Reviews

press

Stede Court has been featured in: 

9

Twice in Conde Nast Traveller

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9

The famous podcast Postcards from Midlife

Kathryn as an expert personal trainer has been in the press weekly see some here for many years, inc columns in The Telegraph, Boots Magazine as Boots Fitness Expert, Sainsbury’s Magazine, featured in all the national press, TV & news and radio.  

guest reviews

“It was really great to meet you and be inspired by the wonderful space you’ve created and to have such a laugh. I am feeling buoyant and able to cope which is marvellous! My wellbeing retreat time with you has really shored me up.

I LOVED the treehouse, your personal training sessions and the hammock… and the swimming pond… and the sauna… and the food… and the croquet (who knew!)…. and the walks. It was a really good mixture of rest and activity. The accommodation was great and your knowledge of bodies and fitness was obviously incredibly useful.”

Lizzie Slowe, West Sussex

“As part of our podcast travel special this week Trish and I escaped to the country on a wellness retreat with the fabulous personal trainer Kathryn Freeland @stedecourtretreat. 

We had laughs aplenty, did yoga in the daffodils & on the decking, had a sauna and some cold water dipping (more than once), ate delicious food and did a fitness work out in the woods/outdoor HIIT, & meditation with award winning trainer Kathryn Freeland, a midlife warrior of the best kind herself.

And while Trish’s knees worked ok mine didn’t! This is down to poor posture while running and wobbly ankles – all of which can be addressed and hopefully corrected as the very patient Kathryn pointed out who gave me some exercises which have certainly made a difference to me.

For more Information on this country wellness retreat listen to the podcast @postcardsfrommidlife

Trish Halpin @trishoftheday & Lorraine Candy @lorrainecandy, @postcardsfrommidlife

“Thank you again for such a lovely stay at your fitness retreat. We really had the most relaxing and enjoyable stay!

I think we both got so much out of it and was fabulous to have some quality time together. You were extremely thoughtful in how you tailored it to us. We have both been trying to eat a bit more mindfully and I’ve been concentrating more on walks, yoga and home workouts rather than too much running.” 

Ellen & Tom, Surrey

“Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat is simply a gift to life… from the moment I was greeted by Kathryn, with her beautiful warm and beaming smile, and Nellie with her propeller tail and heart melting eyes, I knew I had made a good decision. 

 Everyday life had taken its toll on my overall fitness and wellbeing, slowly weighing me down and draining me of energy and motivation.  Somehow along the road I had lost my mojo. I hoped Stede Court Fitness Retreat could at least point me in the right direction to rediscovery.  It did far more than that… I feel my spark for life has been re-ignited!

 The perfectly constructed personal retreat plan explored my physical, mental and nutritional status without judgement.  I think that is something important for people to know.  No matter your current state of fitness or wellbeing, at no point are you made to feel bad, inadequate or a failure

This isn’t a wellness retreat built only for the honed and toned or fitness fanatics with uber challenging objectives.  Yoga, mindfulness and meditation … It never crossed my mind that it could be helpful to me.  Well, everyday is a school day to learn something new.  These, together with circuits in my happy place outdoors, are now part of my everyday life and I’m loving it.  Meditation gives me time to relax but certainly takes practice…. I’m still somewhere between telling my mind to be quiet and falling asleep 🙂

It would be churlish not to mention the beautiful house and grounds of Stede Court that Kathryn and Andy have slaved over.  It is stunningly beautiful whilst remaining homely.  No-one could fail to improve their wellbeing in such surroundings.  Add to that the expert hands of Becky (masseuse) rolling and ringing the stress and tensions from your muscles as you lie listening to the gentle rustling of breeze through trees and the soft bubbling of water from the swimming pond.  Heavenly.

And finally, as one quote says, “once you start laughing, you start healing”.  I can’t thank Kathryn, Andy and Nellie enough for all the laughter.  This Ballerina Builder will be forever grateful.”

