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Hart & Hind:
Shapeshifting in the Texas Hill Country

In movies, you always see people jogging in New York’s Central Park, but really, how many city slickers ever get the chance to exercise outdoors? The Lone Star State may seem somewhat of an unlikely place for an exercise overhaul, but as soon as you set foot on this sprawling fitness ranch in the Texas Hill Country you’ll now this is the perfect place to get your “hart” and “hind” in shape. Located about an hour and a half from San Antonio, the 5,250-acre retreat offers a peaceful wilderness of rugged hilly terrain with herds of roaming deer, meandering creeks, ponds, groves and stately pecan trees.

Ralph Lauren chic meets old-school, small-town rusticity with guest rooms held in warm tones of reds, denim blue and soft sage greens, complete with sunny porches and rockers, and lazy hammocks hung about. But don't think all you're going to be doing is reading or snoozing. The exercise regimen could consist of 15-mile hikes, power walks amid fields of wild flowers, biking, horseback riding, yoga, meditation, aqua exercise, swimming, kick boxing, toning, body conditioning, stretching, massages, or reflexology etc. You get the idea, which is that you don't need a gym to stay physically fit. The approach is completely no-frills—sans the usual hot rock and aromatherapy treatments and mud wrappings we've come to expect these days. As owner Kit Detering puts it: "We don't fluff and buff."

Cuisine plays an important role, of course, as you don't want to ruin all that calorie-burning with too-heavy meals. Chef Paula Disbrowe's trademark Star Cuisine is low-calorie, high flavor, modern-day cowboy cuisine, which draws its inspiration from the Mediterranean but mixes in the best ingredients this area of Texas has to offer. This means wild game from Broken Arrow Ranch, peaches from Fredericksburg, greens from South Texas, and honey from Uvalde (self-proclaimed honey capital of the world).

For breakfast that may mean poached eggs over fresh laurel polenta with Serrano-spiked tomato sauce or Cowgirl Migas (a Mexican scramble of eggs, corn tortillas, Serrano chiles, tomatoes, cactus paddles, cilantro and Mexican cheese). For lunch you may encounter soups such as faro with sweet onions and tender greens or salads of nutty-tasting Quinoa with tomatillo vinaigrette, shaved vegetables, and crumbled queso anejo. For your mile-long hikes Disbrowe will pack a cowboy lunchbox with smoked turkey tortilla wraps and cumin chickpea salad.

With its five guest rooms, the ranch offers room for a small groups of four to ten people, who typically spend anywhere from two to seven days here.

Hart & Hind
Rio Frio, TX
Phone: 866-868-1264
Email: [email protected]

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