HQ Getaway July 2015

Rainforest walks. Beautiful vegetarian meals. Roaring fireplaces. Pilates, yoga, massage + meditation. Life-changing conversations. Seriously – it doesn’t get much better than this.

DAY ONE // An hour’s drive outside of Melbourne can quickly feel like you’ve been whisked a million miles away. After a short pitstop in Healesville, dropping in at the Healesville Organic Farmers Markets and the very lovely Harvest Cafe, we arrived at our home for the weekend – the beautiful Amarant Retreat, set in the lush temperate rainforests of the Yarra Valley.

The three-level building, nestled into the hills amidst dewy ferns, towering gums and mossy rocks, provided the ultimate haven from the chilly Winter mists (it also happened to be the coldest weekend on record this Winter!). Our hearts and bodies were warmed the moment we stepped inside – toasty warm fireplaces, orange and lemongrass essential oils burning, and heated floorboards greeted our frozen feet.

After settling in, we got cozy by the fireplace and set our intentions for the weekend under the guidance of Alice of Intent Mind, and got to know our little company of bliss-seekers. Friends firmed up fast as we completed our first Pilates class and a sunset bushwalk, and were cemented around the beautiful vegetarian dinner provided by our master Chef, Laura.

We completed our first day with a Yin Yoga session in the Celestial Room, and start to wind down peacefully with some guided meditation, before finally curling up in our cozy rooms upstairs and letting the blissful feelings settle in.


DAY TWO // The melodic sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl awakens those who haven’t already risen early for morning meditation and yoga downstairs. A truly lush breakfast is served up – Sunday porridge cooked with fresh dates, oats, cinnamon, lemon peel, almond milk and coconut cream. Topped with pecans, local berries, flax oil and vanilla bean honey, we have to just about stop ourselves from licking the bowl.

After a vigorous Pilates session with Victoria, we break off to start our sessions – full body Swedish relaxation massage with Stacey, or one-on-one life coaching with Alice. Those waiting their turn enjoy a leisurely afternoon of creating vision boards, flicking through pages of inspiration to find the images that resonate with their heartfelt dreams.

Dinner in the evening is a hearty winter forest mushroom risotto, served with walnut and green leaf salad and truffle oil. The dessert blows minds – chocolate avocado mousse topped with fresh local berries, cacao nibs and maple syrup.

We roll into the yoga room for a restful and restorative Yin Yoga session, resting our legs against the wall in a supported shoulder stand and feeling the worries of the world float away. In the quiet cocoon of darkness, by the flicker of candlelight, we finish our session with a collective resounding OM, sharing an unspoken connection that will live on well beyond these three days.

DAY THREE // We rise early before the sun and wander down to the Celestial Room, where we gather our bolsters and blankets, and sit peacefully in lotus pose, finding our breath and stillness in the moment. Gently, we are guided through a morning meditation, awakening to the senses of our body and mind before opening our eyes to a brand new day.

Laura has already been busily cooking in the kitchen, and has prepared us yet another delicious breakfast. The recipe cards in our goody bags come in use for the Bliss Ball making demonstration led by Abby, who shows us how to make decadent chocolate orange bliss balls from scratch. As the girls squeeze in their final massage and coaching sessions, we take in the cool mountain air on the verandah and thank our lucky stars for finding this truly special place. It feels like home.

The dates for our next HQ Getaway are already booked in at Amarant Retreat! If you’d like to join us for our next HQ Getaway (Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd January 2017), please drop us an email at or visit our HQ GETAWAY info page for all the details xx 

With love,

V & A xx

Join us for our 2017 HQ Getaway!

We are so thrilled to announce the dates for our Summer HQ Getaway!

If you are looking to start your 2017 with your best foot forward, this is the perfect opportunity – a weekend away where you walk in wanting a rest, space to breathe and reflect, internal and external nourishment, and time to just ‘be’.

Located in the beautiful Yarra Valley, surrounded by lush green forest, our venue is Amarant Retreat, an eco-friendly sanctuary designed for reflection and immersion.

Over the course of three days (Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd January 2017), you will have the space to connect with the energy and spirit of the forest and gorgeous fellow females, ultimately deepening the unique connection with your innermost self.

HQ Getaway July 2015

We’ll help you start your 2017 refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated, as you reflect on your goals and get clear on your intentions for the year ahead.

