About Creative Vacances

Welcome to our Creative Holiday Courses in La Moreau, Charente Maritime, France

IMG_9246[both]Join us at our Residential Music Courses, and Workshops

After 12 years of renting our cottages to family groups in the summer we decided to offer a completely different holiday experience. Our passion for music has led us to organise a diverse range of music holidays where you can develop your skills and enjoy playing your instrument with expert tuition from performers and tutors who are experts in their field.

Chris and I met in 1981, while working in voluntary social work in Bristol. I got in touch with Chris as I had an idea to set up a furniture recycling project. The end result was The Sofa Project, the first of its type in the country. Anyone from around Bristol will know it. And as for us – we are still happily living and working together.

La Moreau, Charente MaritimeWe both loved France, the French lifestyle and culture. We dreamed of living and working together in France, experiencing the life style and culture and learning to speak another language, After years of doing a 3 hour round journey to work we wanted to live and work from home. We wanted to get to know our neighbours and become integrated into the community. For a long time it was just a dream and then suddenly family and work commitments changed and we realised it was now or never!

So in 1995 we moved to France with our then 9 month old daughter Alice. We bought the house and barns with the planning to convert them into a family house and two holiday cottages. We wanted to create luxury holiday accommodation where people could stay, relax and enjoy the French countryside.

Doing literally all the work ourselves down to making the slabs for the patio it took a bit longer that we had planned. But 18 months after arriving we had the first cottage finished with the pool. It didn’t matter that we were still living in the caravan with no flushing loo!! We then moved on to our house with Alice at last having her own bedroom and then in the autumn of 2005 we started the huge project of converting the old stable into our second cottage. By the summer of 2006 it was finished and we were delighted with the result.

The most common question that people ask us is how did we find this house in such an idyllic place. It was luck! With hindsight we did far too little house hunting but to be honest we have never seen anything we like better so we made the right decision We are in a wonderful spot, so quiet but not cut off. With Saintes, St Jean d’Angely and Cognac just down the road and the coast under an hour – it’s all on our doorstep.

Has it lived up to our expectations? Certainly. We love it and wouldn’t think about going back to England, We have learnt to speak French although obviously not as well as Alice who is completely bi-lingual with no accent at all.

A major highlight for us has been meeting the guests who come to stay, many of whom have become close friends, We try and make sure that everyone has the best possible holiday, People arrive pale and stressed and after a couple of days its great to see them starting to unwind, relax and enjoy being at La Moreau, away from it all in France.

Why not join them? We look forward to meeting you.


Since writing the above biography, a major tragedy has occurred in our lives. On 25th March 2014 Jenny suddenly died after a very short illness.
As you can imagine, Alice and I are devastated by this tragic loss. We have lost a mother, a best friend, a lover, a partner, a confidante, a guide, an ally, a truly beautiful human being. Our world has been completely turned upside down

I am forever indebted to friends and family who helped me complete the workshop program for 2014, as well the loyalty of those who came on the workshops in the knowledge that tragedy had touched Creative Vacances.

Jenny was so proud of what we had achieved at Creative Vacances. She pushed us forward and was constantly looking for opportunities to progress. The hard work did not deter her. She loved the music, the tutors, the visitors. She loved sharing our home with them all.

With all this in mind, I have resolved to continue with Creative Vacances. I share all the things that made Creative Vacances so important to Jenny. I want to continue in her memory. I know she would approve.