Lotus Flower

The Serendipity Retreat






with yoga tuition, fine dining, and cultural adventures with Anna Kwiecinska

in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old Galle Fort and beyond

The Retreat starts on Arrival (Day1) 29 November and ends after breakfast on December 7 (Day 9), 2021

The retreat is fully refundable due to delays or cancellations due to Govt. Covid restrictions 

Optional Slow-Travel Touring with Anna 7 - 13 December  

Bring your new techniques and ways of looking on tour, as we leisurely explore the tea country and ancient sites along some of the roads less travelled on this magical island.

Este will be joining us and has generously offered free evening workshops for those that would like to participate.

This tour will end in Negombo, close to the airport, and complete a 14-day journey in Sri Lanka. Details on request.


Would you like to immerse yourself in creativity and learn new dynamic painting and mixed media techniques? 

Este's way of teaching will spark your imagination, get you in a creative flow and show ways to broaden your art practice.


Why not join us for this gorgeously indulgent week of creative painting inspired by the bounteous environment of our location within the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Dutch Fort, Galle, here on the southern tip of Sri Lanka? (it's where I'm living during this time of Covid).

Here, within a Seventeenth Century village, inspiration abounds! 

Time-worn surfaces of colonial architecture from several epochs, antique furniture and objects, lush jungly plants, the diverse cultures who have lived here side by side for centuries beneath an ever-changing tropical sky ... it's like being inside a novel ... while  never far away, the sound of the sea lapping at the ramparts which have encircled this fort for five centuries.
































Come!  Be inspired and turn the things you notice into expressive, sophisticated artworks on paper in this very special week with Este Macleod. 

The retreat location is a spacious historic property which is entirely ours this week. Studio, playground ... frangiapani-filled gardens scent the warm air, our work space is cool and private, and your air-conditioned bedroom  (also with ceiling fan), opens onto wide verandahs with reclining cane lounges for each room to simply take in the beauty of it all. Seclusion within a town - its magical! 

Galle is a culinary oasis and your week is filled with outstanding restaurants and dining locations - and moments of amazing street food - not just within the fort, but at two fabulous locations beyond. Yes!  It's a week filled with delicious surprises.

'Serendipity' is a word coined in the C.19th by British aesthete Horace Walpole, to describe "the finding of agreeable things not sought for". He was drawing on the heroes of Persian tale who were always making discoveries, by accident or sagacity, of things they were not in quest of. Centuries earlier, Arab traders, plying the region for rubies and cinnamon, called the island we now know as Sri Lanka, 'Serendib'.

Este and I present for you A Week of Serendipity ... encounters with history, art, inspiring people, and of course, close encounters with yourself - yes - yoga is a part of this retreat!    

All the details are below, and you can use the tabs above or to the right side of this screen to read ahead, so let me share with you how this art retreat came about and why I know Este Macleod is such a truly empowering teacher ...




This Serendipity Art Retreat evolved through my participation with Este's on-line art courses during the first year of Covid, when I found myself stranded here in Sri Lanka. They were something of a life-saver and offered me new approaches to drawing  and design which have created really wonderful avenues to expand my ways of working. I feel kind of empowered with these new resources which offer a freedom within frameworks - and I'm now practising art as I do yoga - most days!   


With our evolving friendship and Sri Lanka returning to life with excellent management and tourism already happening since mid-February 2021, we decided to create this retreat together for those who yearn to travel and paint amongst friends in a beautiful environment, where tropical landscapes, sparkling seaside and the unique atmosphere of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the old Galle Fort are our backdrops and constant inspiration. 

I have been designing and running art and  yoga retreats since 2011 in Bali, but with international tourism slower to return to Indonesia, Sri Lanka is an exciting new option. Of course, safety is always our first concern, so I have been mindful to choose not only a beatiful location, but also one where our hotel can accommodate our small group  (max. 12 participants) in an exclusive environment where we will be the only guests - and yes!  there's a full refund for covid-related cancellations.


Este and I really look forward to sharing our passion for art, design, travel and food with you this year! 

You may wish to extend your island experience on your own or follow your art retreat with  Anna's 'Slow Travel Sri Lanka', a leisurely coach tour to the island's Tea Hills and ancient Buddhist sites for 6 nights, ending in Negombo (where I presently live),  which is conveniently close to the airport. Anna can also assist you with transfers and other options should you wish to do your own thing before or after the retreat.  In any case, please don't hesitate to be in touch if you have any queries - there is a live chat line on this site or just use the contact form.

