SLOW FOOD + TRAVEL
Our Slow Living Retreats & Escapes are worlds away where you can relax, nourish creativity, become inspired anew, and connect—with others, yourself, and the world around you. In a digital world where so much is experienced on the screen & life moves so fast, L | M Retreats aims to bring the beautiful photographs to life and slow down time. From a stay at a hot spring inn in the mountains of Japan to sailing on the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean to riding horseback on the pine lined beaches of Sweden, we host food & travel experiences all over the world. We strive to show you each place as a visitor, not a tourist, and partner with locals to immerse our guests in authentic culture & cuisine.
The events of 2017 are about life changing travel experiences, making with your hands, visual storytelling, and helping you set and realize personal & professional goals in order to create the life you want. These journeys are about being present and finding sustenance of every kind—physical, emotional, and creative—where you are, when you're there.
Our teams are made up of chefs, makers, visual storytellers, writers, and wanderers, and we want to share both our passion for our crafts and what we, as independent entrepreneurs, creatives, and small business owners, have discovered about doing what you love for a living. While we welcome technology as a means to share and connect, the focus of our retreats is not on social media, blogging, or lectures. Instead, these retreats are immersive creative, travel, and culinary experiences in which we work with guests on an individual basis to help them grow towards whatever their goals may be. We believe that travel experiences can be transformative, and that's what we offer.
These get-aways are designed to improve your well-being, and our ideal guest is anyone that wants to slow down, recharge, and hone or find direction in life all while they explore like a local and enjoy an authentic culinary experience. It's my hope that those of you who join us will walk away with more confidence in the work you do, clarity on your path, memories to fuel your creativity, fresh eyes for seeing the world, and lasting relationships. We hope to see you there, where ever there may be.
In addition to our retreats & escapes, L | M Retreats also hosts small gatherings, practicums, and workshops all over the world for those that want a more class based structure in which to learn styling, photography, post-processing, and social media. You can find more details in our FAQ, view galleries of previous retreats & events under Past Events, and preview next year's adventures under Upcoming.
COMING SOON / 2017
These are events we are planning + hope to host in 2017! They're subject to change due to interest & scheduling, but this will give you all some idea of what next year holds! You can click an image for more information. If you can't click through...it's coming soon! We're still in the process of finishing up the site. For galleries of retreats we've done, visit Past Events.
Beth KirbY & Matt LudWikowski
Beth & Matt are the husband and wife team behind L | M Retreats. They met in February of 2015 and immediately connected over their shared passion for farm-to-table food, travel, and design. They were married a mere 5 months later. Now, having just celebrated their one year anniversary, they welcomed a baby girl, Eualalie Willa, in August of 2016. When they met Matt was the owner & founder of a farm-to-cup specialty coffee company with locations in Chattanooga, TN & Atlanta, GA. With their daughter on the way and a desire to travel hosting & teaching at these retreats as a family, he's moved on from his company, and they've joined forces to craft the events of 2017.
Beth is a professional photographer, stylist, and recipe developer as well as the creator of the award-winning food, travel, and lifestyle blog Local Milk. She spent her early years snapping green beans & cracking walnuts with her grandmother on her back porch in Appalachia, and it was there that her love of cooking was born. She spent her adolescent years traveling Europe and studying philosophy, art, and literature. It was in the collision of those two lives that Local Milk was born. Her photographs & recipes have been featured in numerous publications including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Better Homes & Gardens. In 2014 she won Saveur magazine's editors & readers choice for best photography on a food blog, and her photography & styling clients include Krug Champagne, Organic Valley, Anthropologie, West Elm, KitchenAid, Stonyfield, and many more. She founded L | M Retreats in 2013 in order to bring all the food, hospitality, and storytelling on the blog to life as well as to teach what she learned about making your dreams a reality & taking photographs to tell the story.
Matt is an entrepreneur, coffee educator, and writer. He likewise grew up inspired by the southern food of his grandparents, Gogo & Grandaddy, in South Carolina. From picking beans to pickling okra to baking buttermilk biscuits (or “hotins” as they called them), homegrown food from scratch is in his blood. This encouraged him to look to the source of food & drink, the literal roots in the soil as well as the cultures of the people producing them, and he's spent the past five years traveling the world developing a farm-to-cup coffee importer & roaster while building relationships with coffee farmers in Central and South America. He designed and opened two coffee shops and won the 2012 Southeast Regional Brewers Cup Championship. He’s been published and featured in Imbibe Magazine, Southern Living, Sprudge, Barista Magazine, Fresh Cup Magazine, and Roast Magazine among others. He’s now bringing his wealth of business experience as well as an eye for food & design to L | M Retreats —not to mention brewing the best coffee you can get each morning!
Our Partners, Guides, & co-hosts
We partner with creatives & locals from all over the globe as guest teachers, local guides, and co-hosts. In the past we've worked with Sanda Vuckovic, Rebecca Gallop, Skye McAlpine, Haruka Sakaguchi, Natasha Siedel, Marte Marie Forsberg, Lean Timms, Luisa Brimble, Rebekka Seale, Carolina Ferrer, Olaiya Land, Susan Spungen, Lens & Larder by Imen McDonnell & Cliodhna Prendergast, and Ace Camps hosted by Angela Ritchie.
On many of our retreats we're accompanied by our friend & Sydney based chef, Aaron Teece. He runs a bespoke event studio & underground restaurant called Studio Neon, and his philosophy is simple: bring like-minded people together in an inspired yet relaxed setting to share food & wine and create a memorable experience. Aaron spent his childhood in the Northern Rivers near Byron Bay and spent the formative years of his career in Brisbane, but then London called, and he traveled to Europe to expand his knowledge and build his career. He worked as a sous chef at Harvey Nichols' 5th Floor Restaurant before becoming a private chef for clients such as Margaret Thatcher, Kate Moss, and Kiera Knightly. His extensive travels & experience in both Michelin star kitchens as well as private homes makes him particularly adept at creating local fare wherever we may travel together. He's an expert as sussing out local markets and creating both down-to-earth, traditional dishes and elevated creations for our guests.