Sunday, July 1, 2018

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

I have been silent for some time as I have been busy changing my life for the last three years.
For many years I have been thinking and planning to start a business that relates to my wargaming, military modelling and military history hobby. I have tried painting miniatures, manufacturing miniatures and building armies and terrain to sell to fund my hobby. My normal job in construction of course really just funded my lifestyle, my hobby and interests. It was not until 24 months ago after returning to Australia from a holiday in Europe that a plan started to hatch. My wife and I were a little jaded about working 7 till 6pm in the corporate world of Sydney and looking forward we could not see much change in the next ten to fifteen years for us. 

So together we hatched a plan to move to Europe, looking for a different lifestyle and way to earn a living. We looked at what skills we had, and the finances available to start a business in our selected country. We looked at the UK, Germany and France. We settled on France as it offered the best options for us. We started our search for suitable locations throughout Normandy, Mayenne and Brittany.  

We had quite a list of requirements, a city or town that would meet our needs;  it needed to be within 1.5 hours of the Normandy beaches, with ancient, medieval and Renaissance chateaus close by. Good quality restaurants and local produce. Close to a  TGV line to Paris, motorways North, South, East, West and a international airport nearby, and not be too touristy. Amazingly we found such a place, finally we settled on Ville Mayenne, Pays de Loire as it offered the most potential for us, met all of our requirements as is very central.    

The house was the next challenge, we required a house that had at least 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms and all the conveniences within walking distance (i.e boulangerie, supermarket, cafes, shops and banks). We then selected a buying agent who gave us four options in Mayenne. I than flew to France to inspect the properties on our list,  two we eliminated early, one a little creepy, the other received an offer before we inspected. This left two properties. We then met with the Mayor to gauge his support for our venture, thankfully he was enthusiastic about our plans and gave us his full support for our enterprise. 

To qualify for a four year entrepreneurial visa, we were required to develop a solid business plan, prove we had invested quite a bit of money in France and had savings to live on while the business  grew to support us. 

We then found our ideal property thankfully our offer was excepted. We become the proud owners of L'Hotel de Herce in March 2018. The house is a "Maison Particular" built circa 1715 with a side carriage way, and a "cour de Honneur" entrance courtyard and private gardens, a 21 room three storey home, with three Grand Salons still with parquetry floors and panelled walls. 

We open as a Chambre de Hote (B & B) in August 2018, with three guest rooms.
The Grand salon on the second floor will become the "Salon de Guerre" (war room), where grand war gaming will be conducted in a gentlemanly manner. We will conduct military history tours of the various battlefields with a 1.5 hours, then return to game them on my table with my miniatures. We have our first event in October 2018, bookings will open very soon.

Book Here


L'Hotel de Herce, Mayenne France


2 comments:

Gonsalvo said...

The best of luck with this appealing venture!

Bluewillow said...

thanks Gonsalvo

cheers
Matt