Guernsey Press

Channel 4 show set to feature Renoir Cottage restoration

Channel 4 has announced the broadcast date of a feature about Renoir Cottage, just days before the official opening of the ambitious restoration of the property at Moulin Huet.

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Local builder Nik Le Page has spent the past 18 months restoring the derelict building, which his parents bought in 1984 when it was just a ruin. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33410249)

The holiday cottage will feature on an hour-long episode of a new series of Great British Home Restoration on Friday 23 August.

The series showcases people who have taken on the challenge of transforming some of the world’s most unusual and historic buildings.

Local builder Nik Le Page spent almost two years lovingly restoring the cottage, which was originally a Napoleonic battery built around 1780.

He will open the doors of the cottage to the public for the first time on Saturday between 1pm and 5pm, with entry by donation to the Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association.

‘We will start taking bookings right after that,’ said Mr Le Page.

‘I am just tidying up the website now, but I have to admit I’m better at building houses.’

Great British Home Restoration presenter Charlie Luxton, left, and local builder Nik Le Page during filming at the Renoir Cottage. (33404390)

The property, which is next to the tea rooms at Moulin Huet, has a mixed history. It has been used as a fisherman’s cottage, a tearoom, which both Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Victor Hugo visited, and a German anti-aircraft post.

Mr Le Page’s parents, George and Maisie, bought the cottage in 1984 when it was a ruin.

Three original internal walls have been retained, and the cottage comprises a kitchen, cosy living room, bathroom and mezzanine bedroom.

Mr Le Page said the film crew had visited four or five times but also used local crews in between.

‘Once we got going, I felt quite relaxed on camera as this was a subject I knew about and was passionate about.

‘It was amazing to see just how much filming they had to do for a one-hour programme.

‘Charlie Luxton, the presenter, came over twice, once near the start of the project two years ago and then this March as we were finishing. He was good fun and we shared a few drinks after filming.

‘He was amazed at how we were coping with the demanding logistics of the site.’

Mr Luxton is an architect and Mr Le Page said he took on board some of the advice he offered.

‘I’m quite a perfectionist and the main advice I took on board was that you sometimes just have to get on with it.

‘That stuck with me and helped me see the project through.’