Pics & Feedback

We’ve got lots of feedback and comments we want to share with you, along with some photos…

…of the Island Magic Soul Spa on the Isle of Bute in October 2022:

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Tears & laughter in equal measure amongst new soulmates. Ute & Lindsey, you created a place of calm, welcome and understanding, which freed up my heart and soul to engage with my fellow widows. We arrived so wounded, and although the wounds will always be scars, you have helped me heal, a little bit. I can feel my jeans are tighter, thanks to Andy & Joan’s magnificent cooking. Keep going; your work is truly life changing. Love above all else, Judy xx


Dear Ute & Lindsey. Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this experience. I am very lost but feel as though I now have the strength to pick myself up and try harder. Thank you Andy and Joan and Kate for the lovely hospitality, the food was amazing. You’re all stars! I’ll never forget you all. Monica xxx


Dear Ute & Lindsey. Thank you so much for everything. I was nervous about coming – but I didn’t need to be. It has been a great and positive experience. Thank you for organising this, Ute. Thank you for introducing me to yoga, Lindsey – I will be looking for a local class. Thank you to Monica, Gabriel, Tricia, Helen, Jill and Judy – your support has been invaluable and you have all been inspirational. I’m leaving the Soul Spa feeling stronger and, for the first time since losing Simon, I am thinking about my future. Thank you to Andy, Joan and Kate for the wonderful food. Much love. Amy xxx


A very cathartic time in such a beautiful environment and stunning natural scenery. I was pretty anxious about coming here, but it was wonderful to be in such company – of people who understand without necessarily needing to explain everything. Being at Soul Spa doesn’t change my situation, but I do feel I am leaving with some tools and inspiration to look at the future in a different way. With love. Gabriel x


I’m so glad that I came, to meet lovely people with the same, but so different experiences. How wonderful it was to feel so relaxed so quickly. The activities, yoga and visits were just perfect. I am going home having met wonderful new people in my life, with an artillery of ideas to see me through my next chapter. Thanks so much Ute & Lindsey. Tricia


I have felt cared for, supported, nurtured during my time on Bute. It is the most wonderful space to share stories of love and loss with those people who really understand. Thank you so much, Ute, Lindsey, Andy & Joan. Jill x


Thank you for this wonderful nurturing and restorative experience. It has surpassed my expectations and I have gained so much from being looked after here. Being among those who just get it has allowed me to be more ‘me’ than at any time in the past two years. This is a very special place and I will never forget how much this has helped. Wonderful people, food, laughs and talking. Thanks to all. Helen x

…of the Nature Nurture Soul Spa in Lower Largo in May 2022:

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What a peaceful, beautiful place to be, to share time with women who just get it. I’ve loved the relaxed pace and the sense of being in a nurturing and supportive environment. Nicole xxx


Another lovely nurturing experience. So glad I came a second time. Christine x


I found what I was searching for – hope! I have thoroughly enjoyed the Soul Spa, amazing place, so beautiful. Everything was so perfect and thought out, in such good company who can all relate to what we are going through. Thank you, Ute & Sarah, I will never forget you. Gina xx


Ute & Sarah,
Thank you for a wonderful retreat. It has been so comforting meeting others going through the same loss. I certainly feel less stuck and the thought of moving forward seems less daunting. A highlight was the cold water swimming – I felt strong and brave and very empowered by it. Much love. Andrea xxx

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Thank you Ute & Sarah for your kindness and hospitality. I have felt very well nurtured and looked after. It has really made me think of where I go from here. I have enjoyed yoga, walks, the relaxed atmosphere to be myself. You spoilt us with lovely food and wine which I enjoyed. I never ever thought you would get me in the cold sea, my choice and I would try it again. I will certainly be telling others about the whole experience. I wish you both well for future retreats. Shirley xx


So worried before I came, so glad I came. Ute & Sarah, you have helped me realise that my fractured heart can heal, you have inspired us all. What a wonderful, strong, inspirational group of women you brought together. Yoga, creativity, wild water swimming, all such beautiful things that have helped me realise I can be me, I will be strong. Thank you from every fibre in my being, thank you for holding us all. Evie xxx

