Autumn Fungi and Wild Food Forage

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Join expert forager Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods for an amazing journey of discovery through the woods and hedgerows around Roulotte Retreat in the Scottish Borders.  Learn about edible fungi, plants and fruits of autumn and enjoy a wild cook-in and taster session afterwards.

What can you expect to learn?

  • Find and identify important fungi species
  • How to spot the dangerously poisonous mushroom families and species
  • Edible plants and fruits of early Autumn
  • Tips from an experienced forager on how to home in and confidently identify the best wild ingredients
  • Expand your existing knowledge if you have tried foraging before
  • Medicinal, craft and bushcraft uses of plants and fungi
  • Fungi and plant folklore and tales of foraging derring-do
  • How to harvest, clean, prepare and preserve wild ingredients
  • Wild cooking tips and recipes

The event will consist of:

  • Up to 2 miles gentle walking over 2.5 hours, mostly on easy paths, sometimes muddy, with occasional options for the adventurous to delve into the undergrowth!
  • Wild tasters and treats during the walk
  • A wild cook-in after the walk back at Roulotte Retreat to enjoy the tastes of the wild food we have encountered. (Please note this is not a full meal)

The details:

  • Saturday 6 September, 2014 at Roulotte Retreat.  Come for the weekend and enjoy foraging whilst you are here for some wild dining later in your roulotte - we even supply the firepit or bbq for the outdoor experience! (as well as full kitchen facilities in your roulotte if you prefer).  Weekend (Fri 5 and Sat 6 Sept) special price for those signed up for Foraging Workshop £225.00 (normally £250.00). Check availability here but email to enjoy special price.
  • Meet at Roulotte Retreat Studio for a cuppa at 12.30 pm, Foraging Workshop 1pm - 5pm with Mark Williams.
  • Open to foragers - beginners and more experienced. Come for the day or for the weekend!
  • Price £35.00 to include the Foraging workshop and refreshments at the beginning and end of the day
  • Places are limited so email me soon to book and for more details

What's happening locally

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5    Spring Foraging at Roulotte Retreat
12  The famous Melrose Sevens, just over the Eildon Hills        

3-4 May Borders Ciclista - based on a Spanish sportive event.
16-25 May Borders Festival of the Horse - celebrate the beautiful horse.
24   Denholm Bogie Race - some seriously crazy go karting down the village hill!
24 May - 8 June Two weeks of Cycling - Tweedlove

Yoga at Roulotte Retreat with Avril Berry - date to be confirmed

12-15 Borders Book Festival at nearby Melrose
15-19 Creative Writing with Claire Steele of Magical Journeys, at Roulotte Retreat
June/July Scottish Border Common Ridings - not to be missed!

July and August - a host of Edinburgh Festivals, just an hour's drive away

31 Aug-6 Sept   Borders Walking Festival
21 Sept Selkirk Vintage Car Rally

Scottish Borders Art and Culture Events
Music Dance and Theatre in Scottish Borders

Bathe under the stars in an Eco Hot Tub

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We are so excited about our new addition to the meadow ... Zenaya will have a new friend - an Eco Hot Tub! Fired by eco fuel and made of solid wood this hot tub for two is Japanese style to compliment Zenaya and enhance your experience staying in the meadow!

Water therapy has been used throughout the centuries all over the world with mineral and thermal water baths being enjoyed by the Greeks as early as 500 BC. The ancient Romans too recognised the therapeutic value of thermal water and centred many of their medical treatments on bathing.  In Egypt, Finland, Germany, Spain and Turkey spas and bathhouses have been popular as well as in many parts of Eastern Europe and indeed in UK. Natural hot springs can be found worldwide in seismically active regions, eg in Iceland, Japan, New Zealand and in Central European countries.  Animals too have delighted and enjoyed the benefits of bathing in hot water springs, the macaque in Japan being just one example. When we travel we always seek out hot springs and bathing experiences and have enjoyed the hot waters in the North of India in the Beas and Parvati Rivers in Himachal Pradesh, in volcanic springs in St Lucia and the famous Panmukkale thermal baths in Turkey.  Closer to home we love to bathe in the rather colder yet refreshing Tweed, Leader, Ettrick and Yarrow Rivers in the Scottish Borders.

Although we live just below the Eildon Hills which were a complex volcano like Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, we don't have natural hot water springs so the next best thing - hot tubs! We have been planning for some time to have eco hot tubs to sit next to some of the roulottes so that guests may enjoy the ultimate 'Relax in Style' experience at Roulotte Retreat. They are completely natural, being made of wood and fired up by a stove, fuelled by eco fuel.  All you need to add is fresh clean water - nothing else! They are also cleaned naturally by uv light, pumice stone filters and the natural ingredient bicarbonate of soda if required.

Become like a hippo and wallow in the warm waters under the stars watching the dark night skies or indeed enjoy listening to the birds and daytime bathing - in all weathers!  Benefits of hot tub bathing include:  relaxing muscles, alleviating stress, improving sleep, enhancing circulation and accelerating the body's natural healing process.  Feel relaxed and rejuvenated, letting all the stresses melt away and tap into the healing benefits of water.

Bathing outdoors in a wood-fired hot tub, uniting all the natural elements of water, fire, air and wood allows you to enjoy an extraordinary yet completely natural experience in a wildflower meadow below the stars and in ALL seasons!

Then all you need to do is enjoy a deep relaxed sleep tucked up in your comfy Roulotte Bed .... nite nite, sweet dreams!

Zenaya's eco hot tub will be available from 25 April, 2014. You can book Zenaya online and for more info and booking eco hot tub get in touch by email or ring us.

