To go on a painting holiday has always been one of my dreams and this didn't disappoint. In fact, it was beyond my expectations. From the moment I was met at the station ( after a long train journey all the way from London) by the lovely owner and painter, John, I was swept up into an environment of overwhelming beauty, kindness and excellent hospitality. The Retreat's location is breath-taking and the only noise is that of Nature. My bedroom was perfect with freshly cut flowers and I had the best nights sleep I have had in ages. John went out of his way to make sure that myself and my new painting buddy were happy and achieving all that we wanted to from the experience of a painting holiday. His tuition was excellent, encouraging and inspiring and I have now started painting again. I was able to say to friends on my return that I've been tutored by an artist who is exhibiting in Florence !!! (Bought a couple of his prints - couldn't resist them). We painted and sketched in fields, in a piazza and hill-top towns.
The food provided was delicious and expertly cooked by Jana (John's wife). All ingredients were locally sourced, organic and all dietary requirements considered. Jana, too went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable and happy.
Entertainment was sensitively gauged to our wanting. I had the pleasure of experiencing a 'Festa' at the local vinery with wine tasting and live music + painting, a lovely evening out eating fresh Italian Pizza, wandering the local hill-top villages and drinking the local wine (delicious). Some evenings were pleasantly spent just gently chatting and drinking the limitless local wine that was available. We even had a very silly Bingo night - great fun,
All in all, I shall take away some very special memories of The Retreat and its family ( including two wonderful children, a menagerie of animals, tree frogs and fireflies).
I'm torn between wanting to keep it a secret and wanting to tell the whole world what a fabulous place it is.
I shall definitely be returning next year,
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