This all happened almost by accident. We were looking to buy a small holiday home in Normandy to escape to on a weekend from London and with this in mind made a couple of trips to land of Calvados and apples. The drive from London to towns like Caen takes around 7 hours, so we quickly realised that this was not going to be a viable plan. We had previously talked about completely changing our lives, escaping the 'rat race' of the city and buying a bigger property to start our own business in the form of a guest house and so after realising that Normandy was a no go the dream was born!
We decided we needed to be within one hour of Calais, to maximise on UK traffic and to continue working in London initially. This was the last house we saw on a weeks viewing trip and as soon as we turned into the drive we knew! This house was a perfect 'blank canvas' and would work perfectly as a chambre d’hote and also as our home. After returning to the grind of the city we offered a cheeky price which to our surprise was immediately accepted! No turning back now!
After completing the (endless) paperwork that is involved in buying a property in France we got stuck in. With the help of Vanessa's parents (her Dad is a builder) we completely renovated the house. When we arrived we had 8 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. With 4 of us working full time and a French plumber and electrician It took us 14 months to complete the ground floor, exterior and 2 bedrooms, after which we opened. Once guests checked out we would get changed, continue painting and knocking walls through. The whole property was finished in June 2011 with 7 individually designed bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Alas the upkeep is ongoing!!!