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Reader Treats Just For You!

SPECIAL: Mid-week Spa

Treat yourself with this mid-week special package of spa treatments, yoga, Pilates & Reiki at gorgeous Green Farm Kent. Wellness Wednesdays, here we come!

You may recall that we reviewed the spa at Green Farm Kent earlier on this year as it had recently come under the Muddy radar. Set on a small farm estate in the picturesque village of Shadoxhurst, Green Farm Kent not only offers spa treatments but is also a one-stop-shop for a medley of other pastimes that you may just enjoy doing. Yoga? Yep. Pilates? Of course. Outdoor hot tub? Two of them. Yummy food? Reared or grown on the farm and freshly made every day. Wine tasting sessions from local producers? Hic. Rooms for you to slump in post a dreamy massage? What do you think…

The clever team at Green Farm Spa have just launched a new spa package, called Wellness Wednesdays, which is designed to give its clients a mid-week ‘time-out’ time – just the ticket to get over the dreaded hump day. By means of research purposes only, I invited my best friend (how old am I?) from Sevenoaks to meet me there while I hotfooted my way over from Faversham. There’s nothing more satisfying than doing the school run and telling anybody in earshot that you can’t chat as a back massage, hot tub and gossip with your bestie awaits.

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?

The package includes a 55-minute ESPA treatment plus an extra hour in the Spa. You can choose to either relax in the sauna, hot tub or for the ultimate indulgence and relaxation, just sit by the log fire with a good book, the papers and a chocolate brownie. You can also add-on a yoga class in the morning (10am) plus eat there if you really can’t drag yourself away. Since I am sucker for this kind of stuff, I signed up for the lot.

THE EXPERIENCE

From the moment you step into Green Farm Spa, school runs, daily stresses and workloads seem a million miles away as you are greeted at the gate by a member of the team who walks you over to the spa to show you round and makes sure you are familiar with your timetable for the day.

Ours kicked off at 10am with the yoga class and let me tell you, I am not known for my bendiness and my only yoga experience was a few pregnancy classes where I found my bump was a VERY useful excuse for my deficiency in this department. The focus of Caelia Butcher’s class is as much on helping you concentrate on breathing techniques as well as taking you through the yoga poses. It was so helpful and encouraging to hearing Caelia consistently say ‘just have a play with the poses’ if you were not able to reach all of them and inspiring to see many of the class members effortlessly slip into the plank without so much as a murmur.

Regardless of ability, it is a truly beautiful spot to practise yoga – with the noises of the countryside all around you – and I swear to God, a horse and trap actually clip clopped past at one point to complete the idyllic rural picture-perfect backdrop. The class finished with a ten-minute relaxation time, wrapped in blankets, and warm lavender bags on the eyes to help your thoughts drift away.

Once I had been scraped off the floor, it was time for a glass of water and my 55-minute treatment. My friend and I were ushered off into treatment rooms, side by side, and both opted for the Deep Tissue Massage which is designed to alleviate deep-seated tension and muscular stress as I had a back-issue from a recent tennis injury which needed addressing. I know that their Hot Stone Aromatherapy massage (with focus on the back, legs, arms, abdomen, neck and shoulders) is one of their most popular treatments plus they have a full-range of ESPA facials so yet one more reason to return and sample more.

Helen, who performed the massage, possesses all the magical ingredients that you would want from a therapist. Deeply knowledgeable about the products she uses, hugely passionate about her craft and of course exceedingly talented with the all-important fingers and thumbs to remove the trials and tribulations from your body. Plus, incredibly fun and friendly which is very important when you realize that you’ve forgotten to put any knickers on that day. Whoops.

Green Farm Spa uses ESPA products which are natural skincare products created by biochemists, skin experts and aromatherapists, which all nicely ties into the ethos of the natural environment surrounding you. Upon arrival at your treatment room, you are asked to smell a couple of massage oils and the one that you believe smells best is the one that your body is naturally drawn towards and is chosen as your treatment oil. Maybe a marketing gimmick, but I was sold.

The stars were aligned on the day that we visited as it was that beautifully sunny (it not slightly freaky) spring-like weather we had in February, so after our massages we were able to shower and then float in the hot tub tilting our faces towards the 15-degrees sunshine above us.

From the hot tub, we were led (clad in the obligatory white fluffy bathrobes) to a hot lunch which had been prepared by the team and if not reared on the farm (beef, lamb and pork), it had been grown in Green Farm’s community garden. There is no menu – you just need to say beforehand if you have any food requirements – and then lunch is served which takes the faff out of ordering and removes any kind of food envy which is an affliction that I suffer from at times.

We had beetroot and tomato soup (served cold-gazpacho style) with freshly baked bread they had made (of course) as well as miniature home-made sausages alongside an orange and pistachio nut salad served with quinoa and wild rice plus a green leaf salad. It was the perfect balance of tasty-delicious yet felt nutritious and rewarding at the same time. Lunch was served within the yoga space overlooking the lake outside but on warmer days, you can take it al fresco.

By 2pm, we reluctantly dressed and combed down the post-massage-hair to pick up our children from school which was done in the nick of time and I swear that I was walking a little taller that day because of Helen’s kneading.

THE LOCATION

Green Farm Spa is situated in Shadoxhurst village which is near to Ashford, in that lush, picturesque region between the Greensand Ridge and Romney Marsh so a good central meeting point in Kent. For those of you want to lure your friends down from the big smoke and show them how it is done down here, they can easily get to you on the High-Speed Train from St Pancras to Ashford (37 minutes) and then it’s a 12-minute taxi ride from there so easy peasy.

ANYTHING ELSE?

There is lots more that we could have done yet simply didn’t have enough time so I want to try out the sauna on a return visit plus borrow some wellies (they have a big selection on-hand) to walk around the farm. On Wednesday’s, they also run Pilates classes in the evenings (6pm) so you could be quite crafty and tag on a Pilates class before or after your Spa treatment as the Spa is open until 8pm.

There is a pub (King’s Head) in the village which is within walking distance which I am told is a traditional village pub that serves decent food but quite frankly why bother putting on your clothes when you can just pad around Green Farm Spa in your robes and eat their freshly made wares.

THE DAMAGE

55-minute treatments start from £60 and then it’s an extra £10 for yoga (class is one-hour and fifteen minutes long) and £15 per person for your lunch should you wish but the one-hour Spa relaxation time is included within your Spa package.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: A perfect pit-stop during your week that is achievable within the school drop-off and pick-up times – even if you need to travel a little to get there. Ideal spot to catch up with good friends and close family or be totally anti-social and let the natural surroundings be your company for the day.

Not for: Hard to imagine anyone who would not relish a day at Green Farm Spa but the spa is more appealing for those who relish the outdoors and enjoy getting back to nature rather than those looking for the big-branded spa experience. Oh yes, and it is not for children but why would you….?

Green Farm, Church Lane, Shadoxhurst, Kent TN26 1LS, Tel: 01233 733 997, greenfarmkent.co.uk

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