June 24th – July 1st , 2021
To join us for a fabulous week of hand-embroidery please visit our contact page
After a fabulous 2019 debut, and a Co-vid enforced gap in 2020 we’re delighted to welcome back Caroline Zoob for her second visit to La Balie. Whether you’re a beginner, a rusty returner or an advanced stitcher, Caroline’s expert tuition will guide you through an inspirational and exciting week of hand embroidery. Over the course of the week you’ll have a choice of two or three large embroideries each requiring varying degrees of experience and in addition, you will also work on an exclusive Stitch Sampler where you’ll learn how to tackle more complicated stitches and experiment with ways in which very simple stitches can be used in a painterly way to create landscapes or other scenes inspired by your surroundings. As always, Caroline will have a selection of smaller embroideries and guests may try some painting on linen.
With a small group of no more than eight participants, each person will receive plenty of individual attention. The beautiful, airy and, if the weather demands it, air-conditioned studio is at your disposal for the week, offering a work table for each person and an array of beautiful materials provided by Caroline.
The days will be broken up into periods of tuition and periods of free time and during the latter you may use the beautiful swimming pool or find a quiet and shady spot in which to read or carry on stitching.
We will also plan a couple of informal outings to local villages and hopefully take in a local brocante or market.
Caroline is a self-taught embroiderer with no formal art training. After school she trained as an opera singer, and then qualified as a solicitor. She discovered antique textiles and took up stitching in her late 30s, when her work was spotted by Country Living magazine. Her first show in 2000 sold out and now her delicate, painterly embroideries and collages made from antique papers are much sought after. Her first book, Childhood Treasures, was published in 2004. She has designed children’s bed linen for a leading UK brand, as well as ranges of ceramics, wrapping paper and cards. Caroline and her husband were tenants of Monk’s House, the former home of Virginia Woolf, for ten years, and her more recent books The Hand Stitched Home and Virginia Woolf’s Garden contain embroidered work inspired by the garden they restored and maintained on behalf of the National Trust. Caroline is hugely inspired by the countryside and the natural world. Now an experienced teacher, she enjoys devising new workshops and regards teaching as a process of sharing her keen observations, skills and materials generously and, in doing so, helping people to unleash and follow their own creative instincts. Her hope for the week of embroidery and mixed media workshops is that they provide a condensed mini-foundation course, offering the chance to try new ideas and techniques and develop the confidence to come up with an idea and take it for a long and productive walk.
Click here for Caroline’s website
Staying at La Balie
Built in the stunning mellow stone typical of the Lot-et-Garonne, La Balie is a collection of beautiful 16th Century farm buildings, three of which have been converted into light and airy cottages containing a total of eight charming bedrooms each with their own luxury bathroom. Each of the cottages has its own sitting room, fully equipped kitchen, satellite TV and WiFi. There is a large, heated, saltwater swimming pool set within a glorious garden with far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside.
Fluffy white towels, swimming towels and complimentary White Company products are provided and there is a hairdryer in each room.
Click here for more photos and information on each cottage
After a full morning’s teaching and a delicious al-fresco lunch, there will be plenty of time to relax by the pool, swim, read or relax before returning to class later in the afternoon. Caroline will be on-hand throughout the day to teach, advise and encourage!
Included in your course is a visit to the stunning village of Monpazier – a bustling bastide village where there are many charming shops in which to browse and where we’ll stay for lunch.
Travelling to La Balie
La Balie is in the Lot-et-Garonne, 50km southeast of Bergerac. There are several ways to travel to La Balie – by air, train or car. For this course, we suggest you fly into Bergerac airport from where we’ll be arranging shared taxis to La Balie.
The recommended flights for Caroline’s course are:
June 24th | Ryan Air FR8592 | departs London Stanstead 11.50 | arrives Bergerac 14.35
July 1st | Ryan Air FR8593 | departs Bergerac 15.00 | arrives London Stanstead 15.40
The following airlines also fly into Bergerac: British Airways and Jet 2.
For those of you who prefer to take the train, there is a TGV direct from Paris to Agen which takes 3.5 hours and from where we can arrange a taxi to collect you at an additional cost, or you can connect onto a local train to Monsempron-Libos, where taxis are available.
Hiring a car
La Balie is set within 10 acres of garden, meadow and woodland and is surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside. The peaceful, rural setting means there are no villages within walking distance – if you would like to explore the local towns and villages we recommend you hire a car at Bergerac airport. Most of the major car hire companies are represented at the airport and a good comparison/booking site can be found at www.rentalcars.com
Arrival and Departure times
Please arrive any time after 4.00pm on June 24th but in time for supper which will be served at 7.30pm on the first night of the course. The course ends after breakfast (10.00am) on July 1st.
Course Fees and Deposits
Course fees range from €1,700 to 2,400 per person depending on your choice of room.
Large double with ensuite (inc. a bath) €2,400 (2 rooms available)
Large double with ensuite shower €2,300 (1 room available)
Standard double with ensuite shower €2,200 (4 rooms available)
Shared Twin room with ensuite shower €1,700 per person (1 room available)
Non-participating partners €1,100
A non-refundable deposit of €500 is required to reserve a place on the course, with the balance of the course fee payable by April 1st, 2021.
Bookings taken less than two months before a course starts will require full payment
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend the course. If we are able to re-sell your place we’ll refund any payments minus your initial deposit.
We recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance, including cancellation insurance, before booking your course.
- Daily tuition from Caroline Zoob
- All course materials (fabrics, paints, antique papers, embroidery threads etc)
- An excursion to a local village including lunch
- Time to relax, walk, swim in the pool, read
- Seven night’s accommodation at La Balie
- All meals and wine
Click here to request a booking