Drew was born in Brighton and spent most of his working life in property, as an estate agent and later as a developer and renovator of properties. From Victorian house renovations to renovating Bandouille, has proven to be quite a bold move, but the hard work has been done. He will co-host the holidays, looking after the day to day running of the venue, be your chauffeur, if required, when visiting local venues, and generally assist whilst continuing his work around the estate - and mowing the lawns, pruning and cutting down trees, feeding the fish, the ducks and ................
Bixxy has always had a high interest in every aspect of art, and creative crafts. You don't have to look far to see the many things that she has created around the house, and in the garden. From watercolours to mosaicing and other textile art, she is continuously creating and enjoys learning new skills, methods and techniques. Bixxy is really looking forward to using her skills and to share and develop her interests with other like minded people.
She has taught in schools and played an active part in the yearly Brighton Festival, not only working with pupils for the festivals childrens parades, but exhibiting and selling some of her works. She is full of enthusiasm, and will take great pleasure in passing on this enthusiasm, as she encourages you to adventure and experiment with new techniques and mediums, making your holiday stimulating and fun.
Bandouille. The historic, but in recent years, very run down property, has now been renovated, and is now arranged as :- the principal bedroom, five ensuite guest bedrooms, farmhouse kitchen, formal dining room, refectory hall, grand lounge with feature stone fireplace and french doors to the huge terrace overlooking the lake, and beautiful roof terraces with views of the grounds and the lake. The main house is complemented by numerous outbuildings which include the well proportioned art studio, accomodation for visiting tutors, the work shop, tractor barn and a number of stone buildings in various stages of delapidation / renovation. The main house is a fusion of the original monastery and later additions built during an 800 year period. History is everywhere in the property - carved fireplace lintels, stones from the original church, giant oak beams, the ancient ruins of the church, the capitialaire with its beautiful domed ceiling, arched windows and doors. The estate runs to 24 acres which includes the 12 acre lake, the gardens, orchards and many other features which make Bandouille a perfect peaceful retreat to relax, sit and paint.
Wildlife is everywhere. Birds of all species love the nooks and crannies and , with the coming of Spring, not a week goes past without another nest being spotted along with the frantic mother and the developing young. Over the last few years we have needed to run a baby bird sanctuary, as not all the young get to stay in the nest. Don't be surprised to find a few extra guests in the house. We have a number of ducks who never cease to amuse us, along with "Arty" the cat, who we found abandoned in the art studio roof space in September 2015.
Bixxy and Drew will be your hosts during your week at Bandouille. They discovered the property in the summer of 2006 having seen an advert in a french property magazine, which Bixxy had picked up while shopping. The picture of the main portal gate caught their interest, and having
read that the property had enormous history, had been a monastery, had a lake,
outbuildings etc etc, the seed was sown. After a number of visits and a great
deal of discussions, they agreed to purchase, and the french adventure began.
That was just over nine years ago....
Drew & Bixxy 2006 2008 2012