The Spa Spies head to Ashdown Park for the Kerstin Florian spa launch

Apr 4 2014

Shy Spy

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3 min read

The Spa Spies were invited to Ashdown Park in East Sussex's beautiful Ashdown Forest for a relaunch of their Leisure Club, and also to meet the Vice President of Kerstin Florian, Charlene Florian.

Arriving at Ashdown Park is a bit like arriving in a Brontë novel. The manor building itself, complete with its own chapel, dates back to the 1860s. The grounds are spectacular, and have over 300 deer running around its 186 acres. Even the autumn mist couldn't detract from the grandeur of the place.

Charlene Florian herself gave a very informative talk about the brand and their products. The brand philosophy is based on four key pillars: healthy nutrition, regular exercise, psychological well-being, and proper care of face and body. The Kerstin Florian skincare range only fulfills one of these key pillars, but the brand works to promote the other three components as important parts of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

A spa treatment at Ashdown Park Hotel and Spa, Sussex

To reflect the emphasis on proper care of face and body, Kerstin Florian skincare range is free from strong perfumes, and heavy preservatives, and instead looks to the science of minerals, herbs, phytotherapy (plants) and marine technology to create its products.  Charlene definitely knew what she was talking about when it came to the science bit. Although the brand takes influence from nature, in particular marine life and minerals, the use of science and modern technology to produce products which deliver was fascinating. We left the talk wanting to find out more about the personality of water and how telomeres can be used in skincare! (We'll come back to this in future posts, readers!)

We were then whisked away for a back, neck and shoulder massage, which was very relaxing. The therapist pointed out the stressed parts of my back and worked on those, leaving me feeling very calm. After this, a dip in the Jacuzzi was in order, followed by the sauna and steam room.

Dinner at Ashdown Park Hotel and Spa

Dinner was hosted by Charlene Florian, and was served in one of Ashdown Park's private dining rooms. Ashdown Park has a fine-dining restaurant, as well as a more casual Bistro, and several drawing rooms and lounges where you can enjoy afternoon tea in splendid surroundings. The food was delicious, I couldn't get enough! True to the Kerstin Florian philosophy, Charlene had a slightly healthier option, but from her glowing complexion and healthy looks, the lifestyle obviously works. After dinner, I headed to my room for an early night in preparation for a healthy early-morning walk around the grounds.

My room was in keeping with the grandeur of the rest of the building, with a four-poster bed, and beautiful views of the grounds. I retired to what I can only describe as the comfiest bed I have ever slept in.

aerial view of Ashdown Park Hotel and Spa, Sussex

I was glad I had risen early for the organised walk, as the groundsman showed us some of the most popular and beautiful areas of Ashdown Park's gardens. There was still a mist hanging over the park, but it made the atmosphere somewhat ethereal.

Our experience at Ashdown was an interesting juxtaposition of modern day science and cosmetic technology in an olde worlde setting. Ashdown Park is definitely the sort of place to head to for a weekend away from modern city life. We left Ashdown Park feeling motivated to lead a more balanced life, to start following some of Kerstin and Charlene's philosophies, and to look after ourselves a bit more!


Shy Spy

4th April 2014

Spy Likes:

Instant results; jasmine and frangipani scents; hot steam rooms; a good selection of magazines; modernist decor.

Spy Dislikes:

Whale noises (on CD, not in the pool hopefully); hard massage beds; tiny toilet cubicles; being spoken to like a child; lukewarm pools.

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