Who, why, where
How we got here
Mill.Space is an intimate venue based in a unique watermill located in the spectacular UNESCO registered Cabo de Gata National Park, Almeria, Spain. The ancient 500 year old watermill has been lovingly restored in keeping with its original Moorish design. The extraordinary building is complimented with rounded walls and wooden beams, traditional cane ceilings, a cave room, studded doors and intricate mosaics based on those found in the Alhambra. The mill has been tastefully renovated, using many ecological materials. It features antique windows, doors and an original grain hopper.
A visit to the mill is like stepping back in time. Walking up the palm fringed cobbled driveway gives you the feel of a bygone era. The Mill feels homely and hobbit-like with quirky al fresco dining areas, outstanding views, a stylish swimming pool and the occasional bray of a donkey.
We found the Mill by chance in 2018, while browsing the web searching for eco properties in Northern Europe. We instantly fell in love with it and made the decision to give up our hectic life in London and build a new life here together. We have taken the Mill to the next stage of its already long life, building on the impressive work that the previous owners had started.
The Mill is an important historical building that is still revered by locals today. As a source of work, food and income for their ancestors, it holds many fond memories and is highly regarded for its contribution to the poor rural community in the past.
It worked simply; the water was first channelled from the balsa (a huge water deposit behind the Mill) down a ten meter drop. The force of the water, as it struck the wooden drive wheel, was enough to turn the immense millstone to start the grinding process. The millstone would only turn for as long as the water flowed. An official historic information plaque sits outside explaining this process in more detail.
The era (threshing circle) was where the wheat was separated from the chaff. A wooden threshing board with hundreds of small sharp flints hammered into it was used to grind the grain, as the horse pulled it round in a circle. After this process, the wheat was thrown high up into the air with wooden pitch forks (winnowing) which allowed the grain (wheat or barley) to be sorted from the chaff. This final act of the milling process took place upon the circle above the Mill.
Today the significance of the era and the millstones are remembered through the circular design motifs dotted throughout the restored Mill. The circle, now being used as a reinvented sacred space, has become somewhere that visitors are warmly welcomed to enjoy their practice, inviting them to move with the elements, flow with nature and find peace and vitality. The circle remains a very beautiful and special place.
The Mill still retains many of its original features, giving us clues to its former role as local landmark and working building.
Doing the right thing
Sustainability at the Mill
The top priority at the Mill is sustainability. We pride ourselves on trying our best to live and function as a business in the most sustainable way possible. We are ever mindful about the resources we use and consume, be it materials used for renovation or locally sourced produce.
Being located in the lowest rainfall area of the Mediterranean, water usage and conservation is fundamentally important. The water for the Mill is supplied by mains, even though we have a huge water deposit (balsa) behind us. This cannot be used due to historic water rights, so conscious water use is encouraged.
All the used water in the bathrooms and kitchen (grey water), is collected in large storage containers and then used for watering the gardens. This is why we recommend eco-friendly personal washing products and only use eco products for washing up and laundry.
Guests are encouraged to take shorter showers and to be mindful about leaving taps running unnecessarily. The taps are fitted with small filters to limit the flow of water. It is these little changes that make a huge difference in reducing water usage.
All the drinking water at the Mill comes from a spring in the Sierra de Nijar, only 30km from the Mill to the north west. The Aqua de Inox tanker brings it to the local town and it is collected from there in dedicated reusable containers.
All of the Mill’s electricity comes from its own solar micro grid. We have a new (2019) 3kw system with 7.5kw of lithium battery storage and 6 x 300 watt south facing solar panels mounted on the roof. The system is adequate to power the Mill for everyday uses like running fridges, charging tech, powering fans and lighting etc. There is enough battery storage to see us through days with no sun.
We avoid the use of high power consumption appliances such as air-con units, clothes irons and hair straighteners! The swimming pool pump and filtration system happily runs from this system over the summer months.
So as with water usage, we encourage simple best practice when using electricity, like turning off lights and laptop chargers when not in use.
The Mill has its own traditional solution to the disposal of sewage. In simple terms, everything goes back to nature. For this reason, we ask you not to put any paper or sanitary products down the toilet.
We practise the usual waste recycling at the Mill, separating plastic, paper, metals and glass etc. We have colour coded bins for guests to use and ask them to have the same good habits. All food waste is collected and used for composting.
These are watered primarily with the grey water collected from the bathrooms and kitchen. The choice of planting has been mainly limited to those plants that are native to the Cabo de Gata or thrive in dry climates, such as cacti, palms and yuccas. No fertilisers, pesticides or feeds are used in the gardens as we prefer to let nature do its thing, so some seasons the gardens feel like a mini oasis and in others they look less verdant.
At The Mill we are mindful and truly care about our impact on the planet. We are constantly seeking new or alternative ways in which we can use resources more sustainably. All of our retreat guests are invited to join a short guided talk on sustainable innovation at the Mill on arrival.
A bit about us
The end of the world...
We met in our home town of London in 2015. Longing for a change of lifestyle and a new adventure, we started on a path of discovery. The path led us to ‘The End Of The World’ well, (the end of a Rambla in the mountains of Andalusia!).
Our work together is now in a lovingly restored, quirky and charming Historical Mill in the natural park of Cabo de Gata.
After a 25 year career in the design and communication industry, working for some of London’s top creative agencies, I finally threw my crayons out of the box and found the courage to drop out of the mainstream.
Spending a year alone at the Mill, I worked to transform and build upon the sustainable heritage left by the previous owners to bring the Mill back to life so that it is now ready to host retreats. My background in design, has been a real advantage and is reflected in and around the Mill. I am continually working to thoughtfully improve the space and make it more sustainable in the future.
Any spare time that I have is spent on my passion for photography, permaculture, upcycling and food.
I have a background in fashion, costume, styling, pattern and clothes making and have worked over the years in film and advertising; more recently, producing clothes from antique textiles, for a vintage clothes label. During the quieter months I also produce my own Yoga brand, designed and made with love at the Mill.
With a yoga practice spanning over twenty years, I trained as a yoga teacher from 2014 graduating in 2016 with Yoga Campus and gained a Yoga Alliance certification, going on to establish my teaching in London. My teaching developed and through my own personal experience, led me to find my niche teaching in an addiction rehabilitation clinic in London, as well as teaching private clients and small groups. Now in Spain, I balance teaching with my creative work and running the Mill.
I have found a connection between my spiritual practice, creative work and the nature that surrounds me. My desire to share these opportunities for growth and creativity is what brings me to this place.
Together we offer a friendly space for people to feel at home and connect with nature, spirit or art. We want our guests to leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, inspired, and a little more conscious.
We offer a friendly space for people to feel at home and connect with nature, spirit or art. We want our guests to leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, inspired, and a little more conscious.