Christine Espley

Our talented Chef

Christine Espley has worked as a chef and caterer for thirty-something years. When not working with Go Provence she goes on tour with bands and musical artistes around the UK and Europe. She has owned two restaurants and worked a summer as ship’s cook on the heritage training ship “Svanen” at the Norwegian Maritime Museum in Bygdøy, Norway. She has spent some years in both Norway and France, and currently lives in London.

Gardening is a chief hobby, jostling for space with reading, socialising with family and friends, walking, gigs and concerts, music, film and theatre.

Christine has City & Guilds qualifications in Catering for the Hospitality Industry levels 1 & 2; City & Guilds Communications level 2 and Higher Certificate in Food Hygiene and Handling of Food, recently updated to Level 2 Food Hygiene for Catering.


A few questions to Christine

What motivates and inspires you?

Finding the food to delight and fuel the recipient, whatever their dietary needs or preferences. Working with people from every background and learning their stories fascinates me, as does the natural world; flora, fauna, geography and history.

What are your strengths?

In every sphere of my work I enjoy the problem-solving aspects, and Go Provence is no different. It is linked to hating waste and trying to step lightly on the planet, using ingenuity and whatever falls to hand to overcome challenges. I like to hope I work hard and will pitch in wherever I can be of use.

A short video from Christine Espley

Christine Espley

What about your weaknesses, where do you need support?

I can get over-absorbed in my work and grumpy if interruptions threaten to affect the outcome. Insufficient sleep makes me short-tempered. The inability to drive makes me reliant on others for carrying out shopping trips. I don’t have the experience of all other staff members working in this area, and need to be steered towards being of optimum help.

What is the highlight of working for Go Beyond Holidays?

Apart from the people, the area, the nature, the climate? The major highlight is seeing the marvellous transformation in our holiday makers over their stay. I had not previously worked with people with disabilities and can truly state that this is the best, most satisfying, thing I have ever done, and it has illuminated my own experience.

Do you have any personal ambitions?

Never had any ambition whatsoever but have been happy to let life take me where it wants and been universally blessed by the results of this haphazard policy. The people I have met and the places I have seen I could never have planned. Long may it continue.

Finally, if you were set adrift on a desert island which three albums, three films and three books and one luxury would you take?

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Ibrahim Maalouf – Diagnostic
Chopin Nocturnes played by Vladimir Ashkenazy
If you had given me 300 choices I would have struggled to pin it down.

Fanny and Alexander
The Railway Children
Cold War

The Poetry Pharmacy (in two volumes) by Willian Sieghart
Le Grand Meulnes by Alain Fournier
Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec
Equally hard to restrict it to three choices.

A luxury?
Blank notebook and endless supply of Uniball Eye pens.


Meet the rest of the team…