“We deeply believe in the importance of taking time to look after yourself”

BlendFit Retreats was recently created by personal trainer and fitness educator Sarah Gorman with the help of her friend and fellow businesswoman Sam Hipperson. Here the pair tell Eileen Leahy all about their second BlendFit Retreat which takes place in East Sussex over the weekend of March 1-4 and promises to be an exceptional experience on a number of levels…

How did you both meet and when did you decide to join forces on working together?

We met through fitness around ten years ago and became great friends with a shared love of movement, wellness – and wine! Working together has happened quite gradually. We have helped each other out on various projects over the years and realised early on that have a very unique blend of skills that complement each other perfectly. We have a knack for knowing what each other is thinking and neither of us has an ego when it comes to whose idea something is. Most importantly we both have an overwhelming desire to make people happy.

We have resisted putting a formal business together for quite some time but we work so well together that it was inevitable it would happen eventually. Organising and running retreats was the natural direction to take and we love it.

Is the upcoming Blendfit Retreat at Fair Oak Farm the first one you’ve worked on together?

It’s not. The last one we did was in the Peak District and it was such a resounding success that we couldn’t wait to do it all again. Over half the bookings are repeat clients which tells you everything…

Can you tell us what the retreat over the weekend of March 1-4 entails?

It’s going to be incredible! A BlendFit Retreat is all about balance. It’s about getting out in the elements and then curling up by a roaring fire; it’s about a long walk followed by a Sunday roast; it’s about trying something new and then chatting about it over a glass of wine. It’s about beautiful classes and luxury accommodation but most importantly it is about YOU. It’s about how you feel on the inside and not how you look on the outside – although we are pretty sure that you’ll be glowing when you leave!

What do you think participants will enjoy most about it?

Everything! Our intention is that by making yourself the priority, even just for a few days, you will become a better version of yourself and go home feeling invigorated, rejuvenated and ready to face the world with renewed energy and enthusiasm and therefore better equipped to support your loved ones round you.

Can you tell us a little bit about what a ‘typical’ day will involve over the weekend?

Each day starts with a delicious and nutritious breakfast in the farmhouse kitchen at our base Fair Oak Farm in East Sussex which is followed by a class or workshop with Sarah. These sessions really are suitable for all abilities and will be tailored to you and your needs. Next comes the fresh air. One of the days will be an invigorating hike which has been carefully planned so that there are various exit points for those who don’t want to complete the whole 10 miles. It also has secret stops that may or may not involve one of the oldest pubs in Britain! Lunch will be en route and then back to the farm to make use of the infra-red sauna, curl up by a roaring fire with a book or maybe have a decadent bubble bath overlooking the alpaca field. Following some ‘me time’, you will be taking part in a specialist workshop.

On Saturday we are really excited to have local artist Lauren Bouche joining us to run a session on affirmations and art. The results are quite astounding. In the evening you will enjoy an exquisite dinner from outstanding event caterers Vittle and Swig. Then it will be off to sleep in your luxury bedroom – maybe even a treehouse – ready to do it all again!

Other expert sessions include paddle boarding with standuppaddleboardingwithana.co.uk and a soundbath with annarobertshaw.com

Why did you choose Fair Oak Farm for this particular retreat?

Fair Oak Farm is quite simply one of the best retreat locations in the UK. Described by the Guardian as ‘the height of luxury’, the estate sits in the most incredible countryside and has stunning luxury accommodation with exceptional facilities. The Farmhouse will be the hub of the retreat, housing the kitchen, dining and lounges. We will gather here at many points throughout the day and you will be greeted by log fires, comfy sofas and a traditional farmhouse kitchen complete with Aga.

Group sessions will be held across a variety of beautiful converted barns overlooking some of the rare breed animals that are lucky enough to call Fair Oak Farm their home. The sleeping accommodation is simply stunning. From tree houses to shepherds’ huts and even an oast house, everything has been thought of and we have a strong feeling that you won’t want to leave on Monday morning! Did we mention the cinema barn and the infra-red sauna? Or the alpacas and the pair of peacocks that live here?

How many places are there on the retreat?

There are just 15 places in total and only a couple left so you need to be quick if you would like to join us!

How much are the tickets?

Prices range from £900-£1,250 depending on choice of accommodation. This includes all activities and workshops, all classes and all food and drinks (including wine with meals and Prosecco receptions).

Do you have plans to do any other retreats later in the year?

Well we have some exciting news for SO and Times readers as we have just confirmed the dates for the next retreat! It is being held from Friday September 27 until Monday September 30 and will take place in a central UK location. We can’t wait to get planning again!




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