Floral decorating retreats / workshop weekend
Friday June 2nd- Sunday 4th 2023
The Chateau (completed)
Come and join me,Laura, on this unique residential weekend retreat 'with a difference' at the beautiful, fairytale 'Chateau de Bourneau' in the unspoilt Vendeen countryside, France.
Erin and JB, the owners of the Chateau ( as featured on Escape to the Chateau DIY) are fabulous hosts and I, will share my 35 years of knowledge of floral decorating with you ( along with some interesting stories of events that I have designed for celebrities and royalty worldwide). This really will be a fun weekend and whats more you do not have to have any previous experience.
'This is not floristry, there are no hand tied bunches or posy displays in this class, it is FLORAL DECORATING' (much more fun), we will 'create magic' together. Setting the scene for a gala dinner on Saturday evening...coktails beforehand in the floral decorated (by all of us) ruined Orangery.
Materials, tuition, scissors, apron supplied.
Friday 2nd June:
From 4pm: Meet & Greet at the Château with wine & nibbles
Course Introduction & 1st creative session
3-course Dinner in the Château library
French breakfast baskets delivered to each holiday cottage
Let’s start creating! You will learn how to make various displays of all shapes and sizes from garlands to large scale table decorations and floor-standing torchères mostly formed from natural, sustainable foliage foraged from the château’s private forest with added glitz, embracing the glam of the roaring 1920s.
We will together decorate the cocktail and dining areas ready for evenings soiree.
Tea, Coffee & Cake break
French lunch buffet in the library with rosé
Final finishing touches
Free time to enjoy the grounds or swimming pools and then get glammed up for…
The Sumptuous Gatsby Gala Dinner (Dress code: glitz & glamour. 1920s style encouraged but not compulsory)
Cocktail & canapés at The “Speakeasy” Ruined Orangery
Formal dinner under candlelight and the festoon lights of the château courtyard (weather permitting. Rainy weather plan will be in the beautiful Yellow Salon, which was the original château ballroom)
Creative workshop to make something to take home
Brunch at the château
Nestled in the Château de Bourneau's private park and woodland of 16 hectares, the Château’s original period outer buildings have been sensitively converted into 4 large holiday cottages. Each cottage offers a perfect escape to nature in the unspoilt Vendéen countryside. They all have their own private garden and swimming pool and sleep between 8 and 12 people with a maximum of 2 guests per room.You will also find large common areas to welcome groups.
Full Residential Course weekend stay: 685 €/per person (£605 at time of print, may differ when booking) in a shared room (+160€ for a single room supplement)
Bring a non-attending course partner or friend: (2 nights accommodation, food, drinks and sharing with a full paying attendee only: 360€)
Day Rate Course & Gala Dinner: (Saturday 3rd June 10am-11pm): 120€/person
Live locally or don’t require accommodation? Join for just the Saturday course with materials & tuition, tea/coffee/cake, lunch and the gala dinner included.
Evening gala dinner attendance only (for day-course partners and friends): 70€/person
How to get there:
The Château de Bourneau is situated in Vendée, Pays de La Loire in West France. It is easily accessible and only an hour’s easy drive from 3 international airports (Nantes, La Rochelle and Poitiers) 2hr20 from Bordeaux airport, only 45 minutes from the fast train TGV in Niort and 12 minutes from the A83 motorway exit.
Car hire from airports available
Easy driving from Ferry ports
Tuition from film & celebrity florist, Laura
All materials including take home equipment
Accommodation in one of Château de Bourneau’s period holiday cottages
All home-cooked, seasonal meals including wine
A take-home creative gift
What’s not included:
We look forward to welcoming you to the Château!
To book complete the contact form on this website
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of 2023....Great fun !!!!
9th 10th 11th December 2022
Classes of 2022...
Class 2019 and 2021....
I was lucky enough to take part in Laura Lee's floral decoration workshop held at the beautiful Chateau Bourneau in October 2019.
My friends & I had a bit of a challenging start due to our car breaking down on the way, but thanks to Laura rescuing & reassuring us, all was well in the end!
The floral decoration workshop was even more amazing than I had imagined! We were all presented with an apron, notepad, pen, scissors & a little bag to keep them all in which we could take away with us at the end.
The large room we were going to decorate in the chateau was the 'yellow salon' - a blank canvas for our creations & everything was really well organised. There was a huge array of materials & props for us to use. An exciting beginning to a fantastic day!
Floral decoration is something I've never tried before but I was straight into it as Laura was very encouraging at all times. She demonstrated the numerous techniques of decorating, using fabulous props found at French brocantes, charity shops & even B&Q! Also gold & bronze sprayed lantern flowers, dyed leaves from London flower markets & flora & fauna found in the grounds of the chateau such as ivy & berries & moss.
