About Us

Creating Space Where Things Can Happen

Welcome to Ceangal, a tranquil escape nestled in the picturesque Cognac region of France, where connection and personal growth take centre stage. Our experiences are thoughtfully curated, focusing on three core themes: Mindfulness, Art, and Cuisine. At Ceangal, we provide a nurturing environment for our guests to rediscover themselves, forge lasting connections with others, and immerse themselves in the breathtaking nature that surrounds them. With an emphasis on well-being and self-expression, our retreats are designed to help you cultivate a deeper connection with your inner self and the world around you.

Our Mission

The name Ceangal comes from the Irish word for "connect." Our mission is to create a space where people can forge meaningful connections with themselves, others, and the stunning Cognac region. Our retreats offer a unique blend of mindfulness, art, and culinary experiences designed to inspire personal growth, enhance well-being, and create lasting memories. At Ceangal, we value building strong, authentic bonds with ourselves, others, and our environment, encouraging self-discovery, creativity, and inner peace through a range of immersive experiences, and providing genuine, heartwarming experiences that celebrate the Cognac region's rich culture and showcase the beauty of its landscapes.

Our Founders

Ceangal was founded by Olive Towey and Charlie Ganly, a dynamic duo with a shared passion for creating transformative experiences. Hailing from Ireland, Olive and Charlie fell in love with the enchanting Cognac region and saw the potential to create a space that fosters connection, healing, and personal development.
Olive and Charlie have a natural affinity for the internationally recognized excellence of Irish hospitality. Their warm and welcoming nature, combined with their desire to ensure guests have a seamless and memorable experience from the moment they set foot off the plane, has greatly influenced their approach to Ceangal.

Our Team

We are proud of our skilled and passionate team of mindfulness, artistry, and cooking experts who play essential roles in making our retreats truly exceptional. They bring their unique skills and talents to ensure that each guest has a memorable and transformative retreat experience.

Maggy Paul-Martinet

Maggy is our incredibly talented culinary maestro, bringing her expertise and passion for cuisine to Ceangal. With a background in hotel management and catering in her native Brittany, Maggy has spent 25 years working for Air France, traveling the world with her husband and experiencing a wide variety of cultures and cuisines. During her time in Christchurch, New Zealand, she ran cookery workshops, further developing her skills and love for teaching. Upon returning to France, Maggy continued her professional training in cookery and pastry at l'Isle d'Espagnac and La Ribaudière Bourg-Charente. Her exceptional culinary talent, combined with her warm and nurturing personality, makes her an essential part of the Ceangal family.

Martin Towey

Martin is a highly experienced neurophysiotherapist and mindfulness coach who is dedicated to helping guests cultivate greater self-awareness and well-being. As Olive's brother, he shares her passion for providing transformative retreat experiences and is an essential part of the Ceangal team. Martin's expertise and calming presence guide our guests through mindfulness sessions, allowing them to explore their inner selves, develop healthier thought patterns, and embrace the present moment more fully. His extensive knowledge and experience in the field ensure that each guest leaves Ceangal feeling more centered, grounded, and equipped with the tools to live a more mindful life.

Olivia Hayes

Visiting artist Olivia Hayes was born in Dublin, Ireland, completed a degree in Design and a postgraduate year at the National College of Art and Design. Over the years, she has won several awards and international scholarships, has worked at the Kilkenny Design Centre and taught art at both second and third level. Olivia’s main interest is watercolour painting and her work mainly comprises landscapes of the West of Ireland and Wicklow and streetscapes of Dublin. She exhibits throughout the year, her paintings feature in corporate and private collections throughout the world and she has contributed to art publications. An avid traveller and Francophile, Olivia is endlessly inspired by the beauty of the Cognac region.

Our Irish Roots

While Ceangal is situated in the heart of France, our founders' Irish background plays a vital role in shaping the atmosphere and approach of our retreats. We are proud to incorporate elements of Irish culture and traditions into our programs, creating a unique blend of experiences that celebrate our roots while embracing the beauty of our French surroundings. This fusion of Irish warmth and French charm creates a truly magical environment for our guests, allowing them to feel at home and inspired by the rich cultural tapestry that defines Ceangal.

Sustainability

At Ceangal, we are deeply conscious of our environmental footprint and consistently work towards reducing it. Our green initiatives include using local, organic foods, limiting plastic bottle usage, and significantly cutting down on paper consumption. We also practice on-site composting, converting green waste into nutrient-rich soil. We continually seek feedback from our clients to enhance our sustainability efforts. With us, your retreat is not just a personal journey but also a step towards a more sustainable world.

Featured In

Far Above My Expectations

My Painting holiday with Ceangal was far above my expectations: our hosts Olive and Charlie were very generous with their time, local knowledge and transport to beautiful local painting sites and towns. Our introduction to gourmet French cuisine, cooked lovingly by Maggy our very talented chef, was a real treat.

Olivia Hayes

A Wonderful Experience

We enjoyed a wonderful experience thanks to the exceptional care from Charlie and Olive, who looked after all our group’s specific needs and included many of our special requests in the programme. We would also like to mention the wonderful cuisine supplied by Maggie. Truly a memorable week.

George & Elaine Balmer

A Place I Want to Return To

Wonderful hosts, great house and ambiance, kindness amongst friends, beautiful countryside surrounded by amazing grapevines and sunflowers, birdsong and farm life. Living in the moment with mindfulness makes it a place I want to return to.

Susan Barr

Genuinely Warm & Welcoming

This weekend exceeded my expectations. Olive & Charlie are wonderful hosts, immediately creating an environment which is genuinely warm & welcoming. Which in turn makes the group dynamic work effortlessly. I really cannot recommend it highly enough and look forward to my next trip to Olive & Charlie.

Jennifer Callan

Like a Gathering of Old Friends

Olive and Charlie were so kind, generous and hospitable and really couldn’t do enough for the group and to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There was a lovely balance between our sessions and local trips. It became like a gathering of old friends after the first night at dinner...I’ll certainly be back!

Miriam Glynn

Explore our Experiences

We offer a diverse range of immersive experiences, each designed to nurture your mind, body, and soul. No matter which experience you join us on, you'll leave Ceangal feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and inspired, with lasting memories and newfound skills to enrich your life.

Mindfulness

At Ceangal, our Mindfulness retreats are designed to help you discover inner peace and cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and the present moment. Guided by experienced mindfulness coach, Martin Towey, you will develop the tools to integrate mindfulness into your daily life.

Cuisine

Indulge in the rich culinary traditions of the Cognac region with our Cuisine retreats at Ceangal. Led by our talented in-house chef, Maggy Paul-Martinet, you will explore the art of French cooking through hands-on workshops, learning to create delicious and authentic dishes using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Art

Our Art retreats at Ceangal provide a creative sanctuary where you can explore your artistic side, discover new talents, and connect with your inner artist. You will engage in various art forms such as painting, drawing, and sculpture under the guidance of skilled instructors.