Fleuramour 2020 Alden Biesen with Fleur Creatif workshops
Meaning ‘Passion for Flowers’, Fleuramour is one of Europe’s most prestigious floral events and has been a highlight of the ECT tour calendar for many years. Set in the historic grounds of the National Commandery at Alden Biesen in Bilzen, Belgium and hosted by Rekad, publishers of Fleur Créatif magazine, the show takes place every September, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. This year is Fleuramour's 25th anniversary and the organisers are promising a party edition in which "visitors will find themselves in a magical world with more than 150,000 flowers." We can't wait.
This six night programme combines the chance to experience Fleuramour with hands-on workshops with three leading Fleur Créatif designers, Moniek Vanden Berghe, Annick Mertens and Luc Milissen. Add in visits to spectacular flower shops and trend-setting floral wholesalers plus time to explore the beautiful Belgian cities of Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels and you have a tour programme guaranteed to inspire.
The tour beings in Brussels making it perfect for flower fans travelling from outside the UK.
Meaning ‘Passion for Flowers’, Fleuramour is one of Europe’s most prestigious floral events and has been a highlight of the ECT tour calendar for many years. Set in the historic grounds of the National Commandery at Alden Biesen in Bilzen, Belgium and hosted by Rekad, publishers of Fleur Créatif magazine, the show takes place every September, attracting exhibitors and visitors from all over the world.
2019's theme was Back to the Future and saw Italian floral designer Angelica Lacarbonara transform the famous Courtyard of Honour into an extraordinary floral spaceship made from woven strands of ivy and clematis covered with 80 different varieties of flowers.
Courtyard installation by Angelica Lacarbonara
Angelica was joined by leading floral artists from across the world, including Dmitry Turcan, Annick Mertens, Geert Pattyn, Tom de Houwer and Moniek Vanden Berghe, who created this spectacular display inspired by mushrooms.
Design by Moniek Vanden Berghe
Fleuramour is more than a beautiful and inspiring flower show, it is also a place to learn. Fleuramour is bursting with demonstrations and workshops where visitors can pick up tips from some of the world’s best floral designers.
We have arranged for you to enjoy a private demonstration with Chantal Post, a designer known for her precise, sophisticated floral sculptures.
Moniek Vanden Berghe
Belgian floral designer Moniek Vanden Berghe's spectacular natural floral displays have brought her international acclaim. "I like natural, clear lines," she says, "the pure line of a twig, the pattern of lines in a leaf - but above all, my work aims to touch the viewer with the exquisite beauty of flowers or other plant material." Her workshops all about the pleasure of being together with other people who share her love of flowers. "I enjoy helping people to understand why an arrangement works, or doesn’t work," she explains. "My role is to teach the students on my courses to look more deeply at what they are making."
Annick Mertens describes her floral style as 'female, romantic and natural'. Her workshops are packed with technical tricks and tips, but the most important message she wants to pass on is that people should feel the flowers with all their senses. "My workshops 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," she says.
Luc Milissen is a floral designer, interior decorator and stylist who creates contemporary, themed displays for hotels, restaurants and parties of all kind. "I like combining flowers with products of the moment, as well as structures, fabrics, wood, plants and fruits," he says. That aesthetic is carried through to his workshops too, so expect the unexpected!
Daniel Ost, Brussels
Daniel Ost is one of the world's leading floral designers. His shop in Brussels, set in a beautifully restored Art Nouveau building in the centre of the city, is feast for all the senses.
Frederiek van Pamel, Bruges
Floral designer to the stars Frederiek Van Pamel’s shop is a feast of flowery inspiration. Fresh blooms sit alongside extraordinary installations, interesting objects d'art and beautiful pieces of furniture.
Specialising in cut flowers and floristry supplies, Euroflor is a treasure trove usually accessible only to the trade.
Van der Vennet
With over 100 new decorative products arriving every day, this floral wholesaler has been setting floral artistry trends for more than 35 years.
Brussels is not only the city of the EU, it's also the city of artists Pieter Brueghel and René Magritte, the inventor of art nouveau architecture Victor Horta, and Tintin’s creator Hergé. These cultural links can be explored in the Belgian capital’s many museums and galleries, including the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, the Comic Arts Museum and the Music Museum, a fascinating place in its own right housed in a magnificent Art Nouveau building. Brussels also has plenty to tempt shoppers. The big names in Belgian chocolate – Leonidas, Godiva and Neuhaus – all have several branches here and other foodie treats can be found close to the Grand Palace in Rue du Marché aux Poulets and Rue Sainte Catherine. Market lovers will enjoy the lively Place de Jeu de Balle flea market, which has been trading in the city since 1919, while anyone interested in artisan products of all kinds should head for the cobweb of squares and narrow streets that make up Ixelles. This area is also filled with bars, cafes and restaurants from where you can watch the bustle of Brussels go by.
The old city centre of Antwerp is steeped in history, from the imposing Grand Palace in Grote Markt to Ruben's palazzo and the Gothic splendour of the Cathedral of Our Lady. Even the shopping mall Stadfeestzaal is located in what was once the palace ball room.
