Anthony Bay is English by birth (and bilingual in French), and started work as a freelance photographer in London in 1969. However, after three years he decided to get better educated and read the Psychology and Sociology of Mass Communications at London University, later taking a History of European Civilisation degree at the Sorbonne in Paris to satiate his passion for all things cultural.
It was another passion, politics, that made Anthony take his first real career move, entering the British Foreign Office as a diplomat for Her Majesty’s Government and working, amongst other missions, on the preparations for independence in Rhodesia, the politics of international arms sales and dissident politics in the Indian subcontinent. But after 5 years he resigned from the Service (a question of conscience), and went to live on the French Riviera for 5 years with a dog….. But it was there, on the shores of the Mediterranean, that he was introduced to the travel industry, eventually moving to Paris for 15 years to develop British tourism in that city.
In 1988 deluxe travel company Abercrombie & Kent teamed up with Anthony to develop a European product for sale to their North American clients. This opened up the whole continent of Europe to him as he travelled extensively and repeatedly for 22 years to every single country on the Continent (except Belarus) on scouting, designing and product control trips.
It goes without saying that, work aside, this exposure to the most beautiful regions and cultural beauty spots of the Continent fed his soul and enabled him to build up a profound knowledge of all matters Europe – and all matters concerning the most beautiful hotels in which to stay also….. Working as Director of Operation, Director of Product and Director of Planning, Anthony was unusual in the industry to be a member of senior management who actually went off on trips with clients, guiding many of A&K’s prestigious Marco Polo invitational tours throughout all the countries of Europe. His responsibilities also included hosting private VIP clients, running educational and press visits, accompanying four Abercrombie & Kent “Around the World by Private Jet” tours, and travelling to the United States for up to two months each year on Sales trips.
In 2010 Anthony created Anthony Bay’s Europe drawing on his many years’ experience so as to design experiential travel for the discerning traveller to Europe. Today Anthony specialises in Provence as a destination, but is also able to design itineraries throughout France and Europe, and to work as a local guide in France (he is a qualified National Guide of France), and as a Tour Director throughout Europe. In 2012 and 2013 Anthony was awarded the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist award for Provence and France.
Anthony he has a son Charlie and a step daughter Chloe. They live in Provence with their dogs Buster (daft cocker spaniel) and Lucy (neurotic ex-stray), just 20 minutes from the Mediterranean Sea – and 45 minutes from the nearest ski resort.
Photography remains a passion of course, as do international affairs and the culture of Europe. Living in France has to put cooking and wine high on his list of pleasures. He plays a game of tennis that generally gets the ball over the net and skis gingerly down gentle slopes. He’s a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and in his spare time collects inexpensive European paintings from 1870 to the present day.