Peter and Leigh from Cortijo los Lucas
Like many expats and the public ‘back home’ we’ve been following the stories of real people making the move out to Europe in the Channel 4 programme A New Life in the Sun.
Unlike many of the other life in the sun type programmes it breaks the mould somewhat by showing the realities of making a living in Europe rather than following the “shop window for estate agents” format or the down market Channel 5 style ‘Lazy Chav Brits Swilling Beer on the Costas’ theme (we’ve written about these previously here)…
It’s something we haven’t really seen before, and its positivity and originality on this level allows us to forgive the whiny voiced patronising narrator (I guess daytime TV budgets don’t allow for the likes of David Tennant or other narration heavyweights), and the awful script which continually seeks to make a major crisis out of everyday events like a trip to the shops…
As we often get calls from production companies looking for introductions, and as Peter and Leigh who own Cortijo los Lucas are just down the road from us, we thought it would be interesting to meet them both and find out about their experiences of being featured on the show.
We, like so many others after almost ten years here, have a sense of which ‘newbies’ are likely to stay the course when they come out, and so far watching the show haven’t got one wrong. Our first impression of Peter and Leigh when they appeared was that they were ‘stayers’. They clearly have a plan and masses of transferable skills. Leigh is a trained chef and experienced catering manager and Peter’s background is in marketing. They are perfectly suited to running a successful holiday accommodation (and soon to be holiday accommodation and restaurant) business.
Having now met them and had a tour of their place I’d say their success with the venture is pretty much a certainty. The houses are beautifully and tastefully done, and you’d be hard pushed to meet two warmer nicer hosts.
So, has their appearance on the show worked for Peter and Leigh? The simple answer is yes, it’s really helped to put them on the map. They’ve seen a significant number of enquiries, with a very high conversion rate as a result and a noticeable increase in website interaction and traffic. Would they do it again? Definitely. In fact they are hoping to be included in the next series as they convert one of their houses on the property into a restaurant. The conversion work is starting in May, and having seen the space and talked through the plans they have, it promises to be a fantastic restaurant offering great food in a unique and intimate environment (Guys: We’ll be waiting for an invitation to your opening with baited breath;)).
Cortijo Los Lucas
Leigh and Peter’s accommodation is located deep in the heart of Almería, close to a village called El Puertecico. It is comprised of three farmhouses (1 bed, 2 bed and 4 bed), renovated in the traditional Andalucian style but with modern touches to ensure your holiday there has everything you need.
The cottages are self-catering and are particularly well suited for hiring as a block for your family or group holidays. Work begins in May 2016 to add a stylish restaurant, open to guests who do not wish to cook for themselves, or to visitors who want to enjoy the freshest of ingredients in an idyllic setting.
Situated where they are, the views are stunning and it is only a short drive before you are in a nearby market town or at the coast.
Car hire is recommended due to the rural location.
Oh, and by the way script writers, Almeria is not all a desert (though it does contain the 280 sq km Tabernas Desert, which is claimed to be the only true desert in mainland Europe). Nor do we ‘enjoy year round sunshine’ or ‘sweltering temperatures every day’. If you don’t believe me come and visit us here in the mountains in winter! ;)
by Alan Gandy
Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at AlanGandy.com and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram. Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan's photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patron page to find out more.