Costa Women Meet … Maxine Bygraves

Hello Maxine, you have been in Spain for a long time – why did you decide to move to Spain

I came when my youngest son was two, fell in love with the beauty of Spain and the friendly Spanish people, having lived in the center of London for fourteen years, it was like a breath of fresh air, I knew after eighteen months I wanted to spend my time here bringing up my children.


And Marbella?

Marbella is beautiful, I still wake up every morning and think what gorgeous surroundings, the mountains the sea-got to be near the sea!!


Tell us a funny story from your early days of living in Spain

How about not knowing a word of Spanish and asking how to say Onions, I was told ”Cebollas” I walked into the shop and asked for “Dos killos de servicios por favor”! – Two pounds of toilets! “Que” the lady said, just like Manual in Fawlty Towers!


In the good old days – how did women make friends?

I made my first friends here at the kindergarden and then at my boys school. Very happy to say some of those ladies are still my very best friends now, we hang out together and have so much fun-great gals! I call us “The Magnificent Seven” I’m Steve Mc Queen!


Tip for women looking at moving to Spain, or just arrived?

Try to integrate with local things going on and getting to know Spanish people-they really are fun!


Before Spain you were?

Before Spain I had my flower business in central London for eight years, doing contract work. When I moved to Spain I concentrated on bringing up the children, the last fifteen years I have been a bespoke wedding Florist covering hundreds of weddings.


And flowers – how did that start?

I became a Florist at 22 training at Constance Spry’s then starting my own business, which I’m actually still doing-I’ll never give up my flowers!


Which flower would you have in your bouquet?

Personally, my favourite flower is a Gardenia, the intoxicating perfume, soft velvet petals and dark green foliage. I was astounded to see people had them as border bushes to their gardens in Australia!


Funny wedding story you can share?

How about the Bride that wanted Gold fish in the vases on the guest tables? Luckily, fish wasn’t on the dinner menu!


What’s the “fashion” for this year in the flower world?

I would say the pale colours, apricots, peach, soft pinks, creams, not so much the bright colours. However, Roses, Hydrangea, Lily of the Valley, Peonies, Stephanotis, Orchids are all what I would call a “Bride Bouquet” flower. The Bouquet on the wedding day gets a lot of wear and tear so it must have flowers that will stand up-not flimsy meadow flowers.


One business tip you can share for Women looking at starting a business in Spain?

Try to build a good reputation for your work and network!


More about Maxine, if you landed on a desert island, what three things would you have to take with you?

If I was on a desert island,I have to have the man I love, music galore and inner peace.


What are you listening to on your iPod, Spotify, Youtube etc.?

Currently, Marvin Gaye, Seal and Alicia Keys.


Something you have achieved this summer?

My Magical Mystery Tour of Uk, sorting my house and garden (again!) and being with my friends…


Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

Hopefully being a Grandmother!


Where do we find out more?




Thank you Maxine!