From Peckham to pride of place - Andy and Lindsey Lampard share their inspiring business journey
Not many people would fix on a dream and find themselves buying a run-down stately home on a whim.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to Andy Lampard and his wife Lindsey.
Both successful design consultants, they have worked on the interiors of some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Mandarin Oriental hotels in Barcelona, Moscow and Dubai, and London’s Oslo bar.
Having moved to London to find work when they graduated, they had become very much part of the city scene, right down to their always-on, hectic lifestyle; surrogate urban family and pokey one-bedroom flat in Peckham.
The couple met at work, in one of the most renowned London design houses, United Designs, deciding to get married after collaborating professionally for years, and set up their own design house, Zopsigog, a decade ago.
When they decided to start a family, they knew they’d need to move out of London for more greenery and a better work/life balance.
“We couldn’t keep up the pace with our full-on, very expensive London lifestyle, and wanted to settle somewhere more laid back, with a wider family network around us.
“At that point, we decided we would move out of London within the next three years.”
Little did they know
“When you’ve been living in London and all of your friends and social circle are there, it’s a major decision to decide to leave it behind, but we knew it was what we wanted to do,” continued Lindsey.
“It’s an especially big deal to remove yourself from the ‘in’ circuit when you’re a designer, but we knew we were prepared to take the risk.
“We got to my dad’s house in the countryside near Pocklington and stood in a field and thought ‘this is living’.”
Fortunately for Lindsey and Andy, Peckham had become ‘quite gentrified’ in the years since they’d bought their humble, one-bedroom flat there – in a way that can only happen in London. Far from the old ‘Del Boy’ connotations, their property had risen dramatically in price.
“This gave us the opportunity to move up North and buy something really decent, like a farm with outbuildings,” added Andy.
A rough diamond
What they didn’t bargain for, was that that ‘something’ would be a stately home with a history all its own, Highfield House in Driffield.
“I didn’t take Andy seriously when he first showed me the house,” said Lindsey, because it seemed far too grand for us.
“But, as often happens in our relationship, he just kept flipping going on about it! Then he booked a viewing for us to go and see it that New Year.
“I remember us getting dressed up to the nines in our best gear to go and see the house, because we thought the owners wouldn’t entertain us buying it if we didn’t look like we had the means!
“When we got to the house, though, we realised that it wasn’t at all like that. The couple who lived here were quite elderly and it was clear that the house needed some real TLC.”
Andy added: “We instantly loved the house and its architecture, and what was also immediately apparent was that the property would enjoy having people in it.
“We were preparing to have a family and could see that the gardens would be an amazing place for our kids to grow up in. But we could also see that it would be at its best with 70 or 80 people making full use of its beautiful spaces.
“At the same time, we could see that there was an awful lot of work to be done and that shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Meant to be
The couple then decided to walk away, judging the project too big for their limited budget, until a chance inheritance, coupled with an offer from Andy’s mum and dad Phyl and Stan to co-invest and move with them to East Yorkshire, changed their minds.
A family affair
The family have spent the two years since purchasing the property, in 2016, grafting to turn it into the beautiful wedding and events venue it now is, and are just starting to build up a clientele, as well as hosting events for the local community. They all live at Highfield, too, ensuring it’s loved and enjoyed to the max, at last.
“Our families have always been absolute grafters and we’re the same,” said Andy.
“After we moved in, my mum and dad came here for a holiday and never left! They’re just as passionate about the place as we are,” he added.
If you’re inspired by Andy and Lindsey’s story, you can hear him talk more about the whole experience at our next InspiringBusiness2018 seminar, taking place at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby, on Thursday 22 November, 9.30 until 12.30. You can book your FREE place here.