Hello and welcome to the Muddy o’clock Superduper Newsflash – bringing you the latest reports on the cool new happenings you’ll want to know about. Your headlines today:
Kingdom, cool new clubhouse, dining space and cycle track, Penshurst
I am too excited to tell you about this one *claps hands gleefully*. You may have heard whispers for a while about a cool new clubhouse, cycle track, dining space and events venue set deep in the woodland of Penshurst, called Kingdom. Well, I can confirm that developments are picking up speed and I’ve had a personal tour of the site, seen the gorgeous clubhouse (this striking four-storey wood building, pictured above) and ooed and aahaed at the fabulous setting (it has the most amaaa-zing views of the Kent countryside).
The site is currently Penshurst Off Road Cycle (or PORC as it is glamoursly known) with a rough terrain cycle track. But the plan is to build a 1.1-mile road cycling track, (for a more smooth civilised, family-friendly cycle). In the clubhouse there will be a 120-cover café on the ground floor, a large gathering and workshop space on the first floor (the venue is already getting bookings for weddings), and a full open roof deck for alfresco dining and events. At the basement level, there is also a cycling retail and workshop space with bike rental run by bike brand Wyndy Milla. There’s also all sorts of cool plans in the offing, like running yoga classes in the downstairs space. It’s basically going to have a members club feel – you pitch up, the kids can let off steam outside while you chill out in cafe.
The project is being overseen by Pete Cornwell and his I’ll Be Mother team, the guys behind quality restaurants The Beacon, The Swan at Chapel Down and the Twenty Six – so there’s no doubt in my mind that this will be a huge success. Pete’s about to launch a crowd funding venture to get Kingdom off the ground. If you help crowd fund it you’ll get special membership packages – and this will entitle you to discounts off venue hire and heaps of other perks. And, trust me, you will want your next big party here. Watch this space for up-dates on the crowd-funding campaign. *Squeak*!
Eastwell Manor Champneys Spa Hotel, Ashford, opening Good Friday, 14 AprI may just keel over, this piece of news is so darn exciting. I’ve got a hot of the press update about the opening of Champneys in Eastwell Manor – they took over the Ashford spa last year and have spent six months on a massive multi-million pound, super-duper revamp. *Thud*! Readers are often asking me to recommend a good luxury spa/hotel in Kent and the truth is – there aren’t many, if any, especially not for a county this size. So this is brilliant news – Ashford is a perfect central location and our fair county will finally have the go-to spa of the South East. The prices aren’t bad either – you can get a Champneys Bronze Spa Day from £139, which includes a 25 minute Champneys Wrap and 25 minute Champneys Pick Me Up Facial – and the first 100 Spa Day bookings are going for £100 if you call now. The spa will welcome its first guests on Good Friday, April 14 (watch out for my Muddy review coming soon). On completion of the hotel renovations later this year, the hotel will have 62 bedrooms and suites, two restaurants, a spa, pitch and putt and leisure facilities.The spa will feature the full range of treatments we’ve come to expect from Champneys, as well as access to the new-look indoor pool, gym and thermal areas. *Adjusts swimsuit and dives in*. Blissssss.
Baldwins Travel, #HolidayInspirationsDay, branches across Kent & Sussex, Sat 1 Apr
If you are undecided on where to take your next holiday, tour or cruise then why not look to the experts for inspiration? Award winning Travel agent Baldwins Travel Group is holding a company wide #HolidayInspirations Day on Saturday 1st April in all of their 8 branches in Kent and East Sussex and everyone is welcome. The idea is that you go and speak to the experts in store and tap into their knowledge of a diverse range of destinations from Italy to India and the Antarctic to Zante. They can tell you more about their holidays and really whet your appetite, plus answer your niggling questions like: ‘Will I like a cruise if I’m not a pensioner? Can I take my kids on safari? When’s the best time of year to go to Asia? Which destinations are best value at the moment?’ Oh, and you’ll have fun as well with wine, prize draws and the like. Click here now to get the skinny on which operators are where. You can also make appointment requests online for a more in depth chat with the visiting operator to get more of an insight into their destinations and product. Baldwin’s Kent branches are in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge or Cranbrook, Maidstone, Tenterden and Sevenoaks and Sussex branches are in Lewes and Uckfield. The event will run from 10am – 4pm. Go plan your next travel adventure.
