Dr Margaretha Montagu’s Great Spring/Autumn Detox Your Body and Detox Your Mind with Intermittent Fasting Retreat

an Esprit Meraki Retreat


Dates:18-25 June 2023 : Only 2 places left8 days
17-24 October 2023 : 4 places left8 days
To inquire about/book a retreat, please send an email to Welcome2Gascony(at)gmail.com.
Also available as private retreats.


You want to get rid of accumulated toxins and you want to lose weight. Permanently.

But you don’t want to damage your health in the process. In fact, you not only want to lose weight, but you also want to become healthier.

You want to feel and look great, have loads of energy, feel confident, comfortably fit into your clothes, enjoy exercise and sleep better, but you don’t want to compromise your immunity as the kilos drop off, you want to increase it, to protect you against infections in these post-pandemic times.

If this resonates, then either Dr Margaretha Montagu’s Great Spring or the Great Autumn Detox Your Body and Detox Your Mind with Intermittent Fasting retreat is the perfect retreat for you.

Embark on an Epic Journey…

On this retreat, led by a medical doctor, you will be able to detox and lose weight, without harming your body, while eating healthily, building your body’s natural immunity and getting rid of the excess weight that puts you at risk of a variety of diseases.

This is your opportunity to test-drive the intermittent fasting lifestyle, aka time-restricted eating, to find out if it suits you, while at the same time thoroughly detoxing your body and your mind, by walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. During this 8-day retreat, hosted in the foothills of the mighty Pyrenées mountains in the unspoiled and largely undiscovered sun-blessed southwest of France, you can get all your questions answered by a medical doctor who has been living this lifestyle herself for several years.

Your home-from-home, for 8 days (or longer!) will be an authentic, much-loved French farmhouse, surrounded by sunflower fields, ancient woods, lush meadows and fertile orchards.

The Intermittent Fasting: Detox Your Body Detox Your mind retreat is the perfect way to kick-start a weight loss program that will enable you to lose weight and keep it off permanently!

…to a happy, healthy and gorgeous New You

Imagine sitting under 200-year-old lime trees, comfortably ensconced in a sun-lounger, listening to the birds chatting away happily in the trees, sipping a scrumptious, ice-cold glass of fresh-pressed juice with the perfume of wildflowers and herbs scenting the air while you engage in an in-depth contemplation of a totally different lifestyle.

Fast forward.

The alarm goes off, it’s time to get up and go to work. You jump out of bed, excited about what the new day may bring. You slept well, deeply and without interruptions, and you wake up feeling fully rested and refreshed. Bursting with energy, you open your wardrobe door and quickly choose what you want to wear, everything fits perfectly. You sing on your way to the shower and smile at your reflection in the mirror…

Are you ready for a weight loss retreat that will leave you feeling vibrantly alive, full of joie de vivre, deliciously indulged and profoundly relaxed from the top of your head to the tips of your toes?

It is easy to START a weight loss and exercise program. STAYING on it and exercising regularly for the rest of your life is much more challenging.

Let the Camino de Santiago de Compostela Inspire You


Evidence-based research has demonstrated that Intermittent Fasting has many benefits:

  • Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help reduce calorie intake and it may also help reduce belly fat, which is associated with an increased risk of several diseases.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, which can lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduced inflammation: Intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in many chronic diseases like arthritis.
  • Improved heart health: Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
  • Enhanced brain function: Intermittent fasting may promote the growth of new brain cells, improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Increased lifespan: Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan in animals, although more research is needed to confirm this effect in humans.

If you are ready to discover a way of eating and exercising that you can easily incorporate into your daily life, that will allow you to lose weight steadily and keep it off permanently, that will not be detrimental to your health but will leave you feeling healthy and full of energy, then the Detox Your Body Detox Your Mind Retreat with Intermittent Fasting is exactly what you have been looking for.

