Spa Day: Green Farm
In need of some me-time, spa treatments or a luxury break away? Say hello, how are you and pass me that fluffy towel to Green Farm Kent.
During the dark days of endless lockdowns, a pact was made with two fellow home schoolers to book some well-deserved pampering at Green Farm Kent as soon as we had the green light from Boris. This hidden gem of a spa, unlike any spa you’re likely to have visited before, did not disappoint and ticked all the boxes.
Top-notch E-SPA beauty treatments, home cooked meals mainly sourced a stone’s throw away, glasses of fizz in the hot tub and even a spot of wild swimming. We literally had to be peeled off our sun loungers at the end of our stay.
Green Farm itself is a small farm estate deep in the Kent countryside in the idyllic Shadoxhurst conservation area, surrounded by 12,500 acres of ancient woodland & traditional pastures. You’ll find it near Ashford in Kent, in that lush, picturesque region between the Greensand Ridge and Romney Marsh. The good news is that you can leave the day job easily behind you as it is in such a central part of Kent, so it is easy to get to, yet you feel a million miles from home when you are there.
Run by husband and wife team, MaryAnn and Martin, this is such a special bolthole. This is NOT what Muddy calls a high gloss and hard marble kind of spa. The clue is in the name – it’s a green kind of place, with your wellbeing at the heart of proceedings. Animals take centre stage here too – our evening fizz in the hot tub was accompanied by a chorus of sheep in the neighbouring field plus we got to witness the lambs having their evening bottle for the ultimate cute factor!
This spa takes a holistic approach and is all about replacing the hustle and bustle of modern life with calm and caring – and the restorative powers of nature. To the point that we were politely reminded as we entered the pond for a dip during the recent heatwave that we were entering the animals’ space rather than them intruding on our environment.
Green Farm Kent is an eclectic mix of relaxing experiences and wellbeing treatments. MaryAnn and Martin have combined their talent for caring and hospitality with years of success sensitively transforming properties.
The result is their stunningly restored home, Green Farm, which is where we were lucky enough to stay on this occasion. There’s also Green Farm Barn, a holiday luxury rental, the Spa itself and the Studio, where yoga classes take place or when the weather is fine – it is all outside so since we had fine weather, we performed our yoga moves to the animals around us.
The holiday barn is the ideal location for special occasions, sophisticated hens or activity weekends. Plus, people dip in for yoga lessons, beauty treatments or come for a spa day if they are keen to linger.
This is an intimate set up – MaryAnn and Martin will know your name and be attentive to your every need and there is the invitation to have a family-style supper with them in the evening. This is not always to everyone’s taste but you never know who you might end up dining with and we shared our delicious evening meal with 1970’s Rock Royalty – my lips are sealed about our fellow dining companions who were also staying at Green Farm Spa for the night.
The Spa Stay rooms are in their family home and are very cozy – the bathrooms here have been adapted to the historic setting of the house so they are not as spacious or as lush as a more upmarket spa hotel but quite frankly, all the fun is to be had outside. And the caring detail extended to Martin calling Gusbourne, one of the many local wineries within their vicinity, to ask them to drop round a chilled bottle of their Brut Reserve as their last guests had just cleared them out and they wanted to fulfill our request! We were equally very happy with a chilled bottle of Woodchurch whilst we waited…
Every bedroom in the main house has its own quirky name that suits its character. Maryann and Martin also run a small-holding at Green Farm and a lot of the delicously wholesome food on offer is sourced right from their land.
SCOFF & QUAFF
The food is a talking point here as it is simple (we all ate the same family supper having briefed our dietary requirements beforehand) yet has a real focus on local and fresh ingredients.
Our bread had been baked that morning before breakfast, the chickens had just laid the eggs and the salad leaves had just been picked for our lunch. They seem to judge the mood just right for serving a healthy selection of food (rice salad with quinoa, orange juice and zest, with pistachios and rocket was a big hit) which will also fill you up and our chilled garden vegetable soup was the perfect antidote for the hot summer’s day.
You are also in the heartland of so many fabulous wineries so rest assured, you will be well looked after in that department plus we fell in love with Biddenden Vineyards fruit juices which was the perfect kick-start to our day.
This spa itself consists of a couple of treatment rooms, a sauna and the studio. We all opted for something different and the hugely friendly and experienced team got the big thumbs up. From Hot Stone Massages to Deep Tissue Massages as well as the new Awakening Body Experience, a ESPA Life Saving Back Leg and Foot Treatment, which is what my body was crying out for after months of hunched sitting over my lap top whilst also dishing out Phonics and Long Division sums.
We floated back to our loungers for more dips in the outdoor pond and hot tub and there was talk of taking out their bikes for a local cycle but a zen height had been reached.
It is worth noting that the overnight retreats and stays tend to happen at the weekend and the Spa is only open from Wednesdays through to Saturdays so you have to be careful with your dates and plan ahead as things do get booked up.
Two other lovely quirky features of this place that deserve a mention – visit in spring and you can witness the unique Singing with Nightingales experience when renowned guest artists from the world of folk, classical and jazz music sit in the woods as the sun goes down and sing with the nightingales.
Or they offer Gong Baths, hailed as ‘sound massage for the body, mind and soul’ where you lie down, wrapped in a blanket, and experience soothing sounds and vibrations.
Maryann and Martin are also involved in great charity work, bringing disadvantaged children from London out to enjoy the benefits of the green, rolling countryside of their farm. It speaks volumes about the kind of people they are and the vibe of this place.
Plus, supper clubs are becoming more of a thing at Green Farm with a recent one taking place in the converted barn and Martin and Maryann’s daughter in law is leading the way with this innovative foodie occasions.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Getting away from it all but also getting back to nature. This is a small set up on a private farm that offers a rural, caring and above all curated experience. Think home-made soup, hot-tubs and a big hug for the soul.
Not for: There’s no gym and while the spa treatments are good, the spa itself is small so not for those seeking a big, glossy set up (although the setting and service at Green Farm are certainly polished). Not for anyone who wants a town-based spa or who doesn’t like the thought of country air and outside hot-tubs.
Green Farm, Church Lane, Shadoxhurst, Kent TN26 1LS, Tel: 01233 733 997, greenfarmkent.co.uk