What is the accommodation?

Our accommodation is a modern and spacious shared 8 Bed Dortoir (a room for sleeping) and stylish wet room, designed for peaceful sleeping, comfort and privacy. We do not have private rooms available for the retreats.

What meals are available?

A continental breakfast, lunch of breads, meats, cheeses and fruit and 2 course dinner with a glass of wine, are served every day. Lunch will be delicious French bread and a selection of cheeses and meats and fruits. There are takeaways and supermarkets in town for snacks and drinks. We provide fridges, freezer, microwave and a toaster for your use. Tea and coffee are available all day and evening.

I have dietary requirements; will that be an issue?

We are able to provide vegetarian and vegan options and can generally manage allergies and intolerances. We offer 1 meal option at dinner which will be freshly prepared each day. We do not use pre-prepared or convenience foods or foods with additives. If you have a very limited diet, either through choice or health reasons we will do our best to accommodate you but we are unable to cook separate meals. We do have a supermarket close by and you are welcome to buy and prepare your own food at any time.

What do I need to bring?

You only need to bring clothes, pyjamas, phone, iPad/tablet etc, medications and your instrument. We will supply everything else from towels, toiletries, dressing gowns and extra fleeces.

Can I have time alone?

We are very aware of the need to escape and have quiet time when you are away with a group, working and living together for long stretches. We have created a number of designated areas around the grounds and in the house for quiet time or solo practice. The Dortoir is a quiet room and open all day so you can take time out to read or snooze during the day. It’s not school so you can drop out when you need!

Should I bring my own instruments?

We have a wide range of instruments here in the studio, so talk to Joe first to see if we have what you need or, of course, you can bring our own if you prefer.

How can I pay

Once you have reserved your space, we will send an invoice with details for bank transfer. We ask for a non-refundable 50 % deposit and then final balance 2 weeks before you arrive.

Once we have received your deposit, your place is confirmed and we will send you detailed information about your travel and the retreat, including the timetable for the week.

Can I bring children or partner?

Studio Alouette is an adult only, child-free site and accommodation is unsuitable for children under 18 years. Our studios are filled with valuable and fragile equipment and small children and the sleeping habits of musicians do not mix well!

Limited spaces on retreats requires all bookings to be paid in full including tuition. We do not recommend non-participating partners as the purpose of the retreats is to be away from normal everyday life and to be completely focused on the music projects. In addition, the accommodation is a Dortoir with 8 single cabin beds and will be shared with the rest of the group. Unless you have our own transport, partners would need to stay on site for the duration of the retreat.

I’ve never recorded in a studio before, how’s it going to work?

Joe and our tutors are experienced engineers and will guide our participants through the studio process. They’ll always be on hand to give advice, fix a problem or even play drums/guitar/bass or piano on your song!

How do we get to the studio?

Start dates of retreats are arranged around the budget flights from Manchester and London to Limoges airport. The price of the retreat includes transfers from Limoges to the studio but does not include flights.

Alternatively, you can drive and cross with ferry or tunnel or Eurostar to Paris and train to Poitiers.

Please contact us to discuss the travel from the UK and we will advise you as to the best way to get here from your starting point.

Do I need to be an experienced musician/songwriter to take part?

It depends on the retreat you are interested in. To get the most from the week, guitar retreats do require the student to know a range of chords and to be able to play chord changes from well known songs. For the song writing retreat, there’s no minimum level of experience required. Playing an instrument will make it easier to collaborate with the other participants but it’s not compulsory. As long as you’re interested in song writing and keen to learn, this course is for you.

Will I have to perform in front of other people?

You do not need to do anything that you are uncomfortable with. There will be no demands made and you can opt in and out of all activities as you wish. However, a big part of the retreat is geared towards creating a safe space where ideas, songs and thoughts can be shared freely.

Will there be WIFI?

Yes there is free fibre broadband on site.

Will I be able to go to the shops?

We have a well-stocked supermarket just 1km away and can arrange transport during the week so you can buy snacks and drinks.

What’s the weather going to be like?

We have planned the workshops at times of the year when you can enjoy our climate without being too hot or cold! Generally, you should enjoy temperatures in the early 20s with little rain and pleasant evenings for sitting out.

Please do explore our main website www.studioalouette.com where you can find plenty of detail as and photographs and do not hesitate to ask us if there is anything we haven’t covered.