Flow Away Yoga Retreat in Mallorca 7 Oct
On the subject of travel, this one’s for all you super stretchy sisters out there – or anyone that just totally wants to relaaaax. The team behind the fabulous Flow Yoga in Tunbridge Wells (read my review here) are launching their first Flow Away Yoga Retreat abroad – a week of yoga, unwinding, food and friendship in the mountains of Mallorca. I’m getting all Lomi Lomi just thinking about it. The week takes place in a stunning bespoke yoga retreat venue, Tramuntana Flow, and is run by Flow founder Lucy Parker who will be offering two 2-hour sessions a day (optional) and the rest of the time is yours to chillax by this pool, pictured above. Nice view, eh? There’s other optional extras, like 1-2-1 structural stability tutorials and osteopathy treatments with Ben Parker, massage treatments or evening excursions into the local town. Book now to secure your place!
Sissinghurst Supper Clubs, just launched, second Fri of every month
The supper club phenomenon currently sweeping the UK shows no signs of slowing – and it appears we haven’t got enough of them in Kent as they sell out in seconds. Which is why I was super excited to hear that the guys behind Sissinghurst Pigs, a rare breed pig farm, have finally (after years in the planning) launched the Sissinghurst Supper Club (SSC) which will take place the second Friday of each month in their warm and friendly kitchen/diner. It seats up to 30 people and the aim is to offer guests an evening and meal to remember. The ethos of SSC is to try and use as many ingredients as possible grown at Crossways or sourced locally from trusted suppliers. The promise is that SSC will be relaxed and fun – it’s local, low-key cool. The next 3 months have already sold out, but there are still spaces for the August evening (Fri 11 Aug) so move fast if you want to nab a space. Stampeeede!
Gandys, first summer for new store opened in Tunbridge Wells
The clocks have gone forward, the sun has finally shown its face and I’m now officially in sandals/flip flops until October (podiatrists of Kent, form an orderly queue). But where to get my summer/beachwear? Ah-ha! The new Gandys, in Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, of course (seller of coats, gilets, hoodies, t-shirts, jeans, towels, sunglasses, flip flops and cool tribal-inspired round towels). You might have already heard of the London and Cornwall stores, started by brothers Rob and Paul Forkan after they lost their parents in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. They started the online Gandys store and its association charity, The Gandys Foundation, in memory of their parents who were dedicated volunteers. As it’s all for a good cause (10 per cent of the profits go into the foundation) and super cute fashion, it’s hardly surprising that one or two celebs have been spotted sporting Gandys flip flops. And with offerings this pretty, they might just be distracting enough to spruce up even the Muddy feet.
Fashion:Reboot, One Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 21 Apr
This is a really fun one for all fashion lovers, basically it’s a really posh car boot sale. Fashion:Reboot is the brainchild of fashion editor Erica Davies and magazine editor Ciara Elliott. The pair have hosted two mega successful Fashion Re:Boots in their hometown of Dedham, Essex and now they’re bringing the concept to Kent. It’s a ticketed event and they are now on sale, so don’t delay. And, fear not, it’s far more civilized than your average car boot, darrrling. The evening will boast over 25 stalls packed with a mixture of pre-loved and boutique fashion – handpicked, high end clothes (from designer to vintage) as well as jewellery makers, interiors, beauty and braiding, live DJ plus a licensed bar all in a gorgeous town centre location (from 7.30pm – 11pm, One Warwick Park Function Room and Terrace Bar). Time to clear out those closets! (Entrance is a fiver and includes a Fashion Re:Boot goody bag.)