Meet Your Retreat Leader: Dr Margaretha Montagu

I created this retreat because I want more than just a (temporary) detox and weight loss for my guests. I want to empower and educate my guests to be able to keep the weight off permanently and develop a long-term exercise program that will improve their health, and decrease their risk of developing various acute and chronic diseases. After working for 20 years as a medical doctor in a variety of specialities, I came to the conclusion that many diseases have their roots in my patients’ inability to handle stress effectively. Instead of treating stress-related illnesses, I decided to look at practical ways that my patients can use to prevent stress from ruining their health, by leading retreats that reduce my patients’ stress levels while they are adapting to a new lifestyle.

Self Confidence Made Simple eBook

I designed this retreat in 2019, a year after I started intermittent fasting myself. As a medical doctor, I already have many years of experience in helping people lose weight and maintain their weight loss. I chose to host these weight loss retreats in a part of the world where inhabitants live the longest, healthiest and fittest lives in Europe, despite eating substantial amounts of rich food and drinking copious amounts of wine. I am convinced that mindful eating, combined with intermittent fasting and the emotional, physical, and nutritional guidance this retreat provides, can kickstart a new lifestyle that will result in permanent weight loss.

Dr M Montagu MBChB MRCGP MedHypDip NLP Master Pract Cert Prof Life Coach Cert Counseling Cert EAGALA Cert


I have experienced dietary issues for as long as I can remember and earlier this year I began to explore Intermittent Fasting as a solution to help me on my journey to better understanding my body. I choose this retreat as I hoped it would be a direct-to-source way of gaining more reliable knowledge about intermittent fasting; its benefits, and challenges, as well as tips and tricks on how to introduce it into my lifestyle in the smoothest way possible. I felt from Margaretha’s profile that she had the experience to effectively answer any questions I may have. Within 24 hours of meeting Margaretha I felt confident that the intermittent fasting lifestyle was the right solution for me. All of our conversations on the topic were open, informative and above all realistic, as we discussed how to make Intermittent Fasting work in line with a busy social life.

The Intermittent Fasting education aside, I really enjoyed so many other parts of this retreat; not least spending quality time with Margaretha over dinner where we shared life experiences and connected beyond our shared interest in Intermittent Fasting. I also grabbed with both hands the opportunity to walk parts of the Camino de Santiago – something I have been drawn to for some time – and I can safely say it did not disappoint. Overall I had a really enjoyable few days with Margaretha in her home in beautiful french countryside and I would recommend anyone who has been thinking about Intermittent Fasting to join this retreat for a few days of education, relaxation (the daily massages were dreamy) and also great company. J Butterfield (review posted on Bookretreats.com)

Thank you so much Margaretha for a very special 14 days. It was a joy to meet you, other guests, your friends, the horses and not forgetting the cats! I felt peaceful and relaxed and learnt so much after trying many diets over the years. Choosing to stay longer proved to be invaluable during my introduction to Intermittent fasting. It gave me time to readjust and the 16/8 plan suits me perfectly. Our in-depth discussions have helped me to accept realistic weight loss targets and eating healthier foods now should enable me to lose weight permanently.

I also had the opportunity to walk two stretches of the Camino de Santiago which was an experience not to be missed. Margaretha, your kind words of guidance helped it to be a very rewarding experience and I can’t thank you enough. Marilyn E. (review posted on Bookeretreats.com)

Imagine how different your life will be in a year’s time if you decide to start your permanent weight loss journey by attending this retreat. Contact me at welcome2gascony@gmail.com asap to enquire about availability.

What is included in this retreat:

