FLEURS en FRANCE
A FEAST FOR THE SENSES
flowers, fragrance, food and art…
A Wildflower School Workshop
June 5th to 11th 2019 in the south west of France
Come and join us in a dreamy French chateau for a week of indulgence and sensual pleasures…
Forage in the park grounds for blooms from the chateau’s own organic flower farm. Create a bouquet inspired by fragrances made by niche French parfumiers. Paint a watercolour of an arrangement in your chosen vessel. Construct wild and opulent urn arrangements in the Grand Salon and a botanical installation the 18th century chateau walls.
Linger over a long lunch. Relax by the pool. Wander in the estate gardens. Explore the surrounding villages and visit an Abbey garden.
in this elegant 18th century pink brick chateau 35kms south of Toulouse. It is situated in a small village surrounded by rolling hills-in the countryside between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea.The chateau is set in 5000 acres of parkland dotted with hundred year old trees- so lots of natural beauty to wander about in- or just admire it while we lie by the pool eating pate and sipping wine!
And if you think the exterior is beautiful- just wait until you step inside! Huge fireplaces, beautiful floors, frescoed wall, French antiques and pretty bedrooms…
The chateau has its own organic flower and vege farm. Just imagine how lovely it will be to select your own blooms and then create with them on the spot. The flower farm was planted a few years ago by a young florist from Barcelona. And the owner of the chateau has been encouraging other local small businesses such as a restaurant that is open from Thursday to Sunday in one wing of the castle- and a traditional baker- and musical events and fetes
Create…the Feast for the Senses Workshops
On each one of four of the days of our stay we will have a workshop inspired by one of the senses: smell, sight, touch and taste are the inspiration for the four workshops below- and hearing will permeate them all as we listen to music while we create- and hopefully hear some local live bands at the restaurant in the chateau!
Flowers and Fragrance Workshop
We will learn about the fragrances from 3 French niche perfume houses and then choose our favourite one as inspiration and each design a hand-tied bouquet that evokes the essence of that scent for us… the notes in the perfume might suggest certain colours, or a certain shape or style, or a choice of blooms that remind you of a person or place or experience…
Flowers and Art Workshop
We will talk about the French Impressionists like Monet- and their love of flowers as a subject for their paintings. From gathered from the garden blooms we will each create an arrangement in a chosen vessel. Then we will have a lesson in watercolour painting- and try to capture our arrangements visually and in 2 dimensions on paper!
Flowers and Textures Workshop
After foraging for branch, foliage, seed heads, berries etc we will work as a group to construct large urn arrangements and a large botanical installation insitu in the chateau and grounds- focusing on the textural and architectural elements that bring drama to large scale floral works
Flowers and Food Workshop
For our final “long lunch”we will create a long low “meadow” to run along the centre of the table from flora which is edible as much as possible….. herbs, edible flowers etc And our chef will also focus on creating French dishes that have a floral element
These workshops are suitable for all skill levels- from those who have merely dabbled at arranging flowers at home to professional botanical stylists….. you just need to love flowers!
On one of the days we will embark on a road trip to explore nearby medieval towns- and beautiful gardens… join us for a day trip in the French countryside
CARCASSONE: a hilltop town in southern France’s Languedoc area. It is famous for its medieval citadel, La Cité, which has watchtowers and double-walled fortifications.
CAMON: nicknamed "Little Carcassonne", this fortified village nestles around an ancient Benedictine abbey and is one of the “Plus Belle Villages de France”. It is also known as the “village of 100 rose bushes”- their rose festival is at the end of May- so fingers crossed the stone houses will still be covered with climbing roses when we visit in early June!
ABBAYE de COMBELONGUE: a medieval abbey in the Midi Pyrenees countryside, and hidden behind the walls are beautiful gardens: the Medieval Garden, the Renaissance Garden, the French Garden, the Orchard and more
After the morning workshop each day we will serve a lovely relaxed long lunch in the gardens- or in the chateau dining room. Our chef (my partner Mark- and trust me- he is a great cook!) will use local produce and vegetables and herbs from the Chateau organic farm. He will create classic French dishes such as French onion soup, pissaladiere, Gratin, Frangipane tart and Tarte Tartin- as well dishes that are typical of the Languedoc region such as bourride (fish stew), cassoulet and creme catalane
Then in the evening you may decide to try out some of the restaurants in the local villages and towns- or to eat in the restaurant called L’Auberge that opens from Thursdays to Saturdays in one wing of our own chateau- how lucky are we?!
(approximately 2770 Euros, 2460 GBP, 3180 USD as at 1/10/18)
A deposit of $1500 is due now to secure your place. A second payment of $2000 is due 1st February 2019 . The final balance of $1400 is due 1st May 2019.
EARLY BOOKINGS: the total cost will be reduced by 400 NZD for those who choose to pay the amount in full before the end of January 2019
SHARING a ROOM: If you are accompanied by a friend or partner and are sharing a room then the per person cost will be reduced to 3900 NZD each. If the person sharing your room is not participating in the floral workshops then their cost would be 2500 NZD
Please note: places are NOT refundable after the end of January. If you are unfortunately unable to attend, you can arrange for your place to be transferred to another person- and please let Wildflower know.
NOTE: There is a minimum of 5 students needed for the class to be held. In the unfortunate event that we do not meet this minimum, all students will be informed by the end of January and receive a full refund. Please keep this in mind when booking flights and insurance.
accommodation at the Chateau for 6 nights arriving after 3pm on June 5th and departing before 11am June 11th 2019
a welcome dinner on the first evening- so we can all get to know each other!
6 simple breakfasts, 5 long lunches
a linen apron and small gift
perfume samples to take home
water colour paints, brushes and paper
all flowers, foliage and equipment needed
hand-dyed silk ribbon
excursion to Carcassonne, Camon and the Abbey
a beautiful photo book which will be sent to you after our return- as a record of your magical week!
travel to France
transfers to the Chateau- though once you have booked we will send information on the closest airports/ train stations etc- and will try and pick you up if at all possible
dinners (except for the welcome dinner)- remember there is a restaurant in one wing of our chateau on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights- and villages with restaurants and cafes close by
car hire- you may wish to consider this if you want to take off and explore in the afternoons