London leavers: ‘After 27 years Brexit made me swap the capital for a French chestnut farm’

Lottie Tork, a native of the Netherlands, moved to the UK in her twenties. Before Brexit, she considered herself a proud Londoner. Lottie said that she had lived in the UK for 27 years. She also stated that she had never been without work and that she had paid all her taxes. “Suddenly, I didn’t feel welcome. Jean-Marc, 56, was teaching photography at a center in Hillingdon. He decided that he wanted to move to France to be closer to his family. They found a 300-year old former chestnut farm with outbuildings and five acres of woodland and plants. It took them over a year to negotiate and find a buyer. But their timing was terrible. Lottie said that France placed them in a lockdown two weeks after they arrived. “We just continued renovating and decorating the house. Lottie and JeanMarc decided to offer bed & breakfast accommodation, instead of hosting groups in disarray due to social distancing rules. The three-bedroom farmhouse is their home, while guests can choose to stay in a cottage, a cottage or in their small glampsite. They can sleep up to 14 people. The fairytale European manors, chateaux, and farmhouses are available for sale for less money than a London flat. London leavers: Why one couple decided to move to Spain to establish a holistic retreat in a Spanish village. Lottie said that they have been busy. “Obviously winter is not the same as summer. People come for a few hours, not two weeks. But we have had continuous business from French people due to travel restrictions. We also had business from Belgium, the Netherlands, and, more recently, from the UK. Many people move to rural France for a more relaxed lifestyle. Jean-Marc and Lottie are busier than ever, with the ongoing renovation of their home and setting up and running a business in hospitality. Lottie said, “I don’t really get any free time.” It is great and I wouldn’t change it. But it is fast-paced.