…of the Còsagach Nature & Self-care Soul Spa on the Isle of Bute in February 2022:

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A message to widows & widowers thinking of coming to a Soul Spa – I was so anxious & had lost courage and confidence to travel and meet strangers. Storm Eunice did her best but I made it. The strangers are now friends, the strange country is now familiar & beautiful and the experience has grown me, as a woman and as a widow. Thank you, Ute, founder of the “Shit Club”. Bridget xxx


I’m so glad I came! I had a wonderful time making new friends and being very well looked after. And what a wonderful venue! Thank you! Kholoud x


Ute and Sarah, Thank you so much for providing the opportunity to meet up with some amazing people. It’s been a solace to be here amongst such kindness and understanding. It’s been a tiny shimmer of hope, of good things and good living to come. It’s just what I needed. Thank you. Julie x


Wonderful ladies and wonderful Richard, the safest place I have been since John died… Thank you Ute, thank you Sarah. It’s been amazing. Batty


What a great week it’s been –
wobbly yoga
and a sense of strength and peace.
Richard Coles


To Ute & Sarah, My goodness, this Còsagach Soul Spa has been amazing. I’ve discovered a lot about myself, thanks to you both, plus all my lovely fellow widows (the latest membership of the Shit Club!). There have been some tough times, with tears, but also lots of fun, wonder & laughs. As I said on my 1st morning at yoga, it’s been a REAL PRIVILEGE to meet and work with you all. I hope Fire & Rain benefits from Richard Coles’ Good Grief, but not so much that I can’t make a 2nd appearance! With my love. Jude x
PS: Never forget “Don’t Leave Me This Way”!


…of the Autumn Glow Soul Spa in Lower Largo in Oct/Nov 2021:

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Thank you Ute & Sarah for such an exciting retreat. The activities were a revelation – getting us writing songs, swimming in the North Sea – wonderful, supportive chat, felt listened to and loved. Rona

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Thank you Ute and Sarah for an amazing experience. I did things I never dreamed I would do, and have found a new confidence to move forward. Best wishes. Jean xx


Thank you for a lovely time meeting wonderful people. Glad to have opened my mind to new opportunities and experiences. Joyce x


Thank you for the opportunity to get my first break away and to learn to spend time with others again, still will plenty time to be alone and reflect. To just be me. Inspiring and thought provoking as I continue on this journey. Thank you! Hilary xx


Thank you for the reminder to always keep the heart open to new experiences. I have had a wonderful time! Celine x


What a wonderful few days. Having the time, space and freedom to just be in the moment has been amazing. And to share stories with such a lovely and supportive group has been a huge privilege. We’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together…and eaten far too much cake! But I am leaving refreshed, inspired and determined to enjoy rather than endure. Thank you. Gail x


It’s hard to find the words to truly express how this experience has changed me. It has been an honour and a privilege to share time and stories with my fellow travellers to just be me! Thank you to Ute & Sarah for all the creative challenges and showing me how to breathe again. Much love. Fiona xxx

…of the Island Magic Soul Spa on the Isle of Bute in October 2021 (the first post-covid retreat – yay!):

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Ute & Lindsey…Thank you so much for a week of great perspective and the understanding and kindness. Those of us who have been touched in this terrible way are able to share great empathy with one another in a way that can’t be found anywhere else. Soul Spa is a special place. Thank you. Kx

It’s been wonderful to be amongst people who really understand, so you don’t have to explain yourself. Also a great insight into how other people are coping (or not). Excellent food & company, so glad I got over my fear of travelling on my own and made the effort to come. Thanks. Christine x

Ettrick Bay Isle of Bute
The beach at Ettrick Bay

These have been a few days which have changed me in another way than expected and I hope it will be positive. Thank you for listening and providing support. Daggi

Cyanotype printing at the retreat
Doing some creative bits…

Heart breaking, heart warming. A most beautiful, giving, supportive group & experience. Joyful to be part of and deliver yoga-based & wellness sessions too. Thank you! ♥ Lindsey (Retreat Co-host)