Pics will go up later on our website when Zenaya's hot tub is in place mid-late April.



Foraging at Roulotte Retreat

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At last we are delighted to announce, Spring Foraging at Roulotte Retreat with Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods.  Mark is an expert in Wild Foraging, has written countless columns and publications, appeared on wildlife programmes on tv and has led forays for the National Trust and RSPB. He is Scotland's only full-time foraging tutor as well as being trained as a Mountain Leader and involved in Mountain Rescue - so you are definitely in safe hands!

Explore the edible, useful and medicinal plants, spring shoots, leaves, flowers and fungi of spring woods and hedgerows, then enjoy some Wild Dining! Enjoy being in the outdoors and learning at the same time, know you are going to eat what you find.

Expect:  Up to 2 miles gentle walking on well made paths over 2.5 hours followed by an informal al-fresco wild cook-in of our finds (not a full 3 course meal but will be an incredibly tasty plateful) either in the meadow or in The Studio, weather dependent. There will be wild treats and tasters to enjoy throughout.

Learn:  Spring hedgerow plants and fungi (30+ species).  Finding and identification; poisonous lookalikes; mindful harvesting with an appreciation of sustainability and pollution risks; expert tips, folklore/traditional uses, modern gourmet foods in nature; discover useful and medicinal uses; nutrition, processing, recipes, cooking; learn how to roll your own wild sushi!

Date:  Saturday 5 April, 2014, meet at Roulotte Retreat Studio at 12.30 for a cuppa ready to start at 1.00 pm.  Course finishes at 5.00 pm with a well deserved refreshment afterwards!

Price:  £40.00 per person (Early booking £35.00 if paid before 19 March)

Stay in a roulotte for the weekend or just come for a day of foraging and wild dining!

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring Avril to book a place (0845 094 9729 or 07990744044).  Places are limited so don't delay.  More info will be sent to you on booking.



Roulotte Retreat through the lens

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At Roulotte Retreat we've been seen through the lens in more ways than one recently. 

Early summer we were invited by Channel 4 to be part of the new 'Four in a Bed' series so after much deliberation we decided to give it a go. Were we brave or mad? - let's see when all will be revealed week beginning 11 November, 2013.  We travelled throughout UK with the Channel 4 Film Crew and were 'miked up and under the microscope' for a couple of weeks in July.  Roulotte Retreat hosted 'the guests' and some crew in our Roulottes and enjoyed activities in and around the Meadow as well as Dinner created by Gill Orde in The Studio.  Check it out on tv or Channel 4 on demand for the next month (series 5, episodes 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, Roulotte Retreat is hosting in episode 33).

We enjoyed hosting a photoshoot by Aikman Smith for The Best Scottish Weddings, check out the images in our Gallery, truly stunning!  We are very partial to the pic of the beautiful bride Martha with Bear and Chloe our lurchers as bridesmaids!  

Next we invited Philip and Colleen over from for a film and photoshoot to reveal the Studio in all her glory.  Lindsey of Get Knotted and Cathy of Meldon Catering came along to help us create the ambience. Check out the results on our Weddings, Studio and Gallery pages.  

The Studio and Deck are chameleon like characters and can be a Yoga Retreat one minute, change to a Writer's Creative Group Space next, then get all dressed up for an Evening Party, complete with Dinner or really 'go to the ball' as the most unusual Celebration and Ceremony Space for a Boutique Wedding with a difference!



Look what's happening near Roulotte Retreat

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Upcoming Events near Roulotte Retreat

11-12 May       The Borders Ciclista – unusual cycling event based on Spanish sportive format offering the challenge and fun of distance cycling. 

25 May                 A crazy day with bogies (go karts) ... an insane, fast-paced timed trial race downhill on a country road with Carnival meets Monte Carlo atmosphere - well worth seeing! 

17-27 May           Completely unique in UK , the Borders Festival of the Horse, celebrating this beautiful animal and its lifestyle.  

25-26 May   A weekend of Medieval entertainments (

13-16 June          Borders Book Festival in Melrose.  An incredible four days of Books and Roulottes, what’s not to like? 






New Roulottes en route from France

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Excitement at Roulotte Retreat .... our two new roulottes will arrive in convoy by road from France to settle in their new home in the Scottish Borders.      Double excitement as the roulottes will arrive by road on low loaders on their return trip from delivering agricultural machinery to France whilst the roulotte makers will be winging their way from France to Edinburgh.  Who will be first we wonder?  

Our latest designs, created in France are reminiscent of the Orient and the Himalayas, in reds, shades of blue and gold.  We are still musing about their names .... perhaps Himalaya, 'abode of snow' for the blue roulotte with ancient Indian carvings and Shangri-la for the red and gold roulotte representing the mystical earthly paradise, still trying to decide!

Carvings and paintings adorn the beautiful wooden panels. Wrought iron work creates stylish windows and doors. With room for two in the bedroom and an extra daybed in the salon by the wood-burning stove these new roulottes offer a spacious and chic abode.  Porthole windows in the shower and washroom add a quirky touch and the boudoirs are to die for!   Pics coming soon.

We can't wait to see them and of course stay in them, enjoying their unique ambience!  So many worlds within our wildflower meadow at Roulotte Retreat!

Both roulottes will leave France Wednesday 17 April and will hopefully be with us w/b 22 April to start the next stage of their adventure.  Bookings are now being taken from mid May onwards.  If you want to be one of the first to book into these new roulottes then just ring us as they are not on our new booking system yet.  

For those who don't already know we have a new online booking system which is so easy to operate and also a new mobile version of our site too so you can book on the move!


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