Sarah Lucey and her Parisian husband Maxine Moussier made the hard call to leave the USA, and travel on one of the last flights to Dublin, on March 18.
The couple work in the exclusive clubs, LIV and STORY on South Beach. She’s the director of talent, scouting for DJs and celebrities; while Maxime is technical director.
Sarah, whose family run Lucey’s Butcher’s Mallow, admits it was daunting to even get on the flight: “I asked my pal who is very high up in the medical field in Miami should we stay or make a run for it to Ireland and he suggested we ride it out in Miami. People told us we were nuts to get on a plane for 10 hours with 300 people in such a small space. It was risky for sure.”
But considering that in the USA, the 34-year old only gets 10 days holiday a year, she felt it would be worth her while to come home, even if it was just for a fortnight. She’s been home now nearly two months, and is loving every moment.
“It was hectic for us in Miami since December. Art Basel is one of Miami’s biggest weeks in terms of big spenders and celebs visiting the city.
“Then New Year’s is always a good two week event. It rolled into Pegasus horse race, one of the richest horse races in the world, to Miami food and wine festival, to Superbowl so we were wrecked when this virus hit. As were a lot of people. I think we all needed a little break from the madness that is life in 2020.”
The couple own a farm house, where they self-quarantined initially.
“My parents left our Jeep at Mallow train station and (literally) threw the keys at us. And that was it. We quarantined in our farm house near Kanturk for two weeks before seeing a soul.”
Since then she said it’s been ‘a dream.’
“The weather is unbelievable. My husband is from Paris (city centre) so thinks the country life is like something from a fairytale. He bought hens, even though I asked what happens if we have to go back tomorrow? He was like, they can go to your brother’s butcher shop! But he treats them better than myself so that won’t happen. He roped my mam into taking them.
“We’re waking around 8am, and having a full Irish breakfast (every morning). It’s so hard for me to get real Irish butter and bread and pudding etc, over, so I’m living the dream here, I’m like a baby elephant the weight I’ve put on.
“We renovated an old shop and post office so there’s loads of jobs to do. I also run three or four times a week with my mam. My parents live 15 minutes away.”
Sarah, who has around 200,000 Instagram followers, doesn’t even have Wifi or Netflix while back home in Cork: “I’m surviving on three basic channels. Frenchy can’t get his head around much of our shows. We are proper little county folk now compared to being on yachts with the Kardashian’s.
“We love the down time. Having two months off is a dream. I could do it forever, but everyone has to work, that’s life. I’m really cherishing it though.”
The time home coincided with the arrival of her new nephew, Pat: “My brother Ian, who is the fourth generation of the butchers, had a baby six weeks ago, I was laughing, all the dads had to hang out in the car park of the CUMH watching Netflix until they were called up for the big moment in the middle of the night. At least it was a memorable birth. My sister-in -law Elaine said the nurses in the maternity ward at the CUMH were outstanding.
“My sister Gemma Jordan, who shares the same birthday as me (but is five years older) lives in Mayo and is the general manager of the McWilliam Hotel, Claremorris. All three of us kids are in hospitality, which makes sense I guess as we were in the butcher shop since we could walk.”
Sarah, who has lived in the US for a decade, has been very impressed with the Irish response to Covid-19, particularly young people.
“I can only talk about my Miami pals, but they are mad to go back socialising and they only see it affecting older people. Miami is a real playground and 80% of locals are not from Miami. Their family and grandparents would live in different parts of America and the world. They really are not taking it seriously at all. People are begging us to reopen.”
The lockdown time out will end, Sarah knows, but until then she’s making the most of it: “1,300 capacity clubs like ours will be the last to open. The thought of getting out of bed at 1am to go into a night club or take someone for dinner doesn’t sound too appealing now as I sip my dad’s homemade cider in the garden under the 23 degree Cork sun.”
We are proper little country folk now compared to being on yachts with the Kardashian’s. We love the downtime. Having two months off is a dream.