Welcome to our week-long workshop at Château Canet, in the heart of the Languedoc Roussillon.  This traditional 19th century estate is considered to be one of the leading domaines of the Minervois region. Under the expert guidance of Calgary artist and teacher Margaret Best, you will work in an inspiring setting and a bright studio space surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and spring blooms. The week combines 5 days of dedicated studio work, with a couple of guided excursions to explore vibrant daily markets and the picturesque towns of Lagrasse and Carcassone. In the evenings indulge in the seasonal local gastronomy.  At the estate, 45 hectares of vineyards are complimented with 3 hectares of olive groves and over 65 hectares of farmland and pine forests. The setting is truly enchanting and there are uninterrupted views over the vineyards and olive groves to the distant Alaric Mountains -- a perfect place to unwind and soak in the beauty of the South of France.  Such immersion in French lifestyle blended with personalized artistic guidance will no doubt enrich your creative process.

Dates: April 20 - 27, 2017

Price is €3,690 per person based on single occupancy.

Non-artist participant if sharing a room is €850 per person. 


  • 7 nights’ accommodation in a cottage on the Chateau Canet estate including breakfast
  • 4 dinners,  5 lunches with wine and soft drinks and tips included
  • Welcome aperitif and wine & cheese on your first evening
  • Privately guided tours of Carcassonne and Lagrasse
  • Visit to the market town of Mirepoix
  • Private transfers on all group excursions
  • Exclusive use of the bright L'Orangerie as a studio for 5 full days of instruction
  • Personalized instruction with Margaret Best
  • A final night reception and exhibit and Chateau Canet
  • One group transfer provided to Toulouse Airport at the end of the workshop
  • Gratuities for meals, excursions and transfers
  • Accompaniment of full-time Quench host, Kiloran McRae

 Does not include:

  • Airport transfer upon arrival
  • 2 lunches and 3 dinners
  • International airfare
  • Any excursion or transfer not listed as included; items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance


Trip Hosts:


Margaret Best is an internationally recognized botanical artist and teacher offering tuition in graphite, colour pencil and watercolour. She has taught workshops to all levels of experience from rank beginners, intermediates to advanced levels in Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, Morocco, USA and Bermuda. These workshop venues include respected botanical gardens and institutions such as Huntington Gardens, Pasadena; Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens; San Diego Natural History Museum; Filoli near San Francisco; Dow Learning Center in Zoo Conservatory, Calgary; Bermuda Art Center, Hamilton Bermuda. Margaret’s watercolours have been widely exhibited - New York; Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; Hunt institute of Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Los Angeles, Denver, Bermuda, Toronto, San Francisco and her work is found in numerous private and corporate collections around the globe.

Margaret has designed 12 Canadian coins with botanical themes for the Royal Canadian Mint, with 4 more to be released in 2016 and 2107 . For the past 6 years Margaret has painted regularly with her mentor Pandora Sellars who is widely regarded by experts as the leading contemporary botanical artist of our time. A professionally qualified art teacher, Margaret is known for her nurturing style and her ability to readily identify student skill level in order to steer advancement.

Kiloran McRae is our botanical art workshop trip designer and on-site trip manager. 

Kiloran caught the travel bug at fourteen during a sabbatical year in Europe and returned to study in Italy after high school.  She has an MA in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto. Her first experience of organized travel was teaching Canadian high school students in Florence and Siena.   She worked for Butterfield & Robinson, marketing, designing and guiding special interest tours in Europe and the Near East. Later she worked with Hamilton Fitzjames (now Benefactor Travel) as a freelance trip manager in these destinations. Her association with Quench Trip Design has allowed Kiloran to realize a longtime dream of working with her friend, botanical artist Margaret Best, to offer workshops in favourite destinations, starting with Tuscany, of course.  She has hosted all of Margaret’s groups with Quench;  in Italy, Morocco, Newfoundland, Spain and the UK.