It would be hard to imagine a more picturesque city than Bruges. Boasting cobbled streets lined with perfectly preserved medieval buildings, romantic canals and more horse drawn carts than cars, it is a UNESCO world heritage city made to be discovered on foot. Key sites in the city centre include the magnificent 14th century Gothic Stadhuis (town hall) from where Bruges was governed for 600 years, the equally impressive Old Civil Registry and the beautifully ornate, gilded façade of the Basilica of the Holy Blood. This unusual double church (there's a lower, Romanesque church and a neo-Gothic upper one) contains a venerated relic of the Holy Blood. The city is also famous for its lace, beer and chocolate and there are plenty of places to pick up examples of each to take home.
4* Crowne Plaza Brussels
This historic landmark hotel is located in the city's Northern Quarter, close to many key sites. As well as comfortable, contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers two restaurants, a bar and fitness centre.
4* Holiday Inn, Hasselt
10 minutes walk from the city centre, this modern hotel offers stylish rooms with free WiFi, a heated indoor pool, sauna and mini gym. The chic open lobby features a lounge and brasserie.
4* Crowne Plaza, Antwerp
Set in the green heart of Antwerp, this hotel features a sleek modern restaurant, comfortable contemporary bedrooms, an indoor pool and on-site fitness centre.
4* NH Bruges
Set in a former 17th century monastery close to the medieval heart of Bruges, this hotel is a mix of old and new; guests sleep in modern bedrooms and eat in the traditional beamed dining room. There is also a pretty terrace and garden to sit in on summer evenings.
Day One, Thursday 24th September
PM: check in to 4* Crowne Plaza, Brussels
1900h: welcome dinner with your Tour Manager
Day Two, Friday 25th September
0700h: breakfast at the hotel
0800h: check out
0830-1100h: city tour of Brussels by coach with a local guide, including a visit to Daniel Ost's flower shop
approx 1130-1330h: free time for lunch in Brussels. The area around Daniel Ost's shop has lots of good places to eat.
1330h: coach transfer to Hasselt
1530H: check in at 4* Holiday Inn, Hasselt
1630-1700h: welcome tea/coffee and cake at the hotel
Evening at leisure
Day Three, Saturday 26th September
Breakfast at the hotel
0930h: coach transfer to Alden Biesen for a full day at Fleuramour, including a welcome from the Fleuramour team followed by a glass of fizz and private demonstration with Chantal Post
1800h: return to the hotel
Return to the hotel and evening at leisure
Day Four, Sunday 27th September
Breakfast at the hotel
0930h: coach transfer to Alden Biesen
1230-1330h: light lunch
1330-1630h: half day workshop with Moniek Vanden Berghe, including tea/coffee
1700h: return to hotel
Evening at leisure
Day Five, Monday 28th September
0900h: breakfast at the hotel and check out
1000-1430h: coach transfer to Luc Milissen's studio for a half day workshop, including a light lunch with tea/coffee
Coach transfer to Antwerp
1630h: check in to the 4* Crowne Plaza, Antwerp
Remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure
Day Six, Tuesday 29th September
Breakfast at the hotel
0830-1030h: free time in Antwerp or optional 'Introduction to the History of Antwerp' walking tour with a local guide (£15 per person, minimum of 4 people).
1030h: coach transfer to Annick Mertens' studio
1100h: welcome coffee
1130-1530h: 3 hour workshop with Annick Mertens, plus 1 hour for light lunch with tea/coffee
1530-1630: coach transfer to Euroflor
1730-1830h: coach transfer to NH Hotel Bruges
Evening at leisure or optional 'Bruges by Night' walking tour with a local guide (2000-2200h; £15 per person, minimum of 4 people)
Day Seven, Wednesday 30th September
Breakfast at the hotel
0930h: check out of the hotel and join coach visit to Frederiek van Pamel's shop and Van der Vennet.
1200h: depart Van der Vennet. We can take you on to Brussels airport for flights home (arriving at 1430h), or alternatively arrange transport back into Bruges (approx 3 miles).
This tour requires a minimum of 10 passenger refer to point 7 in our booking conditions
Mobility: this tour is generally suitable for most, if you are concerned or have specific issues please let us know ahead of booking
Please ensure you have a valid passport (at least six months from the date of travel) and visa (if travelling on a non-EU passport)
Travel insurance is required
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Tour price: £1240
Single room supplement for 6 nights: £348
- 1 night half board at Crowne Plaza Brussels
- Brussels city coach tour with local guide
- Visit to Daniel Ost's flower shop
- 3 nights B&B at Holiday Inn Hasselt
- Welcome tea/coffee & cake
- Coach travel throughout the programme
- Entrance to Fleuramour Alden Biesen (1 1/2 days)
- Fleuramour welcome with glass of fizz
- Floral Demonstration with Chantal Post
- Half day workshop with Moniek Vanden Berghe
- Half day workshop with Luc Milissen
- Half day workshop with Annick Mertens
- 3 x light lunches, tea/coffee
- Visit to Euroflor
- 1 night B&B at the Crowne Plaza Antwerp
- 1 night B&B at NH Hotel Bruges
- Visit to Frederiek van Pamel's flower shop
- Visit to Van der Vennet, Bruges
- Services of an ECT Tour Manager
- Travel Disruption Insurance
- Walking tour of Antwerp
- Bruges by Night Walking Tour
- Flights/transfers from Brussels airport to Crowne Plaza Brussels if required