Lazarina Bray is best known in her native Bulgaria as a skilful skiier who represented her country in the Olympics.
But Lazarina’s latest role is as far removed from the slopes as possible – she has just opened a bistro in Fleetwood.
Her new eating establishment is called Mirror and can be found on Poulton Street.
On the surface is may seem a long stretch from her former home town ski resort of Borovetz to a seaside town on the Fylde coast, whose nearest slope is the grassy Mount!
But to Lazarina it makes perfect sense.
The 47 year old, who lives in Fleetwood, said: “My parents ran a restaurant in Borovetz so I grew up with cooking for the public.
“I came to England 22 years ago and later I was one of the first Bulgarians to come to the Fylde coast. When I was working as a ski instructor at Borovetz I met an Englishman, we married and came over to this country.
“I was able to make a living as a ski instructor surprisingly, because they were starting with artificial slopes in places like Leeds and Sheffield, where people could try skiing, so it worked well.”
Lazarina, who is no longer with her husband, decided to move to Blackpool 17 years ago because she loved the idea of living by the sea.
And that eventually brought her to Fleetwood – a town she loves.
Lazarine, who lived with her student daughter Nicole, 17, said: “What I love about Fleetwood is that it still has a sense of community – and identity. People in Fleetwood know where they have come from, they know about the history of their town and they are proud of it.
It also helps that Fleetwood has one of the biggest Bulgarian communities in the North West. Some 300 Bulgarians live in the town, many of them coming over to work in the town’s fish processing industry.
She said of her new venture: “It is mostly light bites, home made soups and some Bulgarian dishes. We will be open six days a week, until late. The idea is that it’s a warm, welcoming and lively place to enjoy a light meal, good coffee. conversation and music.”