Karon and Mark never planned on buying a house in France. But after a road trip through France in 2013, they arrived on the Île de Ré and fell in love with a probate sale townhouse which needed a huge amount of renovation.
At the time, Mark was running his own company and Karon was an independent stylist. They were both bewitched by the house and the island, and despite Mark’s reservations (were they really going to take on such a big project?!), put in an offer to buy.
Galathée was reconfigured so badly that the whole house needed complete renovation and a new roof. Because of the money spent and the desire to share their home, Karon and Mark decided to run Galathée as a business. Fortunately, Mark speaks French, which helped hugely when dealing with local artisans. And with her experience designing people’s homes, Karon brought the house back to life with mismatching French furniture (which she refurbished and painted) and contemporary pieces. Now in its 8th year in business, Galathée’s home-from-home experience has built up a loyal base of returning guests.
Galathée happens to be situated on the most historic street in St Martin. Every year, the well outside its front door attracts visitors eager to capture the photogenic Hollyhocks that flower through the cobblestones and the Bougainvillea which wraps its arms around the well’s arch.
Mark and Karon spend time on the island whenever they get a chance, taking along their 3 puggies – a trip to Galathee would be unthinkable without them!