Sit down and enjoy

The story of Sawday's

The story of how Sawday’s began explains a lot. Two decades ago, Alastair Sawday was a tour 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 25 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.


The magical world of

Inside, you’ll find a group of people with a shared passion for creating a truly special business: one based on respect and trust, where we work hard, have high expectations of each other (ours is a fast moving and competitive market, after all) but also have fun. Work, let’s not forget, is where we spend most of our time.
Our values underpin our culture:

  • Celebrate quirkiness and difference
  • Follow head and heart
  • Do important things, brilliantly
  • Bring positive energy

These are not for show, it’s the way we try to work, always.