Living France - - A LA MANSION -

While they were rent­ing, Louise had been keep­ing an eye out for a suit­able prop­erty to buy, and last year she found one that ful­filled most of their search cri­te­ria.

“We had a three-year lease on the rental prop­erty but we were only there for six months in the end, be­cause we found this one and couldn’t let it get away,” says Louise. “It was an old barn con­ver­sion and it had al­ready been ren­o­vated by an English lady to a very high stan­dard. Com­ing from Aus­tralia we wanted to make sure we had a house that felt re­ally light and bright. The pre­vi­ous owner had added lots of win­dows and doors, and that’s what re­ally at­tracted us to this one. It’s very quiet and peace­ful too.”

The cou­ple could also see how the prop­erty could be adapted and im­proved to make it work for their busi­ness. The big win­dows and large open-plan rooms meant it worked well for photo shoots, and they have al­ready par­tially con­verted an out­build­ing into a stu­dio. Louise has also now launched Come Cook in France, open­ing her home to oth­ers who share a pas­sion for food by run­ning cook­ery cour­ses in her kitchen.

“Luck­ily we have a re­ally large kitchen, and Ian is very handy – he’s cre­ated two large is­lands, one for me to demon­strate from and an­other one on wheels which can com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date up to eight peo­ple on a course,” says Louise. “The kitchen al­ready had a Range with two ovens and we’ve bought an­other one with six burn­ers and an oven, which is enough for what I’m do­ing at the mo­ment. I’ve found that cook­ers are cheaper here than they are in the UK. I haven’t had to buy too much equip­ment yet as I’ve al­ready got a lot af­ter cooking for so long, but I prob­a­bly will as time goes on.”

Above: The old barn con­ver­sion had al­ready been ren­o­vated by the pre­vi­ous owner Left: Louise and Ian were drawn to the feel­ing of light and space in­side the house Below: Guests en­joy mak­ing use of the pool dur­ing breaks from the kitchen

Op­po­site above: Louise and her ‘Cook Club’ guests around one of the large is­lands Ian made Op­po­site below: Louise and Ian also of­fer food styling work­shops

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