Karin, Northampton

“My family and I had the most beautiful experience this weekend in the most fitting grounds and thoroughly enjoyed every moment (even the bits where the muscles were shouting to stop)!

Kathryn is the perfect host; she is so friendly and down to earth with an easy-going personality, making the experience even more enjoyable.

We came away having learnt so much about the power of stopping to re-energise and just looking at life from a different perspective.

I am so glad we did this and can highly recommend @stedecourtretreat as a perfect retreat for anyone. Thank you very much Kathryn 🙂”

Fiorentina Sterka, London

“Kathryn, thank you so much for a wonderful week at Stede Court. We spent a long time researching just the right fitness retreat and that time was well spent indeed.

You are such an inspiration, the memories and key tips we learned will stay with us for years to come. We can honestly say our stay was perfect, the whole ambiance filled our soul with positive energy.

Amazing healthy food, great personal company and just a treat for mind, body and soul….we will be back!”

Jane & David, North Yorkshire

“I may not be super fit now but after spending a brilliant weekend at health and wellbeing retreat Stede Court in Biddenden, Kent, I am inspired by Kathryn Freeland to live a healthier, calmer and more active life. Apart from the outdoor fitness training and healthy food, the thing my daughter Gracie and I loved the most about Stede Court is the beautiful surrounding countryside and the general feeling of peace as soon as you walk through the door. We all need more of that in our lives, right? 

@jo_elvin your ears must have been burning as Kathryn used to be your personal trainer in London.

Look up @stedecourtretreat if you ever need a rest and to get back to being your best self. 

Kathryn – you have created such a special magical place

Kath Brown, Kent

“Thank you so much Kathryn, your heavenly wellbeing retreat was just what this mum needed!! Loved every minute, I honestly feel so relaxed and clear minded after our lovely stay. Thank you for making us feel so special. Can’t recommend you highly enough!! We will be back to recharge and reconnect as soon as possible!!”

Joanna Jones, Kent

“Thank you so much, we had the best time!! You and your retreat are wonderful, would totally recommend your retreat!! Will be back as soon as possible. Stunning place, great host. Thank you Kathryn!! “

Liz Hamer, Kent

“Last winter, I happened to be going through a difficult time in my personal life and was feeling sluggish and demotivated so my goal with the wellbeing retreat was primarily to get my exercise mojo back. I received so much more.

Kathryn planned a bespoke wellbeing retreat for me involving morning outdoor cardio circuits, long country walks/runs, afternoon yoga & meditation plus freezing cold but invigorating lake plunges! But it’s important to note that Kathryn is also flexible and accommodating – I wasn’t forced to do anything I didn’t want to!

From the moment I arrived, Kathryn was warm, welcoming and kind. Despite the wellbeing retreat taking place in Kathryn and Andy’s beautiful country home, I never felt like I was imposing on their space, the atmosphere is relaxed and homely. Gorgeous Nellie was always on hand for a cuddle as well.

Kathryn has so much experience and insight to offer, quickly identifying potential issues with posture and/or gait, right down to how I lace my trainers!

I don’t know how she manages to run the retreat but also find the time to prepare 3 delicious meals daily, which are always filling but wholesome and nutritious. I learned things about gut health and meal planning that I have incorporated into my diet and continue to use.

So my aim was to get exercise mojo back, but we achieved so much more. After 6 days, i felt reinvigorated, reinspired, it was a therapy of sorts. Kathryn made me feel so welcome, I also feel like I gained a friend. I would like to go back every year”

Maya, London

“Just to say a big thank you for such an amazing week at your beautiful fitness retreat, I loved every moment and could not have felt more welcome.

It was wonderful not to be in continuous pain, I can’t believe the difference it made, I have kept up the walking exercise and make a point of correcting my posture.
I have also joined a Yoga club, had my first session last Wednesday, which I enjoyed been difficult fitting in with work, still looking for a Pilates class in my area, but I am moving forward.

