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Reader Treats Just For You!

Celeb body anyone?

Stede Court is the luxury, countryside fitness & wellbeing retreat run by celebrity trainer Kathryn Freeland. Go for the day and take a friend for FREE with this Muddy exclusive offer!

Stede Court is an exclusive luxury fitness & wellbeing retreat, set in seven acres of beautiful gardens and woodland, near picturesque Biddenden in Kent. Run by Kathryn Freeland, who has over 20 years’ experience training private clients and celebrities in London before bringing her positive energy and experience to Kent.

With summer hols on the horizon, what better time to ask Kathryn to put me through my paces and find out if there was an inner celebrity body in me itching to get out. Read on for the exclusive offer for Muddy readers so you can go too!

THE LOWDOWN

First things first, you will be in a happy mood even before you arrive as Stede Court is positioned in such a pretty part of the countryside so the drive there will have you cooing over the cowslips and waving gaily to tractors as you wind down the country lanes to get there.

And from then on, you will feel that you have made a funny and talented friend who wants to help you be the best version of you through fitness ability, eating habits and general wellbeing. Oh, and they just happen to have an amazing house and gardens, with all the necessary facilities for you to achieve those goals. It’s no wonder that I ‘accidentally’ forgot to leave and ended up staying for lunch. With four double bedrooms available for guests, they are lucky that they didn’t find me curled up in one of those beds in the morning. Note of warning: you will not want to leave.

THE EXPERIENCE

Stede Court offers day fitness retreats which can extend to overnight stays as well as private fitness retreat weekends so an ideal package for a group gathering or you can head there for some one-to-one body MOT. The most important point to convey about Stede Court is that no day is the same as Kathryn designs each retreat and session according to what YOU want to get out of it.

Whether it’s personal training in the outdoor exercise trail, a walking or running clinic, Pilates & Yoga style exercises or even just some meditation and expert advice with your eating habits, Kathryn has all bases covered. Unfortunately for me, I only had a morning free to sample Stede Court for all of you despite my best intentions to totally outstay my welcome…

After a big bank holiday weekend, I was keen to become a leaner and meaner version of myself as well as find out how I could lead a healthier lifestyle when it comes to food and not be found on a regular basis with my head deep in the kids’ snack cupboard.

Kathryn started the session by leading me into her six-acre sheep field with a running/walking track and a bit like a pony, she assessed me walking and running (maybe more like trotting) in the paddock. It’s incredible how you can forget how important the basics are to your daily posture and fitness ability and as you can imagine from someone who has over 20 years’ experience of personal training, Kathryn was fantastic at sharing advice and helping me realign my body movements.

Once muscles and limbs had warmed up, we moved to Kathryn’s hugely effective exercise trail in her woodlands which is set within the privacy of her gardens and under a canopy of trees so it really doesn’t matter if the weather is not in your favour and actually adds to experience as you battle the elements. It almost didn’t feel like exercise as we moved between twelve exercise stations which are adaptable for all fitness abilities and ages, and who knew that blocks of wood could be such good dumbbells?

Kathryn practises ‘functional fitness’ which trains your mind as well as your body as you are exercising within a ‘real’ situation where the ground can be a little uneven as you are not in a swish gym with perfect floor so you have to work hard to make sure that you are really thinking about your placement in each exercise, which really does keep your mind and body on the ball. And the best thing about it all? NO mirrors.

From exercising, we headed to the new outdoor sauna which overlooks the eco-swimming pond (just picture perfect) and Kathryn asked if I would like to try meditating which was a first for me and a fantastic way to help you really stay in the moment without to-do lists etc crowding your mind. For the ultimate thrill, a few dunks in the outdoor eco-pond in between sauna sessions will really set your pulses racing.

I had also (rather reluctantly) prepared a food diary detailing my eating over a week’s period which helped Kathryn shape her recommendations about how I can improve my eating habits. We swapped Activia yoghurts with prunes for Natural Yoghurt with real prunes (so simple once it is spelt out for you) plus plenty of other tips to help me fight the desire for sugar post meals. And the great thing about it all, it feels achievable and sustainable so no fad diets here.

THE LOCATION

Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat is set close to the picturesque village of Biddenden where you will find Michelin-starred restaurant, West House, and is also ten minutes from the beautiful town of Tenterden which is conveniently close to award-winning Chapel Down winery. There is plenty to see and do in the area including lots of historical castles & gardens which could be explored on bike (take bikes from Stede Court) or by foot if you really want to up your fitness regime.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Kathryn has just launched a Six-Week Beach Body Class with dietary support for up to 8 people (min 4) with a complimentary sauna with tea & flapjacks for the last session @£150 per person. If you find exercise a bit of drag and want to socialize with your mates too, then this would be the ultimate solution to kick-start your bikini countdown with your nearest and dearest.

THE DAMAGE

A one-day fitness retreat which can be created bespoke for your group (well-being retreat, learn to run clinic, fitness day, hen party etc…) running from 10.30 to 16.30 costs £125 per person with an option to stay the night at £145 per room.

And if, like me, you never want to leave then you can take part in a fitness retreat weekend with endless activities all designed to suit what you would like to get out of the weekend. Prices from £1495 for two nights for two people.

Or if you would just like a PT session with Kathryn, then it is £95 p/h which you could split with a friend and halve the cost and double the fun.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: A gaggle of girls who want to catch up, get fit and eat really good food – plus there are vineyards etc to visit locally so it won’t be all work and no play. It would also be a great place to go as a couple as the activities are all created bespoke to what you would like to get out of the weekend. Stede Court is also very popular for Mother and Daughters as the activities on hand are a great way to connect and varying abilities does not matter as Kathryn will make sure that each session is suitable for each age group.

Not for: Anybody looking for a formal hotel/spa experience as the vibe here is like spending the night at a friend’s house (with afore-mentioned amazing house and facilities) rather than all the trappings of branded hotel. Massages can be arranged upon request but if you want a facial or such like, Kathryn would probably recommend that you just dunk yourself in the outdoor eco-pond to revitalize your skin. And she’s probably right!

MUDDY EXCLUSIVE OFFER

Mention MUDDY and visitors on Residential Retreats GET AN EXTRA NIGHT FREE or for Day Retreats BRING A FRIEND FOR FREE!

Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat, High Halden Road, Biddenden, Kent TN27 8JG, 01580 291201, kf@absolutefitness.co.uk, stedecourtprivatefitnessretreat.co.uk

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