** We are currently looking for people with a variety of skills. At the moment, we are converting a part of our house into a small apartment and are at the stage of plastering, installing the kitchen, painting, sanding and polishing floorboards,shelving, windowsills, etc. Help from people with real building and renovation experience in these areas would be highly appreciated.
We would appreciate the help of someone with computer skills, particularly experience in search engine optimisation.
Also searching for a keen cyclist/explorer who can help us determine good cycling routes in the area.
We also appreciate help with changeover time of our holiday houses, ie. cleaning after guests leave and preapring for the next guests.
We are a Franco-New Zealand-British family living in scenic Brittany. We have 4 children - a 7 year old little boy and 3 big ones who are now away working but are often here during weekends and holidays. We are close to the historic towns of St Malo and Dinan and only 40mins from the spectacular Mont St Michel. As we have lived in the area for many years and have children at school we are very much part of the local community. We have our own local beach (and resident seal) only 800metres away and are close to many other great beaches as well.
Three years ago we moved into our large old home, known as a 'maison de maitre' which we are busily restoring. We have just finished creating appartments in the 300 year old barn which are now serving as holiday homes. We are now converting a part of the house into a small apartment and following that will return to renovating our own house. We have/are restoring the buildings in an ecologically-sound manner.
We are looking for enthusiastic people who are keen to help us in our restoration project in return for experiencing a little bit of French life. Marc and the children are the French ones so their accents are better than Kate's but we can all help if you want to improve your French. We live within a short walk of the local village with it's boulangerie, creperie, cafes and bars and cider factory. As in most of Brittany, the area is steeped in history and traditions and we can share our knowledge of the area, its customs, cuisine and music.
We are a couple who have both travelled widely and lived in several other countries. We love meeting people from elsewhere and delight in sharing our knowledge and experience of life here in France. We love the workaway concept and our experience with workaway over the last 18 months has been fantastic - we have met many wonderful and interesting people and have made life-long friends.
Type of help.
Help with Computers / internet,
Help in the house,
Help with Eco project,
Cooking / shopping,
Name any type of work and we are probably doing it or planning to do it.
- We are busy with a range of real building jobs that we would love assistance with - plastering, installing a kitchen, shelving, windowsills, laying carpet.
- There is plenty of painting to be done - windows, walls, ceilings, gates.
- Wood to be stacked and milled timber to be prepared for use as decking.
- Keeping the existing garden and lawn under control is ongoing and we are creating new gardens and pathways around the appartments, so any help with garden design, gardening and lawnmowing is welcome.
If you are interested in ecological materials and techniques we can share our knowledge of some of them - such as hemp and chalk floors, recycled paper insulation, geothermal (ground source) heating system, pellet-burning stoves, and others. Equally we would love to learn from others.
French, English, German, Italian, Spanish
The house is fairly basic at the moment but we can give you a clean, sunny and warm bedroom. Alternatively in summer you may like to camp in our beautiful sunny and tree-covered garden.
What else ...
We live 15-20mins from both Dinan and St Malo which are historic walled-towns. There are regular buses to both places, plus we are regularly in the local towns for shopping etc so transport should not be a problem. Nearby is Dinard, a typical French sea-side resort and many wonderful beaches strung out along the coast. Mont St Michel, the 2nd most photographed sight in France (after the Tour Eiffel of course) is a must when you are here. Rennes, always rated one of the top cities to live in France is less than an hour away. Each of the local villages and towns have weekly markets and there are plenty of chateaus, gardens and museums to visit in the area as well as nice coastal and ountryside walks to be done.
Some more information
Host ref number: 4584886614db
Feedback left about host
by Ailidh [28/11/2013]:
Thanks to all for a fabulous few weeks! Very welcoming family (including the extended family who we had the pleasure of meeting) - we felt instantly at home. A great mix of work (sanding, painting, putting in floor boards etc) and exploring - Kate makes sure you have plenty of time to see Brittany and was very generous allowing us to borrow her more
Krista - thank you for coming to stay with us and all the great help. It has been very nice to to get to know you a little. You were one of our fantastic autumn team of 6 and together you have bought us nearly to the end of yet another stage of our grand project! The 3rd apartment is virtually finished. Thanks for all the help with sanding and more
by Krista [01/12/2013]:
I really loved staying with Kate and Marc. It was exciting to see the third apartment come together and work start on the main house. And they're so inclusive, you really feel like part of the family. I learned a lot, and not just about building. Thank you so much!
