Guilty pleasures: a new life in the sun

The first episode of a new series of Channel 4’s A New Life in the Sun aired this week. I gave up watching British television when I moved to France, but I’m prepared to make an exception for this.

Well, this and A Place in the Sun, Escape to the Château, No Going Back… You get the idea.

It seems I can’t get enough of TV tales of people who’ve given up everything in Blighty to chase their dreams overseas. I can’t think why.

In the programme, we met Hugh and Denise Davies who swapped Essex for Monpazier in Dordogne and have launched a brewery in the village and a B&B in nearby Beaumont-du-Périgord. Then there was Andrew John and Brennan Street who are preparing to open a boutique hotel in Andalusia.

I’m hooked already.

I also enjoy the shows where an expert takes you behind the scenes of a failing business and – ta dah! – turns around its fortunes. The Hotel Inspector is a good example of the genre.

Cauchemar en Cuisine is another. It’s the French version of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. It’s broadcast on channel M6 and is fronted by Michelin-starred chef Philippe Etchebest.

Cauchemar en cuisine

Don’t be fooled by the smiley face in the promo shot. Most weeks the former rugby player has people in tears.

The premise is the same every episode – and so is the solution:

  • Don’t try to be all things to all people
  • Don’t serve frozen meals
  • Keep the place clean
  • Communicate with each other
  • Allocate responsibilities
  • Don’t use fuchsia as your primary colour.

OK, I may have made up that last one, but the décor in each restaurant he visits is usually pretty shocking.

“We have been talking about putting ourselves forward for A New Life in the Sun when we buy a business property”

I guess I enjoy shows like this partly because I am trying to pick up tips for our planned cheese-and-wine bar/shop. So, while we don’t plan to open a restaurant as such, much of the advice is valid for any kind of hospitality business.

Damon and I have been talking about maybe putting ourselves forward for A New Life in the Sun when we buy a business property. It would be great publicity.

As it happens, we’re back in the South West right now having second viewings of the two properties we saw recently. One is in the Lot valley and is good to go and the other is in Dordogne and needs gutting.

I think one of them offers us the greater possibility of success. And who knows, if we make an offer and it’s accepted, you may even be able to watch the highs and lows of our venture on Channel 4…

Watch this space.

Photos © Channel 4 and M6

This entry was published on Sat, 23 Feb 2019 at 09:34. It’s filed under Film and music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Guilty pleasures: a new life in the sun

  1. Methinks … you would be great in a episode of ,chateau in the sun down under a new life anywhere!’ Seriously though it would be a very good way to get noticed da need of a south West France !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We were approached by them to be on the show but unless you are desperate to appear on TV, I would caution against it. Simply not worth the mess, upheaval and prying eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent idea

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have some of the same guilty pleasures! I love the couple who opened the brewery. I was sceptical at first but ended up being very impressed by their enterprise. I’ll keep an eye out for you on a future series!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would so love to see your story on TV and this get a glimpse of your future shop as well. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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