BUSINESS AND PLEASURE
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