Detta Darnell - Women's Retreat, Kefalonia

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet Detta Darnell (Author, Artist, Creative Mentor, Meaning Maker) and spend two wonderful days in her company on a mini retreat.

Detta Darnell

Held at her home in Poros, I walked into her cosy, quirky sanctuary and instantly felt relaxed. I had been looking forward to this experience for many months and it wasn't disappointing. She welcomed me with a big hug and showed me to my room. On the bed were towels, slippers and two exfoliating loofahs.

The living room had a large sofa covered with several beautiful throws and lots and lots of cushions, and a beautiful large chair that I'm sure I would have never got out of if I sat in it!  The room was full of her own paintings, an abundance of books, painted stones and driftwood from the beach which was only 100 metres away. In the corner was a fire place that  Detta lit as Day 1 was cold and cloudy. I made myself comfortable on the sofa, taking in the atmosphere of the room while Detta made me a lovely cup of tea.

On her return she sat in the big chair and explained to me what she usually did on a mini retreat. But she gave me many options and the two days were planned according to what I wanted and needed. Truly bespoke :-)


As it was a chilly day I was happy to sit in front of the fire for a while. And so the day began with a  Card reading which was very detailed and accurate. This took much longer than a traditional reading as she thoroughly explained what each card meant.

She then left me to digest the information from the reading while she prepared lunch. It seemed like she was only gone 5 minutes when she reappeared with a wonderful, delicious lunch (simple but very very yummy. She really is a good cook as well as having many other talents).

In the afternoon Detta drove me to her old pre-earthquake house. At first site it looks like many houses you see in Kefalonia.; neglected and abandoned. But not this house! This house has a story of it's own and as she opened up the double doors she walked me through it, telling me it's story. The house is not at all neglected. It is loved and alive and soon Detta will be putting it to good use turning it into a gallery for all her work. This should be ready in the summer and I just can't wait to go there again.

Heading back to her home we stopped off for a coffee by Poros port and as we sat there we watched the ferry come in and cars and lorries disembark. Huh! That was me towing a caravan only 10 days earlier and now I was sitting there feeling more relaxed than I had in a very long time.

We stopped off at the beach and collected stones and driftwood for my project on Day 2. The water was so clear I had to look hard to see where the water began.

Back at Detta's house I sat once more in front of the fire while Detta prepared dinner. I offered to help several times but each time she refused. I'm not used to that and at first found it very difficult to sit and relax knowing someone was in the kitchen beavering away busily. But I forced myself to embrace it and it was actually very nice!

Detta presented another superb meal, some wine and we sat and chatted for hours.

I went to bed and must have fallen asleep within minutes! It was a lovely sleep in a beautiful room.


I woke up to tea served on a traditional Greek tray. While drinking my tea I took a bit more time to spot all the interesting items in Detta's living room and spotted things I hadn't noticed on day 1.
She concocted a yummy fry up breakfast which I had said I didn't want the day before. But after tasting Detta's lovely homemade lunch and dinner the day before, I was quite excited for her cooked breakfast. It wasn't disappointing!

Then she explained that with the bits and bobs I had collected on the beach the day before, I could get creative and make something inspired from my reading. She got out the paint, glue, glitter etc and spread it all out on the table outside. And there I sat for the rest of the morning, totally engrossed in the activity. Totally in the moment. It was lovely.

Time for food again! Detta made another home made lunch which again was delicious (I can't emphasise  enough what a bloody good cook she is!).
After lunch we strolled down to the beach with a couple of chairs and chatted away like friends about our lives; our parents, our kids, our husbands! Detta was surprisingly open and I felt like I was sitting on the beach with a long lost friend.

When we returned it was tea time again but this time with fresh strawberries and cream. mmmmmmmmmmmmm yummy!

The day was coming to an end but not before a Runes reading which focused on the present and future and a short Reiki session.

I left with a bag of goodies, not only what I had made earlier in the day but also one of Detta's paintings, a journal to continue the journey I have just begun, and notes from both readings so I could look back on them and remind myself.

I drove back to Argostoli energised and excited and looking forward to putting into place some 'personal targets' set!

My mini retreat was worth every single penny (just for the food!) and I look foward to doing it all over again next year.

Thank you Detta

...........Let's Cruise Together!

Written by Eleni Nicolaou