Hello and welcome to the Chateau des Lys. If you're putting your trust in us and considering becoming one of the co-owners you probably want to know who you're dealing with. We’re Tim & Margreeth Alexander an Anglo- Dutch couple until recently based in Zeeland in the Netherlands. We have been married for 25 years (and counting) and have two children aged 24 & 10.
Margreeth has been an English teacher, a remedial teacher & a translator and Tim was the organising third of the highly successful band Fragment ( www.fragmentlive.com ) for more years than he cares to remember. As a musician he has also been involved in numerous side projects including music for a couple of Dutch films, a theatrical cooking show and a recent collaboration with the late Dutch writer WJ Maryson.
We were both happy with the lives we were leading in Holland and not particularly looking to change our lives but in the autumn of 2012, whilst holidaying with friends in Picardy, we stumbled upon the Château des Lys. We fell in love and decided to buy it, it seemed such an ideal way to combine our loves for cooking, entertaining, antiques and the Somme valley plus the proximity to both Zeeland and the UK meant easily being able to stay in touch with our friends and family- the most important things in our lives.
Following a fraught five months of organising the transaction we took over the Château in March 2013. It’s all very much a work in progress, such an enormous house & estate could hardly be otherwise, but we want to maintain the charm & high standards we’ve inherited from the previous owners and improve upon them.
Since taking the plunge we've been through many changes and we've learned more than we thought possible about all sorts of stuff. We're proud of how far we've come and how much we've manage to restore the Chateau and it's grounds. All the big things that needed attention have been done and we think it's looking the best we've seen it look. In it's incarnation as a Chambres D'Hotes cum Grand Gites we were number 1 on Trip Advisor out of 229 Hotels in Picardy for six months before the regional boundary changes.
The co-ownership project has been a dream of ours since we first bought the place and now we're happy to report that it's finally ready to go. It's an exciting time.
We should probably add that we’ve never done anything like this before but we hope that experience gained from our previous backgrounds means that we can continue the success of the place- we’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions and anything you need or want, please feel free to ask. We look forward to seeing you here and hope you enjoy your own little piece of France and its magnificent surrounding area as much as we do. À bientôt
Tim & Margreeth