Sara - many thanks for coming to stay with us and all your wonderful help. It has been a pleasure to get to know you. You fitted in very well to our busy household and were one of a fantastic team of 6 autumn workawayers! Thanks for all the help with sanding and varnishing floorboards, painting, painting and more painting, all the cooking and more
by Sara-Ann [24/11/2013]:
I had such a fabulous time with Kate, Marc, Antoine and Tiphanie! It was my first time doing Workaway and I enjoyed every second of it. I sanded and varnished floorboards, cleaned up, painted, and helped to cook lunches/dinners sometimes. I also had lots of fun preparing a big Thanksgiving dinner with the American Workawayers who were there at the more
Soeid - a long overdue feedback. Thanks for coming to help us out back in July. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to know you. We were having a wonderful summer so the lawns were growing like crazy and you kept mowing them for us. Thanks for all the painting, the caring for the goats, the help in the kitchen, the gardening, etc. It was nice more
Maria - it was wonderful to have you to stay and we can't sing your praises enough. All the help you gave us has been fantastic ... Sanding walls and floorboards, painting, harvesting walnuts, apples, gardening, cooking, ironing, cleaning, caring for the goats, entertaining Antoine ..... The list is endless. I am sure you will agree the walnut more
by Maria [29/11/2013]:
Thanks to Kate, Marc, Antoine, Tiphanie, Carol and Roger for making me feel as a part of the family from the very first day on!
I stayed 6 weeks with them and I really enjoyed every single day of it. It didn´t feel like working but giving a helping hand to good friends.
The variety of different tasks made my stay really interesting - the more
by Chia-ling [09/11/2013]:
This was my first workaway experience and I couldn't ask for a better one. They were very welcomed and always tried to make sure that you feel at home. And we had lots of free time to explore this beautiful area! Especially I made friends with other workawayers and then travel to their countries which was great!
Anyway,thank you for everything more
Hi Jia-ling - a very long overdue feedback. Many thanks for all your help back in July. We really enjoyed meeting you and hearing your stories about Taiwan. Thanks for your help with painting the gite doors, the chairs, the gardening, the cooking, and the other many jobs you helped with. We are really pleased you met, and made friends with, other more
by Rocio [05/11/2013]:
What can I say? The whole experience, the whole family, friends I met there, the place, things I was doing and learning... just: wonderful!! Thank you people! Bisouuuuuus ;D
Rocio, I can't believe you stayed 2 months .... The time seemed to fly by. Maybe because we were so busy getting to that deadline of finished apartments. We would never have made it without all the hard efforts of yourself and your 3 new workaway friends - Dominique, Grace and Weiyang. We will ever be grateful to you for getting stuck into the more
Mathis and Ozge - an overdue thank you for coming to help us out. We really enjoyed meeting you both and it was especially great to host you Ozge, our first workawayer from Turkey. Thanks for the gardening work, the cherry picking(!) and the other tasks we asked you to do. You made a good, fun team with the other workawayers and we like your more
by Mathis [29/11/2013]:
Hi kate - I know this comes late but I again wanted to thank you for hosting us in summer in your beautiful place with your interesting family and all the other volunteers that were there. We enjoyed brittany much more through you guys. the region is awesome and everything is so close to your place. there was much to see and experience! All the more
Lovisa and Christian - a very overdue feedback to say thanks for coming to help us out. As a previous host has said you are keen to work and get through it at a cracking pace, whatever we asked you to do.... and always to a high standard and with a smile on your face. I am sure you won't forget moving all those plaster boards! We really enjoyed more
by Lovisa [19/09/2013]:
Lovely Kate, Marc and Antoine,
We could certainly not have had a better first-time-host-family than you! It was such an honour to help you with you lovely house! You are such a loving family and we had so much fun and interesting discussions at your place. We would like to give you our warmest recommodations! We would love to meet you again. more
Domenica and Chiara - an overdue feedback to say thank you for coming to stay and helping us out back in June. We really enjoyed meeting you both and sharing fun moments with you and the rest of the lovely group of workawayers here at the time. Thanks for getting stuck into all the different tasks we set you to - you quickly picked up new more