We loved the food which was amazing, and I have kept to your recommended diet and lost some weight allowing me to get into those clothes which were hanging in my wardrobe. Could not be more pleased.
Also the facial and body massage was amazing, with Becky who made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. Lovely person.
We felt very much at home and relaxed, thank you both so much.”

Patricia Faith, Norfolk

“Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat is an absolute gem.

We had the feel of staying with friends in the country, but with healthy meals cooked and served with love and a beautiful fitness circuit in the fresh air that we absolutely loved. Kathryn is so skilled at pitching the fitness level just right so both my husband and I got a really good workout without anyone yelling ‘feel the burn’ at us! My children are now eating the bircher muesli recipe she served us for Breakfast (win) and my husband and I had a weekend where our bodies and minds were both worked and relaxed. We feel much better for it.

This is luxury health and fitness at its best and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Dr Alexis Zander, London

After spending the previous year and a half on and off marathon training – my drive and enjoyment of running – well fitness in general had started to wane.  I needed some R&R and wanted to get away from it all somewhere remote. Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat was just the ticket – a 2 day bespoke retreat  – the home of personal trainer Kathryn Freeland – one of the wittiest and most empathetic women I’ve ever met.  The retreat is designed to be whatever you need it to be. See the full review here 

Alice Barraclough, London

“Dear Kathryn, thank you for a wonderful fitness weekend.

It was fabulous! You helped me to relax and focus on myself after a really challenging year.  I have got on my peloton bike this morning and can already feel the difference!”

Lynette, Kent

“My wellbeing week at Stede Court was blissful. Just what I needed, time to relax, exercise and spend lots of time outside. Kathryn is very knowledgeable and kind, I really enjoyed my week with her and left feeling refreshed and with lots of lovely recipes! She is an excellent cook, all the food was delicious, using local, seasonal produce. I loved the fact that they were meals I could replicate at home and didn’t take hours to prepare. There is something rather magical about having your breakfast by the beautiful pond and your dinner under the stars whilst trying to spot the infamous owl. The sauna was perfectly placed looking out over the pond, and a dip afterwards gave me a real buzz! The PT sessions were challenging and varied. The woods make the perfect setting for the circuits sessions and the field made for an unusual running track, with the added bonus of very friendly sheep to take your mind off your run. Kathryn gave very helpful feedback on my running style, I haven’t yet achieved ‘gazelle’ status, but am hopeful I’ll get there one day! Overall, a wonderful few days, I highly recommend Kathryn to anyone looking for something tailored to their individual needs.

Writing about my week has put a smile on my face 🙂 I really loved my time with you, Nellie and Andy. You are wonderful hosts and made me feel so welcome.”

Arabella, Surrey

“Kathryn has been a life-saver at a horribly difficult time in my life. I’ve increased my fitness, toned my body and feel rejuvenated.

She is a wonderful personal trainer and Stede Court is the most beautiful setting that one could ask for.”

Dr Caroline Elton, East Sussex

“I cannot recommend Stede Court and the fabulous Kathryn more highly. My friends and I had such a special 24 hours at her wellbeing retreat. Five stars all round! The venue is absolutely stunning. Incredible house and grounds – spacious and immaculate. A Tudor mansion set within glorious Kent countryside. The whole place was much bigger than I anticipated, and Kathryn made us feel entirely at home. It really is such a special place.​

We were a group of mixed ages / interests / abilities and Kathryn designed an itinerary which catered to all. We arrived on the Saturday afternoon to a sundowner glass of fizz and welcome. Then came the home-cooked evening meal, which was delicious, healthy and made from locally-sourced ingredients. The following morning we woke to coffee on the deck by the swimming pond, before having a lovely breakfast. Then came a warm-up through the meadow beyond the house, followed by circuits. The exercises were challenging but inclusive and all the while Kathryn kept us laughing. While leading the group session she was also able to offer individual guidance, should somebody need / want it. Next we did a sauna and swim session, which was fab. The swimming pond is an immaculately maintained oasis and the sauna is large and overlooking the gardens. After lunch we went for a countryside walk, which ended prematurely due to the weather, but Kathryn responded immediately and ran our yoga session indoors. This was an unexpected highlight of the weekend, because it was both deeply relaxing, but also full of laughter. The retreat weekend ended with an introduction to mindfulness in the back garden, and then group photos. None of us wanted to leave! But when we did finally depart, we left feeling relaxed and restored.

