Peace, tranquillity and calm was the desired outcome for our visit to Green Farm Kent. We were to park our cares and worries aside for the weekend and enjoy a retreat to rejuvenate – other than that we had no expectations.
It’s hard not to embrace the nature and fresh air of Kent, you know you’ve left London and you immediately feel the calm and quiet of the countryside (only a 37 minutes train ride away from London St Pancreas), or easily accessible from the good old M25 (the drive takes a little longer but still super easy as long as you avoid rush hour!)
As we arrived, we were welcomed by Molly who gave us a quick tour of our home for the night, a wonderful 15th century house which has been lovingly restored to its former glory, with some modern touches added in for comfort. She introduced us to our hosts Martin and Maryanne (the owners), who we quickly learnt are as much as part of our experience as the getaway itself!
Martin and Maryann, the staff (Molly and Helen) and their dogs Charlie, Sassy and Leah are an extremely welcoming bunch. We quickly dropped our bags before being introduced to Sassy’s 6 week old puppies – the sweetest, cuddliest kind of therapy we have ever experienced – which kept us distracted and entertained for quite some time. We were already in love with the place. Eventually prying ourselves away from the puppies, Martin and Maryann suggested a walk of the farm’s substantial grounds complete with a few bottle of local champagne to keep us ‘hydrated’, our kind of hosts. We were thrilled with the plan and so it began…
Green Farm Kent, is a 33 acre farm estate surrounded by 12,500 acres of ancient woodland, of which Martin and Maryann are slowly but surely extending their grasp of with the noble intention to protect the natural habitat for much wildlife (including some rare nightingales.) We pass their community garden (where they grow their own veg – dinner later) which is cared for by local friends and also as a place where community service can be worked off, in quiet blissful surroundings.
We stopped off for some champagne close to ‘fairy land’ (a natural opening in the forest land where they host just 3 weddings a year) and then headed over to meet the cows and a young calf who was almost tame (whose predecessors we were also to meet at dinner).
As we headed back over to have dinner we stopped by the puppy pen again before settling outside in the glorious sunshine. Martin had a BBQ on the go, home made beef burgers were on the menu alongside garden grown chard and sweet beetroots tops served with fresh new potatoes. Whilst he cooked, we enjoyed some local drinks (Maryann told us all of the drinks they stock are all local (Kent or France). We sipped on some delicious local Anno gin and tonics served with samphire and more champagne.
Dinner arrived and as expected was delish, Maryann and Martin pride themselves on home cooked better than organic food, the burgers were 100% meat with herbs from the community garden and served with garden grown veg. Conversation with our new friends at dinner was super easy, we spent the next few hours drinking and chatting away like old friends with our plans for a run in the morning fading fast with every sip. We eventually headed up to bed in our beautiful attic room overlooking the quaint village at just after midnight – after all we do have yoga in the morning so needed to be a little sprightly!
We woke up and dressed the part for our wholesome morning activity, I was eager to try on my new Lululemon reveal range which not only had technical benefits but was so flattering and comfortable – it felt like a second skin. As it had rained overnight, Yoga moved into the barn instead of outside by the pond and was just what we needed to get rid of our little hangovers from the night before. Caelia our yoga teacher (Cinque Yoga) must have picked up on our moods because the class was perfect, not too easy but not too strenuous either, focussing on releasing tension from the neck, back and shoulders (a curse of the city worker hunched over out laptops day in and out).
Already feeling relaxed, we then headed over for treatments at the on-site spa. Helen, we’d heard was a miracle worker so we were keen for our massages to melt away our strained muscles. Helen used ESPA products and suggested we follow our noses with the different smells and oils, apparently they indicate exactly what your body is in need of – we ended up with a concoction of scents that suggested our body was in serious need of relaxation. The massage itself was a dream, we zoned out for once and felt totally Zen and relaxed.
Massage over we continued our afternoon of relaxation in the hot tub on the deck overlooking the pond and the house beyond whilst sipping on a ‘hair of the dog’ glass of local champagne before heading over to the house for another home grown lunch – a delicious spread of home-made sausages from pigs bred on Green Farm – so high in meat content they are for guests only as would not be commercially viable! Served with fresh homemade bread baked that morning, washed down with pear juice from a local orchard.
Sadly, lunch also marked the end of our stay. We had arrived with the sole purpose to relax and we can honestly say we achieved that. Green Farm Kent is a haven, there’s everything you’d expect from a retreat, exercise, relaxation, peace and quiet but there’s also so much more. The people, the dogs Sassy (the mummy), Charlie (the Diva) and Leah (the Old Gal) made our stay all the more enjoyable – we made some great friends, and their love and dedication to this sustainable lifestyle and their guests makes them the main draw for this place.
We made loose plans when we arrived, hot tub under the stars, run in the morning, but failed to do any of it, the truth is when you’re there you find yourself going with the flow and if that means chatting and making new friends with a glass of something bubbly in hand so be it. Anything goes, there’s no pressure, no judgment you’re free to do what you like (with or without the hosts) and relax the way you want and that in itself is a freeing concept to embrace.
When we return, and we most definitely will, we will do for longer and plan to explore some of the local activities, including some of the recommended walks and cycles plus a trip to our favourite Chapel Down Vineyard in Tenterden just 20 minutes away.
Green Farm Kent, Green Farm, Church Lane, Shadoxhurst, Kent TN26 1LS
Please note: Barn, Spa and Farm Gate are in Duck Lane TN26 1LT