5 min read, Be Curious

The history of Sawday’s

16th May 2017
Alastair Sawday's founding story

The story of how Sawday’s began explains a lot. Two decades ago, Alastair Sawday was a walking guide in France, exploring the country and getting to know its secrets and its characters. Inspired by meetings with old winemakers, Parisian ladies with a taste for Scottish sword dancing and multi-tasking fishwives, he eventually turned his scruffy notes on unusual French places to stay into a simply designed book, so that people could avoid standardised, soulless accommodation and find these amazing things for themselves. Everything that followed sprang from that simple purpose and 20 years on, it’s still what we do. We meet people, we find special places and we share them with everyone looking for something that breaks the bland mould which so much modern accommodation seems to be printed from. 

Our carefully curated guides and website are just a slightly neater, less wine-stained version of those original notes. We still look for authenticity, warmth and character, places that embody the slow life and where hours of love have been poured into the tiniest detail to create those simple, personal joys that make something truly special. It can be a divisive issue sometimes. Many an afternoon is spent gathered round a set of photos or a report from one of the team, examining a new discovery and debating that ephemeral quality of specialness which we all, even after decades, remain happily resigned to never precisely defining.

In recent years the company, along with travel in general, has moved beyond books and it’s given us the opportunity to get even more people involved in our celebration of originality, character and quirkiness. By joining us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and sharing an amazing experience, a fantastic find or a peaceful moment, you become a welcome companion on our mission to escape frantic, corporate, mass-produced greyness. So come and be a part of our colourful community and together we can all continue the unending, joyous and rewarding search for special.

See you out there…

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