Grace - this is a very long overdue thank you for coming to help us out and fitting into our lives so well here earlier in the year. You came for a few weeks and stayed 3 months - we were sad to see you leave but we do understand the call of the south of France! We loved having you to stay and to have shared so many good times with you (as well more
Weiyang - it was lovely to meet you and get to know you. A little shy and quiet at first, you soon settled into our home and we really enjoyed your company. Thanks so much for all your help in those last few weeks as we were finishing our apartments. You were always willing to try your hand at any task we asked you and you got up to speed more
by Jenny [28/05/2013]:
Kate and Marc were fantastic hosts. They welcomed us into their beautiful home and made us feel truly part of the family. Their relaxed and upbeat outlook on life makes for a relaxing time. That said there is plenty to do with a lovely old house that is being lovingly restored. It was a pleasure to be part of this grand project if only for a very more
Jen and Angus - this is a very overdue thank you for coming to stay and help us out in May. We so enjoyed meeting you and sharing some lovely times with you. We can't thank you enough for all the help, expertise and advice you gave us on getting the publicity for our newly created gites up and running... I would probably still be here working on more
by Dominique [20/03/2013]:
Wow...what can I say about Kate, Marc, and Antoine! The days never truly felt like work...rather just lending a helping hand to great friends. From the moment I arrived they made me feel as a part of the family. Thank you for showing me around your charming village and the beautiful area of Bretagne. I could not have asked for a better host more
Dominique, after a 3 week stay we were really sad to say goodbye to you. We have so enjoyed your lively cheerful personality. Many, many thanks for all your hard work - we would never have got the apartments finished in time for our first guests without your help. I feel like we had you doing nothing but painting, painting and more painting - I more
by JAMES [23/02/2013]:
This was a perfect place to start our Workaway experience. We stayed for 3 weeks with Kate, Marc and Antoine and cannot fault any aspect of it. We were thoroughly welcomed into their family, sharing fantastic meals, fascinating conversations about Marc’s recent travels and a selection of varied yet very fair work. We would thoroughly recommend more
Catherine and James, finally a long overdue feedback. It was nice to meet you both and get to know you a little. Many thanks for all your help way back in November and December. You got stuck into so many different tasks that I can't remember them all now. However we will never forget you working away with huge commitment on those beams - thanks more
by host [12/02/2013]:
Anna and Martin, we can only repeat the feedback that others have left for you. It has been really lovely having you to stay and getting to know you over your extended visit.... we are very pleased you decided to come back after your visit home for Christmas. You are both very accomplished professionals in your respective fields. It was just more
by Anna [24/02/2013]:
We spent six weeks here', and could have easily passed the rest of our twenties there! Kate, Marc and Antoine are such natural hosts who made us feel like part of the family from the very first moment! Sandwiched between the local village of Pleudihen and the majestic views of Mordeuc, the house and gardens are breathtakingly beautiful! The more
by Lauren [28/11/2012]:
I was lucky enough to have stayed here with Kate, Marc and Antoine for a little over three weeks in July of 2012. Almost five months later I still think about my experience all the time; it is hard to describe how happy I was during those three weeks. I got to know an amazing part of France, meet wonderful new people and the entire time I truly more
Lauren - we really enjoyed the 3 weeks you spent with us in July. You fitted in so well with all the family and the other workawayers and we all had a fun few weeks. Many thanks for all your help - pulling ivy, painting, lawnmowing, doing art with Antoine, cooking, sanding, plastering, tending the goats and many more that I have forgotten. We more
Tasha and Nomi - It was great having you both to stay. Many thanks for all your hard work ... Painting, lawns, peeling apples and more apples, and of course the big one - sanding and oiling those beams. We are so pleased you got to see the finished product. I know you hadn't previously done many of the renovation tasks we asked you to do but more
by Chester [19/11/2012]:
I initially intended to stay a few weeks and ended up staying two months. That pretty much sums up this place. Marc, Kate, Antoine and Tiphanie are an amazing family. They are the warmest, most genuine people i have met in a long time.
