A FLOWER AND GARDEN RETREAT
Lisbon, Sintra, and Oeiras
May 26-June 1, 2020
Immerse yourself in the springtime abundance of Portugal in May.
Jacaranda. Wisteria. Wild roses.
Join me for a seven day creative and cultural retreat in Portugal, learning all-natural flower arranging and foraging, walking formal and country Portuguese gardens , and tasting locally-made cheeses, breads, and jams.
(subject to change)
We´ll begin our stay in Lisbon´s most charming neighborhood, Praça das Flores, "the flower square". In in this cozy, authentic, and central neighborhood, we will devote time to get creative with local flowers, visit flower shops and gardens in Lisbon (like my favorite walled garden, Tapada das Necessidades), learn the language, food, and streets with locals, and simply relax with a "bica" at the purple quiosque!
After three nights in Lisbon, we will venture to the idyllic village of Sintra, for a foraging expedition with renowned author and plant expert, Fernanda Botelho. After enjoying a vegetarian lunch featuring edible flowers, we will go further afield to Quinta do Sobreiro, a family estate, where we walk the gardens for floral compositions, and enjoy meals and wildflower arranging together using the house as our home base for exploring the countryside and Sintra.
Morning at the flower market shopping for flowers and meeting the local flower vendors.
A flower arranging workshop with Chelsea making springtime arrangements in local ceramic vases.
Lunch together at the guesthouse.
An option for free time to explore the city, or to join the group on a flower shop walk.
Portuguese seafood dinner.
Breakfast and coffee out on your own at one of the lovely neighborhood cafes.
A visit to two local gardens where you will experience both formal Portuguese gardens as well as the Portuguse Horta style of gardens.
Lunch together at a garden cafe.
Time on your own to explore or hang out at the guest house for creative discussions and brainstorm about flowers, styling, social media, book writing, moving abroad, and more! Time for a one-on-one creative session with me.
Dinner on your own.
Transfer to Sintra.
We will start with a tour of Monserrate with local plant expert, Fernanda Botelho. After, she will lead us on a foraging expedition.
For lunch, we will enjoy a vegetarian lunch with edible flowers by A Praça Sintra.
After lunch, we will be centrally located so that you can start to explore the village of Sintra on your own, including Castelo dos Mouros, Quinta Regaleria, and Pena Palace.
Dinner on your own.
Transfer to Quinta do Sobreiro in Oeiras, where we will be staying for the remainder of the time.
Breakfast of local bread, cheese, jam, and eggs.
A workshop with Chelsea where we will forage for seasonal wildflowers and make arrangements in Portuguese ceramic containers.
A light lunch after the workshop.
Time on your own to visit Sintra and the palaces, castle with transportation provided.
Dinner together at home.
Breakfast of local bread, cheese, jam, and eggs.
A tour of two nearby gardens: Palacio do Marques Pombal and Quinta Real de Caxias.
Lunch at home.
Make flower crowns with seasonal wildflowers.
Dinner at home.
Transport provided to Lisbon or airport.
A note about free time
In my experience, and in my own preferences for travel, I value time and space for discovery, that is why I have scheduled in free time in our itinerary.
Alternatively, if you wish to be more guided, I can arrange a local expert for you with any number of focus points from ateliers to tiles.
In addition, there will be time slotted for you to have a one- on-one session with me to talk through anything from launching a creative career, floral design, styling, moving abroad, social media, book writing or more.
Below, you can view the details of some of the specific locations we will be visiting and staying.
We open 8 spots only for our retreat in order to keep it small, personable, and sustainable for local culture.
If you have questions before booking, reach out to Chelsea at email@example.com!
See booking form for terms. We can accommodate dietary restrictions. Upon booking you will receive some information and a quiz about what you are looking for from this retreat and with this we will cusomize the itinerary to meet the needs of the group. A signed travel waiver upon booking will be required.
Why travel with me?
Hello! I am Chelsea! A floral designer (for 20 years!), a prop stylist (I´ve styled shoots for Williams-Sonoma, Bon Appetit, New Balance, Kinfolk, and more!), photographer, writer, social media maven of all things floral, soon-to-be author, and an American abroad. After traveling solo for 10 months with a very small backpack, I re-located to Lisbon, Portugal and it is where I´ve made my home for almost five years. I believe in travel that is culturally and environmentally sustainable. That means: small groups, meeting locals, wandering away from the guidebook, trying new things, and respecting the pace of your location. Everywhere I travel, I look for flower shops, meadows, and wildflowers.
Why am I hosting the Flower and Garden Retreat in Lisbon?
In my five years in Lisbon I´ve met an astounding number of women, usually traveling solo, landing in Lisbon, looking for creativity, inspiration, and a fresh perspective on life. I´ve been involved with numerous retreats by now and hosted dozens of workshops, tours, and events. The connections, ideas, and inspiration I´ve taken from these conversations, classes, and encounters, have been life-changing and empowering. I love creating uplifting events with flowers, food, and groups of inspiring women.
Is this retreat right for you?
If you are looking to travel deeper, travel slower, and connect with a creative group of women this is the right experience for you! If you are looking to learn a new, meditative, way of working with fresh flowers for your own wellness or eventually your own new career, this retreat is right for you! If you love gardens, green spaces, alongside city discoveries, this is the right experience for you. If you are looking to reach out of your comfort zone and infuse your life with a new, European experience and learn a bit about the Portuguese slower way of life, this is the right retreat for you! Introverts welcome!
This retreat is probably not for you, if you are looking to hit every historical spot in your guidebook (you can schedule that in before or after!). It is probably not for you if you don´t have an open mind toward new cultures, people, and being in a group dynamic. This is probably not for you if you are looking to have six days of intense floral design school, instead it will be a slow travel retreat with a focus on flowers and gardens.
What is included?
Airport transfer to guest house.
All flowers, tools, supplies, vases (you can take your vases and flowers (can be dried or pressed) home!
Transfers to Sintra, to the garden and most local transportation except during your free time.
All meals except two dinners, Option for breakfast on your own two days, but can also be provided on those days.
All workshops, tours, lessons, guided walks and coaching.
A special travel guide with my recommendations for your down time.
What is not included?
Transport and meals during free time on your own
Shoot me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Chelsea Fuss except 3 and 8 by Sanda Vuckovic. 25 courtesy of Quinta do Sobreiro, and 26, A Praça Sintra.