Art & Food Retreat – July

Woodland Art & Food Retreat



with The Salt Box and Surrey Art School

The Salt Box

Join us in the woods for a collaboration with Surrey Art School!


We’re combining art and food for a day beneath the trees at our woodland glen on the beautiful Priory Farm estate in South Nutfield.


We’ll begin the day with a Mindful Photography walk through the woods. Using a toolkit of mindful techniques, you’ll learn how to use your device or camera to tune into your surroundings – becoming more observant of light, shadows, colour and texture. A passionate photographer who uses her camera as a tool for meditation as much as for recording, Ellie will share her top tips and tricks for creating powerful compositions and a calm mind. You’ll learn how to develop an ‘attentional aperture’, using your eyes as the lens and focus, your mind as the processor and your camera as the anchor to the present moment. As we walk, The Salt Box will be sharing some of their top tips for foraging too and we’ll gather some items to bring back to camp for later creative workshops.


Once we’ve reached our woodland glen and refuelled on a cup of tea and a tasty treat, Ellie will guide us through a taste of Cyanotype. Using our found forest forage, we’ll be using an age-old analogue photography technique – Cyanotype (or Sun printing) – to capture and keep our finds. Ellie will supply samples of her home-made, photo-sensitive paper which we’ll use to ‘expose’ your forest finds and then process the prints using a water bath. You’ll end up with a beautiful blue print, or two, to take home as a memory of this beautifully slow day in the woods.


We’ll then come together for a fire-lighting and cookery workshop, preparing a feast for lunch. Join Beckie and Christian from The Salt Box and get stuck in learning how to create a delicious meal in a relaxed and informative environment, surrounded by the crackle and pop of fires with like minded people. We’ll be using local, seasonal ingredients to create a two-course meal to be enjoyed together beneath the trees.


This will be followed by an afternoon ‘zen’ drawing workshop in the woods, where we’ll be tuning in our ’emotional antennae’. Working with different grades of ‘B’ pencils we’ll explore a range of mark-making methods – from wringing to gliding – learning how to ‘code what we see and turn our environment into stunning pencil sketches. We’ll explore both the energy and directions of the marks before turning our attention to a small area of woodland for a calming afternoon of observational drawing. This workshop is suitable for absolutely all levels and dispels a lot of myths about drawing. Using Ellie’s methods you’ll find the whole process calming and meditative and come away feeling more confident in your drawing skills– a far cry from school art lessons!


We keep the fires stoked throughout the day and provide plenty of light refreshments alongside lunch – so there is nothing for you to do except show up with a healthy appetite and a creative outlook.  We’ll finish the day with a sweet treat, before we make our way back down to the farm, with a little gift bag to remind you of that time you spent in our little woodland sanctuary.


Please note: Both the Cookery Course and Art activities are suitable for all levels and no prior experience is needed to enjoy this beautiful mindful day. Spaces are super limited on these small, intimate seasonal gatherings, so book soon if you’re keen to join us!


The Salt Box
Red Oak Barn
Priory Farm Estate
Sandy Lane
Nutfield RH14EJ

Date & Time

Sunday 28th July 2019

10:00am – 4:00pm

Ticket Price


What’s Included

Mindful photography walk
Cyanotype / sun printing taster
Cookery workshop, preparing a 2-course lunch
Fireside meditation
Zen drawing
Hot and cold refreshments and tasty treats throughout the day


Further Information

  • We will have limited capability to cater for dietary requirements without advance warning, due to the set menu nature of the event, so please let us know about anything relevant prior to booking your tickets. 
  • The menu is subject to change.
  • Please ensure to wear suitable outdoor clothing and sensible shoes.
  • This is a rustic woodland setting, therefore please note that toilet facilities are located a 5 minute walk away.
  • It’s quite the adventure getting to us, you will be required to walk 10 minutes (with a little bit uphill) through the woods to get to us.
  • Full refunds available up to 7 days prior to the event.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the event starting.
  • Instructions on how to find us and where to park, will be sent to you 48 hours prior to the event.
Ellie Green from Surrey Art School

About Surrey Art School


Surrey Art School offer contemporary art classes, courses and events across surrey encouraging wellbeing through creativity.


Founded by Ellie Green, SAS are a highly creative and contemporary community for both Artists and learners of all abilities to connect. They offer a seasonal menu of workshops, classes and pop up events from their Studio in Newdigate and in beautiful locations across Surrey. They strongly believe in creating the right atmosphere for learning, and equipping their students with confidence in the creative process. Their classes are calm and focused, using mindful techniques to ‘switch off’ from the busy digital world, slow down and give full attention to our surroundings.


You can find out more about Surrey Art School here.

Countdown to the Event