About our retreats

Join us in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside for a very special retreat. Heather and Melanie have cooked up some new, fabulous and sparkly Tudor-inspired elements for you.

The new designs can be worked as completed jewellery, combined together, or with the elements from the book. Our designer duo are looking forward to welcoming you to Guyers House Hotel, a classic country hotel in peaceful surroundings, where all you need to do is relax, enjoy excellent food and share a unique beading experience.

Tudor Inspirations Projects (one from Melanie and one from Heather)

The project details have been unwrapped! Take a look at these two gorgeous pieces of jewellery that you will get the chance to create at the retreats. Be sure to sign up and book your place so as not to miss out. Keep up with our news on our Facebook group.

Drake’s Galliard

Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake are forever entwined in the history of England for their bold defeat of King Philip of Spain’s Armada. Commissioned by the Queen in secret, Drake also made an expedition against the Spanish colonies. He returned in September, 1580 with a cargo of spices, gold, silver and jewels. Elizabeth profited mightily from the plunder of her privateering sea captain. 

A Galliard is a lively dance of a series of five steps, and one which the Queen both excelled at and delighted in dancing.

The Drake’s Galliard design has five beaded elements which can be combined in many ways. Each is inspired by jewels worn by Elizabeth I in the last portraits of her reign. In The Rainbow portrait, by Marcus Geeraerts the Younger circa 1600, Elizabeth wears a single jewelled pendant amongst her beloved pearls. In Nicholas Hilliard’s miniature, painted the same year, Elizabeth is depicted as Cynthia, Queen of Seas and Land, wearing a delicate necklace of pendants with more of the same in her hair.

Each element has a clever mix of bead sizes, Swarovski® stones and pearl cabochons and intriguing thread paths. A delicate beaded chain to link the elements is finished with a brand new clasp design.

The Maselli Carcanet

In the late sixteenth century, it became increasingly fashionable to wear fine, decorative, bejewelled chains. This was an excellent way of displaying one’s wealth and style, and inevitably as a result, the lengths of the chains grew and grew. Women and men alike would wear them in cascading loops around their necks, draped over their shoulders and encircling their waists. Shorter lengths could be worn in the hair, around the head or as a collar or necklace to great effect, and the term ‘carcanet’ came to be used for such pieces.

Circa 1604, the wonderful family portrait of Bianca Degli Utili Maselli and six of her 18 children, was painted by a very famous artist from Bologna – Lavinia Fontana. Bianca can be seen wearing a very beautiful carcanet in her hair, consisting of small enamelled flowers and other delicate, filigree components.

A very exciting, new twist on an old technique is worked to create elements of the Maselli Carcanet. All three main elements are totally reversible and are repeated to produce the chain, one of which is super-modified for the central pendant. The technique is further exploited to great structural effect to create the beaded toggle clasp.

Our retreat programme

Friday 27th September

11:00  Arrive
Meet and greet with coffee

12:00  Lunch

13:00–15:30  Beading session with either Heather or Melanie

15:30  Tea

16:00–17:30  Beading session with either Heather or Melanie

18:30  Meet in bar

19:00  Dinner

Optional: Informal beading

Saturday 28th September

07:30  Breakfast

09:00–11:00  Beading session with either Heather or Melanie

11:00  Coffee

11:30–13:00  Beading session with either Heather or Melanie

End of 1st workshop. If you have been with Heather you will now move to Melanie – and vice versa!

13:00  Lunch

14:00–15:30  Beading session with Heather or Melanie

15:30: Tea

16:00–17:00: Beading session with Heather or Melanie

18:30  Meet in bar

19:00  Dinner

Optional: Informal beading

Sunday 29th September

07:30  Breakfast

09:00–11:00  Beading session with Heather or Melanie

11:00  Coffee

11:30–13:00  Beading session with Heather or Melanie

13:00  Lunch

14:00–15:30  Beading session with Heather or Melanie

15:30  Tea and home

So sorry, we are now fully booked for the September 2019 retreat. Please contact Sue to be placed on a waiting list: sue@tudorinspirations.com

27–29 September, 2019
At Guyers House Hotel, Wiltshire

Tudor Inspirations retreat costs

Included in the fee

Three days of classes with Heather and Melanie, plus the following:

Coffee or tea on arrival
Coffee or tea in afternoon break

Morning coffee or tea
Coffee or tea in afternoon break

Morning coffee or tea
Coffee or tea before departure

Drinking water will be provided in the teaching rooms.

Not included in the fee

Transport to and from the venue
Drinks in the bar or with lunch/dinner
Any beading supplies or kits

Extra nights at the hotel. We have negotiated special rates for you for nights either before or after your retreat.

£115.00 – single occupancy bed and breakfast or £145.00 for dinner, bed and breakfast

£140.00 – for a double room for bed and breakfast and £199.00 for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact Guyers House directly quoting the reference ‘Tudor Inspirations’. You can telephone them on +44 (0)1249 713399 or email Wendy at events@guyershouse.com. Please book your retreat first to be sure of getting these special rates.

Fee per person

Sharing a room – £480 inclusive of VAT
Single room – £530 inclusive of VAT

Please let us know if you are attending alone but would like to share a room and we will do our best to hook you up with a room buddy.


Please provide the name of the person you wish to share with.


A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the fee will secure your place (£240 if you are sharing, £265 if you want a single room), with the full balance payable 8 weeks prior to the first day of the event you are booking.


We are unable to offer refunds under any circumstances so we do ask you to make sure that your travel insurance covers you for any unforeseen problems that may prevent you attending. If you are able to find someone to take your place we will be happy to transfer your fee to them with your written permission.