Mayfaire is our lovely, peaceful private home in England’s largest designated area of outstanding beauty. The Slad Valley has never been intensively farmed, sprayed or built on. It is rare limestone grassland habitat and its ancient beechwoods have rich flora & abundant wildlife. The hillsides and the woodlands you can walk are known for many different types of wild orchid and lots of badgers & deer. It is a place of natural abundance & strong, healing energy and is acclaimed for it exceptional beauty.
Very informally, for some non-residential courses, on a friendship basis, we invite you to stay overnight & enjoy self-serve breakfast, & the hot tub with its spectacular views. Enjoy a peaceful, rural retreat & the benefits of being fully with the energy of the group. We need to know well in advance if you want this- first come, first served! You confirm your place (places strictly limited) with your payment. We get fabulous feedback from those who stay here.
We offer informal bed and breakfast accommodation at a very much cheaper rate than you will find in the area for this quality of accommodation. You also have the benefit of staying in the energetic field of the course and relaxing with other participants. Breakfast is self-serve. During most retreats, supper is catered & served at Mayfaire, and is followed by evening circle, so it can be convenient to stay here too. It is best to arrange accommodation at the same time as you book your course as it is popular! Please be aware that we have a dog & two cats, and read these guidelines before booking.
This is very much community living and guests find it enhances their overall experience to stay with us and many of the group. There is lots of laughter! and it is good and sweet in many ways to hang out in an informal way, enjoy the hot tub and beautiful countryside in free time. We ask you to be mindful that this is our home and to please take care of it as though it were your own.
It’s an easy 90 minutes from London, 40 minutes from Bristol, 20 minutes from Cheltenham. There is a regular train service to Stroud from London , Bristol, Bath and elsewhere and an easy taxi journey from Stroud. You will be a 10 min drive -which can often be a shared lift with others staying here- from a Stroud venue, or it’s a pleasant 25 min morning walk on back lanes. Sometimes the day course may take place here rather than in Stroud so you don’t need to get in a car at all. Prices for b and b vary depending on whether you need a single bed, double bed or dorm share sleeping on mats on the floor. Participants give us great feedback about staying here. Please see your course page on the website for further information – there will either be a drop down box to book it or a link to a separate page with full info & booking if b & b is offered during your particular course. Full directions to our home are given after booking.
Slad village is lovely, made famous by Laurie Lee’s wonderful books – Cider with Rosie etc. There are wonderful views of the valley from our home and superb walking country all around. If your course does not include catering, (see the Description section at the bottom of your course booking page to find this out) or there is a free night as usually happens with ongoing groups, you can get a good dinner at The Woolpack Inn – Laurie Lee’s old pub haunt – every night ( pizza on Mondays now!) – it’s good to book in advance. You can also go to the Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe, Fostons Ash on the Slad to Birdlip Road (they sometimes do really good value offers on week days) or into Stroud, which is a couple of miles away, for Italian or curry.
We love to share our home in this beautiful area, and welcome you!
Please note these are similar to, and in some cases more relaxed, those of a retreat centre. These guidelines apply for day courses and for your overnight stays. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation
We do understand this isn’t 5 star perfection -and it is the height of luxury compared with what Joy experienced living in the Hawaiian jungle for many years! We so appreciate the care & love those who have stayed with us in the past have shown us in our home. It normally works very beautifully for participants & there is so much to be received from this aspect of being together. It offers so much learning & friendship & laughter in itself.
Please read carefully It should be obvious what needs to be taken care of and when and what is appropriate during your stay and, in addition, very important guidelines are below.
Guidelines for all guests
Questions whilst here, please ask an assistant rather than Joy or Tim.
Parking at Mayfaire – your day course, or your supper & evening venue There is parking for about 7 cars at the house if parked carefully. Please car share if you already know people & have pre-arranged it (please dont involve Joy in this). If the day venue is elsewhere, assistants will give information after the day circle closes, but be aware that if you can car share & leave some cars in Stroud it helps the parking situation. Most people will park near the Slad village noticeboard area below us, and then walk a short distance. Orher options are the car park behind the Woolpack or on the road near that pub, or at Bulls Cross which is a longer walk.
Outdoor shoes are never worn inside. Bring slippers & dont ‘pop out’ while weaaring them then come back in! This has energetic & practical significance.
Coats and bags and shoes in utility room please.
Drinks only bottled water in the group/sitting room and bedrooms and in all areas without wooden floors. No glass in the garden please. No alcohol or mood-altering drugs to be consumed for the duration of the course.
Belongings/furniture/machinery/music players etc This is our home. Please take care with any use of these.
Smoking is not allowed within our home but you can smoke in the gardens. Please put used cigarette ends in a bin, not on the grass, as deer etc can choke on them.
Aga Place pans/kettles on aga on open hotplate when boiling or on teatowel/fabric covers ONLY, not on blue enamel or stainless steel plate covers as they will scratch & rust.
Recycling we have recycling facilities for; paper, some cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, tins & batteries. The recycling bins are located in the kitchen bin and materials are then transferred to bins outside. Please remember the importance of using them and make sure that articles are put in the correct bins-read the labels.
The neighbourhood At all times please live the Hawaiian principle of Lokahi – harmony with and blessing for the place and community you are coming into. Please be aware of the proximity of neighbours and the fact that sound travels easily in the area. Please do not be naked outside in breaks.
