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LEGGETT IMMOBILIER - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST

Rod and

partner

Clemence.

I

T WAS ALWAYS ROD HULME'S

plan to live in France at some

point. With a French mother,

he had spent many happy

summers in Cannes, with

her family, and had been skiing

in the southern alps since he

around five years old.

He was also a keen hiker

and it was this that led him to

work for the sports equipment

brand, Decathlon, when he was

living in Dalston, east London. "I

really wanted to work for their

internal hiking brand, Quechua,

which I loved, so to do this I

moved to their HQ in Lille three

years ago," he says. It was there

he met his French partner, Clemence

Cornu.

Apart from a natural affinity

for France, the ability to speak

the language was also able to

help him make the permanent

move there. He adjusted to life

in France during that time. "I

think it takes six months to a

year to really integrate, but it

was easier with a very active

sports and social life with my

colleagues," he says. "Speaking

the language definitely gives

you an advantage."

However he really yearned

to live in the mountains, and

was even able to achieve it via

career progression and a transfer

to Decathlon in the Haute

Savoie town of Passy six months

ago. He purchased a two-bedroom

apartment in the former

Grand Hotel of St. Gervais-Les-

Bains, a popular town with

views of Mont Blanc just 3km

from Passy (through Leggett).

Picturesque St. Gervais boasts

Baroque architecture, a legacy

of being a tourism resort since

the early 1900s due to the

popularity of its thermal baths,

which sit in the lower village, Le

Fayet. It's also a starting point

for climbers of Mont Blanc. The

Tour de France passed through

it in 2016.

"I really liked St. Gervais as

it's a vibrant year-round small

town, with elegant architecture

and it's well located close to

both Chamonix and Mégève.

It's an hour from Geneva, which

is very handy as I travel with

work and back to see friends in

the UK," he says. "It also gives

quick access to the ski slopes -

St. Gervais has over 60km of ski

runs, and it's part of the Evasion

Mont-Blanc domain, the third

largest in France."

There are a few British expats in the town

and Rod loves

the village atmosphere of the

restaurants and bars - that are a

bit busier in the summer - and

the 15-minute commute to

work. "I love the outdoors so it's

the ideal place for me to live,"

he adds. "It's working in my perfect

playground - I love hiking,

biking and also have taken up

trail running."

He is looking forward to

his first winter season, and the

chance to ski nearly every weekend. "I even

hope that I might be

able to hop out at lunchtime for

a couple of hours if the snow

is good, and then work later

to compensate. This is why it's

great to live here, it's about the

quality of life, people work hard

but they also get to enjoy life.

Weekends are not about work!"

he says. That's something many

of us aspire to, but how many of

us truly achieve that?

LEGGETT MAGAZINE LIVING THE DREAM

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