Meet Este Macleod

Este is a free-spirited artist with a background in textile design. She has been teaching on-line art courses since 2015, focusing on processes and concepts to make individuals' creativity blossom. These courses have gained an incredible following, as Este combines carefully-selected materials and techniques and shows different methods to be used for continued exploration. 

"When I teach, I keep guidelines tight and simplify processes, the knowledge gained enables the flourishing of new ideas when applied to individual art practices."

Este is a professional artist and designer. In addition to her paintings sold in galleries in the UK and internationally, her work is used in a variety of products ranging from wallpapers and textiles, homeware, ceramics, puzzles, stationary and book illustrations.

Born in South Africa, Este has been living in the UK since 1999.

Her educational background includes: HND Textile Design, Fine Art Printmaking, BA Hons Ceramics and Glass, MA in Contemporary Jewellery Design.

How does the retreat work?

Each day is a little different, but generally you can expect: 

YOGA on alternate days at the hotel, 6.30-7.45 am (gentle, stretchy hatha yoga for all levels of experience, including those who would like to try for the first time)

BREAKFAST                     7.30 - 8.45

WORK SESSION              9.30 -12.30 with morning tea

LUNCH BREAK               12.30- 2.00

AFTERNOON SESSION  2.00 - 5.00 with afternoon tea

DINNER                           from 7.00 pm

We will have an early morning fort tour, an afternoon excursion, and a free afternoon, as well as two free evenings 

Please  let me know of your special dietary requirements at the time of booking. Sri Lankan food is delicious, and an authentic curry can be fiery, but you won't be challenged to that unless you wish ... culinary choices here are diverse, and as mild as you wish.

What does your Retreat include?
  • Airport collection in private taxi with name board on arrival at the International Airport

  • Accommodation in iconic Colombo heritage hotel (deluxe room), with breakfast

  • A/C Bus tour of Colombo and then onto Galle stopping en route for 2 tours

  • Special 'welcome luncheon' - gorgeous surprise location!

  • Afternoon tea and viewing of an exhibition of Sri Lanka's most renowned mid-late C.20th artists

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in Galle Fort, at an authentic Dutch heritage garden property, for our group's exclusive use

  • 8 breakfasts

  • Art Tuition with Este Macleod - 9 x 3 hr  sessions - at our hotel

  • Yoga Tuition with Hayley - 3 morning sessions at our hotel

  • All Art Materials  that you will need to do this course - these are the same professional  materials that Este uses in her work and online teachingbut feel free to bring your favourites brushes or drawing equipment too - more details in pre-retreat information 

  • Lunches - 6 - provided during the retreat - a selection of working lunches at our hotel for those that don't want to stop painting', and light lunches at safe and delicious venues in the fort

  • Dinners - 2 Fine Dining experiences in the fort

  • Dinners -2 Adventure awaits as we journey 'to a dreamy destination for sunset cocktails and dinner at a stunning rural retreat, and an elegant seaside location for an evening in one of Sri Lanka's most iconic settings.

  • Guided walking tour of the Fort with a teller-of-stories

  • Guided walking tour of the seductive country retreat created by internationally renowned architect Geoffery Bawa, father of  the architectural movement known today as Tropical Modernism'

  • Tour the Galle Maritime Museum


We have just 12 places for fully participating artists. Non-participating partners and friends are welcome to join us as associates and participate in all of our activities and meals except yoga, art and our working lunches.

I have many activities that partners can avail themselves of for the hours of the retreat (9-5 each day). This is an exceedingly rich area, and there's no shortage of possibilities. I'm happy to offer any ides if you care  to share specific areas of interest with me, and I can arrange transport  with trusted providers if you need any assistance in planning your days.

  • Single Occupancy Deluxe Room                                                                                                                                       £2275 per person

  • Double Occupancy with two participants Deluxe Room ( 2 Std beds)                                                                       £1995 per person

  • Double Occupancy with two participants Super-Sized Premium Deluxe Balcony *Suites (2 kingsize beds)       £2495 per person

  • Associate-member (all tours, evening events) sharing room with a participant                                                      £225               


Your place is secured with a deposit of £250 per person. Full payment is not required until 30 August, 2021.

* We have only 2 Premium Deluxe Suites

Please check the retreat terms and conditions before booking 


                          Not ready to book, or need more information ?

This retreat has a maximum of 12 participants and each room type is limited,

and will be allocated on a strictly first - come - first - served basis



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