Team rota There are usually pre-arranged teams for practical tasks to support our communal living & you will, if this applies to you, receive an email in advance of attending. Please attend to these as agreed with your team leader & ask that team leader if you are unsure of anything.
Hot tub to be used only in silence after 7 30am til 8 15 am and after 9 30pm. Ensure you understand how to use the hot tub controls & lid/cover before your first heavenly experience in it. Ideally do not touch any switches unless very familiar & ask for guidance when replacing the big cover-essential! You must shower in the garden shower before any use of hot tub to reduce risk, enable low use of chemicals and avoid any problems for anyone visiting. Do not use the hot tub if you are menstruating or have any potentially infectious disease or cold or have any open cuts, however small, or have heart problems, or have consumed any alcohol. At the hot tub please be aware of talking moderately at all times as we wish to respect our neighbours. Please take care of our neighbours – observe total silence after 7 30am til 8 15 am and after 9 30pm. Please make sure you are covered with a towel or clothing when outside the hot tub. Ensure you understand how to use the hot tub controls & lid/cover before your first heavenly experience in it. Ideally do not touch any switches unless very familiar & ask for guidance when replacing the big cover-essential! The hot tub & deck & shower area is used at your own risk.
Decking and wooden steps Please take great care on these, especially when wet.
Torch is essential for the garden and the hot tub and shower area at nights. There are some lights which come on via sensors, but go off after a certain time. The hot tub area has its own lights but you still need a torch and great care to avoid hazards in shadow, such as plant pots and the steps to the tub.
Animals Our dog Goldie always has access to a back garden which is fenced for her safety. Please do not let her come out of the front door with you unless you are supervising her all the time or taking her for a walk. Tiger, our male cat, loves attention & Beauty our female cat, is more cautious with strangers but if you wish to coax her, she is very rewarding! It is fine not to relate to the animals if it isn’t your thing. Please don’t feed the animals at all unless you have checked with us.
Food Informal self-serve. Breakfast is included if you have booked b & b. Store food for shared lunches in utility room in your cool box and the fridge. Ask assistants about this. If you have an allergy that we haven’t been informed about and if so let the assistants know as soon as possible. However the responsibility for keeping yourself safe and well must lie with you. If you need to accommodate a special diet please ensure you bring enough food and refreshments with you. Catered meals may be part of your course arrangements. If so, please take the type of meal you have ordered or you deprive someone else of their choice. Please store food well in utility room and fridge for shared lunches.
Extra Guidelines for Overnight (bed & breakfast) Guests
Showers There is one shower inside, one hot water garden shower outside. Please use either to avoid queues. Always shower before hot tub use.
Lighting Make sure you use the OFF switches NOT the dimmers at night. Ask asssistants for guidance. Bring a torch – no light use- for after 10 45pm please.
Bedding Unless you have booked an option ‘with a bed’, you must bring your own bedding- duvet, pillow, coverings. You may also bring a campbed but we do provide a soft mat for you to lie on. Please clear away all your bedding and bags the following morning before breakfast, into Joy’s upstairs office. Ask assistants where. Please clear all your bedding away to the allocated area before breakfast.
What to bring if staying overnight at Mayfaire In addition to your what to bring list for the course, bring your bedding (see above) , a bath towel, a torch, any medical items needed, & a blindfold. Also a swimsuit if you dont wish to be naked in the hot tub.
Camping & Camper Vans at Mayfaire There will be a hot water tub & hot shower for those camping. There is the shower room loo, & both indoor & hot tub shower for those in the house. Please note that we do not provide towels , bedding or camping gear so you must bring your own.
Please ask Tim or Ashley about where to camp before pitching your tent. All camps pitched & bedding is organised after Sat afternoon session (not on the morning before the workshop) & before Saturday supper please.
Candles or incense sticks in bedrooms are strictly not allowed, as they are a risk. Candles used only in the group room. Please ensure that if you leave our main group room last, you blow out ALL candles & switch off all lights.
Quiet curfew If we are having a communal supper & evening circle as part of your course (see Description, at the bottom of your course booking page) you are very welcome, whether staying overnight or not, to use all the rooms until 10.15pm but be aware many people like to go to sleep earlier than this time. If you are last one out of a room please switch off lights and blow out candles. Please remember everyone needs to rest well and dream well whilst doing intensive inner work. Every evening after 10 45pm and before 7 30pm please respect this by being completely aware and conscious in everything you do, including turning off all lights, mobiles & ipads. We ask for total silence, no flushing of loos or running taps in all rooms, thank you. The wooden floors are echoey and any tiny sound carries. Use a torch if you must get up at night, to avoid waking others. Take the utmost care on stairs.
Evenings without evening circle or catering We normally ask that you eat in local restaurants/pubs at night unless you have been told there is a communally prepared group meal. See links above. Please be back at the house well before people are preparing for bed, very latest 10 15pm. We recommend that you take no alcohol during your retreat.
Vacating your room on your last day Please make sure your bags are packed up before 9 15am & put them in your car before breakfast.
Quiet It is advised that you arrange quiet space, perhaps away from your usual responsibilities, on the evening and day after the group for integration if possible, and avoid alcohol during the group.
Other B&B accommodation if staying in area before and after the group – Please see Bed & Breakfast near Slad & Stroud for local area accommodation; Mayfaire availability varies according to the type of course. There will not be availability other than the specific nights stated on the website which are related to the course you have booked.