Nick Cookson, founder of The Villa Collective, is — like so many of us — working from home. He spoke to Rosie Paterson about relocating from London to Corfu in lockdown.
Nick Cookson’s parents first visited in Corfu in the 60s. By the mid-70s they had a successful villa rental company and their own property, in the north of the island — a part that had, up until then, been largely ignored by foreigners and tourists.
Unsurprisingly, Nick inherited their love for the Greek island. After a lifetime of summer holidays paddling in the Ionian Sea, he set up his own company, The Villa Collective, in 2016. It also happens to be where he’s chosen to spend the majority of lockdown.
‘I’m more productive out here [the Corfu office] and it’s mentally uplifting,’ Nick says.
He relocated from London, where he initially found it difficult to get into a routine. ‘I think I’ve managed to get some sort of structure now that revolves around exercise, cooking and working and watching the news. It did get more and more depressing, so I stopped watching so much quite early on.’
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He’s used the time to revamp the Villa Collective’s website. Browsing the site is a masochistic pleasure for anyone dreaming about getting away but unable as yet to do so: it’s a carefully-curated selection of the best villas in France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain and the Balearic islands. At present, the front page proudly bears a link to Masseria Olivo in Puglia, Italy. Incidentally, it’s the villa that Nick himself would most like to revisit.
He loves to swim in the sea, but has managed to resist the temptation to spend all day in it, thanks to the uncertainty around travel and who can go where. Now that the Government’s travel corridors have been announced, he’s making plans for the clients who want to travel this summer.
His top tip for first time homeworkers? ‘Stick to your normal office routine as much as possible, and don’t keep too much in the fridge.’
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