Eat, Drink, Craft

Tel: 01702 716 157


Our botanical-influenced art and food retreat is guaranteed to be something special. 5 hours of art tuition and a delicious 2-course homemade lunch.

In this blog, we talk to artist Claire Hankey and horticulturalist Amanda Brame, the talented tutors behind the event.

What inspired you to create this workshop centered around botanical creativity?

Claire: On my last course at Create98 ‘Textures in Acrylic Paint’, I was asked by a group of the attendees if I could offer a whole day’s course. This got me thinking. I knew I wanted to offer something different that anyone can enjoy, irrespective of their previous art experience. I approached my friend and neighbour Amanda with the initial idea, as I knew with her incredible experience, she could offer something unique. Together we brainstormed the idea and came up with the Retreat Day- a nurturing day where we explore how botanicals can inspire creativity in art, decoration and food.

What do you hope participants will take away from this workshop?

Amanda: My dream would be to enable guests to find more ways to enjoy growing their own food and flowers. Plus learn, a different approach to decorate with botanicals in their own home.

Claire: I hope the workshop will empower participants to see and appreciate nature in new ways.

We hope the day will be a unique and inspiring experience for everyone. Botanical printmaking is so much fun! Simple plants such as grasses can be transformed into beautiful, elegant forms through the print making process. It will be exciting to see what we create as a group and how the work develops throughout the day.

How has nature influenced your own artistic journey, and how does it continue to inspire your work?

Amanda: My whole world is driven by a passion to live more naturally.  Embracing all botanicals, using my work with horticulture and floristry to influence the way we can all live at home.

Claire: Nature inspires my art in every way! I love the estuary, the sea and the plants that thrive along the coast. These elements inspire the colour palettes, marks and forms in my abstract paintings. I also use my own photographs of nature to embed within my paintings. Recently, I’ve used botanical prints within my paintings which have given them an element of pattern and repetition. I hope to share this process within the retreat day so people can see how I use them to inspire larger work. I also love to use plants as mark making tools- these are great for loosening up and getting you creatively unstuck! 

What is the most fulfilling aspect of guiding others in exploring their creativity through nature-inspired art?

Amanda: Hosting classes, giving inspiration and my own honed tips and tricks on all aspects of floristry and horticulture, it never ceases to amaze me how guests take home and put into action what they have learnt. 

Claire: The most fulfilling aspect of teaching for me, is seeing individual creativity unfurl. I encourage people to experiment, test out their ideas and take risks. When people leave the classes smiling,  with work that looks individual, and inspired to move on, I’m happy.

Can you share a heartwarming or memorable experience from a previous workshop you've conducted?

Amanda: For me the most heartwarming breakthroughs I have found over the years, is when on many occasions I’ve had guests pull me to one side, quietly pointing out, how in their own belief, they do not possess an artistic bone in their body!  Later they soon realise creative environments remove barriers and nourish us into achieving what can’t be imagined. 

Claire: I’ve received many messages from people after my workshops, but the best one was recently someone said they just didn’t want the class to end! This made me realise that it’s not just about what is made during the classes, but about the enjoyment of art making and being creative. 



01oct10:00 am4:00 pm10:00 am - 4:00 pm Botanical influenced Art and Food RetreatJoin local artist Claire Hankey and horticulturalist Amanda Brame, in an immersive, botanical-themed creative day.Course CategoryDrawing and painting,Floristry,Food TutorClaire Hankey and Amanda Brame


Claire Hankey is a contemporary abstract artist living and working in Leigh on Sea, by the Thames Estuary in Essex. She creates atmospheric paintings that are evocative of landscapes experienced and remembered.

Having trained with the RHS, Amanda Brame worked as the Director of Horticulture at Petersham Nurseries Richmond and Covent Garden where her passions for all aspects of design, horticulture and floristry, alongside others with a love of slow food, made for an exciting partnership.