After 3 days and 2 nights of healthy food, fresh air, yoga, pilates, meditation, 1:1 nutrition, life and business coaching, traditional massage, rainforest walks, uplifting and supportive female company, nature, sleep, exploring your dreams and taking time to ‘be’, we hope to reconnect you with how you truly want to feel, every day.

When you walk out, you will have been taken care of, nourished and filled up, knowing exactly what to do to live a beautiful life everyday: a life filled with energy, vitality, purpose and beauty.


• 2 nights and 3 days luxuriously accommodated at Amarant Retreat –
beautiful, comfortable bedrooms to enable sound sleep and sweet dreams

• Healthy, beautiful vegetarian meals for the whole weekend – to bring
clarity, energy and vitality

• Seasonal food preparation class – learn how to prepare nutritious meals
using food from the seasonal table

• Morning meditation, yoga and pilates, and rainforest walks – be in your
body in nature, grounded

• 1:1 nutritional coaching, 1:1 life and business coaching, and a traditional
massage session are all part of your personal journey

• Organic pamper bag to give your goals a head-start, building a cupboard
of go-to products that nourish you and the planet.

• Abundant supply of organic fruits, treats and teas to snack on all weekend.

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For more photos of the rooms please check out:



Individual bed in shared accommodation suite (with 2-4
other lovely ladies) + shared bathroom ensuite
EARLY BIRD! $690 incl. all meals, all activities and 2 nights’ accom
(prices rise to $790 from 1st October – instalment plans also available)


Private double bedroom for one + bathroom ensuite
EARLY BIRD! $890 incl. all meals, all activities and 2 nights’ accom
(prices rise to $990 from 1st October – instalment plans also available)


You can download our retreat e-brochure with all the details here:

HQ Getaway – Summer 2017

Or just drop us a line at – we’d so love for you to join us! x

RECIPE // Simple Strawberry Sorbet

I’m such a fan of recipes you can whip up in two minutes. This dessert is simple, delicious, so easy and good for you! What more could you ask for.


– 4 cups frozen strawberries

– 1/2 cup Chobani plain Greek yogurt (go for the slightly sweet version for a little more sweet and less tang)

– 3 tablespoons dark agave nectar

– good squeeze of half a lemon


Throw together into a food processor and blend. You may need to stop and scrape up the sides to ensure it blends through evenly. 

Serve with fresh strawberries, cocoa nibs or whipped coconut cream. Delish! Xx

HQ Muse – Andie Meredith


Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our HQ Muse, Andie Meredith!


1. How was your business born? What led you to follow a life in design?

My design label came about during my final year of study – Bachelor of Design (Fashion), where i developed several design briefs based around my chosen target market. From there i graduated (with a business plan), and an opportunity to attend an emerging designer trade show. As a debut designer, I began wholesaling my seasonal women’s wear collections in short runs.

Over a period of about 6 years I continued to design and produce women’s wear collections, including signature print fabrics. Throughout that time people would often comment on how my designs could be quite suited to pieces outside of women’s apparel. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to explore the idea of developing those designs (that I would have once used as part of garments and accessories) to be used on all kinds of surfaces – including homewares, paper products, light installations, industrial design, shoes, ceramics – you name it. I envisage the designs to be used across many mediums. So with a little bit of planning and lots of enthusiasm, I’ve now steered the direction of my design label toward several niche markets, focusing on surface design.


2. Signature fabric prints are a major feature of your designs, what inspires you to come up with the prints?

My fabric design process also developed during my final year of study. It’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to draw on over the years. The process itself stemmed from my love of the art nouveau period and in particular the artist, designer, and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who design and built the Glasgow School of Art.

I’m also innately quite drawn to nature, organic shapes, raw and ephemeral objects, so that certainly informs my design aesthetic.

While completing my final year collection I was thoroughly immersed in Mackintoshs’ works and quite liked the idea of looking at the materials he worked with – mostly malleable and experimented with ways in which i could reinterpret his processes and works. My process came to be: experimental mark making on paper, using ink, wire and string. From there i chose sections of my artwork (experimental mark making) and created repeat patterns using photoshop. I’d spend hours on end with colour palette (usually constrained and subdued) specifications, and before I knew it I’d have several designs ready for printing.

The actual printing onto fabric process has been an enormous learning curve for me over the years. After spending a substantial amount of time testing several suppliers, both onshore and offshore, and both digital and screen printing by hand, I’d like to think I have found a fellow artist who will continue to support my whacky ideas, share their wealth of knowledge and most of all contribute the highest quality fabric printing.

