Day 1 Tuesday April 23, 2019 Depart
Our holiday begins with a flight to Paris.
Day 2 Wednesday April 24, 2019 Nantes, France
This morning we arrive in Paris, France. After clearing customs we are met by the Travelrite Tour Manager and will travel to Nantes, a city on the Loire River in the Upper Brittany region of western France. The city has a long history as a port and industrial centre. It is home to the restored, medieval Château des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Dukes of Brittany once lived. Upon arrival we will be transferred to our hotel. We will enjoy our fournight stay while we visit the Pour l’Amore du Fil Show.
Day 3 Thursday April 25, 2019 Nantes
This year will be the eleventh year that the Pour l’Amore du Fil Show has operated. It has exceptional exhibits, antique quilts, and dozens of famous artists and designers from around the world. There are more than 120 selected stands, workshops and demonstrations. We will attend the show today and in the evening enjoy a welcome dinner.
Day 4 Friday April 26, 2019 Nantes
Another day to enjoy the Pour l’Ámore du Fil Show. The rest of the day will be free for shopping or exploring.
Day 5 Saturday April 27, 2019 Nantes
Today we travel to visit the magnificent Angers Castle and see the amazing Angers Apocalypse Tapestries located in the castle. We see a large medieval tapestry produced between 1377 and 1382 made of wool using the low warp technique. On average it is 103 metres long and 4.5 metres wide. We continue with a visit Tissus-de-la-Mine quilting shop in Saint Sylvain d’Ánjou. Tour members will be able to get their fill of wonderful quilting supplies. We return to Nantes for an evening at leisure.
Day 6 Sunday April 28, 2019 Bayeux, France
This morning we travel to Bayeux, a town on the Aure River in the Normandy region of north-western France. On the journey we stop in Le Chapelle Saint Aubon to visit Le Mille Patch quilting shop, which stock many different varieties of fabric.
Day 7 Monday April 29, 2019 Bayeux
Today we visit the famous 68-metre Tapisserie de Bayeux. It is a wonderful 11th-century piece of embroidery depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England. It is listed as an USCO Memory of the World and is on display in an 18th-century seminary. In the afternoon we visit the Sophie Passion and Couture Boutique, which offers the biggest choice of patchwork fabric in the region.
Day 8 Tuesday April 30, 2019 Bayeux
Today we travel to Caen to visit Atlier de la Souris. This quilting shop sells fabric by the metre, patchwork supplies, presents and home décor items. We continue with a visit to Beuvron-en-Auge, one of Normandy’s prettiest villages, packed with gems. Wander around the village and admire the 16th-century Vieux manor, the 17th and 18th-century half-timbered houses, and visit the many specialist botiques located in the village centre.
Day 9 Wednesday May 1, 2019 Saint Sulpice sur Risle, France
This morning we travel to Saint Sulpice sur Risle, France, for a unique visit to the last surviving French manufacturer of pins and needles: BOHIN France (180 years of business, with products distributed in over 35 countries). Nestled on the riverbank, this factory is still in operation, working with the same ancient expertise and old machines as those used in times gone by. We will explore 2000m2 of production workshops where the company’s employees work, and discover the factory’s huge, contemporary museum and shop.
Day 10 Thursday May 2, 2019 Bruges, Belgium
Today we travel to Bruges, Belgium, the capital of West Flanders in northwest Belgium, distinguished by its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings. On the journey we visit the Calais lace museum. Calais, made famous for lace making in the 19th century when English lace makers, who invented the lace making loom, smuggled one of their looms into France and set up near the museum. The museum shows gorgeous hand-made lace from the 17th century to modern times. We also see hundreds of wonderful costumes incorporating lace. On arrival in Bruges we are transferred to our hotel.
Day 11 Friday May 3, 2019 Bruges
This morning we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Bruges, known as the ‘Venice of the North’ and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city. We will see the world-famous Market Square, the Royal Residence, Royal Square, Houses of Parliament and Art Nouveau houses and view the remarkable City Hall. There will also be time to explore the maze of winding cobbled alleys and romantic canals.
Day 12 Saturday May 4, 2019 Bruges
This morning we will visit the Bruges Lace Centre. It has been housed in a renovated old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. We will see various types of lace and learn about their geographical origin. We will also learn about the lace industry in Bruges. In the afternoon we visit the Gobelin Creative Patchwork and Quilting store. This store has been in existence for 25 years. You will be amazed at the amount and variety of cotton fabric that is on offer.
