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  • Specialty Coffee
  • Take-home Fresh Produce
  • Studio

The south side’s latest spot for all things wellness is Willow Urban Retreat, which opened in Armadale in April.

A health food cafe, site of spiritual healing, and one-stop shop for learning how to incorporate health and wellbeing principles into our busy lives, it’s a must-visit for any self-proclaimed wellness-warrior.

You can thank holistic health guru, Sharon Bassat, for bringing wellness to life at Willow. Inspired by health retreats where visitors travel from far and wide to experience heightened experiences of wellness, she decided to bring the experience to them in an attempt to provide avenues for balance and reflection in everyday life. Her vision has flourished into an inner-city retreat that provides holistic medicine, classes, nutritional advice, a health food cafe and spa treatments all in the one place.

Before you can think of which class to take or smoothie to order, the simplistic yet hugely striking design by Megan Hounslow and Melanie Beyon from Meme Design will kick-start the conversation. The pair had a stunning backdrop to begin with, as Willow is housed in heritage buildings which have been modified internally to give a fresh, modern feel to the stunning historical site. A fresh colour palette of neutral and jade tones and the abundance of natural light that floods in contribute to creating a space that nurtures healthy minds, bodies and psyche.

Willow’s drawcard is their extensive repertoire of retreat programs. Stretch and release, yoga, Qigong, sound bath healing, meditation, yoga classes take place to engage body and soul in a mindfulness experience set to improve their overall wellbeing and composure. Alternatively, for those looking to treat themselves to a little something luxurious should opt for spa body treatments, holistic facials, energy healing and massages.

A post-class or pre-treatment staple at Willow is the wholefoods cafe which follows a strong farm-to-table philosophy in its offering. With a Head Chef like Nick Cree, previously of Supernormal and Top Paddock, you can be sure that whatever you order, it will be a product made with expertise and top produce. Joanne Riley, Willow’s in-house naturopath has also consulted on the menu to incorporate a strong natural focus. The all-day dining menu covers all bases from sweet fig, apricot, date and sultana loaf drizzled with lemon thyme ricotta and honey to savoury masala spiced scrambled tofu on charred flatbread. In the way of salads, think roasted vegetables with steamed chicken breast or slow-cooked lamb shoulder, or if green is your game the broc and bitters salad combines young broccoli with wild rocket, charred zucchini and baby peas. Pair it with Niccolo’s organic blend coffee, a BOD Kombucha or a loaded smoothie to sip on. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, an alkalizing Aloe Vera cleansing shot should do the trick.

Living well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an art form that few have truly mastered. The team at Willow are here to take you there, one wholefoods smoothie, yoga class and holistic facial at a time. Willow Urban Retreat is now open for healthy, wholesome business in Armadale.

Locate Willow Urban Retreat

1203 High Street, Armadale VIC


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