Before they settled just outside Uzés in the Gard region (famous for truffles) in the south of France, the couple spent six years in London – she as a fashion designer, he running a group of Italian restaurants. But, when Paul proposed, they decided to head to France to pursue their dream of a more chilled-out, family-based lifestyle.
So within two years of marrying, the couple had sold their north-London home and were running a restaurant in Uzés while renting a home nearby. The restaurant did so well that they sold it as a going business four years later, by which time daughter Scarlett had arrived (now joined by one-year old Flynn) and they were living in the derelict barn they now call home.
Bringing the barn to life has led to new careers for the couple, Charmaine as an interior designer – 'It was a natural progression from fashion design,' she says – and Paul as a property developer. 'We both love what we do, and have time to enjoy family life,' she says.
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