We are a British/Dutch couple who met in Hamburg, Germany, where we both worked - Paul in the aerospace and Claudia in the design industry. In 1989 we moved to the UK where we raised our family and ran our businesses. We have three beautiful children and by now two most adorable grandchildren.
In 2011 we decided to make the move to France (read more here) to start a simpler, more sober and sustainable life. It has been, and at times still is, a real challenge to immerse into a new culture and adapt to the French way of life, with all its charm, curiosity and quirkiness. But we have embraced it all. Our home's renovation and upkeep demands real commitment and most of our time is spent working on house, outbuildings and gardens.. But it is what we love doing!
Paul studied production engineering in Birmingham, UK. For a while he worked in the aerospace industry and then set up his bedroom furniture business which he managed for many years. He is super practical and has a huge amount of skill and talent and plenty of (but never enough) tools and machinery.
As an engineer and self taught builder, Paul is able to do most of the renovation work here himself which he does wonderfully. He is also a bit of a classic Lotus car collector and his workshop will soon offer the dedicated space to finish a few restorations. He loves baking and makes some mean gateaux and desserts. He says that actually he would have quite liked to be an architect.
Claudia studied gold and silversmithing in Schoonhoven, the Netherlands, and graphic design in Hamburg, Germany. In the UK she ran her own interior design business specialising in bespoke lighting, of which a few examples illuminate the rooms of La Divine. As a designer, she works on the house interior and during the quieter winter and autumn months creates soft furnishings using vintage and antique fabrics and materials.
A passionate gardener, Claudia created and maintains the courtyard and large vegetable gardens and looks after all the farm animals. Her intuitive cooking skills ensure you will always eat really well here.
"We loved everything, starting with a lovely warm welcome on arrival. Even the cats and dog are welcoming, and great fun. We elected to have a meal prepared by Claudia and are so glad we did. It was such a rich and rewarding experience and Claudia and Paul are such excellent hosts. It was like being with old friends. The accommodation is excellent and charming, displaying to great effect Paul’s considerable building skills and Claudia’s flair and innate gifts with soft furnishings. It has imagination and flair and is spotlessly clean. We very much admire what Claudia and Paul are doing with the property and the lifestyle they have embraced and highly recommend a visit. The whole experience was a delight"