Puglia is absolutely dreamy, in part because somehow it remains relatively undiscovered. Its staggeringly rugged coastline stretches along the Adriatic Sea with deserted beaches, rocky coves and crystal water. White-washed towns dot the shores with a smattering of colourful marinas and the bustle of fishing boat traffic. The landscape rolls up from the water in waves of green; centuries-old olive groves as far as the eye can see are interrupted occasionally by world-class vineyards. The autumn is Puglia’s most verdant season, with plentiful harvests of salad crops, fennel and chard.  Pomegranates, pumpkin, wild mushrooms in every shape and size, chestnuts, apples and pears are also seasonal bounty. Monumental olive trees are brimming with succulent fruit, ready for the mid-October harvest. Join renowned artist and teacher Margaret Best here in this idyllic setting for an 8-day Botanical Painting Workshop. Under her expert guidance you can make a meticulous study of the local fruit or flora, spending your days painting in the airy garden studio that overlooks the sea. Visit the nearby Baroque towns and feel a part of this warm and welcoming Puglian culture.

Dates: October 16 - 24, 2016

Price starts at €3,575 per person based on double occupancy. ** Early booking discount of €100 per person if you book before December 18, 2015

Single Supplement for having a single room throughout the trip is €285 per person. 

Non-participant discount is €715 per non-painter.


  • 8 nights’ accommodation in small, family-run boutique hotels including breakfast
  • 3 dinners,  6 lunches with wine and soft drinks and tips included
  • Welcome aperitivo on your first evening
  • Visit to the Monopoli Botanical Gardens with a local botanist
  • Shuttles on two evenings to local towns for dinners at leisure
  • Exclusive use of the art studio at Montenapoleone
  • Personalized instruction for 5 full days in studio with Margaret Best
  • A visit to a private garden in its seasonal splendour
  • Puglian cooking class with a local chef
  • Final night reception and art exhibition including dinner
  • Accompaniment of Quench host, Kiloran McRae

 Does not include:

  • Airport transfer upon arrival and departure
  • 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • International airfare
  • Any excursion not listed as included; items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance

Important notes:

There is a minimum number of 8 participants required to confirm this trip.  We will let everyone know by the last week of February if the departure is confirmed. Please do not book your airfare without consulting us.

Please stay tuned for details on a 3-night post-workshop trip to Lecce.

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, 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 six coins with botanical themes for the Royal Canadian Mint, with two to be released in 2015. 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.