Jan, Devon, England

Jan and Marilyn live in beautiful Torbay in the top apartment of their large detached Victorian family home.

Your teacher

My career started as an apprenticed chef/waiter subsequently into Management in Denmark. In 1967, I was given the opportunity to teach English to hotel/catering apprentices at night school, and decided to seek a professional qualification as a teacher of English. I enrolled at Copenhagen Language Teacher Training College where I graduated in 1969. In 1974 after redundancy I left Denmark for the UK, where I by pure chance became involved in sales and subsequently in sales management and in 1979 I enrolled on a formal Marketing Management course and I obtained a DMS in Marketing Management in 1980. In 1991 I set up The Pro Bono Corporation Ltd. a unique organisational and management development consultancy specially focused on the needs of the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe with support from both the British Government and the EU Commission and as a result of our work I identified an inherent lack of English language proficiency, a major source of misunderstanding and a stumbling block to their future success, which brought me back to teaching in 1998 and some 19 years with HLI, where I have focused especially on the linguistic needs of business and helping students requiring or preparing for formal exams in English such as Cambridge First, Advanced, and Proficiency Certifications as well as graduate qualifications.

This has mainly been achieved by focusing on the individual student’s needs and objectives, through a totally practical approach to all aspects of the language including pronunciation and basic phonetics as well as the application of grammar in both written and spoken English – work relevant to each individual student. Both Marilyn and I are artistically inclined, Marilyn paints (pictures) and loves interior design, antiques reading and music, where I am a great lover of food and wine, and I am passionate about music, especially Jazz – I love wood and DIY has been a great part of my life, I read a lot, but as I am no longer a “Spring Chicken” I am no longer as active as I possibly should be – we enjoy shopping Marilyn for anything but food and I just anything. Neither of us smoke, I gave up more that 10 years ago. We love our home and our cat Pushkin (not Alexander Sergeiovich) he is like us ageing gracefully and sleeps most of the time; he is not really into people, so he keeps himself to himself a lot.

The home

We live as already said in a large Victorian family home, which were converted into 2 apartments in 1934. We occupy the top floor, which is a three bedroom flat that we completely modernised in 2001. We moved in, in 2016, to allow our son Laurance, his wife Sarah and now three children, Scarlett 12, Laurance James 7 and little Josie (Josephine) 2 1/2, Charlie the cat and Mollie the dog to have the necessary space they require for their family. We also have a great outdoor space where we spend a lot of time during the summer as well as a lovely garden room. Your room is a bright and comfortable room with a bed, an arm chair, a TV, WiFi, a desk and chair and a wardrobe, where together with the rest of our home we hope you will be happy and feel at home


We live in Paignton in the Southwest of England, and more or less half way between Torquay in the north and Brixham in the south of the bay that constitutes TORBAY 50 km from Plymouth and 34 km from Exeter – 36 km from Exeter Airport with national and international connections. There are regular coach and train services to Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and London. Historically Paignton goes back a long way, it used to be where the medieval bishops of Exeter had their summer residence. In the 19th century Torquay became a very sought after sea side resort and together with Paignton and Brixham were in the 1970s given the name “The English Riviera” due to its extensive beaches, 160 miles of amazing costal walks, the proximity to the great National Park “Dartmoor” and the historically important port of Dartmouth – the home of the Royal Naval College.

You will be able to travel around the area by bus on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis; you can board the very popular steam train from Paignton to Kingswear and a ferry to Dartmouth, or take a Round Robin which combines the steam train journey from Paignton to Dartmouth, with a cruise up the River Dart to Totnes and then a bus ride back to Paignton or the other way around. You can rent a bicycle or car and enjoy all that the greenest county in England has to offer in your own time. Take time out to visit some of the many old world Pubs that often serves local craft beers and excellent food or why not visit one of the finest vineyards in the country and sample their produce only 13 km from Paignton.

Local amenities

Golf, Tennis, Swimming, Horse Riding, Water Sports, Leasure & Sports Centre

Check their availability

Interested in learning in this home? Send us a quick little message to find out if they are free for the dates you have in mind!