Jane Louey doesn’t like to sit still. We’re in the living room of her multistorey mansion on The Peak, a drool-worthy property that’s both sleekly decorated and charmingly warm, but the mother of three doesn’t seem interested in lounging on the sofa.
Barefoot, in denim shorts and a casual white blouse, she dashes to the kitchen and has her staff bring me a coffee. Seconds later she takes a phone call, then rushes to the door to welcome home her husband, James, who joins us. Jane is pure energy—just as she was during our cover shoot, for which she played with goats, lay in the grass and cheerfully executed whatever requests the photographer threw her way.
“I’m a multitasker,” she laughs, “always looking for the next thing to get busy with. And I like a good challenge, whether it’s in my everyday life or during something different, like a photo shoot. Life’s too short to be prissy about it.” From the straight-forward, down-to-earth nature of our chat, it’s clear she means it. “I don’t like to play tai tai. It’s not in my character. I’m a straight-up, very positive person. James and my kids wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Her husband and children are the centre of Jane’s world. She and James have been married for 20 years and are, he tells me, best friends. The children—Jeremy, 17, Jacqueline, 13, and Jamie, 10—are their pride and joy and the figures around which life at the Loueys’ revolves. “Family. And I couldn’t be prouder of mine,” asserts Jane.
The couple, who take pains to share parenting duties equally, glow when discussing the household’s younger generation. They strive to be as present as possible—Jane organising their after-school schedules, social commitments and meals; James sharing his creative side (he has a recording studio in the basement, and produces music and videos in his spare time).
“There’s not much going out these days, but I really don’t mind,” Jane says. “I love being here, the five of us. Jeremy is studying in the States now, and the girls are growing so fast… All I want is to spend as much time as possible with them before they leave the nest.”
The Loueys also enjoy spending quality time together on their extensive travels. “I love travelling,” says Jane. “It’s a major part of my life, either with James, with friends or as a family.”
The world is their playground
Her first trip, she recalls, was to Malaysia with her family as a girl. “I think I was seven or so. We stayed on a farm, which was fairly new to me, and every morning my siblings and I would run to the barn and wait for the hens to lay their eggs, then go back and cook breakfast with them. I have been eager to try new experiences ever since.”
And eager to have her own family follow the same footsteps. “Every summer we go somewhere together,” she says. “It’s important to me to instil that same passion into my kids.” This summer it will be Los Angeles with Jacqueline and Jamie, then Koh Samui as a family, and Paris and Burgundy with James.
One commitment they ask of the children is to spend no time, or very little, on their phones while travelling. “There’s no point going to a new place and spending time glued to your electronic device,” Jane says. “James and I aren’t excessively strict parents, we don’t pressure our children, but that’s one thing we really are quite firm about. Travelling is a time to bond and learn.”
Jane has been the mastermind behind all their travel arrangements for some time—a fact James confirms—since James booked a van for their arrival in Australia but failed to take their luggage into consideration, requiring the renting of an extra car. “It was both funny and a little stressful, as the kids were younger then and we had just got off a long flight,” recalls Jane.
“I started looking after logistics and everything else after that.” Their travels have taken the family to both cities and wild places, from safaris in Africa to adventures in South America, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, New Zealand and the US. “We’ve also done our fair share of amusement and theme parks, like Disney World,” Jane laughs. “But that phase is over. The children are getting more and more interested in Europe now, which is great.”
The occasional romantic getaway
When it’s just Jane and James, though, impulsiveness trumps planning. “We make a concerted effort to take some time off, just the two of us, and go away somewhere even just for four days,” she says, “but the organising ends there. We like to take trips on a whim, just look at each other and go.”
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Their first trip together was to London, where “we went to a different musical every night and had an absolute blast.” Many others have followed. A safari in South Africa a few years back takes the crown for the most romantic holiday to date, but California’s Napa Valley is also close to their hearts “for its beautiful landscape and the wine. We always have fun there.”
Recently they flew to Dubai “just for a fun, frill-free weekend.” Morocco, Russia and Santorini are on their list, too. “I’m curious. We both are,” Jane says, looking at James.
And as a seasoned traveller, what makes her happy? “The fact I can still travel with my dad. He’s still in excellent shape and a very good sport. He comes with us on most trips still, and I feel so very lucky for that. Seeing the world with him makes me even happier than I already am. We share the same sense of adventurousness.”
It’s that spirit of adventure she wants to pass on to her children—and Jane and James seem to be on the right track. When I meet Jacqueline and Jamie, they’re clearly enamoured of their parents and, though shy, demonstrate interested, outward-looking personalities. The apples haven't fallen far from the tree.
Photography: Olivier Yoan | Styling: Harry Lam | Location: International Riding Centre | Hair: Dickey Blue | Make-Up: Kamen Leung | Stylist's Assistant: Sam Fung
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