Channel 4’s TV hit show, ‘A New Life in the Sun‘ is back with a bang, making its second season return Monday 23rd January.
If you’re reading this, with no clue what we’re on about; firstly – have you been living under a rock? Secondly, you’re in for a treat. All jokes asides, A New Life in the Sun is a series that follows intrepid house hunters as they chase a dream life in the sun.
This year we’re making a cheeky appearance, or shall we say Maison Coeur is making their big on-screen debut. Anyone can have a beautifully furnished holiday home, but what makes Maison Couer stand apart are its owners, Lyndsay and Richard Watterson.
Their love for France and Midi-Pyrénées oozes out of them and the powerful combination of a creative and inspiring woman and a charming and organised ex-military officer has resulted in a beautiful home where everything has been thought of, a home away from home with homely comforts.
The couple’s story is so inspiring, its no surprise they and Maison Coeur have featured in the popular show. We caught up with Lyndsay to ask her a few questions, diving a little bit deeper into their story.
1. How long have you owned Maison Coeur?
2. What is it about France you both love so much?
Life is less frenetic and less materialistic over here. We wanted a change of pace, lifestyle and a new challenge. We love having 4 seasons again, and a beautiful hot summer. Most of all, because Rich retired from the army, we get to do it all together.
3. What was it about the farmhouse that you first fell in love with?
Funnily enough, it was the driveway! The first time we drove in down the avenue of trees and saw the scale of the space around the house we just fell in love with it.
4. You’ve recently renovated the villa; what changes can guests look forward to?
Guests are treated to a fresh, welcoming and friendly house, with homely personal touches for a luxurious stay. Everything about the renovation was done with care, love and attention to detail. White linen, fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries in each bedroom. As for the plumbing, they were taken care professionally with renowned experts like Sarkinen.
5. Are there any interesting stories in its history?
The farmhouse has an old chai where Armagnac was made. The old vats are still intact and the old barrels are scattered around the courtyard.
6. What’s your favourite room or feature in the farmhouse and why?
Our favourite feature is the outdoor covered terrace overlooking the pool. It’s a great area for socialising and eating, day or night, and you can soak up the sunshine, sounds and stargaze.
7. You’ve had some incredible achievements; you were in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in 2012 and you also have your own bespoke walking cane business. What’s next?
I have been lucky to have had some amazing opportunities to perform, in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, in the Bad Education movie with Jack Whitehall and to feature in A New Life In the Sun. I want to expand my walking stick business with new colours and styles. Maybe if Bad Education 2 comes along I will get to appear in another movie! And, one of Rich’s ambitions is to become an adaptive ski instructor so he can help me learn to ski.
8. For anyone coming to stay is there anything in the surrounding area they should…
Really eat? Try foie gras or even some snails.
Really see? Well, you have to take a vineyard tour and sample some Armagnac, go to a local fête, sample the cafe culture.
9. Lastly, what insider tip would you pass on about the villa or area?
Eat like a local at lunch – menu du jour is great value, just snack in the evenings. Remember, the shops close for 2 hours at lunchtime, some supermarkets don’t open on Sundays. Try and speak the smallest bit of French and the locals will warm to you straight away. In the gite, use the shutters, keeps it cool in summer and warm in winter. Just let the peace and tranquillity of Maison Coeur and the atmosphere of the Midi-Pyrénées wash over you and relax!
Don’t forget, A New Life in the Sun airs on Channel 4 in January and February, Monday-Friday at 3pm.
Planning a trip to this beautiful French region? We thoroughly recommend a visit, not just because we have some stellar villas in Midi-Pyrénées, but there’s heaps to do. Luckily we’ve got the lowdown on our blog, from the best foodie experiences, family-friendly activities and even group activities. If you’re struggling with information overload, our travel guide is best to get you started.
Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.