  • Transfers from Bordeaux airport to Esprit Meraki
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in a cool, light, airy single room in an authentic half-timbered French farmhouse in the heart of the Cotes de Gascogne wine region in the south-west of France
  • Lush towels, homemade soaps, salts and candles, make every bath/shower a sensual experience
  • Private Initial consultation with a blood pressure, pulse, urine, height, weight, medical history and physical exam and creation of a personalised eating plan
  • Transformational intermittent fasting discussions, including all materials used
  • Discussion about the best books to read about the intermittent fasting way of life
  • Drive into the foothills of the mighty Pyrenées mountains for a visit to a local spa
  • Stargazing and communing-with-the-universe Yoga Nidra practice (there is barely any light pollution here)
  • Potentially life-changing Camino de Santiago de Compostela walks with an introduction to walking meditation
  • Scrumptious fresh food locally sourced served during an 18/6 window with access to a selection of herbal teas and coffee 24/7
  • A visit to the best fresh food market in the region with advice about buying food while detoxing and fasting intermittently
  • Wild swimming in a crystal clear lake in the middle of an ancient oak forest
  • Forest bathing (also called shinrin-yoku or “taking in the forest atmosphere”) – an opportunity to immerse yourself and reconnect with nature
  • A Medical Hypnotherapy session to maximise your motivation to stick to your new eating plan
  • Transport to field trips: fresh food market, spa, lake etc, as well as pick-up and drop-off at the start and end of Camino walks
  • Free pre-retreat online course, e-book and worksheets and free post-retreat group coaching consultation

What is NOT included:

  • Transport from your home to Bordeaux airport and back
  • Personal Health Insurance and/or Travel Insurance (we highly recommend insurance cover in case you need to cancel)
  • Classic Massages: for additional pampering, you can book a massage bien-être, out on the lawn, or on your own terrace, and give yourself over to Sarah’s magical hands, while the lavender bushes dispense 100% natural aromatherapy.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • One dinner in a local restaurant – to boost the local economy post-COVID (cost 15-30 euros, depending on your choices) but also to test-drive intermittent fasting in a social situation
  • To facilitate transport arrangements, or to explore the region, you are welcome to arrive a day or two early or leave a day or two after the retreat – we offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation on a day-to-day basis, starting at 89 euros per room per night, but only to our retreat guests,

Enough free time is available for relaxing and recharging your batteries. None of the activities is mandatory. If you prefer to skip an activity and just relax and read quietly in the garden, you are more than welcome. The program is not set in stone and might be adjusted according to outside temperatures.


La Maison Meraki huddles in the midst of a sunny clearing in the heart of a great and ancient forest, like a little old lady gathering her shawl around her bony shoulders. She has been here for at least 200 years, from her elevated position she looks out over the treetops to the mighty Pyrenées mountains. Who knows who has ventured over her threshold, maybe D’Artagnan himself, the chateau where he was born is only a few kilometres away. Yes, this is indeed Gascony, land not only of milk and honey but also of divine wines, persillade, garbure, foie gras, cèpes, duck confit…all less than two hour’s drive southeast of Bordeaux.

Maison Meraki is a half-timbered house that faces southeast, towards the sunrise, typical of all Landaise fermettes. She has her back to the sunset, where the cold winds and weather come from in the winter. The house is U-shaped, with a central, secluded courtyard, where lavender perfumes the air in the summer. There are two guest bedrooms downstairs, each opening onto its own patio where guests can sit and soak up the sun with a cool drink and a good book. There is a third bedroom upstairs, with glorious views of the surrounding woods, meadows, vineyards and sunflower fields.

The heart of the house is the kitchen-sitting room, delightfully cool in the summer, and extended by a shaded patio into the courtyard and snug and warm in the winter, heated by a Godin wood burner. Three centuries-old Line trees guard the eastern flank, and even older, majestic oak trees hold court in the paddocks surrounding the house.

I renovated Maison Meraki slowly and carefully. I have respected its humble origins and kept it dans son jus, comfortable but unpretentious, so if you want to experience unadulterated French farm life, this is the retreat for you. If you are looking for 8 days in a luxurious chateau, it is not.

En plus, this is a French farmhouse, unlike any you have visited before. Even though I am a Frenchwoman through and through, I was born in Africa, so the interior is decorated, the meals flavoured, and the garden is scented by the warm spices and fragment herbs of the country of my birth.

Nourish to Flourish

Nowhere in France is the French Paradox more prevalent than in Gascony. A paradox, because despite frying just about everything in duck fat, and washing undeniably rich dishes down with copious amounts of Cotes de Gascogne and Saint Mont wines, the people from this region live long, some of the longest in Europe, and healthy lives.

