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Mindful Drinking: Meeting with Camille Vidal, from La Maison Wellness

Who are you?

My name is Camille, I live in London and I launched La Maison Wellness, a platform that inspires people to drink better and live better.

What do you do?

Lots of things! I create cocktails with a focus on wellness and mindful drinking, I teach yoga and meditation... But most of all I invite people to reflect on their daily way of life, to try to bring some kind of balance to it while celebrating the joy of living.

How did you get involved with La Maison Wellness?

I grew up in France, but it's been almost 12 years since I left my country to explore the world. I first moved to Australia where I really discovered the world of cocktails - I had already worked in the restaurant industry during my studies, but it was in Melbourne that I discovered my passion for creating cocktails and the world of spirits. And then after a few years, I wanted to change our relationship with alcohol a little and find a way to combine wellness and cocktails. The idea? To offer delicious cocktail recipes without alcohol (or with very little alcohol) with quality ingredients, respecting the principle of "drink well, live well".

What are your tips for "drinking well" in times of confinement?

In addition to La Maison Wellness, I am a yoga and meditation teacher, and I wanted to show that mindfulness can be applied to all aspects of our lives - including drinking. Yoga is completely in line with this approach to living well: it allows you to be connected to your body and mind without going from one extreme to the other. The idea of mindfulness is to find balance and regain control, to have a calmer relationship with alcohol and to reflect on your consumption. Whether you're confined or not, I think you have to stop comparing yourself to others and not succumb to social pressure or FOMO.

How are things going for you at the moment?

My confinement is going well, but I have my ups and downs, like everyone else. The temptation can be strong to turn to a glass of alcohol, when you don't necessarily want to, so I try to make the most of this strange time, to create recipes and help people live it all to the fullest (yoga classes, meditation, online cocktail workshops...).

Why cocktails?

The essence of a cocktail has little to do with the alcohol used. What counts is the quality of the ingredients, the flavours, the pleasure of preparing them and the good times shared (at home or on zoom!). I organize live workshops every Friday night to learn a new mindful recipe: it's the ideal activity in confinement and I love to meet my community.

A non-alcoholic cocktail recipe ideal for confinement?

I have so many of them! You'll find lots of ideas on The Wellness House, but with summer coming up, why not a little Sunset Spritz?
You'll need 50 ml of MARTINI Floreale (easy to find in supermarkets or online), 25 ml of pineapple juice, 10 ml of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a quality tonic water. Choose a large balloon glass, fill it with ice cubes and add all the ingredients (use the tonic water to fill the glass). Stir gently to mix well. Add some fresh mint, a slice of lime, and a pinch of salt. And there you have it!

Accounts you like to follow right now?

I admit I spend an inordinate amount of time on mine so I don't really have time to look at others, but I do recommend @yung_pueblo (a contemporary philosopher I really like).

Are you an evening or morning person?

I've been a night owl all my life and in recent years I've turned into Cinderella: I rarely hear the stroke of midnight! And I wake up in the morning eager to develop La Maison Wellness.

Your bedside book in confinement?

I'm reading a lot about traditional Chinese medicine right now as part of my wellness training.

And a series?

I love cooking shows. On Netflix, I really recommend watching Street Food and Ugly Delicious. It's everything I love: the travel, the flavors.... It inspires me so much!

Your evening ritual?

My essential oil diffuser.

And your first move in the morning?

I always start my day by stretching.

Your dreams for the future?

I want to go on adventures, discoveries, La Maison Wellness weekends... I dream of making my cocktails travel the world.