A little bit about us

What brought us here?

Working hard jobs in marketing in Shanghai for a few years can take its toll, and many of us dream for more than we find in the depths of Microsoft Office and monthly financial reporting. It is impossible not to fall in love with the lost pleasures of birdsong, long grass, and wildflowers blooming in Wuyuan.


“Lovely and relaxing hotel in a beautiful part of China. in fact I would say the Wuyuan area is one of the prettiest places I have been to over the years in China. Bikes maps made getting around easy. Easy to organize cars to get to places. Will visit again.” – Sharon, Canada.

Trailing through the winding alleys of Yan village on a holiday in 2015, and after more than one glass of wine, we realised we both shared the same dream – to pour our time, money, future, and energy into restoring a beautiful old house. Holidaying in China is restricted to guided tours of frantic cities for too many people. We both want to show you the majesty, grandeur, and stories we all hear about China but are locked away beneath the surface.

Such dreams can be fleeting and fly away as quickly as they arrive. After months of knocking on doors, lunching local governments, and a healthy dollop of Chinese bloody-mindedness Selina managed to get time for us in front of the local mayor. A month later we had put a deposit down for a house and were talking to architects and builders. Things in China often move with a different pace and sense of purpose than what we may be accustomed to in the West.

Who Are We?

We are a  couple – Edward Gawne (1985 England) & Selina Liao (1984 China), who met and fell in love in Shanghai in 2013.

Ed worked his way through school and university in event catering, restaurants and high end cocktail bars in the UK.

Selina is a successful entrepreneur, restoring old houses in Shanghai for the expat rental market. Both have a romantic weakness for beautiful old houses. Read more about our story on our blog, Tales From the Village.

We are now living our dream, deep in the misty mountains of Wuyuan – and look forward to sharing it with you.