Last Friday, I was treated to an amazing afternoon at Castle Farm in Kent to see the lavender fields before they are harvested for the year. I was a guest of heritage floral fragrance, bath & body British beauty brand, Yardley London who source their lavender from the farm and they wanted to share with me a little more information on the plant and how they extract the essential oil which goes into their product.
Yardley London was established in 1770 by the Cleaver family and for the last 240 years the brand has been synonymous with Lavender. To this day, English Lavender is still the best selling fragrance for Yardley London. Perhaps it is something to do with the high quality variety of the flower they use, English Lavender ‘Maillette’. One of the most sought after in the world which is home grown in Kent at Castle Farm.
Yardley London recently re-launched their Contemporary Classics collection which celebrate their heritage, quality and classic sophistication. Their signature fragrances have been reformulated to give them a modern twist with added ingredients to give them a greater depth of scent. Choose between English Lavender, Lily of the Valley, April Violets and English Rose. Each fragrance is sold as an Eau de Toilette, Luxury Soap, Deodorising Body Fragrance, Perfumed Talc, Moisturising Body Wash and Body Lotion, as well as a Nourishing Hand Cream. The new range contains natural extracts for added benefits whilst being free of parabens and mineral oils and contains up to 95% naturally derived ingredients.
Lavender and Lavandin
There are many different varities of Lavender, including Lavandin which is actually a cross breed of the flower. Many brands refer to Lavandin as Lavender as they smell very similar, but they have very different properties. Lavandin is actually a stimulant which can also be used as a insect repellent. Lavender is a relaxant and has healing properties which helps cure headaches, burns and stings. Lavandin is often favoured by beauty brands as it is a much cheaper essential oil as lavandin gives a great yield when harvested. However, Yardley London always use a variety of English lavender named ‘Maillette’, which is considered one of the most beautiful varieties of the flower, is the most sought-after and produces a high quality oil used in the English Lavender fragrance.
Each year from late June to early August, many of the fields of Castle Farm in Kent are coloured purple with the lavender. They grow around 90 acres of the flower here and they are the largest producer in the UK. From miles away you can see the purple fields and it’s such a special sight. As you get closer to the fields, you can start to smell the lavender in the air. It’s really quite spectacular! Lavender needs very specific conditions to flourish; dry chalky soil with good drainage and high PH value. Which is why only a few places in the UK are suited to growing it. During the Summer, when the lavender is in bloom, Castle Farm open their doors to hundreds of thousands of people per year to give tours of their beautiful purple fields and visit their farm shop, The Hop Shop which sells oodles of lavender infused products which are made using lavender grown in their fields. I was lucky enough to enjoy an afternoon tea in the garden which included shortbread, ice cream, honey, jam, tea and so much more, all made using their lavender.
Massage in a Lavender Field
During my tour of Castle Farm, I was able to see the Beehives where they make honey from the bees who feed off the lavender, I saw the distillery where the lavender is steamed and eventually turned into the essential oil. Then I headed back to the lavender fields where I was treated to an incredible massage in the field as the sun went down. It was quite the experience!
Yardley London English Lavender Collection
I had the most amazing afternoon at Castle Farm in Kent, I loved seeing where Yardley London source their Lavender essential oils. It was amazing learning all about the different lavenders and how the flowers are harvested and turned into oil. I have been using the Yardley London Contemporary Classic English Lavender range and I really love it, my personal favourite has to be the soap which is triple milled for a rich, creamy lather and smells so clean and fragrant. I also love the hand cream, which has a velvety texture and keeps my hands soft. I have been using the hand cream at night as it is soothing and relaxing before bed. I have a bit of a thing for violets at the moment too, so I will definitely be ordering myself a few products from the April Violets collection too. If it’s anything like the English Lavender range, it will be delightful! Get 20% off the English Lavender Range when you buy through the Yardley London website and use the code LAVENDER. Valid until the end of the month.
Visit the Purple Fields
Thank you to Yardley London for an amazing day, I loved seeing the purple fields of Kent and the massage in the lavender field was unforgettable! If you fancy going to visit Castle Farm in Sevenoaks, Kent, you can visit their website, it’s well worth the visit and only 20 miles outside of London. The lavender will be harvested over the next few weeks, so make sure you visit soon!