities are in addition to the £250 price tag for standard lodges.

Considering that extras must be paid for separately, the amenities are still top-notch, luxuriously finished, and spotlessly clean. Everything Retreat is a little of slice of magic but don’t forget your chequebook.

By James Richardson

For more information about Everything Retreat, click here. 

Main image courtesy of Everything Retreat