At present I have just received a bundle of freshly plant dyed, linen and hemp that has been screen printed with a couple of AM classics. The plant dye is unique in colour and offers a lovely depth of character in contrast to the ‘expected’ digital print method. The hemp and linen fibres prove longevity in design and function. I’m looking forward to coming up with some new products and over the next couple of days I’ll be using the fabrics to make up some goodies for the HQ Workshop and Rose Street Artist Market.



3. Who are your role models or muses for your designs?

I’ve always been in touch with the Andie Meredith audience – consistent market research was a large part of my design process – knowing the ‘Andie Meredith audience’ was imperative in designing and making. I like to listen to people and I’m quite observant and perceptive. So with this in mind my audience is quite vast in age and background. The woman who wears and admires Andie Meredith designs is confident in herself, she wants to know the story behind each design, she believes in sustainable living, purchases with a conscience and values ethical production.


4. You have now branched out to accessories and gorgeous homewares, are there any new products on the horizon?

Yes, indeed! I’ve got lots of ideas and planning ticking over in the background, which I hope to be announcing soon.


5. What does your ideal day look like?

I’m somewhat spontaneous, although I also like to have a little bit of a routine in my day-to-day life. I like to explore and try new things, and being in a new city, I have an endless list of things to do! There are some things I like to think are a must… laughing and sunshine are a must.


6. Do you have a life motto?

I find myself reflecting quite a bit. I guess you could say the notion of living and learning really.


7. Where can we source your beautiful products from?

Since recently moving to Melbourne I have started a space at the Rose Street Market, but my instagram feed is my most reliable source for product updates.


8. You create bespoke designs by request, how was the experience of creating a specific design for a wedding?

Yes, the wedding fabrics were the very first bespoke prints and I must say the entire process was a great success. For this particular wedding the fabric designs were the basis of the entire colouring and styling, quite like an ‘anchor point’ for the couple to plan the whole ceremony around. Because of my background in working with fabrics, designing collections and runway events I was able to draw on my knowledge and experiences to gain an understanding of the couple’s vision and also advise on how to implement the designs once they were printed onto the fabric.

It was really quite rewarding to see the entire day come together. I was also fortunate enough to make the dresses and accessories as well as wear one of the (bridesmaid) dresses.


9. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self in chasing your dreams?

Take risks, be confident, trust what you know and know what you trust.





HQ Workshop // One Day Urban Retreat


Allpress Studio, Collingwood | 10am – 5pm, Sunday 17 April 2016


Looking for a way to reboot your 2016 and tune into the seasons? Join us for our next HQ WORKSHOP on Sunday 17 April – a one-day seasonally themed retreat held at a gorgeous urban oasis – Allpress Studio in Collingwood.

With Autumn’s day and nights now of equal length, light and dark are perfectly balanced as we begin to tip into the dark phase of the year. We will explore this interplay of light and dark,  between fire and water, and yang and yin through our sessions, each led by experienced teachers and weaving a common thread throughout the day.

Expect a wonderfully joyful experience, full of play on our mats through Pilates and Yoga, reflection and peaceful contemplation via our meditation and group sessions, and learning and growth through our nutrition, floristry and sustainability workshops. You can download our full program shortly.

Tickets are $150, including a full day of activities, a wellbeing lunchbox provided by Egg Unlimited, a beautiful goody bag with special gifts from our local event partners including Andie Meredith and Mulbury, as well as practical workshops where you will make your own seasonal treats to take home.

Drop us a line at with any queries, or CLICK HERE to register now.


Your hosts

HolisticHQAbby McLennan

Abby is a qualified Nutritionist having completed her degree in nutrition and psychology, and is also a qualified beauty therapist with an advanced diploma in skin biology/aesthetics. She is our in-house nutritionist at Holistic HQ, and is also our co-founder. Abby currently consults out of her own home, and can be contacted directly for 1:1 appointments at

Photo Credit - Annette Ruzicka PhotographyVictoria Brockfield

Victoria is a fully qualified Pilates mat, reformer and barre instructor, former sports model and the co-founder of Holistic HQ. Victoria teaches across Melbourne at some of city’s top studios, including Breathe WellbeingWhite Dog StudiosPremium Performance and Armature Pilates.


