The Noordoostpolder in the central Netherlands is a mysterious land reclaimed from the sea and its mineral-rich soil makes for fabulous flowers. There are tulips of course, stretching as far as the eye can see in a glorious patchwork of colour. But there are many beautiful domestic gardens too. Some of the makers of these gardens are generous enough to share their green spaces with others and in this week's blog, we bring you three of our favourites.
Known as the 'Versailles of the Netherlands', Paleis Het Loo is a beautiful baroque garden filled with fountains, parterres, and statues. First created in the 17th century, it has undergone several transformations - and a period of neglect - a story we tell in our latest blog.
Hamilton, Missouri is known today as ‘Quilt Town USA’, a thriving community home to numerous quilting stores and a fascinating museum. But only 15 years ago, this small, midwestern town was down on its luck, its main street blighted by abandoned buildings and empty shops. The agent of change was a family-run company called the Missouri Star Quilt Company...
Gaya Island Resort offers the kind of beach-front pampering that dreams are made of, but alongside the luxurious Spa Village, idyllic villas, and golden sands, is also a marine centre that plays a vital part in the protection of endangered sea turtles and coral reefs. We caught up with the resort’s Resident Marine Biologist, Scott Mayback, to find out more.
Eleni Christoforatou has lived in Corfu for more than 20 years and her career path has been shaped by the island’s natural beauty. A graduate of the prestigious Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in the USA, Eleni has been making healing salves, syrups, and tinctures, giving classes on herbal medicine and leading herbal walks for the past decade. We will be joining her on one of these fascinating walks as part of our holiday to Corfu next spring – she share's a taste of what’s in store in this week's blog.
Nathalie Cassée is a block printer and cultural entrepreneur. She founded the block print studio De Katoendrukkerij in the Dutch city of Amersfoort. Based in a 17th mill rooted in the city's textile past, the studio sets out to bring the history of block printing to life in contemporary form. We caught up with her to find out more.
Dotted with ancient, candy coloured towns that seem to have sprung straight from the pages of a children’s story, Alsace was made for Christmas. Small wonder then that this northeastern region of France is home to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Our Magical Alsatian Christmas Holiday 2023 takes to you four of them.
Magic awaits all who arrive at Swarovski Crystal Worlds. Rather than a revolving door, you enter through a giant’s head and immediately find yourself inside the Chambers of Wonder. Designed by a roster of internationally acclaimed artists, designers and architects, these are places of sparkling fantasy, guaranteed to amaze and enchant.
The National Quilt Museum in Paducah is home to around 650 works of quilting art, all of them made in, or after, 1980, making it one of the best collections of contemporary quilts in the world. Opened in 1991, it was founded by quilting enthusiasts Bill and Meredith Schroeder to celebrate the work of contemporary quilters and bring it to a wider audience. We spent five minutes with the new CEO, Matt Collinsworth.
A tiny, remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between India and China, Bhutan was almost completely cut off from the rest the world for centuries. The country opened up to outsiders in 1970s, but it still fiercely guards its ancient traditions and remains a place that is mysterious, magical and utterly unique. Here are 10 fascinating facts about this inimitable country.
Jacquie Gering is a quilt artist and, as a former Chairman of the Modern Quilt Guild, was part of a team that brought the idea of Quiltcon to reality. We caught up with her in her temporary garage studio in Kansas City to find out about her life in textiles, the joys of QuiltCon and her upcoming exhibition at the show.
We caught up with Patrick J Finn, photographer, author and Indian quilt expert, to find out more about a passion that has taken him across India, from bustling cities to remote villages.
Our Incredible India holidays are supported on the ground by Sita Travels, India’s leading Destination Management Company. Read on to find out why.
As the temperatures rise, why not take a cooling break from the sunshine with our celebration of Innsbruck's magical Christmas markets?
Supertree Grove is the iconic landmark of Singapore's award-winning oasis Gardens by the Bay. In 2006, international landscape architecture consultancy Grant Associates was appointed to masterplan the spectacular garden where these giant structures grow. We caught up with Founding Director Andrew Grant at the firm’s Bath office to find out more.
We are delighted to announce the latest addition to our tempting menu of destinations is …. Greece! We have been fans for a long time, then Alexander Oliver joined the ECT Travel team bringing with him a degree in ancient – mostly Greek – history and even better, a lifelong connection to the country. It was the inside knowledge we were waiting for. We will publish the programmes soon, but in the meantime, we asked Alex to share some details to whet your appetites – beginning with that family history.
We are committed to creating fabulous holidays that are good for both people and planet and our newly opened holiday to the Swiss village of Arosa delivers on every level.
Fleuramour is one of Europe’s most prestigious floral events and has been a highlight of our tour programme for many years. We have missed it over the last two years and can't wait to return in 2023. Here Judith Blacklock, founder of the eponymous school and Fleur Créatif's UK Editorial Advisor, explains what makes this Belgian show so special.
