French Chateau Quilt Retreat with Pat Archibald



26 Aug 2018 - 2 Sep 2018
Duration: 7 nights
Ref: 18025
With: Pat Archibald


Single Supplement: £170
Deposit: £250

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Renowed textile expert Pat Archibald invites you to join her for a week of creativity. Surrounded by fabulous alpine landscapes and sunsets, you’ll be staying at the wonderful Chateau des Comtes de Challes. There will be great opportunities to learn new quilting techniques during the 4 days of fascinating workshops, with shared use of Bernina machines, held by Pat in the beautiful setting of the Chateau.

Your 7 days in the Alps will also include delightful excursions to:

  • Chambery – visit the capital of The Alps on market day.
  • Lyon - including a visit to the Musée des Tissus, home to no less than an incredible 2000 years of textile history.
  • Plus: Fine dining and a wine tasting in the Chateau's cellar with the hotel's sommelier.

You’re sure to rejoice in these beautiful and majestic surroundings, all whilst improving upon your quilting talent!

The stunning 15th century Chateau des Comtes de Challes makes the perfect setting for your French quilting retreat, combining a charming atmosphere with plenty of great opportunities to improve upon your quilting skills with the expert guidance of Pat Archibald. The Chateau itself has been faithfully restored, retaining much of its traditional charming features - which will no doubt inspire your own creativity during your stay.

A short 10-minute walk will take you into the centre of Challes-les-Eaux, which is a spa and resort town situated in the valley of the Bauges close to Chambery. Here you can take a bath in the sulphur rich waters of the thermal baths or chance your luck at the casino, or take a leisurely walk through the park or around the lake. There is a small selection of shops in this typical French town that include a patisserie, boulangerie, tabac, bank, supermarket and a couple of cafes and a pizzeria.

There are also a number of exciting excursions planned for you during your time in the Alps, beginning with a brilliant day in Lyon, France’s third biggest city, brimming with traditional French architecture and culture for you to enjoy! With a fantastic reputation for silk weaving, you will quickly realise during your tour that Lyon is a city with a great textile heritage - enhanced by your guided tour of The Textile Museum (home to over 2000 years of textile history).

Alongside this you will get to spend a morning in the enchanting Chambery, the capital of the Alps. You will be able to enjoy the market in full swing, a great chance to pick up some holiday gifts or local produce for yourself to take back home. There will be a guided tour where you will learn much about the town’s history, followed by time to explore and amble at your own leisure.

With so much to do, learn and see, all in the charming Alpine setting of the Chateau- this wonderful French quilting retreat is not to be missed!


Surrounded by fabulous alpine landscapes and sunsets, Pat's workshops promise a week of creativity. Taking inspiration from your own sunset images and favourite places, work with glowing coloured fabrics to create a patchwork backdrop of the setting sun silhouetting a city skyline or landscape. Use metallic foiling techniques to create the windows or create twinkling alpine village lights for your scene. Finally add quilting, stitching and embellishments to your nightscape to give dimension and texture. During the workshops Pat will discuss colour, the meaning of colours in western cultures, quilting symbolism and a variety of machine stitching techniques. This is a wonderful opportunity for those that have never done an ‘art quilt’ and Pat’s workshops will get your creativity fired up allowing you to produce a unique and personal piece of work.


This morning you will meet your Tour Manager and Pat Archibald at London’s St. Pancras Station prior to boarding the Eurostar Train for the journey to France. You will be able to sit back and relax and chat to your fellow quilters as the French countryside glides by!

On arrival into Lyon your waiting private coach will drive you on to Challes les Eaux and your hotel, Chateau des Comtes de Challes.

DAYS 2&3

Two full days of quilt workshops at The Chateaux with your tutor Pat Archibald in a Private room in the hotel with shared use of Bernina sewing machines.

During your stay you will enjoy a wine tasting in the XVth Chateau’s Cellar with the hotel’s sommelier.


Today you will enjoy a full day included trip to Lyon, France's third largest city after Paris and Marseille and the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region. The city, which boasts a wealth of historical and architectural landmarks, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and renowned for its illustrious silk weaving heritage.

During the tour you will enjoy a guided tour of The Textile Museum, which has 2000 years of textile history in its collection including the history of the Lyon silk trade going back to the Renaissance period plus rare Persian rugs, Coptic tapestries and silk from Spain and Italy.

The neighbourhood of Colline de la Croix-Rousse was favoured by Lyon’s weavers. Here you will see its ‘traboules’, a series of tunnels and passageways once used by weavers to quickly reach the waters of the river. You will also visit Maison Des Canuts. This charming museum, complete with a range of full-size looms from every era of Lyon’s silk weaving timeline, tells the story of the city’s silk trade over the past five centuries.

DAYS 5&6

Two full days of quilting, relaxing and chatting!


This morning enjoy an included visit to delightful Chambery, the capital of the Alps on market day. There will be leisure time to browse and explore this quaint old town after a guided tour where you will hear all about its long rich history.

This afternoon you will return to the Chateaux to continue your quilting project.


This morning you will transfer back to Lyon to connect with your return TGV train from Lyon to Paris and onward Eurostar train from Paris to London’s St. Pancras Station.


  • Return Eurostar / TGV – London/Paris/Lyon
  • The company and expertise of Pat Archibald
  • Workshops with Pat
  • 7 nights’ accommodation at Chateaux des Comtes de Challes on a half-board basis
  • ¼ bottle of Wine & coffee included with evening meal
  • Excursion to Chambery
  • Excursion to Lyon including a visit to Musée des Tissus and Maison Des Canuts
  • Coaching as described in the itinerary
  • The services of an Arena Tour Manager
  • Baggage handling at the hotel
  • Driver and local guide gratuities


Optional Excursions, drinks, meals other than those specified, travel insurance and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Europe - £50


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together"programme >>

Chateau des Comtes de Challes, Savoy, France

This 15th century château has been lovingly restored to reflect its history with the period fireplace and exposed beams in the dining room, and the stone columns and flooring haven't budged.


All of the bedrooms are 'charm rooms' and are of character, with each room being individually designed, and offering the following:

  • TV*
  • Direct dial telephone
  • Hair dryer
  • Full tiled bathroom with bath with shower attachment or walk-in shower
  • Toiletries
  • Laundry service
  • Air-conditioning

*Please note that English speaking channels are limited.


Dinner each evening is a set 3-course meal with ¼ bottle of wine and coffee included. There is a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian dish for your main. It is important to choose your main dish in advance as the chef goes to the market every morning to buy fresh ingredients for the menu of the day and uses local products from the region. For these reasons, and because the château accommodates just 58 rooms the choice of menu will be limited. If you do not wish to drink wine you will be offered a soft drink or water of the same value.


The hotel consists of three buildings situated close to each other: the main chateau, the Demeure du Parc and the Orangerie. Please note: there is only 1 lift which is situated in the building Demeure du Parc and there are some ground floor rooms in the Orangerie. The rooms in the main chateau and the Orangerie are on 1 or 2 floors and are accessed by steps. It is very important that you advise us if you have any walking difficulties so that a suitable room can be arranged for you.