Amber de Lucy

“I live in a Château, don’t you know”

We are Martin, Amanda, Andrew, Robyn and Alex and our leopard spotted Bengal cat, Amber – quite the delinquent.


Maybe it was our mid-life crisis, maybe it was working all the hours we could, totally caught up in the rat race, (at the time Martin being a CNC Programmer/Engineer and Amanda a Senior Human Resources Manager for a large teaching NHS Trust). Who knows, but we decided to leave England and take a step back. Having always loved France, we felt that this is where we would like to make our home.


We’ve only had a few small obstacles to overcome, like learning the language and becoming expert jack-of-all trades in a very short timescale while turning the oldest part of the Chateau into our lovely gite.


Our story

We had been looking for a new life in France for some time, originally convinced we would not buy a property any lower down in France than Bordeaux and were in the process of buying a ancient Chateau in Allier when the survey came back with the news that the only thing holding the property up was the wisteria. There was so much dry rot, the property needed dismantling stone by stone and rebuilding. The owner wouldn’t accept the news and insisted that the property was sound. Needless to say, we pulled out of the sale, several thousand euros the worse for wear.


As the property viewings continued, we visited property after property, however for one reason or another, we just could not find what we were looking for. By this time, we had sold our house in a little Oxfordshire village and been living in rented accommodation for over a year and decided that enough was enough, we would have one last viewing trip to France and if we couldn’t find a property there, we would forget the idea and buy another house in Oxford.

A couple of days before we set out on our last trip, we had an email from a French agent to say that a Chateau near St Quentin was just coming on to the market and would we like to see it. Our initial thoughts were ‘no way’ as the location was off our radar. However, instead of flying over to France, we decided to drive and stop off and have a look at the place on our way down south from Calais.


We arrived at Lucy on an incredibly hot July day and entering through the old and rusted gates was like entering the land that time forgot. It was so quiet and the air was so still, the only sounds coming from the river surrounding the property and the birds singing. It looked like a gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel and we lost our hearts to it.
It was pure madness, but we were in love, so let the madness begin!