Long live love: Peter Kelly (aka Franc) on keeping the romance alive in his marriage

Long live love: Peter Kelly (aka Franc) on keeping the romance alive in his marriage
TRUE ROMANCE: Peter Kelly likes to bring his wife to a mystery location for a winter picnic on Valentine’s Day. Picture: Clare Keogh

PETER Kelly, aka Franc, likes to surprise his wife Eadaoin on Valentine’s Day. The mystery drive will lead to either a beach or forest destination for a winter picnic. “We might go for dinner afterwards, to a hotel, or we might stay in some little country house or B&B, wherever the direction takes us,” says the Cork-based event designer and presenter of RTÉ’s Say Yes to the Dress.

When their four children were younger, they tagged along with Eadaoin blindfolded to add to the excitement. “They are getting older now so it might be ourselves or our daughters, who are aged 17 and 15, might want to come with us.”

Describing himself as “a bit of a romantic” he went all out when he proposed on a beach in Gumbet, Turkey.

At the time there was just a small beach with a hotel. He spotted a beach shack and asked if he could rent it. “In front of it was a little pier leading to the water — so I lit candles all the way out to the little walkway and I organised dinner for two in the little hut. After dinner, with a bottle of champagne, we walked out to the pier and sat with our feet in the water and then I proposed. I had designed the ring — three little diamonds suspended between two arms.”

In 1996, they had a marquee wedding at Courtmacsherry Hotel in West Cork.

“We decorated the marquee and myself and my friend cooked the food — I left the kitchen at half 12 and I was at the church at half one. Eadaoin left about half 11.”

One of their best moments on the day was when they left the wedding to light the candles in the garden.

“It was so beautiful there we decided to have 10 or 15 minutes away from everyone. We’d just got married — it was the first time we’d got to talk to each other.”

See: Franc.ie

What shape are you in?

I like to walk — I usually go for a walk with the dog or with the kids. I’m not a gym bunny.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

Eadaoin and I are chefs so we both cook every day and we travel a lot so we have a very diverse menu at home. Irish, Italian, Mexican, Moroccan. We love creating fusion food.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Cheese. Though I just got introduced to yeast flakes and they are a great substitute in some dishes. But they will never be a ripe Camembert.

What would keep you awake at night?

Documentaries. I love watching them at night, I always have.

How do you relax?

In my favorite chair beside and open fire with lots of candles lighting. Bliss.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Family and good friends. For me there is no better dinner. You don’t need a big occasion for a dinner party. Simple, great food and conversation.

What’s your favorite smell?

Philadelphus, also known as orange blossom. It fills the garden with the most beautiful scent in June. I planted it near my kitchen because it fills the house with the smell of summer! I could eat it.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

Nothing really, maybe if I had a magic wand I would ask for my 20-year-old body.

When is the last time you cried?

I cry all the time laughing. I love a good laugh with friends. The last time I really cried was at the removal of a lovely old gentleman neighbour of my wife — I thought highly of him.

What traits do you least like in others?

People without ethics, who lack a high moral code and who are not straight.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

That I care too much and often I am taken advantage of.

Do you pray?

Sometimes.

What steps are you taking to protect the environment?

We try to purchase as much as we can without packaging. A lot of the packaging relating to our snowbussiness SnowIreland is now biodegradable and more and more weddings are now plastic free.

What would cheer up your day?

A simple call, text or picture from my immediate family.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

There are two: West Cork and the Cayman Islands.

What quote inspires you the most?

Festina lente, a Latin saying meaning hurry slowly. I live by this mantra.

Irene Feighan

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