Phuket Exposed: Marie-Laure Fleury
Thursday 23 February 2012, 04:48PM
General Manager of Boathouse
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU MOVED HERE?
I was Resort Manager at Trisara for the past two years before the Boathouse was acquired by the same owner. I then moved down to Kata as General Manager to oversee the renovation works, reopening and ongoing operation. Before that I was at The Sukhothai in Bangkok as EAM for three years.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED ON THE ISLAND?
We have been here for three years in June, and moved because there was a great opportunity for me at Trisara which I couldn’t refuse. It also seemed the perfect place to raise our two children – a bit of a paradise for them, pollution free, lovely quality of life, great schooling and great weather.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING HERE?
The quality of life, the weather which is amazing for most of the year, and the number of friends and family members visiting which is even more than when we lived in Hong Kong. I could pretty much live my entire life surrounded by friends and family at home so for me this is perfect. We were a bit tired of living in huge cities, on top of skyscrapers and Phuket has been a wonderful change.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
When was the last time that happened? With a full-time job and two kiddies, there is not a lot of time to relax. But when there is, a glass of wine with my hubby Bryce, listening to some cool music on the outdoor terrace of our house helps a lot, or if I have time to schedule this ahead of time perhaps a strong deep tissue massage.
WHAT HOBBIES OR SPORTS ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
I love hiking, which we were doing a lot of in Hong Kong but stopped when we moved to Thailand. Otherwise reading, jogging, listening to music, shopping, going to the movies, playing with the kids.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Long walks in the forest, picking different things during different seasons, mushrooms, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, making jams when we were getting home, making a wooden house in a tree where we would spend all afternoon playing or making caramel in sea shells during a holiday in Brittany which tasted divine.
FAVOURITE FOOD OR DISH?
The food my hubby cooks as he really is a master chef. His slow-cooked lamb shanks, for example, are really yummy. I love so many things it’s difficult to know where to start. I love oysters, foie gras, black and white truffle of course, Italian cuisine and of course Thai and Chinese food too… the list goes on and on. I really enjoy my eating.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC ARE YOU INTO?
A lot of French stuff such as JJ Goldman, Charles Aznavour, Edith Piaf and also James Blunt, Hunters and Collectors, opera singers, classical music, anything that touches me emotionally.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE MOVING TO PHUKET?
Remaining zen behind the wheel of their car as driving can be somewhat frustrating on the island. But the best way to go about it is to be cautious, smile, anticipate, and let it be.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU HERE?
Driving back one night from Boathouse Wine and Grill to Cherngtalay, where we used to live, after 11pm and realising the petrol tank was empty. We took the coast road and didn’t know whether we would make it home as there are literally no petrol stations on the road all the way back that are open after 11pm – petrol stations everywhere seem to close at about 7pm – lesson learnt.
THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST AND WHY?
Being a mother of two now, my mum for having the strength to always work while raising her three children. For her patience, her constant dedicated time to us, for always nurturing our inner curiosity seed, for making us want to always go a bit further in everything we do. I hope I know how to teach my children those skills.
WHERE IN PHUKET WOULD YOU TAKE SOMEONE ON A FIRST DATE?
Any beach on a gorgeous day at sunset with a rug laid on the sand, a chilled bottle of champagne and two glasses, to admire the sunset. Bryce did it once when we had just been here a few months and it was unforgettable.
IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS ANY OTHER PERSON WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would have loved to be a very talented artist, may it be a soprano singer or an actress/movie star, or a great instrument player. I would love to be part of the Cirque du Soleil team, for example, which moves me so much every time I see one of their shows. So perhaps not one person in particular but in the arts industry would be something very tempting.
FAVOURITE PLACE ON THE ISLAND, AND WHY?
At home with Bryce and the kids, where I don’t spend enough of my time. With friends sharing a simple BBQ and a lovely glass of rose from the Luberon, our favourite region in France.