Vietnam ArtFoodCulture Experience

w/Jennifer Orkin Lewis (augustwren)

1-11th March 2020


Fully hosted and guided 10 night/11 day ArtFoodCulture Experience in Central Vietnam

March 1st-11th 2020 with Anna Barnes and Guest Artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis (augustwren).

This Retreat is for everyone of any sex, age, race, religion or walk of life that would like to experience slow responsible travel with like minds. The emphasis is on living, rejuvenating (or starting) your creative life.

We focus on Art, Food and Culture.


Your host Anna Barnes (founder of ArtFoodCulture, long term traveller to Hoi An, chef and artist) has built a network of contacts over the years that delight in giving our Retreat guests special attention. We go off the tourist trail to experience locations, activities and food that only a local can. Focus is on Creativity, Food and Culture in Central Vietnam.


Jennifer Orkin Lewis of @augustwren fame is your Art Tutor for the Retreat. Each morning we will venture out with Jennifer and Anna to participate in carefully curated experiences so we can enjoy the town, people and culture. From this we gather our inspiration for an afternoon painting session in our private villa by the pool near the rice paddies led by Jennifer.


The streetfood represents its people. The streetfood represents its culture.

We eat the freshest and best local food in Hoi An. The local food is time based, which means food stalls “pop up” and serve local seasonal dishes until all sold out. Vendors specialise in serving one dish only, and over generations, have mastered them to perfection. Anna has had years of experience in Central Vietnam, and has narrowed it down to the best local fare for her guests to enjoy. She was a chef for 30 years and holds a food safety certificate, so is able to spot the most delicious eateries on offer. She has sketched the food & vendors and developed relationships with them. Anna looks forward to introducing you to them.


The best part of an ArtFoodCulture Retreat is about connecting with the culture. The people of Central Vietnam have a fascinating history, a delightful way of life and always a warm friendly smile for visitors. Learn to see what we experience, experience what we see, participate in hands on activities, and connect with the people and their lives to further develop empathy and a rich satisfaction during our time spent in Vietnam.

Anna has spent much of her life learning about cultures other than her own, from 22 pen pals as a child (snail mail), a degree in Social Anthropology, and now a massive book collection on Vietnamese culture, she will delight in helping you access a deeper understanding of another culture. Anna’s good friend Ha My will be our tour guide, she has her Masters Degree in Central Vietnamese culture, so you’re set!


You will be staying in a gorgeous Villa (4 star) for the first 8 nights.

Our private Villa is a small boutique resort with six unique living spaces, including 4 studios, 1 two-bedroom villa and 1 three-bedroom villa. Designed by the well-known local French-Vietnamese architect Helena Tran Quang Man and tastefully decorated in vintage Vietnamese style, each living space features a kitchen area, an outdoor sitting area, distinctive artwork and photographs, thoughtful amenities and books for your reading pleasure.


We will have it all to ourselves, so our afternoon art sessions with Jennifer Orkin Lewis will be a delight by the pool where you can order a drink and snacks whilst learning some new techniques. The Villa is nestled on the banks of the Co Co river, in a peaceful tropical oasis in beautiful Hoi An. Surrounded by rice paddies, gardens and open spaces, its designed with artistic detail and supports ecologically sustainable travel experiences.

We visit an Ethnic Minority village (one of 54 in Vietnam). Experience the fascinating hospitality, culture and nature of the Co Tu people. A village of just 315 people whose lives are ruled by the seasons just as they have been for time immemorial. Traditional agriculture, especially the cultivation of sticky rice and vegetables dominate local life. The ancient practice of weaving can be seen everywhere, from the sturdy yet decorative clothing to buildings woven in a way that resists the very elements themselves. The largest and most decorative of these are the Guol and Moong houses. In the middle of the village common a totem pole stands as a silent witness to harvest festivals, marriages and funerals. We enjoy overnight accomodation in bungalows (with ensuite) located directly inside the village.


Our last night is on My Khe Beach (China Beach) in Danang, easy access to your final airport departure. The fifth largest city in Vietnam, and a testament to the rapidly growing economy of Vietnam, you will experience a delicious and relaxing last night here.


Small group maximum 9 guests. This will ensure you will receive plenty of personal tuition during the sessions.

10 nights accommodation -8 nights in Hoi An Villa (4 star, locally owned) with pool. 1 night in a Bungalow in an authentic village (with ensuite). 1 night in a Hotel (4 star) in Danang.

