Bars and Clubs talked to Camille Vidal, founder of La Maison Wellness about the importance of understanding mental health and how to live well while working in the hospitality industry.

“This industry is so amazing and creative and full of patient people that are passionate about the craft and experience… but it is an industry that can be physically, mentally, emotionally quite challenging.”

They’re powerfully true words to come from RUOK day last week, a time when we’re encouraged to check in on each other’s mental health. Spoken by Camille Vidal, founder of La Maison Wellness, she uses them to describe her motivation in creating her platform, an online space to inspire mindfulness and wellbeing.

You may also know Vidal as Madame St Germain, from her work as Global Brand Ambassador of the elderflower liqueur makers for almost a decade. Before joining St Germain, she was working in the hospitality industry, first stepping behind the bar when she moved from her home in France to live in Melbourne.

She’s back in Australia as part of a collaboration between La Maison Wellness and St Germain, spreading inspiration for people in hospitality to live “like a healthy hedonist” and practice self-care and reflection as part of their daily routines.

“I wanted to help people to do things that will make them feel great about themselves and to very much take the time to appreciate good things in life, with things that will make them feel good in the long run. So for me, living well and living mindfully means having practices, for me that’s meditation and yoga, but that can be anything,” Vidal said.

The collaboration launched with a lunch event at Sydney’s Paramount Recreation Club, where guests were treated to a healthy menu with mindful cocktails, consumed alongside guided meditation.

Introducing the event as guests were seated, Vidal said “it will be good for all of us to kind of land in the room a little.”

“The invitation is for all of us to let go of whatever happened before, to not engage too much with what is happening on the physical plane… and just be here.”

Throughout the lunch Vidal guided guests through exercises in reflection, turning down the volume of the outside world, and letting go of tension.

Often in our busy lives it’s easy to brush off self-care practice by thinking there isn’t enough time in the day, or by thinking it’s something to be done in our own time, not at work. But as RUOK Day and La Maison Wellness teach us, taking care of your mental health is essential and not something you need to do alone.

With the amount of wellness resources growing, Vidal said that taking the time to normalise self-care within venues is key to creating long term positive impacts on the hospitality industry.

For more from Camille, head to the Bars and Clubs website.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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