At all times we were encouraged to use our own creative skills & imagination, with guidance given whenever we required it. Terry, the other half of this incredibly creative team, was on hand to help with the practicalities of preparing the props such as huge tree branches which we put together & decorated with metallic-sprayed lantern flowers. Awesome ! We learned how to use wire to hook items on. It looked absolutely stunning as did all of the other floral decorations we created! When we had finished, we looked around absolutely amazed at the results of our hard work!
The salon that had started off as a blank canvas was transformed, by us, into a magical, fragrant & flower-filled wonder! We stood back & were awestruck by our creations!
Later that evening, after we had changed into our glad rags, we entered the chateau into the library for a glass of champagne. We were then invited into our newly decorated room which had been further transformed with uplighters & fairy lights ...wow! We were all stunned at the beauty of the room.
I hope that Laura will run another of her workshops at Chateau Bourneau. I will definitely take part even though it will mean a drive of several hours to get there!
I can't wait!
" I have just returned from the enchanting Chateau Bourneau where I spent the weekend enjoying a floral decorating course run by Laura and Terry . To say Laura worked miracles with her vision and talents with mainly materials that can be found by most of us in our gardens or local parks & woods is an understatement. Under her patient tuition, together with Terry's encouragement, we turned our hosts dinning room into a magical candlelit Banqueting Hall where we enjoyed our gala dinner Saturday evening. Who knew that using just a few well chosen materials could work such magic. I came away totally ready to start putting my new found knowledge and ideas into practice. And to top it all off, our hosts Erin and JB were both the most delightful, talented,attentive hosts one could ever wish for and I wish them every success in their lives at the Chateau. Thank you Laura and Terry and I look forward to taking part in another course very soon! Loved, loved, loved every minute."
I have arrived back at my little house after having spent such an enjoyable weekend. From the first moment driving through the archway and seeing the breathtaking and graceful Chateau de Bourneau I knew it was going to be a special weekend. I have seen many photos of it before but nothing prepares you for that first view, I have realised that neither my description or photos can ever do it justice. I got to spend an exciting few days on a floral course with Laura. She has such an amazing
vision and it was a privilege to be mentored by her along with the other lovely attendees, we got to help her create a magical and spectacularly stunning setting in and arround the chateau. I got to spend time with some great people. Erin and JB at the Chateau were incredibly generous,friendly and considerate hosts, their food was gorgeous and nothing was too much trouble The course invigorated me and I will definitely be back on one of Laura's courses. If you are lucky enough to have the chance to attend, please do.'You won't be disappointed"
I have just spent the most incredible time at Chateau Bourneau with Laura Lee (Blossom with Laura) on her Festive Retreat floral decorating event. Under Laura's kind, calm instruction we foraged the chateau woods for seasonal foliage, branches and colourful leaves, and with the help of huge obelisks and candelabras, props, and a huge store of dried and fresh trimmings, we let our imaginations go big and wild!
We were each given aprons, bags, scissors and gloves and allocated a project. Laura was there for guidance and tips. Morning hot drinks and treats arrived with the lovely Erin, who had been busy baking miniature mince pies, iced gingerbreads and other goodies. The Yellow Salon, a stately room with huge portraits around the panelled walls, began to take shape with the huge fireplace adorned with seasonal foliage. the obelisks covered, candleabras covered and the staircase wrapped in a green festive cloak.
Lunch was delicious, homemade soup, quiches, charcuterie and local cheeses, washed down with a light and crisp local rose. The afternoon flew as our attentions turned to the main long dinner table and entrance hall. Laura's husband foraged for more greenery as we needed it and was on hand all day helping to cut larger branches and give us all help where needed. By the time we all headed off to get ready for the evening gala dinner, Laura was still adding lights and finishing touches to the daylight stunning displays ........
........... fast forward two hours ........ it's dark and frosty, the Chateau is dripping in gold strings of beaded lights, and we're welcomed in through the turret door into the library, where bubbles and sequins twinkled, and a bevy of Laura's glamorous and excited students waited for the big reveal in the next room.
I will let you be the judge of our combined efforts, but suffice to say the whole darkened room bejewelled with twinkling gold candles amid swathes of forestry, objets d'art, fruit, berries and huge festooned obelisks took my breath away. Flowing fizz and wine, an outstanding 3-course meal from JB and Erin (the perfect hosts), and the company of an exceptional group of women simply finished off the most perfect and magical of times.
Thank you Laura, Erin & JB for the memories - you make dreams come true ❤❤
Thank you so much for a fabulous weekend, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll be attempting to up my Christmas decorating game this year, using my new skills.
Midsummer Night's Dream
17-18-19 June 2022 (complete)