Oh, goodness! France! A sewing retreat in France! Let’s all go…

We asked Philippa Adams to fill us in on upcoming Crafty Retreats and Workshops Ltd. in France. It sounds delightful, of course! Don’t miss our ongoing Go + Sew series for all of the latest on modern sewing events and retreats.

The Event: Residential Craft Courses from Crafty Retreats
Crafty Retreats has 9 scheduled residential craft courses this year starting from May 20th through to Oct 14th. Each one has an expert tutor who inspires, mentors and teaches their specific techniques and skills during the week. The courses range from modern quilting, stitch drawing, wet felting, weaving and embroidery to art quilting and free motion quilting.

Where + When:
All the retreats take place in small rural hamlet called Mallety in the Limousin Region of Central France. Mallety is 20 minutes away from the beautiful city of Limoges with all its wonderful porcelain factories.

How much does it cost, and what’s included?
The retreats cost £1150 (US $1625) for a single room with en suite but this does include all food, wine, airport transfers from Limoges, outings, tuition, use of sewing machines and most materials needed during the course. Non-participating partners are welcome at £700 (US $990) for the week. Flights are the only additional cost but we can help you find the best deals from your local airport.

Great food is an integral part of your retreat so we provide an imaginative and delicious menu every day. Meals are prepared in our farmhouse kitchen from locally grown or raised produce and are accompanied by a selection good quality wines. We are also happy to cater for vegetarians or other dietary requirements on request.

What are the accommodation options?
All the rooms are heated and the main rooms and workshop also have air-conditioning for the summer. The bedrooms have original artwork on the walls, toiletries, hair dryers, beautiful cream bedding and memory foam mattresses. Each bedroom has its own bathroom, most are en suite and all the bathrooms match throughout. There is free Wifi throughout the site. We have a mixture of single, twin and double rooms in the farmhouse and large converted barn– all are equally beautiful!

How many years has the event been presented, and how many people typically attend?
Each year we run different courses with a maximum of eight participants for each course (six for the wet felting courses). We limit our numbers so the group is very friendly, everyone has plenty of space to work in and each participant has lots of individual attention from the tutor.


Inside the Workshop

What does a typical day look like?
A typical class day follows the schedule below, but we do have days where we visit local attractions and markets also. Mallety is surrounded by forest and there is plenty of time for a little walk up in the woodland to clear the mind every day.

8:15 a.m. Continental breakfast
9:15 a.m. Workshop/class starts
11:00 a.m. Coffee + cookies
11:15 a.m. Resume workshop/class
1:00 p.m. Lunch served outside in the courtyard
2:15 p.m. Resume workshop/class
3:15 p.m. Coffee + cakes
4:00 p.m. Resume workshop/class
7:00 p.m. Dinner served in the Grand Hall

After dinner there will a piano concert. Request are welcome!

Are there other things to do in the area if customers want to extend their stay or bring partners with them?
There are so many things to see and do in the area! As part of the course we spend a day at Aubusson, a beautiful small city in the Limousin which is famous throughout the world for its wonderful tapestries. The tapestries have been made in its workshops since the 14th century. We also visit local vide greniers (flea markets) and antique markets on the Sunday for a little haberdashery hoarding!

Puces de la cite

In addition, the City of Limoges is about 20 minutes away, and is known for its medieval and renaissance enamels on copper, for 19th century porcelain and for oak barrels which are used for Cognac production. There are numerous museums to visit that tell the story of the area’s past history. Many factories still produce Limoges porcelain and it is possible to spend days visiting them and snapping up bargains in their factory shops!

The nearby town of Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed on June 10, 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company. After the war on the orders of the then French president, Charles de Gaulle, the town was maintained as a permanent memorial and museum dedicated to the atrocity. This is a truly thought-provoking day out and the museum is excellent, with text in English as well as French. Audio tours are also available in English.

Le Moulin du Got is located south of Mallety near St. Léonard de Noblat which is a beautiful Medieval town on the river Vienne. The mill has manufactured paper since 1522 and has recently been restored to its former glory. It is now producing paper again along with guided visits.

Limousin Cows

The rural area surrounding Mallety is also well known for fishing, mountain biking and hiking on marked trails. It is also a photographer’s paradise!