I arrived with low expectations, but the love and kindness I received from you all allowed me to sing again, which was beyond anything I hoped for. Nothing will take away the pain of losing my darling Maggie but hearing all your stories gave me a sense of perspective which I don’t think I could have achieved without being with Fire & Rain. Thank you Ute, Lindsey and my new friends for allowing me to be me. Thank you Andy and Joan for your wonderful hospitality. Namaste. Bob xxx


Thank you so much for your kindness and support. And for helping me to see a way to a positive future. Thank you too to everyone here. Can’t describe what it has meant. Sharing and learning. And enjoying such wonderful food together. C xxx


…of the Nature Nurture Mindfulness Soul Spa in Lower Largo on the Scottish East Coast in June 2019:

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Thank you for the surroundings allowing us all to be ourselves, for the first time in a long time. The compassion has at times been intoxicating, in the nicest possible way. With emotions running high, the relaxed atmosphere has given way to being “in touch”. I am truly grateful for everything, and am taking all positives with me, for the long journey ahead, allowing me to deal with anything life throws my way. To laugh has been such a tonic. Fond memories… Roy

With our wonderful guests!

Thank you all for this amazing experience! To be with like minded people helped me realize I am not alone in my grief. I have learned to express myself and will always be grateful for the support from everyone. We came together as strangers and will leave as friends. I am allowed. Cathy

Picnic on the beach on our coastal walk

Such a restful time in idyllic surroundings. Beautiful company and delicious, nourishing food. To spend time with people who really understand how I feel and disconnect from my responsibilities has been wonderful. I return home feeling rested, stronger and at peace. Jane

What a fun session!

Thank you for providing a safe place to cry, bond and face the unwanted changes in my life. This week was more than I could have hoped for. I’m leaving stronger. I have tools to get me through the tough, dark days. Thank you. Alvenia (from Arizona)

Alvenia at work

Thank you Ute and Andrew. This week has been a revelation on many fronts. My yoga and meditation journey will continue, along with the friendships I have forged. Ute, thank you providing the perfect environment that has enabled me to feel safe, so looked after and able to be myself. Every day brought new experiences, meaningful chats, loads of laughter and tears. I feel ready to face another day. Maria x

The beach outside our venue

Dear Ute & Andrew, this week has far exceeded anything I could have hoped for. The beautiful location and peaceful surroundings have been perfect to enable me to just “stop and be”, to connect with my emotions on a whole new level and to express them openly with people who understand what I’m going through. The love and support has been wonderful. The food so lovingly prepared by Yvonne and Alison was incredible. And the meditation, yoga, walking on the beach and all the other activities were just what I needed – I wouldn’t have changed any of it. I go home feeling calmer! Thank you so much! Jill xxx

…of the Còsagach Creative & Yoga Soul Spa at Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull in January 2019: 

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I was worried about attending the Soul Spa – would I be the only man there? Well – I was but I needn’t have worried. Ute and Sarah, thank you for making this holiday so special and looking after us so well. The company, the yoga, the art, the walking, and, not least, the food. The highlight was the Burns Night – All hail to the Mighty Haggis!! Good luck to Fire & Rain for the future – it’s a special thing you’re doing! Much love. Keith (from Liverpool) xxx

Scotland is stunning in any time of year
Scotland is stunning at any time of year

I didn’t know quite how much I needed this – until I arrived. You met me with hugs, told me not to hold back my tears and then fed us copious amounts of food and drink. I’ve not had an appetite for 7 months, and know I’ve not been eating well, but you prepared wonderful food, and lots of it. Even though if asked I’d have said I wasn’t hungry, you knew otherwise. I’d come back jut to be fed and watered by you. I had no expectations about the retreat – it’s been a joy to share it with others who absolutely get it – who completely understand the devastation when you lose your special person. To be based in such a special place at Calgary Bay has meant the world too, not solely because of its personal connection for me, but because it’s stunningly beautiful whatever the weather. The walks, yoga and creative practices have been the icing on the cake. The words “thank you” don’t seem enough, but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Lots of love. Hayley xxx

Courage dear heart
Courage dear heart

More pics and feedback from other soul spas

Read Janet’s story almost two years after she attended the first ever Soul Spa in July 2017 here.