Natalie Abbott

Natalie teaches Dance and Yoga, and aims to create sensorial performance experiences by fusing the two into an intensely physical movement class with flow and charisma. She’s worked as a dancer for Canadian pop chanteuse Grimes, and has performed at Chunky Move, Dark MOFO and Next Wave Festivals.

Natalie is trained in the power vinyasa flow style of yoga teaching. She achieved her accreditation through Power Living Australia Yoga under the mentorship of Duncan Peak and Keenan Crisp. She currently teaches at Power Living South Melbourne, Virgin Active, Bourke St and occasionally runs her own classes at Dancehouse in Carlton North.



Petra Cremming

Pomp and Splendour is an inspired floral studio in Melbourne, created by florist and nature lover Petra Cremming. With an open mind and and original eye for visual detail and design, the Pomp and Splendour aesthetic celebrates the forms and contrasting textures found in both the natural world and the urban environment.



Recipe // Jalapeno Hummus

This hummus is a zing-y version of the traditional recipe and goes great with the falafels and tabbouleh. It keeps for a week in the fridge.


3 Jalapenos de-seeded and roughly chopped

can chickpeas, drained

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons tahini

1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper


Please all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend away until combined. Sprinkle with extra cumin and olive oil.



Recipe // Spinach Falafels with Quinoa Tabbouleh


Make it tonight!! So easy. So simple. So quick! They are high in protein and fibre, plus they are so fresh and flavourful you’ll be going back for seconds!


Makes 10- 12

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1 cup baby spinach

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 spring onion

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour, I used almond flour because I had it in the fridge)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of ground pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Turn oven on to 180 degrees or 170 degrees fan forced. Place the parsley, spinach, garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Put mix in a medium bowl. Put the chickpeas in processor and pulse until chopped, i.e. the mixture starts to turn creamy. Pour chickpea mix into parsley mix and combine by hand. Add tahini, flour and seasoning and mix until incorporated. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out 1/8 cup portions of the falafel mixture and shape into balls. Place on top of the parchment paper and drizzle the olive oil, ensuring all falafels are covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Make the tabbouleh recipe below while the falafels are cooking. Takes no time at all – You’re (fal)laughing!



Q U I N O A  T A B B O U L E H


1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into 1/4″ pieces and de-seeded with a spoon

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved and seeds taken out

2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 spring onions, thinly sliced


Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 mins. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 mins. Fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and spring onions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over the tabbouleh.




I recently found something at the local health food store that has literally changed my mornings. I love a good protein-rich smoothie, but fell off the bandwagon of late as my favourite protein powder supplier had shut up shop, and the majority of stale, additive-riddled products on the market were lacklustre in goodness and unappealing to taste, to say the least.

That was until I came across Prana On. Ok, full disclosure – I am a raving fan! Not only are their products vegan, gluten free, and soy free, but they are also made entirely from plant based and raw ingredients, and mostly derived from organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. I got chatting with the very helpful guy in the health food store, and on his recommendation walked away with a pack of the Prana On Chai Latte Phyto Fire protein powder. I blended a scoop just with water once I was home (the ultimate taste test). I was immediately won over – the flavour is bang on delicious, and Prana On’s Phyto Fire range delivers a wonderful morning kick for those needing a little extra boost.

I’ve since tried the Coconut Milk, Vanilla Creme and Rich Chocolate flavours from their Power Plant protein range, and each one gets top points for full flavour and impressive ingredients. Made mostly from organic/raw/GMO free golden pea protein and brown rice protein, the blend also includes essential amino acids, digestive enzymes, pre and probiotics and natural sweeteners (stevia). At our local store, a 400g bag retails for somewhere around the $35 mark – only marginally more expensive than some other vegan proteins on the market, but so worth it for the flavour and quality. Who wants to drink bad protein…?

Anyway. Before I get carried away on a big ol’ couch-leaping show of love for these guys, here’s my three favourite super-simple smoothies that I’ve been whipping up every morning. So easy with only 5 ingredients each – just pop it all in the blender, pulse it up, and go!


1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1 scoop Prana On Coconut Milk Power Plant Protein powder
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
300ml water



1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 tbsp flaked coconut
1 scoop Prana On Rich Chocolate Power Plant Protein powder
2 tbsp raw cashews
300ml water


1/2 cup frozen banana
1 scoop Prana On Chai Latte Phyto Fire protein powder
1 decent tbsp almond or 100% peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
300ml water



Love, Vic xx