I worked hard on learning French at school, had a memorable internship on a campsite in France for 6 months which taught me a lot about the hospitality business and then started a career in IT logistics. A gîte holiday in 2001 re awakened my passion and I took the plunge in 2002 and moved to La Haute Mancelière in Eastern Brittany with my then 18 month old daughter. A lot of time, effort, passion then went into creating a successful little gîte business which has welcomed people from all over the world and best of all, a lot of visitors who return. Why Brittany? Well, perhaps not for the hot sunny weather – a Mediterreanean climate it doesn’t have. However, Brittany is one of the most beautiful regions in France, surrounded by coastline, pretty and well maintained countryside and villages and not too far from the channel ports. A bit like Cornwall but cheaper, with better roads and of course, a very different culture. Crêpes and cider instead of cream teas. Fruits de mer instead of fish and chips. Not too long a drive for families with young children and a warm climate and not too hot in the summer to spend the day on the beach or around the pool, unlike the South of France.
My aim has been to create a home from home with the accommodation offered. Every gîte retains its original character and comfort is a priority – from good mattresses to a well equipped kitchen and a properly heated swimming pool. The garden is one of the most important features of my gites – it can be accessed directly from the back door of every gite and it is a safe haven for children to explore, play and make new friends. In my experience if the children are happy, the parents are happy!
Whilst not looking after the gîtes I keep myself busy by teaching English in various companies in Rennes. In doing so I’ve learned a lot about the region and have a good knowledge of local events, excellent restaurants and the most interesting places to visit – many off the beaten tourist track. I’m bilingual (whilst retaining my Jane Birkin British accent which the French think is charming) and am always available to help out if required – booking restaurants, horse riding, interpreting if needs be, or of course, just for a chat.
I live with my French husband Emmanuel, my son Olly, Sam the border collie and various cats, hens in a little village 6kms fom the gîtes, close enough to be on hand to look after the pool and garden and offer advice, but far enough away not to be intrusive!
In my spare time, I enjoy running and belong to local athletic club. I know the local countryside and roads really well, and can advise any runners, walkers or cyclist on local footpaths. Anyone wishing to join me for a run is more than welcome!