Retreat to the French countryside for:
Time space and inspiration to write
Feedback on your writing
The support of other writers
Writing tasks and guidance (courses only)
5 nights full board (with wine)
Country isolation with convivial hosts
A local visit (a swim in a lake, a market)
Airport transfer in France
The retreat is designed to give you as much time and space as you require to write in conducive surroundings. We encourage you to come to Le Verger (the orchard) with a firm idea of what you will be working on so that you can get stuck in immediately and be assured a productive stay. While geared primarily to writers, Le Verger welcomes people working on any creative project. Everyone works to a different schedule (or none), so we leave this entirely up to you.
If you prefer more guidance, by arrangement, David will provide you with extra input before or during the retreat (a set writing task, an idea for a short story or poem).
Accompanying partners who want to walk, birdwatch or just relax (!) are welcome on the same terms.
Feedback on your writing
On two evenings, you are invited to share your work-in-progress with the group and receive constructive feedback.
When you are not writing
You are free to join the couple of trips we make to a local market, or (in summer) the local lake. Or you can just take yourself off on well signposted walks to Le Puy des Ages (2 km), the chateau-forge of Savignac-Lédrier or the village bar (1.5km)…
Own room £395
Shared room £345
You’ll be accommodated in your own simple but comfortable room with a desk and lamp. ‘The Piggery’, a separate gite in the grounds, is suitable for two (or more) writers: it has a large open mezzanine space upstairs (4m x 6m’) with further accommodation below (5m x 6m’) separated by curtains. There is wifi in all the accommodation. Two Writer’s Cabins (3 x 3.5m and 3 x 3 m) each provide ‘rustic’ but comfortable individual accommodation (occupant uses main house bathroom). Subject to availability, retreaters may share accommodation in the main house with another writer or an accompanying partner.
*While we do our best to satisfy your accommodation request, please note that in the event that this is not possible you will be offered the alternative at the advertised price.
Breakfast is on a help yourself basis and can be from as early (or late) as you require it. A simple buffet lunch will be laid out in the kitchen from 12:30-1:30. Tea- and coffee-making facilities are available whenever you require. A sit-down dinner with wine is served from 730PM and we encourage all retreaters to join the group for this (let us know on the Booking Form of dietary needs or other intolerances). Retreaters takes turns to cook one evening meal in small groups and clear away.
It is important you are all on the same outward and return Ryanair flight to Limoges to facilitate transfers to and from Le Verger. NB. Wait for us to let you know when you can go ahead and book your flight, and from which airport. Travellers by train can be picked up / dropped off at Limoges-Benedictins at a time which coincides within an hour or so with airport collection/drop offs. We charge £12 per person each way for group airport pick ups and £15 each way for rail station pick ups. If you require a separate pick up or drop off, a local taxi costs 140-160 euros and we charge £80.
What to bring
We recommend you travel light. A warm jumper is recommended in all seasons -- at the highest point in the Dordogne (410 m), even hot days can have cool evenings. All bedding and bath towels are provided (but please bring your own towel for swimming if you can fit it in). You will have the chance to buy toiletries and personal dietary needs ( we provide vegetarian, gluten-free and soya alternatives). The nearest pharmacie is 7 km away (and costly) so please bring supplies of any personal medication you know you will need. Bring your own European plug adapter, and a torch if in a writer’s cabin.
Please click here for a booking application form
Listed with the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and in The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2019