Like the idea of leaving a festival feeling better than when you arrived? I went along to the Detox Healthy Beauty Festival at Archerfield Walled Garden proving festivals are not always about booze and mosh pits.

The face of festivals is changing. Where once it was all about mud-covered wellies, world-famous live bands and drunken antics, today you’re more likely to hear about friends going to a non-alcoholic rave or a meditation and mindfulness weekend. For many of us, self-care has become less of a treat and more of a way of life and it seems we’re swapping vodka-shots and club-culture for protein smoothies and yoga. Whether it’s a day-long event or an entire weekend of yoga and detox, wellness retreats and festivals are becoming increasingly popular. 

Last year, I tentatively dipped my toe into the wellness world, when I was asked to review East Lothian’s first ever well-being festival at Archerfield Walled Garden, and along with the nation, I became a fan of the wellness festival trend.

After an incredibly successful first year, the Detox Health Beauty festival returned to Archerfield Walled Garden in May this year. With a focus on educating, motivating and inspiring people to become the healthiest versions of themselves, Detox Health Beauty work with experts from all over the world to provide guidance, information and top tips on how to look and feel your best. Sheena Skinner, owner of Detox Health Beauty said; “The atmosphere at our first festival was absolutely wonderful and we are excited to take it to a new level this year. It’s all about helping people discover how to feel and look better – whether you want to try out a new beauty treatment or discover how to achieve peace and that inner calm we all seek.

Believe me, if you can find your inner zen anywhere, it’s here. The setting is simply stunning. Cute tee-pees, decorated with flower garlands were dotted around the estate, delicious scents wafted from the vegan and vegetarian food zone and the super talented Funk Wagen set the sound track for the day. Think Ibiza meets East Lothian and you’ll get the idea. 

There was an impressive line-up of experts from the world of detox, health and beauty with motivational wellness talks on every subject from nutrition to the menopause. This year’s highlights included nutritionist Emma Marshall, the Kilted Yogi Finlay Wilson and Ardere’s Nicole and Lauren Windas.

It was easy to enrich mind, body and soul as you wandered around the stunning Archerfield Estate exploring the different zones. The health and lifestyle zone featured well know names from the world of beauty. Brands such as Harvey Nichols and Lululemon sat side by side with local favourites Fletchers Cottage Spa, Beatitude and Laura Thomas Co. Mindfulness workshops and complementary treatments were set down by the lake in the retreat zone. You could visit a life coach, try the crystal healing beds, have reflexology or simply a facial. 

A plant-based food zone headlined by Hendersons of Edinburgh, along with Alice’s Pantry and The Edinburgh Fermentarium, to name just a few, kept festival-goers amply sustained. And the Mad March Hare served lunch and brunch at a beautifully styled long table nestled in the middle of the market garden. At the fitness zone, classes ran throughout the day and included Lululemon, Amanda Hamilton Pilates and Tara Lee Yoga. Festival goers got crafty in crafting for wellbeing tent, hosted by The Honeyed Bison, where many came away adorned with stunning floral crowns.

So, the chance to sample some of the country’s best skincare brands, super-healthy foods, revitalising fresh juices, invigorating yoga sessions, relaxing meditation and so much more. A chance to enrich body and soul. I’ll be back – next year.

(images with thanks to Jamie Bennett