JULY 31 TO AUGUST 12, 2016

Arts & Crafts Tours is delighted to be partnering with Festival Daniou for a most unique and exciting tour in the summer of 2016. The guest artists for their third season will be the New Vintage Baroque chamber orchestra whose concerts will be played on many baroque instruments. The Festival opens in Dinard, Brittany on August 7, 2016.

In addition to the Festival’s several programs, together we are offering a most extraordinary opportunity for a limited number of people to examine the long standing relationship between Scotland and France. The tour will begin in Scotland, based in Glasgow. From the days of Mary Queen of Scots the two countries have shared much in the way of visual and musical arts and we will examine that as we visit such sites as the Glasgow Cathedral, St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, and Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute.

Simon Frisch, the Director of Festival Daniou is not only a musician but a composer. One of his recent pieces, which will be premiered at the Festival is based on the Unicorn Tapestries. The originals are at the Cloisters in New York and reproductions have been installed at Stirling Castle in Scotland. Simon will provide an introduction to the piece through discussion at the Castle and a piano presentation at the Glasgow Art Club. Tour members are invited to remain in France following the tour for the premiere on August 14th.

From Edinburgh we will fly to Paris where our small coach will take us first to Rouen where we visit the Cathedral before heading to Dieppe where we will stay for two nights. Dieppe has always attracted the British and in particular artists, such as Walter Sickert who himself was influenced by the Cathedral at Rouen. It is also not too far from Les Bois des Moutiers one of the more glorious houses which Edwin Lutyens designed with a garden by Gertrude Jekyll.

The coastline of Brittany attracted many 19th century painters, among them Whistler, Gauguin, Picasso, and Renoir. As we drive from Dieppe to Dinard we will have a chance to experience for ourselves the majesty and glories of this very special part of France.

From our base at the recently opened five-star Castelbrac Hotel we will not only have a sense of why this area had such appeal to upscale vacationers and the British aristocracy, but also visit a number of very special sites. Among these one of the truly artistic wonders is the Romanesque tapestry in Bayeux which with ravishing illustrations tells the story of William the Conqueror’s 11th century battle for England.

At the very border of Brittany is one of the great UNESCO World Heritage sites, Mont Saint-Michel. This fortified island monastery is truly an architectural marvel. Also of architectural significance, and one of the best examples of a preserved medieval village, is Saint-Suliac.

On this tour we are delighted to have two of the most knowledgeable, engaging, and enthusiastic guides. Peyton Skipwith who may be familiar to you from some of our other trips, or as an art critic for Apollo and an expert on the work of British artists of the 20th century will be coming along with us from Scotland. And as a Past Master of the Art Workers Guild and a long-time summer resident of Dieppe, he is perfect as our guide – and to Les Bois des Moutiers as well.

As we move down the coast we are so pleased that art historian Anne-Marie Bouchéé will be guiding our visits to local art and architectural delights. Her scholarship is in the Medieval art of the Romanesque period and so she is ideally suited to take us to the wonders, often private, in the area. There are several homes and villages which, thanks to Anne-Marie and the Festival will be open for us.

The highlight will be the Festival’s opening on August 7th.

In addition to attending the opening of the Festival, there are several other events being planned. One of these is an immersive performance of Baroque opera and dance, Juno and the Baroque: L’art au Fil de la Rance performed at the site of Marc Didou’s stunning gate of Juno, Spectrale which was created specifically the enclosure bordering Chapelle de la Souhaitier.

Gate of Juno, Marc Didou

One evening in Dinard as part of the second soirée des galleries is a night of pop-up performances in the streets and in various galleries. And, of course as this is France, there is amazing food – and food particular to the region. Brittany is world-renowned for its seafood and thin pancakes – both savory and sweet – the iconic galettes and crêpes. Nearby is Cancale whose oysters are particularly famous and you can enjoy them fresh on the half-shell overlooking Mont Saint-Michel in the foggy distance.

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