Ramblinns, the award-winning group of independent inns based in Kent and East Sussex, have introduced a new creative mini break option to enjoy this Summer with a series of one and two day art courses, led by Camber-based landscape artist Georgie Watson. Matt Thomas takes the plunge…
Creative Breaks at Ramblinns
Ramblinns (so called because you can ramble, cycle or even kayak between them, staying overnight en-route) already have an art gallery promoting local creative talent at their newest pub, the uber-cool Radnor Arms in Folkestone, and are now upping the ante further with creative courses at their Woolpack Inn, which is located in the tiny, picture-postcard village of Warehorne, located between Rye and Ashford and only a short trip from St Pancras on the High Speed train. The breathtaking countryside on the doorstep of the inn can’t fail to inspire, with views across the Romney Marshes and a churchyard full of sheep and skipping lambs just across the road from the inn.
STAY: Woolpack Inn
The snug Woolpack itself has been expertly refurbished by architect-designer owner John Rogers in an upcycled, modern rustic vibe and has five, individually designed quirky suites with bathtubs and open fires in the rooms, where guests can relax after a creative day en plein air and including the sheepskin-bedecked Honeychild and the reputedly haunted Frederick (don’t worry – he’s a friendly ghost, apparently!).
The courses are highly accessible and inspiringly but gently led by the talented Georgie, aimed at absolute beginners who want to try their hand at landscape painting and sketching or those wanting to brush up on existing skills – no experience is necessary, all materials are provided and the course begins with simple but effective exercises designed to free students up and get the creativity going before heading out to sketch and paint in the beautiful countryside around the inn. Under Georgie’s expert tuition, you will learn an introduction to outdoor painting and sketching using a variety of mediums including charcoal, pencils, watercolours, pastels, conte and acrylics. Georgie offers a fascinating introductory guide to colour mixing and helps you to experiment with different mediums and expressive mark making before looking more carefully at how to develop your work, with a few basic rules to help you on your way.
Guests can choose from either a one day course with two course lunch and refreshments included, or opt to make a creative mini-break of it by booking onto the two day developmental course and enjoying an overnight stay in one of the luxurious rooms at the Woolpack, or can tag on a night on either or both sides of the one day course, subject to availability. The menu is all about local produce with freshest fish choices from the nearby coast and succulent Romney Marsh lamb plus plenty of vegetarian options and daily specials, not to mention a great selection of local wines and beers and a dangerously decadent Gin Board.
Places are strictly limited to 6 people per course and prices start at £90 per person for a day course including all materials, 2 course lunch, coffees and refreshments and £270 -£320 (depending on choice of suite) for a two day course, bed and breakfast also including two course lunches on both days, materials and refreshments. Initial dates include 16 and 21-22 May and 5 and 18-19 June and further details, dates and booking information are available at www.ramblinns.com.