There is lots of time to explore the vibrant Texan city of Houston on our tour to the International Quilt Festival and its Museum District is one of America’s cultural highlights. There are 19 different institutions to choose from, all of which are worth visiting, but here are our top three:
Brian Dykhuizen is a contemporary textile artist, based in the United States. His beautiful, abstract quilts are a celebration of colour, design and stitching. One of his latest creations will be showing at the European Patchwork Meeting in Alsace this September, and we are thrilled to announce that he will be travelling to see it with us. We caught up with him to find out more.
Award-winning textile artist and author Anne Kelly will be joining the line up of internationally acclaimed makers at Pour l'Amour du Fil in 2023. We got together to find out more about how she tells layered, patched, stitched and embroidered stories of home and away.
High in the Eastern Himalayan forests of the Singalila National Park lies Habres Nest, a research hub and wildlife tourism centre dedicated the conservation of the Red Panda. We spoke to its Director and Head Naturalist Shantanu Prasad to find out about his work, what it is like to stay in this extraordinary location and how by doing so, you can be part of sustainable change.
Natacha travelled with us on our Austrian Christmas Markets tour – and arrived home full of festive cheer. As we look forward to setting off the the twinkling towns again, we caught up with her to ask why she went and what she loved.
Our tour managers are at the heart of every ECT Travel holiday. For this week’s blog, we sat down with one of our longest serving TM’s, Josef Scheerder, freshly back from the European Patchwork Meeting in Alsace, to talk tours, downtime, and the secret of success.
Bath is a double UNESCO World Heritage City, famed for its thermal waters, Roman remains, elegant Georgian architecture and association with the novelist Jane Austen. But the city has other things to boast about too – including five fascinating firsts.
In the fourth interview of our Talking Textiles series, we spoke to Frank Bennett, CEO of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, home to one of the best collections of contemporary quilts in the world.
The second in-person edition of the India International Quilt Festival will open in January 2023. We spoke to Varsha Sundararajan, one of the three founders, about the festival’s origins, India’s age-old quilting tradition and what we can look forward to.
Bath is home to internationally renowned jeweller Nicholas Wylde, one of the few jewellers to have his own, unique, diamond cut. We caught up with him in his flagship store to talk about getting started, being a shop keeper and why diamonds are the stone of true love.
The gates to the international horticultural exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 open in Almere - Amsterdam in April. We talked to the landscape architect Niek Roozen about planting 2,500 trees, alphabetical perennials and his pioneering green city philosophy
Fleuramour is back! As we look forward to taking you to the 25th anniversary of this fabulous celebration of contemporary floral art in 2022, we asked Sara-Marie Andrews from the Academy of Floristry to take us back to the 2019 edition and remind us just why this floral extravaganza is so spectacular.
Ahead of our fabulous Fleur Créatif Floral Workshops in Germany this November, we caught up with the three designers and also with Nicola Fink, Press Officer of the German Florist Association, for an insight into their work, their inspirations and the programme’s very special location.
The international horticultural exhibition Floriade Expo 2022 will be a feast of flowers and all things green and natural. With so much to see, we are selecting a few highlights, beginning with the Flower Art Project, 'Classics & Future Moments'
Kate Hebert is the Chief Curator of The American Museum & Gardens in Bath, home to one of the finest collections of quilts in the UK. In the fifth interview of our series, we sat down with her in our home city to find out more
Back in the dark days of January 2021, we invited floristry students from colleges across the United Kingdom to send us their designs on the theme of 'springtime'. We were overwhelmed and uplifted by the response - the future of floristry is looking bright indeed. Here we speak to the winners and runners up about their creations, what they are studying and their most favourite blooms.
With a year to go until the gates open on the 23rd AIPH world horticultural exhibition and the seventh Floriade, we spoke to one of the show’s fans Sarah Hills-Ingyon, Chair of UK Floristry Judges Guild, about why this once-in-a-decade expo is a must-visit for floristry and horticultural students
In the third interview of our Talking Textiles series, we speak to our exclusive tour guide and very own quilter Graham Parker about how he got started, taking short cuts and the joy of quilting clubs
As specialists in floristry holidays and travel, we are incredibly proud of our long-standing friendship and partnership with the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies – or NAFAS as it is known. We have recently renewed this partnership and, to mark the occasion, we sat down with the organisation’s Chief Executive Steven Lane to talk about why NAFAS matters and how he plans to ensure it enjoys the brightest of futures.
Renowned as one of London’s finest florists, Lavender Green Flowers has been creating innovative and imaginative floral artworks for weddings, parties and corporate events for more than 30 years. In the fifth installment of our TALKING FLOWERS interview series, we spoke to Managing Director Colin Gray to find out more.
In the fourth of our Talking Flowers series, Emma Rees-Oliviere of Bath-based florist Myrtle Mee Flowers discusses her style, trends and the joys of having a high street shop
In the third instalment of our Talking Flowers interview series, we chatted with Sarah Wilson of Compton Garden Flowers about her life as a British flower farmer and florist
For the second in our Talking Flowers interview series, we caught up with Robert Hornsby, Creative Director of In Water Flowers to find out more about the work of one of London’s most innovative wedding, event and corporate florists
In the first of our Talking Flowers series, we sat down with flower farmer and artisan florist Justine Scouller of Far Hill Flowers to talk about growing and working with organic cottage garden flowers
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the way we travel to Europe has changed. We’ve had a read through the new rules and regulations and here is our digested check list of what you need to know before you set off on your next European adventure.
