Expat couple’s dreamy Andalucian home features on new BBC show with Richard E Grant

AN EXPAT couple are front and centre of a new TV show uncovering the history of writers in Spain. 

David and Emma Illsley, who run Las Chimeneas in a little-known village in the hills of Andalucia, stole the show when their gorgeous home made an appearance on the third episode of the series Write Around the World. 

Actor Richard E Grant, who presents the BBC show, gushed about the couple’s cookbook during his visit to the Alpujarras. 

The couple moved to the remote town between Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean Sea after spending three years teaching English in the Canary Islands with the British Council. 


But just like friend and author Chris Stewart, the couple were seduced by life in southern Spain and now have two sons, a booming holiday business and a popular Spanish cookbook under their belts. 

The pair described the family’s television debut as a ‘feel-good shot-in-the-arm’ that came ‘hurtling out the blue’. 

They said: “To our complete consternation, we were already able to see episode three, in which we feature for a full ten minutes, with the actor Richard E. Grant waxing lyrical about our book Las Chimeneas: Recipes and Stories from an Alpujarran village.

“Even our boys were impressed: after all, this is a man who has shaken the hand of Luke Skywalker!


“It’s a quirky and amusing bit of telly, and worth watching if only to see the gentle, rather mystified smiles of our cooks Conchi and Sole as they prepare an al fresco meal for a Hollywood actor and his hungry, drooling crew.” 

Episode three of Write Around the World is currently available on BBC iPlayer.


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