Jenni Falconer on the new series of Fantasy Homes by the Sea

The Scottish broadcaster will visit Cornwall, Dorset, Sicily and Barcelona to help couples move to their dream homes by the beach, chats to her ahead of the show...


The premise of this ten-part Holiday Homes by the Sea series (starting Monday 8 July on Home) is simple – potential buyers are shown around four properties they can afford, and one multi-million pound one they can’t. A little cruel perhaps, but who doesn’t want to see how the other half lives? At the same time, we all get to explore the beautiful UK coastlines of Dorset, Cumbria and Cornwall, as well as warmer climes including Sicily and Barcelona. Presenter Jenni Falconer shares her travelling and house-buying advice, plus what to expect during the new show…


How many of the homes you see would you live in? 
There are lots of homes that aren’t to my taste, but we do get to see some beautiful properties. Working on a show like Fantasy Homes by the Sea you realise that people have their own taste in properties and furniture. I did fall in love with a few Fantasy Finds where we give a top five of budget buys in the surrounding area, generally costing less than £100k. I have my eye on one in Sicily – an old renaissance building that was very contemporary inside, in the heart of Ortiga. Also there was a beautiful house in North Yorkshire which was very large with incredible views.

Visit the locations from Fantasy Homes by the Sea with Radio Times Travel, see here for trips to Barcelona,  Sicily and Cornwall

What was the strangest or most impressive thing you found in one of the luxury pads?
In Barcelona the luxury pad, right on the promenade in Sitges, was one of the most expensive in the series it had a lift, and underground carpark for 20 cars, a gym, an indoor and outdoor pool, a Japanese garden and a lot of dusting. Strangely, it also had the smallest kitchen.

Why are people so attracted to living by the sea?
Everyone always talks about the sense of calm and relaxation by the sea. I love the fresh air and the fact that even if it’s raining, the sea looks very dramatic. Having spent so much time by the sea filming Fantasy Homes by the Sea, I am tempted to move to the coast myself.

What’s your favourite place to holiday?
I go regularly to Cape Town as my brother lives there and it’s a good excuse to visit the family. My husband and I love New York, so if we go on a romantic break we go there; it’s where we got engaged. If I just want to switch off then we go to the Maldives. Photos don’t do it justice; it’s more beautiful than in the pictures. 

My iPad – because it’s loaded with films and TV Shows. You never know when you’ll be delayed or bored in your hotel room. Plus, trainers – I take them everywhere, I just put my trainers on and go running. It’s a great way to get to know the area as well. I also pack Havaiana flip flops – you will probably notice in Fantasy Homes by the Sea they are the only shoes I wear. They’re the most comfortable shoes I have and take up the least space. 

What should people be aware of when buying a home abroad?
So much can go wrong which is why you need to do a lot of ground work when you buy abroad. The legal system is different in every country so never assume that it operates in the same way as it does in the UK. However, if you do follow all the right guidelines you could end up with your own fantasy home and have an amazing time there.

Do you have a home abroad, and if not would you consider getting one after doing this show? 
I don’t, but after doing this show I desperately want one, the problem is I don’t know where. There are a lot of places we’ve filmed where I’ve seen a gorgeous little bolt-holes for sale, but I’d also love a home in Florida or New York. 

Watch Fantasy Homes by the Sea at 10pm from 8 July on Home (Sky 246 / Virgin 265)


Visit the locations from Fantasy Homes by the Sea with Radio Times Travel, see here for trips to Barcelona,  Sicily and Cornwall