Fully hosted by Anna Barnes of ArtFoodCulture

10 breakfasts

7 lunches accompanied by Anna and Jennifer

8 dinners (street food, market vendors and restaurants) accompanied by Anna and Jennifer

8 x 3hr Workshops/painting sessions led by Jennifer Orkin Lewis (in two parts p/day) @augustwren

Entry ticket to The Ancient Town w/ guided tours

Co Tu Ethnic Village 2 day, 1 night stay, with local foods, traditional dancing, weaving demo and jungle trek

Private bus trip to Mi Son the historic Cham ruins

Cooking Class and Basket Boat rides at a private Eco Fish and Herb Farm with Linh.

Organic Herb Gardens, Rice Paper making, Farm excursion and Seafood lunch

Guided Market Tours, buy fresh flowers and tropical fruits

6 yoga/meditation sessions

Bicycle hire (bring your own helmet, or buy one on location and donate when you leave)

Drinking Water will be made available. Please bring your own stainless steel refillable bottle. Say NO to straws and plastic bags.

Not included:

International airfares


Travel insurance

Some meals

Beverages- alcohol and imported soft drinks 

Extra activities and tours around Hoi An organised at your own cost

Personal expenses, laundry, minibar, tips, airport transfers etc.

Anything not mentioned in the Included list

Daily Schedule*

6:30am Yoga, Bicycle ride to Market (or breakfast in Villa)

9:30am Daily activity (Visit UNESCO town, Mi Son, Markets, Herb Gardens, Cooking Classes, Villages etc)

11:30am Lunch then Free time.

4pm Art session

7pm Dinner

*Subject to change, some days you are free for dinner, or lunch and one full day is free (ask for itinerary)


Your Host

Anna Barnes founder of Art Food Culture is a long time traveller to Vietnam. She has a Masters in Design Science, specialising in 3D Animation from The University of Sydney (being awarded the Dean's Honour Award) and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Social Anthropology, specialising in South East Asian Studies. Anna was the Executive Chef of Sydneys "Best Specialty Restaurant" winner and has worked over 25 years in Sydney restaurants, working with specialty cuisines, and creating authentic cultural menus. She was the owner of "Fiasco and Debacle", Sydneys largest artisan cafe cake manufacturer for 8 years. She has implemented and delivered cooking classes, held workshops, been a cooking demonstrator, facilitated "Artist Way" groups, and has worked for Team Building companies. She currently leads Creative Retreats in Vietnam and teaches Nature Journalling in The Blue Mountains. Her passion is to help people connect, transform, recover and thrive through art, food and culture. She is an artist, a mother, traveller and a naturalist and lives in The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia with her family. 

Your Art Tutor

Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Jennifer Orkin Lewis Instagram Jennifer Orkin Lewis Website

Jennifer Orkin Lewis is an artist, author and illustrator based in both a little NYC apartment and a sweet house north of the city. She has been obsessed with painting from an early age, and was always making art and creating something new. She is known for her daily sketchbook paintings which she has been doing for over 6 years. Her paintings are primarily gouache and watercolor but also include ink, pencil and the occasional marker. Many of her sketchbook art ends up on products such as Stationery, Puzzles, Fabric, Home Decor, Murals and multiple other products. She has also written and illustrated a growing number of books. Jennifer is available for commissions, her favorite way to work.


Anthropologie, Abrams Books, Chronicle Books, Eeboo, Dear Stella Fabrics, Flow Magazine, Middlebury Magazine, Kate Spade, Roger laBorde, TeNeues, Tocca and many more.

Podcast & Interviews

Inspiration Place Smart Creative Women Lisa Congdon’s blog My Giant Strawberry

Jurys, Panels & Awards

2018 Jury Member: Society of Illustrators 60 Annual and Exhibition

2018 Surface Design Panel; Society of illustrators

2019 Society of Illustrators 61 Annual and Exhibition

Please email Anna for a more comprehensive itinerary if you like!

Love the sound of this Experience and want to sign up? Please read ArtFoodCulture’s Terms & Conditions first. We need to make sure you are fit, able and willing, so as to ensure you are on the right trip and fully enjoy your Experience. Read the Terms & Conditions and have some queries? Please email me about anything at all.


Read the Terms & Conditions and can’t wait to have the Experience you have been looking for with the people you can’t wait to meet in the most exciting place you can bear? Then head on over to the Bookings page. We can’t wait to meet you. Central Vietnam is an awesome place and you are going to love it.


Small group, maximum 9 guests. No single supplement is charged. Couples please email for costs.

AUD $4600 Private Studio (8 nights Hoi An), Shared room and bath w/ 1 other (1 night in the Village), Private Room & Bath (1 night in Danang)

AUD $4450 Private Room w/ Shared Bath & Living with 1 other guest (8 nights Hoi An), Shared room and bath w/ 1 other (1 night in the Village), Private Room & Bath (1 night in Danang)

All prices in Australian Dollars. To see what it will cost approximately in your own currency you can use any online conversion site. Try Remember that currencies are in constant fluctuation.