From restful gardens to festoons of colourful bulbs, the British Isles offers floral masterclasses in some of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring locations…
Floristry workshops at Armathwaite Hall Hotel
Few venues can rival Armathwaite Hall Hotel when it comes to location. This Lake District jewel is set in 400 restful acres of deer park and woodland, bordered by the mesmeric waters of Bassenthwaite Lake and framed by the magnificent Skiddaw Mountain and Lake District Fells. Throughout 2023, Armathwaite – a proud member of Pride of Britain Hotels – is offering a range of floral workshops in collaboration with Cumberland Flower Farm. Guests can enjoy a range of seasonal courses throughout the year – crafting fresh spring wreaths made from Cumbrian foliage, plants, bulbs and flowers using sustainable techniques or creating sumptuous midsummer bouquets bursting with seasonal blooms. As autumn draws in, the expert florists will guide guests as they create a stunning fall table centre; and as December dawns, the Cumbrian wreath workshops will be the perfect way to begin the festive season. The workshops include all materials and a delectable cream tea.
Seed to flower at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
The kitchen gardens, grounds and orchards of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons are world renowned – so much so that the famed hotel and Michelin adorned restaurant now runs gardening and floristry courses.
The full-day and half-day courses have been carefully curated and are helmed by Raymond Blanc OBE and his team. The garden and floral masterclasses are held at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ Hartley Botanic glasshouse, where guests are also treated to a delectable working lunch. Learn about botanicals for cocktails, or take a masterclass in growing your own flowers and creating vibrant bouquets. For garden lovers, expert courses on growing your own vegetables, winter pruning or the intricacies of micro herbs and edible flowers will no doubt prove irresistible. A gastronomic and exquisite English country getaway –Le Manoir’s 11 enchanting gardens provide guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Gravetye Manor garden tours
Originally created by visionary gardener William Robinson in 1885, the gardens at this luxury hotel ensconced in the Sussex countryside are now considered one of the most important historic gardens in England. Head gardener Tom Coward and his team guides guests through the English countryside, showcasing the manor’s beautiful flower and kitchen gardens. Garden tours take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from April until October during 2023 and are available to anyone with a lunch reservation in the dining room or staying at the hotel. For an immersive culinary experience with a green-fingered twist, book a garden tour and private dining experience – the garden tour can be booked alongside a private lunch for groups of seven to 20 guests.
Foraging at Glenapp Castle Estate
For something a little different but still bound to the earth and natural landscape, why not discover the joys of foraging. Scotland’s beautiful, bountiful southwest is an open-air larder of delights and, Glenapp Castle Estate offers guests some incredible wild flavours. The hotel’s foraging expert, Monica ‘Mo’ Wilde, is one of Scotland’s leading foraging tutors and ethnobotanists, specialising in the use of plants, mushrooms and seaweeds in food, medicine and craft. She has been teaching about wild food for 30 years and regularly works with leading chefs, distilleries and bartenders. The foraging experience at Glenapp comprises a fascinating half-day or fullday adventure, where guests learn to identify seasonal edible goodies, such as wild mushrooms, aromatic herbs, seaweeds and succulent coastal plants. The experience includes a wide selection of foraged tipples and tasters and concludes with a wild-food picnic and foraged cocktails in the garden, woods or at the Victorian Glasshouse.
Floral workshops at Ham Yard Hotel
Head to the rooftop of London’s Ham Yard Hotel to discover a world of colour and learn from world-renowned florist, author and designer Willow Crossley. Willow will take guests on a tour of the roof gardens, identifying seasonal flowers and herbs and will then demonstrate how to make a beautiful arrangement using locally grown, spring flowers. The first workshop takes place in April. Willow will reveal her tips and tricks on how to arrange flowers from single stems to full arrangements and how to work with the seasons to get the most out of blooms all year-round. Keep an eye on Ham Yard’s diary of creative workshops for more dates –from floristry to fabled thread embroidery.
Floral creations at Cromlix
Owned by British tennis player, Andy Murray, Cromlix is a Victorian Perthshire mansion full of Scottish charm and decadent touches. While there is an abundance of on-site activities to choose from – including tennis, of course – bespoke lessons in flower arranging, wreath making or table displays can be booked on request from April 2023. During the private flower-arranging lessons, guests will wander the stunning grounds of Cromlix and handpick a selection of blooms, foliage and aromatic stems, including a selection from the tulip beds (newly planted for 2023) when in season. Under the careful guidance of Sarah Corsar (Head of the Kitchen Garden), guests will create beautiful bouquets and discover a new appreciation for the grounds and gardens of this captivating Scottish hideaway. Thanks to its beautiful location, Cromlix, a PoB hotel member, is a perfect fit for green-fingered guests looking to relax and unwind. Individual or group bookings available from April 2023.
Text by Chantal Haines