Two months into her new role as Chair of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies, we caught up with Katherine Kear – on Zoom of course – to ask about her life in flowers, the pleasures of teaching and her ambitions for the next two years.
We knew there were lots of fabulously talented floral designers out there, but we were still amazed by the response we had to the launch of our first ever virtual International Flower Festival! Flower lovers from Cornwall to Manchester, Ireland to Italy, Australia, Barbados and Canada sent us images of their designs, all them beautiful and with a story to tell. We asked five of them to tell us about their entries.
As our virtual flower festival opens for submissions and the Flower Council of Holland launch their ‘Fill the Distance with Beauty’ campaign, we caught up with Chanel de Kock, the FCH’s UK Country Manager to talk about the hottest floral trends for 2021 and spreading the joy of flowers.
We knew there were very many wonderfully creative quilters out there, but we were still amazed by the response we had to the launch of our first ever virtual International Quilt Festival! Quilters from Aberdeen to Exeter, Australia, Kenya, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands and the United States sent us images of wall hangings, cushions, bed covers and bags, all of them beautiful and all them with a story to tell. We asked four of the makers to tell us about their entries.
Fresh from his hugely successful tour to WAFA India earlier this year, NAFAS President-elect Michael Bowyer MBE has teamed up with us once again, this time on a tour to discover the glorious gardens of Ireland in Springtime. We caught up with on the phone from his home in Salisbury to discover more.
In this week's blog, our very own CEO Theresa McDermott writes about how we are looking after our customers in the current situation and looks towards a brighter future.
Floralia Brussels is a spectacular annual exhibition of spring flowers set in a park surrounding the 17th century Castle of Groot-Bijgaarden, a few kilometres outside the Belgian capital. As we look ahead to next Spring, we bring you five reasons why everyone should visit.
Deep under the earth, 14km south of Krakow, the Wieliczka salt mine is one of the wonders of Poland. Dating back to the Middle Ages, this subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and chambers has morphed from an industrial plant at the heart of the Polish economy into a world-famous tourist attraction, event location and a health resort. Read on to discover 10 fascinating facts about this UNESCO World heritage site.
Singapore's extraordinary Jewel Changi Airport was designed by a consortium of internationally renowned architects, including world-class global engineering and consultancy practice BuroHappold. We caught up with Karl Lyndon, Global Aviation Sector Leader based at the company’s Bath office, to find out more.
Belgian floral designer Moniek Vanden Berghe's spectacular natural floral displays have brought her international acclaim, while her workshops attract aspiring arrangers from all over the world. Ahead of her latest workshop with us, we asked her to tell us why she likes teaching, how she got started and to explain her love of weeds....
Singapore is famous for its street food - think the spicy noodle soup known as laksa, chicken rice and, of course, char kway teow, the smoky noodle stir fry that’s pretty much a national staple. Today these cheap and tasty dishes can be found in Hawker centres across the city, but hawker food has its roots in the itinerant food vendors of colonial Singapore.
"I do teach lots of technical tricks and tips in my workshops," says Fleur Creatif designer Annick Mertens, "but they are also a time to for people to unwind surrounded by beautiful flowers, laugh together, work together and finally return home with a feeling of deep satisfaction." As you can see from the photographs, our group did all of that and more.
Malaysian garden writer and award-winning blogger Elaine Yim will be giving a guided tour of Kuala Lumpur’s Secret Garden 1-Utama as part of our Singapore Garden Festival & Malaysia tour with Liz Bishop. We asked her to tell us why she loves this hidden green gem.
Last month, the historic walled city of Jaipur was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as recognising Jaipur’s extraordinary architectural heritage, the UNESCO office in New Delhi also cited the city’s status as ‘an exceptional example of a late medieval trade town’ and associations ‘with living traditions in the form of crafts that have national and international recognition.’ All of which means that the Pink City is a shopper’s paradise! Here are four must-visit stores:
With less than a year to go, and registration about to open, preparations for WAFA India 2020 are entering their final phase. Michael Bowyer MBE and Tom Hodge travelled to India last week to meet the team and get a taste of our wonderful WAFA tour programme first hand. As he headed for the Diggi Palace, Michael sent back this report.
Established in 2006, the bi-annual Singapore Garden Festival has become one of the most important flower and garden festivals in the world. We asked Festival judge and editor of Fusion Flowers Alison Bradley why a visit here should be on every flower fan’s bucket list.
Graham Parker is not only one of our most experienced tour managers, he is a keen quilter too – an interest that gives his tours a unique flavour. We caught up with him in his garden (complete with quilt!) to ask how he got started and why he loves quilt travel.