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Rendezvous in Paris

A retreat for artists, creatives & wanderers   October 2 - 7, 2022

Paris is always a good idea. -Audrey Hepburn 

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THE RETREAT

There's no denying Paris emanates a distinct kind of mystique. Muse for centuries to artists of all kinds: writers, painters, poets and the everyday reveller, there are treasures to behold everywhere in the City of Lights. On this retreat, together we will scour its glittering boulevards and idyllic cobblestone alleyways, searching, discovering, scratching, sniffing and tasting all things Paris. We will peruse the fabulous markets -- flea, flower and food -- and visit ateliers, gleaning inspiration from traditional craftspeople and their craft. 

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THE ITINERARY

Each day will hold something new: strolling through the flea market Marche' aux Puce de Saint-Ouen, a visit to the flower market, wandering through the mouth-watering food stalls at Rue Montorgueil, or a trip to the iconic Père Lachaise Cemetery, we will make our way through Paris, delighting in the details as we go. This retreat is more about enjoyment, less about touring. It's more about what Paris is made of, and who makes it (and who has made it over the centuries), less about sight-seeing (although we'll do some of that too).

 

After our outings we will do as the Parisians do and sit down for a warm cafe au lait or traditional meal at a charming neighborhood bistrot or brasserie.

The itinerary will be well-balanced with just enough on the schedule to ignite your imagination and spark your creative whimsy while also leaving you with time to visit famous museums and monuments on your own should they strike your fancy. 

The retreat coincides with the annual fête des vendange grape harvest festival which takes place in the area of Montmartre Hill in northern Paris, the only place in the city where vineyards are still being grown. Celebrated since in1934, we will have a chance to partake in the festivities along with the locals, enjoying the parade and sampling some of the food and wines at the stunning Sacré-Cœur where the event is held.

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ACCOMMODATION

We will be staying in a designer boutique hotel a short stroll away from the Grand Boulevards. Styled by a French interior-designer, the hotel's decor boasts chocolate-box beautiful patterns and prints, eclectic works of art as well as covetable flea-market finds.   

The hotel has a beautiful lounge; mini gym; honesty bar; free WiFi throughout. Each room comes equipped with a TV, desk, blackout blinds, bluetooth speakers, bathrobes, slippers and Fragonard bath products. Every day between 4pm and 6pm, the hotel hosts a free tea time, serving pastries, savoury nibbles along with hot and cold drinks.

“And how astonishing to feel this sheer bliss, for here she was, not doing and not going to do a single unselfish thing, not going to do a thing she didn't want to do."

- Elizabeth von Arnim, The Enchanted April

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

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Cozy Classic

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Parisian Superior

Cozy Classic

These elegant 16sq m rooms are located on the ground floor, decorated with pops of emerald and tea; furnishings are emblazoned with bold leaf-prints and ikat accents, courtesy of clever interior designer Stéphane Poux. Each room has a desk, flatscreen TV, Bluetooth speakers, bathrobes, slippers and Fragonard bath products; WiFi is free. The ensuite bathroom has a rain-head shower.

Parisian Superior

These 16sq m rooms overlook the landscaped courtyard and come with rich colour schemes: ruby-red, forest-green, raspberry-pink, mustard-yellow and so on. Talented interior designer Stéphane Poux picked the hues and added the clever artworks and graphic-print furnishings. Each room has a double bed (or twins), topped with marshmallow-soft bedlinen; additional features include a flatscreen TV, desk, Bluetooth speakers, free WiFi, bathrobes and slippers. The ensuite bathroom has a shower and a stash of Fragonard bath products.

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Faubourg Deluxe

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Boulevard Club

Faubourg Deluxe

Spy on the peaceful Rougement alley from these 18sq m rooms, some of which have a French balcony. Bold patterns and prints – courtesy of design talent Stéphane Poux – bedeck these rooms, which also have a stash of interesting pictures and paintings. Each room has a comfy double bed topped with luxurious bedlinen; there’s also a desk, flatscreen TV, free WiFi, bathrobes and slippers. The ensuite bathroom has a stash of Fragonard bath products; some have a bath tub, some have a shower.

Boulevard Club

These spacious 22sq m rooms have room for up to three people, and come with views of the private Rougemont alley (some have a French balcony). Sea-green, marshmallow-pink, cobalt-blue and other rich hues decorate these rooms; furnishings and walls are emblazoned with patterns, picked by interior designer Stéphane Poux. Each room has a king-size bed (or twins) topped with blissfully soft bedlinen. Additional features include a desk, flatscreen TV, bathrobes, slippers, free WiFi and a Nespresso machine. The bathroom has a shower and a stash of Fragonard bath products.

INCLUSIONS

Prices are per person and include:

  • FIVE NIGHTS' SINGLE ACCOMMODATION AT 4-STAR BOUTIQUE HOTEL (SHARED OPTIONS AVAILABLE - PRICES UPON REQUEST)

  • BREAKFAST EVERYDAY

  • TWO LUNCHES INCLUDING WINE

  • TWO DINNERS INCLUDING WINE

  • ALL GUIDED TOURS & ATELIER VISITS

  • EVENING RIVERBOAT CRUISE DOWN SEINE

  • WINE TASTING AT HARVEST FESTIVAL

  • PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM ORGANIZED EXCURSIONS - (METRO TICKETS)

  • GUIDE FOR THE DURATION OF THE RETREAT

 

 If this retreat resonates with you and you'd like to secure your place, a £2000 deposit is required. Registration now open.

Limited spaces available.

 

 

Please note that if for any reason this retreat does not run or is cancelled you will be refunded in full. 

For more information please email regina@duenderetreats.com

WHY I CREATED THIS RETREAT

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Prior to the pandemic I typically led retreats in rural areas -- the Italian countryside, the Arctic Circle, remote, far-flung islands in Mexico and Italy. But since COVID struck, we've all missed traveling...to, well, everywhere.

So why not a timeless classic like Paris?

The first time I ever travelled to the City of Lights was in 1998. I was eighteen on my way to Europe for the first time on a standby flight. Long before the days of Google, I had nowhere to stay and spoke zero French. All I had were travellers cheques which I kept in my secret travel pouch underneath my clothes along with my shiny new passport. That first night I took a stranger's advice and ended up in a seedy area of the city. Back then I didn't see what there was to like about Paris but it didn't stop me from going back, time and again. It would take several visits before I could understand why the world was so in love with Paris. Now, I'm in love too. Since my first encounter with Paris, I've returned at least a dozen times: for fun, for love and for work. In 2014 I led a group of American college students around the city on a faculty-led study abroad program. 

I created this retreat because I want to give others the opportunity to enjoy Paris like those who know it do -- in good company, in no hurry, savoring the 'joie de vivre' the French are known for. Because don't we all secretly wish we were a little French? For a few days, we might as well pretend.

I wholeheartedly agree with Audrey: Paris is always a good idea. 

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“There’s only one very good life, and that’s the life that you know you want, and you make it yourself.”

- Diana Vreeland