Hyacinth has a great significance in my heart for many different reasons. The most important one is that it is the harbinger of spring and the fresh scent of it for that reason awakens my senses.
As a child I grew up in a country where Spring Equinox is celebrated as the beginning of the New Year which has been done for close to 7000 years so it is quite old. It is tied to nature, kind of thanking the earth graciously for all its givings.
As a reminder to all of this I made sure to paint the living room where it is the gathering place at the Kismet Inn Bed and Breakfast to paint it Hyacinth. When I was looking for colors during the renovation of the property to turn into vision of my retreat I looked at different places, one of them happened to be ‘Home Restoration Hardware’ in Manhattan, New York City. They happened to have a paint color called ‘Hyacinth’ the perfect color, not too dark in purple, not too light in lavender, not pastel, not cold ~ the exact warmth that is needed in the living room the gathering of the guests. I have received many compliments for the choice of colors and I am so happy to have chosen Hyacinth.
Couple of days ago when I was in the garden, I noticed several of the hyacinth is bloom so I picked them and now they are sitting in the living room, the porch spreading the wonderful smell they have.
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
When I was setting up the inn, it was my vision to offer the Old World hospitality ~ something that I was very familiar with. Being a native of Iran with parents who offered extraordinary hospitality with high sensibility of compassion, love for all with our doors always open. The door to our house was literally never closed! Life during my childhood with my parents in Iran had a wonderful rhythm with love and affection pouring from everywhere.
Having that in mind, the extraordinary hospitality, rhythm, compassion, affection, love made me want to set up the Kismet Inn, bed and breakfast, spa where I could create a sanctuary for guests to ‘retreat’, reflect, restore, renew and reconnect to who they are and be in a more centered, balanced place.
It is taking time to get the word out there, it is happening slowly but surely. Guests are coming to the inn for different reasons however, it is all centered on finding a place where they can truly retreat, restore, find quietude, mothers and daughters, individual mothers or a group of young mothers who were here on the weekend of March 25-27, 2011.
A guest of mine who had come in September whose husband incidentally had found the Kismet Inn and booked it as a surprise for their getaway promised to return with a group of her friends. So she emailed me sometime in January to see what the Kismet Inn could offer for their group. I arranged two yoga sessions for the group, an hour massage each and a vegetarian dinner at the inn on Saturday.
The yoga and massage was offered by Kate Nicholson who is a certified massage therapist as well as licensed yoga teacher, she is also being trained as a health coach through ‘Integrative Nutrition’ an online program. The program is focused on improving health and prevent disease which is primarily eating the right food and the right amount at the same time integrating it with everyday life that becomes a lifestyle.
I personally have always been against industrialized food thus making all of my food from scratch long before it had become trendy. Please, don’t get me wrong it is not that I never ate at a fast food place, I did which was once in a while till about 15 years ago. When I say I ate once in a while it was literally once or two times a year.
I grew up in a family where dinner was absolutely not-imaginable to be eaten without our father getting home from work. Lunches and dinners were cooked on daily basis and there was never any left overs from either lunch or dinner simply because our door was always open. Cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors were always welcome to come without an advance call.
One of my goals in setting up the inn was to offer not just delicious organic food but to make sure the food is made with high quality ingredients, if not then the food won’t taste delicious nor will it taste differently from the others. Since I want to make sure the food is offered at a very high quality level, I take great care in buying them from a reliable source which often are the farmers within 10-30 miles distance to the inn and if not grown in Maine then the supplier is in Maine such as my spice merchant who is in Dresden, Maine. I also make sure the food is cooked slowly not in a rush, I believe if it is cooked in a rush then it will convey that sensibility to my guest. I want to make sure the guest never feels rushed in any way possible be it eating the food, hanging around the common area, coming down for breakfast ~ a guest can only sense relaxed, restored if I as the innkeeper offer that sensibility. That sensibility must be found in everything.
The guest Christi, who was arranging to bring a group of friends sensed my sensibility just like all the other guests thus, brought over her girl friends who were all young mothers with couple of 4-6 years old each except for one who was pregnant for her third one.
Here is what Christi answered to Kate’s questions ~
What were the most nourishing, enjoyable, meaningful aspects of your stay at the Kismet? Why? We all agreed that our favorite parts of the retreat were the yoga classes with you. You were the star of our weekend. Without the yoga and massage, it wouldn’t have been the same. We also loved having healthy meals waiting for us, and not having to clear the table or clean our rooms J Being taken care of was extra special. I enjoyed not having to leave the inn at all. For me, yoga was key… it focused me, grounded me, and made me feel whole. Your energy is incredible, and you meshed all of us together, even though we are all so very different! I know that the ladies loved the baths/showers…
In what ways did the space, offerings and people of Kismet meet your needs as guests on retreat? They met my needs completely… I felt very taken care of, I felt like I had my space, but I could always connect with you or Shadi or the other ladies. There was plenty of space for all of us to be around each other when we wanted, yet have private time and space, too. There was plenty of relaxation time, rejuvenation, and empty space. I really, truly thought the yoga grounded the whole weekend, though. It was good to have morning classes… allowed us to get our sillies out on Friday night, but put us in a much better space to connect with ourselves after yoga on Sat. morning.
If you were to come back again for another retreat are you likely to come with girlfriends, family or your partner? I would come with my girlfriends and my husband. Probably not with a couples retreat with other couples, although I think the others might want to go with their hubbies in tow. I wouldn’t bring my kids, they would tear the place apart and that would defeat my rest and relaxation goal.
I was fortunate enough to have Kate move from the Cape to Bath and join me in offering the hospitality of my dream. I am happy to say that all the guests to date have been very pleased with Kate and the offerings at the inn.
Kate and I, Shadi Towfighi, the owner and innkeeper of the Kismet Inn, bed and breakfast, Spa are here to offer you that unconditional, extraordinary hospitality.