Also check out our blog post on the Hebridean Wildscapes Soul Spa in Mull here.

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What an amazing experience to be able to “just be”, with others who have suffered the same loss. I’ve laughed so much til my sides ached, and cried! I feel like I’ve known these people forever. An anxiety I felt at the start was quick to subside. Thank you Ute for giving me this amazing Soul Spa. Thank you Sarah for your giving yoga sessions and Lesley for your amazing food. Feeling blessed for being a part of this. Sheila xxxx


Dear Ute, Sarah & Lesley – aka, The Dream Team! There are some occasions in life where it’s difficult to find the right words & as I try to write this, it’s one of those times! Thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough, but, for all that generosity of spirit, in different ways from each of you, I do indeed want to say a massive thank you. Ute – you deserve for Fire & Rain to go from strength to strength – it’s so inspirational and very much needed. Sarah – your passion for yoga and creative writing knows no bounds – thank you for teaching us. Lesley – beavering away in the kitchen – so calm, so knowledgeable about food and sustaining our appetite with wondrous meals. And as for the wonderful, strong women I have met & spent the last 5 days with…well, I feel like I’ve known you all for 5 years not 5 days. Thank you all for your love, your listening, your strength & for all the tears – both sadness & hilarity! With my love, Jane xxxxx


I’d been so nervous and was amazed how quickly I felt relaxed in this wonderful place with you all. I felt so taken care of. My soul feels nourished and I have learned so much. What a wonderful experience, thank you! All my love, Ruth xxx


You have given me back the gift of time. Time to spend with my grief in the presence of others who have had the same experience. Crazy how we can meet on Saturday and be lifelong friends by Wednesday. The time spent with you has been nothing short of amazing!!! To travel across the world to an unknown place. You have welcomed me, made me feel safe and so included with all of you. My heartfelt love and peace to each of you for this amazing journey. Love Jill


I didn’t think I’d be on another soul spa! The first was amazing and got me through the first holiday. This one, at another stage of my grief journey, was more than I could ever imagine. Thank you to my fellow re-treatants for stirring the laughter & the tears & the hysteria. I feel so blessed to have been with you and shared this part of your journey through grief. The journey none of us wanted to be on. Thank you Ute & Sarah for your care and love. Thank you Lesley for your food and love. Yvonne xxxxx


Going on holiday for the first time since Jon died was never going to be easy. I am so glad I found Fire & Rain. Ute and Alison were perfect hosts and just as the website promised what we did was flexible and optional. Thank you Ute, for having the inspiration to do this & for your artistic flair. thank you Alison, for the amazing food. Thank you both for your openness & wisdom. With love & grateful thanks, Yvonne


You are one of my first steps on my journey from who & where I was to who and where I shall become. The place and company, not to mention the food, were all that I could have wished for. It has been so helpful to spend time with you all. With many thanks, Janet

Liebe Ute, liebe Alison, ich habe einen langen Weg auf mich genommen, um zu Euch nach Arran zu kommen – es hat sich wahrlich gelohnt. Das Big Beach House ist ein wundervoller Ort, um die Seele baumeln zu lassen und neue Kraft zu tanken. Mit viel Fuersorge und Hingabe habt Ihr fuer uns gesorgt. So fuehlte ich mich frei und doch niemals alleine. Wir hatten die Moeglichkeit uns auszutauschen, in einem geschuetzten Raum, was sehr wichtig ist. Ich danke Euch, fuer die wundervollen Tage und kehre gestaerkt nach Muenchen zurueck. Gehabt Euch wohl! Herzlichst, Erina


Translation of the feedback form a German guest (see above):

I travelled a long way to come and stay with you in Arran – and it was so worth it. The Big Beach House is a wonderful place to just be and recharge your batteries. You both looked after us with so much care and dedication. I felt free but never lonely. We could share thoughts and experiences, in a safe space, which is very important. I thank you for the wonderful days and return to Munich with new strength. 


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