Day 13 Sunday May 5, 2019 Bruges
This morning we will visit the Choco Museum, which tells the story of cocoa and chocolate from the Mayan’s via the Spanish conquistadors until today. We will see how chocolate is made and learn the health benefits of chocolate. This afternoon is free for individual exploration.
Day 14 Monday May 6, 2019 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Today we travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We first travel to picturesque Antwerp a port city on the River Scheldt with a history dating from the Middle Ages. We visit Calico House, which has been a specialist in patchwork and quilting for 25 years. They stock an extensive range of fabrics and a large line of cardboard for English paper piecing. On arrival in Amsterdam we are transferred to our city hotel
Day 15 Tuesday May 7, 2019 Amsterdam
In the morning we join a glass-top canal boat cruise and explore Amsterdam’s maze of canals. We learn about the history of this gorgeous city. We have free time in the afternoon to visit the Rijks Museum or Van Gogh Museum, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by.
Day 16 Wednesday May 8, 2019 Amsterdam
This morning we visit the famous Den Hann and Wagenmakers, which stocks amazing original handmade Dutch reproduction print fabric, duvets and bedcoverings. Right next door is Birdblocks, a patchwork and quilting shop which stocks excellent, modern fabrics with a large selection. The owner is very friendly and enthusiastic. In the afternoon we visit the museum of Bags and Purses. This amazing museum has more than 5,000 bags, pouches, suitcases, purses and matching accessories. Praised for its diversity and quality you are sure to enjoy your visit.
Day 17 Thursday May 9, 2019 Amsterdam
This morning we travel to the historic town Haarlem to visit De Sampler quilt shop, to purchase yet more fabulous fabric. In the afternoon we visit the very interesting and moving Anne Frank House, dedicated to the Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. She went into hiding in WWII in a secret annex to escape from the Nazis with seven other people. After more than two years they were discovered and deported to concentration camps. Out of the eight prisoners, Anne’s father Otto was the only one to survive. We will enjoy a farewell dinner this evening to say farewell to tour members and celebrate the enjoyable time we had on the tour.
Day 18 Friday May 10, 2019 Amsterdam
Today is a free day for last-minute sightseeing or shopping before we are transferred to the airport in the early evening for our flight back to Australia.
Day 19 Saturday May 11, 2019 Arrival Australia
This morning we arrive in Australia and tour activities end.
Optional pre-tour to PARIS
Day 1 Friday April 19, 2019 Depart Australia
This morning we board our flight to Paris.
Day 2 Saturday April 20, 2019 Paris, France
On arrival in Paris this morning we will enjoy a sightseeing tour with a local guide, covering Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Tuileries and a drive along the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. We check in to our city hotel, our home for four nights.
Day 3 Sunday April 21, 2019 Paris
This morning we visit Musee des Artes de la Mode du Textile. It has displays of fashion and textiles in France over the centuries, The afternoon will be free for individual activity including time for shopping.
Day 4 Monday April 22, 2019 Paris
In the morning we will visit Ines La Boutique du Patchwork, where we will see a large selection of fabrics, kits and accessories. In the afternoon we visit the beautiful white Basilica Sacre Coeur on top of the hill at Montmartre. This location provides wonderful views all over Paris. The area is home to the last windmill, vineyard and narrow cobbled streets in Paris. We will have time to explore the streets near the Cathedral, where painters have sold their wares for about a hundred years. At the base of the basilica is the textile area of Paris, with many stores selling stunning fabrics, including patchwork and toile fabrics. There is much to be seen in Montmatre – museums, artisans and restaurants.
Day 5 Tuesday April 23, 2019 Paris
This morning we will visit the Toile de Jouy Museum. This museum was created in 1977 and dedicated to the activity of the Jouy factory and textile printing. More than 3,000 original Toile de Jouy designs exist. In the technical exhibition room we will see engraving tools, wood blocks, plates and copper rollers. We will follow the evolution of Toile de Jouy in the display of bed hangings, ornaments, textile panels and dresses. In the afternoon we visit Chateau de Versailles, the creation of the French monarchy in the 17th century, at the time of its greatest splendor. It consists of the opulent chateau, the magnificent gardens and the Trianon. You will enjoy this wonderful Royal Palace. We return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.