Not to be outdone, at Maison Meraki you will be able to investigate this paradox first-hand. Most of our fruit and vegetables will be gathered the same morning from my neighbour’s potager, and what he doesn’t have, we’ll buy directly from the grower at one of the local fresh food markets. Eggs come from the free-range chickens of another neighbour, and all preserves and jams are homemade from last year’s abundance of fruit.

Vivre Vert – Slow and Sustainable Tourism in the Southwest of France

It is important to me that the retreats I offer, do as little damage to the environment as possible, while at the same time contributing to the local community’s economy. I feel more like the custodian than the owner of this property – I feel extremely privileged to live here. As its custodian, my intention is to look after Maison Meraki to the very best of my ability and to preserve it for generations to come. In the meantime, I share the exceptional natural beauty, the rich cultural heritage and the nurturing tranquillity of this open- and warmhearted house with my guests without harming the natural environment and helping environmentally aware local producers at the same time.

***BONUSES*** You will have access to:
-a short but intense and insight-giving online retreat to prepare you for your retreat
-the 30-page e-book “Make Your Next Retreat Your Best Retreat Ever” that you can use to enrich your retreat experience
-detailed instructions on how to keep a travel diary, so that you can benefit from what you learned for years after your retreat ended
-a pop-up WhatsApp group to stay in contact with the other amazing women you will meet on this retreat, and to facilitate interaction, during and after the retreat, you can join
-an online group coaching session, to help you integrate what you have learned during the retreat into everyday life, after your retreat

Only a limited number of participants will be able to attend a Detox Your Body Detox Your Mind Intermittent Fasting Retreat every year.

To ensure everyone gets individual, quality attention and the time to ask questions, I limit my groups to a maximum of 4 guests and I host a limited amount of these retreats per year – which means you will need to reserve early to be one of the few fortunate guests who come here this year.

Your Investment

Do you feel stuck in a dieting rut and desperately long to escape? If you do, make an investment in yourself and your future health by attending this unique retreat for 3999 euros for a single bedroom and 3499 euros pp for 2 people in a double bedroom. Please enquire about longer retreats. Maximum of 4 participants per retreat. Our retreats start at 18h00 on the day of arrival to 11h00 on the day of departure.

So seize this exceptional opportunity to attend a retreat here at Esprit Meraki now…to secure your booking, make a reservation and pay your deposit. A warm welcome awaits you amidst the Armagnac, Saint Mont and Cotes de Gascogne vineyards in the sun-blessed southwest of France.

Ready to make a reservation? To pay your deposit and secure your booking, please contact us with the dates of the week that suits you at welcome2gascony(at)gmail.com.

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Cancellation Policy


To secure your booking, a non-refundable 25% deposit is required. As the group is very small, only a paid deposit will guarantee your attendance. If your retreat is fully booked, you will be offered a place on the waiting list. Your deposit is transferable to another person for the retreat you booked, subject to approval.

Final Payment

The balance of payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your retreat. Reservations made less than 30 days before the retreat starts, must be paid in full. Please note: Due to the extensive and expensive preparation that goes into each of these retreats, I cannot offer refunds, so I highly recommend that you purchase adequate travel insurance to cover any unanticipated changes in your travel plans. Any cancellation made in writing less than 30 days before the retreat starts, or once the retreat has started, will result in a total loss of funds. Depending on availability, you can choose to transfer your booking to another date without incurring any additional fees, within the same calendar year.

I reserve the right to cancel the retreat if it is not meeting the retreat minimum (if I do so your deposit is refunded in full). I reserve the right to determine if you are a good fit for this retreat (if not, your deposit will be refunded in full).  I reserve the right to cancel the retreat for personal reasons (if I do so your deposit/full payment will be refunded in full).

This cancellation policy is firm therefore please do not make any travel arrangements until you receive your registration confirmation.

Please read our terms and conditions

Privacy notice

We take your privacy seriously. Your email address is not passed on or sold to any third parties whatsoever, you are not subscribing to any mailing lists and we promise to only use your details to contact you directly ourselves.


It’s important to note that weight loss can not be guaranteed and that intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or exercise program.