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After 30 years together in London, Brigid and her husband Tim decided to move over 250 miles away to Cornwall. Not ones to do things by half measure they also decided to build a house from scratch and start a business to boot, writes Abby Driver
It all started with a piece of land. Back in London Brigid designed and project led building projects and in 2012 completed an MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies. To put it another way, she was primed for an eco-build project of her own.
Having spent a weekend helping a friend move into her new house in Portreath, she spotted a piece of land for sale. And not just any old plot; this one was situated just 20 metres above Portreath beach. Interest piqued, she discussed the potential with Tim.
After much contemplation, the couple decided to purchase the plot and build a holiday home on it. They had no intention of living there permanently. The project ran smoothly and the house took just over a year to build. “We had fantastic local builders, and a designer who kept an eye on things when we couldn’t be there,” says Brigid. perusing, he saw that the village beach shop was up for sale and, as a keen cyclist, the idea of bikehire-coffee-shop-hybrid began to take form.
Brigid and Tim debated the big move and decided that while they loved their London life and friends, they had enough energy for another big project. “The idea was hatched to move permanently to Portreath and convert the existing shop into a bike hire coffee shop while retaining a smaller area for the beach goods,” says Brigid.
So they moved down to Cornwall and set about settling in. “The Cornish way of life feels healthier. The air feels cleaner, the light brighter, we spend more time outside. We are surrounded by