Review: Poppinghole Farm Spa, Robertsbridge
A gloriously tranquil East Sussex haven with holiday cottages and a boutique spa, perfect for escaping the grind and enjoying some well-deserved me-time.
The gloriously rural and tranquil Poppinghole Farm Cottages and Spa is situated in the Rother district of East Sussex. It’s the perfect spot for switching off from the daily grind, a beautiful retreat made up of a spa and holiday cottages, packed with added luxuries.
Approximately 10 miles north of Hastings and 13 miles south-east of Royal Tunbridge Wells, it’s an easy drive with plenty of parking. It’s also accessible by train, with a good service on the main Hastings to London line. Rolling up with my mum for a well-deserved break, we were met by resident Labradors Maisy, Holly and Poppy who escorted us towards the fountain adorned courtyard and into the spa cottage reception where the lovely Alex was waiting to settle us in for our afternoon.
Poppinghole Farm Spa and Cottages has four traditional Sussex-style, luxury cottages that can accommodate up to six guests. Book the whole site with a full occupancy of 21 guests for the ultimate retreat experience for friends or family on that special occasion.
The cottages are internally very high end and come with the use of the tranquil pool and spa. Upon booking, management can offer extras for your stay such as flowers, balloons or bubbles, to make someone’s visit extra special. Our cottage was kitted out with trademark Elemis products and fluffy white gowns, towels & slippers – which we raced to get into. We felt very organised with our day itinerary all planned out for us on a card (we may just have been far too relaxed when we slept through our second private pool/hot tub experience after lunch.) It’s also fab knowing you can nip back to your cottage to chill, enjoy the peace away from home or make a cup of tea with your feet up, with a home from home vibe.
A short stroll across the courtyard, you’ll find the oak framed complex complete with a 10M indoor and perfectly heated swimming pool, plunge pool and jacuzzi. The patio doors open out onto a sun spot where you can sip a cool drink and catch up with that stack of magazines or books you’ve not had time to read.
The treatment rooms have an incredibly calm feel, with stylish quirky furnishings where you can enjoy being pampered with a prosecco or fresh juice. We were met by the gorgeous friendly duo Katie and Abbie, who explained our indulgent Elemis treatments. The Garden of England Rose Restore, a full body massage including scalp, was a no-brainer when I booked in and my Mum opted for the Pro-Collagen Age Defy. After an hour of floating away while being pampered we emerged feeling blissful with skin feeling soft and peachy.
Let’s be honest top spa bug bears are feeling the need to talk through a treatment or a massage which doesn’t hit the spot pressure wise, but both treatments were top grade and just what the doctor called for.
The treatment list is extensive including the coveted Biotech treatments and spa packages fit for any occasion. We only wished we had the foresight to add on a luxury pedicure, lord knows all our lockdown feet need one. My advice – just treat yourself head to toe!
FOOD & DRINK
Hungry from lying around on our backs doing nothing, we had pre ordered a delicious lunch of chicken and feta cheese salad with roasted asparagus, peppers and courgette – with fries, obvs – and chilli baked salmon with roasted pepper quinoa. Followed with a fresh fruit (also enormous) platter and lemon sorbet. We feasted on this with a glass of Prosecco, and it was quite simply heavenly. Also, on the menu is pan fried duck breast, grilled halloumi or simple paninis amongst other scrummy choices. Drinks range from Chapel Down sparkling to Oakwood Fresh Juices and all in between.
AROUND AND ABOUT
If you’re staying for the week, stock up with fresh produce from Browns Farm Shop. Bodiam Castle, Battle Abbey, Pashley Gardens, Carr Taylor and Seddlescombe Vineyards offer a great mix of things to do for days out whilst Bedgebury Pinetum is the perfect place to walk, cycle or play. Lunch or dine at nearby Muddy fave The Curlew in Bodiam.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Escapees from the city, those hankering for a rural haven, horse lovers and treatment lovers. This is perfect couples or girly retreat –my mum recently celebrated her 70th so this was a special day for both of us.
Not for: Young families, unless you book out all four cottages in which case kids can join and enjoy the facilities and farm. This is a boutique spa so expect intimate but not extensive facilities with a fantastic treatment menu.