World Reviewer - Prestige boot camp

16 December 2009

Astonishingly, Prestige BC, despite being relatively new on the scene, is already the best military-style, women only boot camp in England. Although perhaps not such a surprise when you see who's behind it and why. Head Trainer, Iain Reitze, has dedicated his life to fitness training, acquiring a host of qualifications along the way. What's more, as co-owner and co-director of PBC, he's also had the unusual freedom to go out and just help himself to all the best equipment.

Frankie Christian's motivation, on the other hand, is much more personal and all about her own war with yo-yo dieting. Although still a work in progress, she's gone from 16 to 18 months. So one of the Directors knows, from bitter experience, that until something changes in your head as well, any weight lost is going, slowly or quickly, straight back on again. As Frankie lays it down on the website: "PBC is not just a quick-fix - it is a lifestyle change".  

They complement each other well; and they've found an ideal place to site their camp. The location of Higher Wiscombe is nigh on perfect. Perched, with wonderful views over lovely, unspoilt Southleigh Valley, Prestige Boot Camp is set in 52 acres of woodland, orchards, pasture and streams, on the doorstep of  the Unesco World Heritage Jurassic Coast, the beaches of Beer and Branscombe, and the River Exe for canoeing; all of which they make the very most of. In fact, Prestige BC is the one-and-only camp in England to offer canoeing, which is a shame, because a Sunday afternoon along the sunny River Exe was one of the highlghts of the week - though nothing beats the memory of that spectacular trek on the coast, which Prestige is only one of three bootcamps in England to offer its guests.

Accommodation in the Holiday barn is pleasingly up-market, with wide beds in carpeted bedrooms, Grohe showers in the bathroom etc.- quite unlike the cheap and basic barn bedrooms of some other boot camps. Staff exude an easy-going professionalism, whether on camp or hired in to give specialist seminars on the likes of Psychotherapy, Style Consultancy and Nutrition. Yet, amongst them, are two outstanding stars. One is Darren Martin. Prestige Boot Camp has gone way beyond providing the perfectly competent boot-camp-cook by employing a real fine dining chef. This is an excellent and innovatory idea because, believe me, every morsel of food at boot camp is always looked forward to, and cherished. Whilst his braised lamb takes some beating, I think you'll probably remember the wild berry and champagne jelly the most.The other is Iain Reitze. This Head Trainer has gathered together the top trio of trainers on the English boot camp scene. You may have to address each formally as Staff - it's a military-style camp - but these guys were different; they were from a caring, humorous, slightly off-the-wall regiment I'd never come across before. Suddenly, training was a laugh. Unsurprisingly, they are the Comedy Cabaret Night.

Although Prestige will take you through a wider range of activities than any other camp, I'd still like to see yoga/ pilates on the list, perhaps in place of one of the adventure playground events, but that is a small quibble in relation to an overall programme that is excellent. If you find that success is going to need more than one go, then Prestige offers a 15% discount on your second attempt. That represents excellent value for money, although Prestige Boot Camp's first price is already one of the best value-for-money prices around in the country.

  • Accommodation:  Award-winning Holiday Barns, spacious & beautifully crafted with up-market furnishings & panoramic views over the East Devon countryside. Outdoor swimming pool/ summer only.   
  • Capacity: 24. F Only. Occasional Mixed M/F dates.
  • Duration:  7 nts. ( 4pm Friday - Friday 10am).
  • Cost:  £1395(sgles,all en-suite) & £995(twin,en-suite)/£945(twin,shared bathroom).
  • Price includes:  All food, lodging & activities which typically include: gym-style work-outs plus sessions in the swimming pool,hill and coastal hiking, gorge walks,canoeing,cycling,abseiling,boxing, white water rafting, zip wire,asault course, team games, 3 workshops on Nutrition & Motivational Life Change, 1 Seminar on Healthy Cooking, a 200 picture CD of your week & a farewell goodie bag of certificate, T shirt & beauty products.
  • Evening Events: nightly, e.g Film Night, Quiz Night, Camp Fire Night, Comedy Cabaret, Meditation & Relaxation, Final Gala Night Dinner with champagne.
  • Optional extras: Massage/ half £20, full £40.