Welcome to the Secret Garden Retreat. Hosted by Laetitia of Florésie and Chikae of Chikae O.H. who will be teaching you all they know about floral design, styling and photography. Escape to the gorgeous and luxurious Champagne Region in France where we will be arranging floral masterpieces, eating local food and staying in the charming village of Vandeuil near Reims. This retreat will be relaxed and free-spirited, allowing anyone to attend and create beauty at their own pace. The number of participants will be very limited so that the hosts to have time for each of you and to ensure a peaceful creative atmosphere.

Join us as we wine and dine French delicacies, indulge in local Champagne, float through overgrown gardens, foraging and capturing as we share trade secrets, stories, laugh, relax and enjoy our time together.

MEET THE HOSTS:

Chikae started her floral design company Okishima & Simmonds in 2013, and recently started her second business focusing on photography, visual storytelling and creative consulting. Photography was always her first love. Self-taught and having been fascinated with it from a young age, she shoots both digital and film photography.
Her style of photography is based around her concept Hikarui where she travels lightweight, carrying as little gear as possible, using what already exists around her. This enables her to travel anywhere, be free-spirited and adapt to any situation allowing her to capture visual stories that are real, raw and enchanting. Beauty exists all around us, yet we choose to seek it elsewhere. Starting with the fundamentals above, this allows you to bring in more props if necessary and is adaptable to each person. Her way of teaching ensures that you come away learning the basics and how to see the world in a new way that you can adapt to your own lifestyle and avoid replicating others.Chikae’s knowledge of flowers means she is able to capture the beauty of flowers and foliage in a way that other photographers are not able to. Chikae loves to travel. Being half Japanese half American but born and raised in the UK, and having lived in Japan and Hong Kong, means that home is essentially wherever she is at any given time. Her ability to travel lightweight and use only the essentials in both her travels and her photography gives way to a more stress-free lifestyle and appreciating the things that truly matter.
When Laetitia was a child, she was good at math, so naturally, she became an engineer! However after 10 years as a project manager, she realised that she was bored with solving equations and needed more beauty in her life. She decided to enroll in the floral design school of Paris and created the first french blog dedicated to floral art called Florésie in 2010. Now a mother, Laetitia has turned her blog into a design studio serving brides and grooms, specialising in wedding and family events, flourishing with a delicate and wild garden style. Also working as floral editor for a Swiss magazine, she is able to do all of this from her studio based in France, growing her own flowers and teaching floral art in a secret garden situated in the Champagne countryside but also reaching the regions of Burgundy and Picardy, known for historical venues and vineyards.
Florésie is a living space, gentle and joyful where creativity is drawn from the laughter of children, the softness of chicken feathers, the singing snails, the surrounding cracked old stone walls and the scents of garden flowers, varieties often old, adorable in every stage of life that Laetitia learns every season to succeed a little better. Laetitia loves to travel, but her favourite playground remains in France where she can be found before sunrise every Thursday wandering at Paris flower market, selecting flowers for her brides among the most fragrant and charming garden roses of the Grand Paris heritage growers.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: 
Monday September 25th: 
We will welcome you at the venue at 2 pm. The first after-noon and evening will be dedicated to getting to know each other and get comfy in the environment that will be calling our creative quiet cave and home for the three days to come: exploring, foraging and laughing will be our goals for that day that will end by creating a pretty table for a delicious dinner complimented by local bubbly champagne.

Tuesday September 26th:
After breakfast, we will drive through the Champagne countryside to a pretty garden grown and curated by two passionate growers that dedicate their work to ancient rose varieties. We will then head to Laetitia’s own garden for a picnic and an afternoon class about centerpiece arrangements with garden flowers. Your creations will be used to decorate our dinner table, which Chikae will use to introduce you to styling and photography à la “Hikarui”.

Wednesday September 27th:
In the morning, Chikae will tell you all her secrets about her creative process for photography, editing and visual storytelling, you will have opportunities to put your skills into practice as we follow the natural light surrounding us and use the decor that we will explore together using what our venue has to offer. After a refreshing lunch, we will stretch our creative muscles around a class about floral installation taught by Laetitia. You will have the opportunity to learn both her creative process and technical skills while creating an installation together.

Thursday September 28th:
After breakfast, Chikae and Laetitia will welcome you for 1:1 sessions where you will have the opportunity to talk about everything you want with the hosts in private. We will then have to say goodbye and farewell…

This schedule is just to give you an idea of what will be happening over the course of the retreat and is subject to change as we allow things to happen organically depending on weather and what people want to focus on.

This retreat is for you if you:
– Wish to learn floral design and styling, all levels welcome
– Wish to learn photography skills, all levels welcome
– Want to talk about social media and how to use it
– Want images and create work for your portfolio or website
– Want to relax and take a well deserved holiday for yourself
– Love to eat yummy French food
– Want to meet like-minded creative people who will become friends for life

COST:
Price for the three days: 1390 £ (approx. 1600 Euros)

This includes:
– 3x breakfasts, 2x lunches and 3x dinners
– Accomodation in double bed-rooms (one bathroom per room)
– Transportation to and from Reims main train station
– Flowers and vessels for the floral classes
– Discussions / teaching from Chikae and Laetitia
– Visit to a botanical garden

What is not included:
– Travel (other than the above transportation)
– Film rolls. Should you wish to shoot in film, please bring your own.

CANCELLATION POLICY:
Due to logistics, the people involved and hotel cancellation policies, this is a non refundable retreat. You will be able to transfer your spot to someone else should you find someone to take your place. We would like to recommend organising travel insurance to cover any unlikely events.

VENUE:
Le Clos de la Robe, Vandeuil, Champagne, France.
You can come to Reims in 45 minutes by high-speed train from Paris (Gare de l’Est). We will come and pick you up at the Reims train station if you need a lift to Vandeuil.

Registration:
Please head to Chikae’s website to register here.

picto_floresie_feuille

Photographie: Anna Tereshina, Chikae O.H., Laetitia Mayor