Thank you Kathryn for such a special weekend x”

Emily Evans, Gloucester

“I wanted to thank you properly for such a fantastic experience and a wonderful few days, I felt completely invigorated when I got back and my partner said he could hear it in my voice. I have been eating much better (I went straight out at 7 on Monday morning to buy the ingredients for the roughie) and thinking about my posture more and I went for a very long run yesterday in a much more upright position!

Thank you again and if you do ever write that book I will be sure to buy it!”

Angela, Surrey

“Darren & I wanted to send a huge thank you for our wonderful wellbeing retreat. You made us both feel very welcome & really took the time to understand what we were hoping to achieve over the 3 days.  The discussions around gut health & nutrition were really valuable and we both feel well informed to make better food/lifestyle choices. Needless to say we both felt great after eating your fabulous food – you set the bar high! 🙂

The last 10 days have been a little hectic which is usually a time when a few bad habits creep in – but not this time! I’m 100% committed to feeling the best version of myself.

I have a tendency to have a good few months & then fall off the wagon (food/exercise). Your comment about whether we want to be having the same conversation in 3 years really stuck with me. I personally know that’s definitely not what I want & this has to be a new way of life not just a short fix. 

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us. We loved spending time with you both.”

Hayley & Darren, London

“Just want to say a quick thank you so so so much for such a magical weekend, Kathryn!

Feeling re-energised and refocused and ready to take on Monday. Thank you for having me and my mum at your fitness retreat, she absolutely loved it. Swimming in the pond and circuits in the woodland were absolute highlights. It was exactly the reset my mum and I needed, and I want all of your yummy recipes. Hope to come back soon!”

Rosie Fitzmaurice, London

“I cannot quite believe it was this time last week that I was heading to your wonderful house.

I had a fab time, it felt like a second home at the end, I am just sad I cannot pop in every week! You were great company, and your wellness plan was fab. The hips and lower back are rejuvenated and I have a healthy paranoia about pelvic tilt! I’ll keep up with those specific exercises for sure.

Sure I will be back, or maybe I’ll see you in Ibiza one day : )”

Nathan, Chislehurst

“We had simply the best time with you in your wonderful fitness retreat & loved it ! It was just what was needed at this time & a total escape from life & the crazy world within which are living now.  I enjoyed every aspect of the weekend & feel motivated to continue with yoga as a new activity ! 

Your all round sensible, calm & expert approach is to be admired & is inspiring , thank you so much.  I would love to come back next year with my daughter & will stay in touch so we can hopefully line this up. Thank you again for a great weekend & your wonderful hospitality.”

Dr Sue Graham

Our fitness retreat day with at Stede Court was blissful! Beautiful day and a stunning, peaceful setting. Kathryn is fantastic and made us feel relaxed instantly. We hadn’t exercised for a while and the boot camp and yoga exercises were set at a perfect level to test our bodies and also being able to move at the end of the day! Bonus! Left feeling energised and motivated and cannot wait to return!

Joanne Walton

“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 Freeland has all bases covered.  Oh, and they just happen to have an amazing house and gardens, with all the necessary facilities for you to achieve those goals.

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. And the great thing about it all, it feels achievable and sustainable so no fads & diets here.

No wellbeing retreat is the same as Kathryn designs each fitness retreat and session according to what YOU want to get out of it and Kathryn was fantastic at sharing advice and helping me realign my body movements.

Such a fab day in such a magical setting

Note of warning: You will not want to leave!

Hettie, Kent