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My wonderful childhood years were spent growing up in North Yorkshire, with my sister Lucy, my Hungarian Mother, Jeanne Marie and my Father, Christopher (the great-great-grandson of novelist Charles Dickens). In 1990, at 23 years old, I headed off to the West Indies to start, what would become, a 10-year hotel management career at private island resorts, such as Guana Island and Little Thatch in the British Virgin Islands and The Hermitage Plantation Inn in Nevis (pictured). Little did I know at time, what an influence the Caribbean architecture and colours would have on me.
In 1998 my Father died and my Mother returned to the village in Hungary she had left 64 years earlier during the war. In 2000 after a decade in the hotel business, I decided to take a year off and travel. It was soon after a visit to my Mother’s, that I decided to move to Budapest in 2001. I soon met my late husband, Christopher and it was his inspiration to find somewhere quiet in the countryside for us to retreat to at weekends and so in 2004 we purchased our first property.
With a joint passion for renovation we purchased one cottage after another. It was Christopher’s foresight that effectively we became our own neighbours. In 2010 we started to gently rent them out to friends and from there it grew into what we have today. In 2004 our daughter Meg, was born and my step children Lucy and Johnny are frequent visitors from the UK. Ibi and Karcsi came to work for us in 2006 and helped enormously to create Catherine’s Cottages from the beginning.
In the late summer of 2015 Christopher sadly died from cancer however his legacy, spirit and gardens live on at the cottages everyday.
In 2015 Lili came to join us. Lili initially started as Christopher’s carer for the last few months of his life. After he died, she continued to stay on and help run the cottages. Today she is our dedicated General Manager.
In July 2018 I met Graham Massey. Graham is an enormous support to me, I feel very fortunate and very happy. With his previous working background in hospitality, we’re looking forward to his input.
Our plan is to continue to improve, build, tweak and keep this magic alive.