Work was always changing from laying paths to sanding new timber floors, from drum lessions with Tiphanie to more
Chester - it was wonderful to have you to stay and we can't sing your praises enough. All the help you gave us has been fantastic ... Paving (right till the last minute before leaving for your plane), sanding all those floorboards, plaster boards, concrete walls, shelving .... The list is endless. We so enjoyed having you to stay for 2&1/2 months more
by Kristina [11/11/2012]:
I had a really great time with Kate, Marc and Antoine! They made my stay at their house unforgettable. The renovation of the apartement was very interesting and it was nice to see the progress. I have to come back when it's finished, I'll love it!!!
We had nice talks and at the dinner table, even if I didn't understand everything with all the more
Kristina- we enjoyed having you to stay. Many thanks for all your help in the many different tasks we asked you to do especially the sanding and oiling of the beams. All the help around the house, especially in the kitchen was much appreciated. We love the way that you are keen to improve your French and are keen to learn everything about more
Janet and Mariah, we have enjoyed meeting you and having you to stay. Many thanks for all your great help, especially outdoors .... The gardens are looking much tidier thanks to you and we will always remember you speeding around with the lawnmowers at a cracking pace.... I am sure you will hold the record as the faster and most efficient more
by Andrew [18/09/2012]:
Well, where do we start...what was supposed to be a Workaway placement of four-weeks, turned into two and a half months of friendship, laughter, good food, Bretagne cultural experiences, learning new renovation skills, sightseeing, celebrations and fantastic family times.
Kate and Marc are hosts who truly epitomise the term generosity...with more
Shana and Andrew,
You came for a month and stayed 2 & 1/2 and we have enjoyed every minute of it. We can't thank you enough for all the wonderful help you gave us - you were so willing to do anything and it was always done with a smile. Half the time you had done things before we'd even noticed they needed doing. We have had lots of fun and more
Maria, Jorge and Hector,
You were our second workaway family and we liked the experience of meeting and sharing with you just as much as with our first family.... hosting families is a great concept. Thank you so much for all your help in the apartments, gardens and the house. It was really nice for Antoine to have someone to play with, to more
by Maria Angeles [09/10/2012]:
We just can say that It was a great experience to share with you what we are and what we could be able to give you. After almost 20 days together we felt really sad to leave. We felt part of the family. You are a great family. We are very happy that we could help you ion everything that you needed. We miss those nice dinner more
Dan - it was great having you to stay for 2 months. You fitted in well in our busy household and we enjoyed your company. Many many thanks for all your help over that time. Hopefully you have enjoyed the variety of tasks we asked you to get involved in - pulling ivy off walls, lawnmowing, painting, plastering (guess that wouldn't be your pick of more
by Daniel [03/10/2012]:
I'm struggling to find the words to express what my time with you guys this summer has meant to me! Let's just say that i'm touched (get it, touche?) that you invited me to your home and made me feel so welcome! It was such a pleasure to meet you all and other workawayers and to be part of the family for 2 months! My experience was unforgettable more
by David [26/08/2012]:
We had a wonderful two weeks with your friendly family in the lovely location of Pleudihen.
Having 7 year old Antione around, two teenagers for some of the time, plus meeting Marc's parents added to the rich experience of French family life.
It was special to work with a team of other helpers on your restoration projects and helping to run a busy more
by Emilie [13/07/2012]:
Thank you for everything, it's the best first workaway experience ever!
I had a lot of fun learning new things, gardening, meeting people....
Hope the house can be finished soon, it'll be really beautiful.
Though the weather isn't nice, I still enjoyed there.
thank you for showing me around and taking me to st.malo and Dinan.
The meals are sooooo more
Emilie - it has been great having you to stay. You fitted in so well in our busy, rather chaotic household which I think is a little different to your home!! You were always willing to try any task we asked you to get involved in and we hope you enjoyed the variety of work here and learnt some new skills. Many thanks for all your help and more
Fabiana – many thanks for your help in the 3 weeks you were with us. It has been very nice getting to know you – we have enjoyed the many great conversations over wine and good food. Thanks for all your help especially the plastering and painting in the apartments, the gardening and the help in the kitchen. We hope you enjoyed your stay more
by host [24/06/2012]:
Ben – we can’t thank you enough for your fantastic help in the 2 months you stayed with us. Your professional carpentry skills and experience were exactly what we needed at the time you were here. We have learnt a lot about building from you, the plaster board walls put up by you are instantly recognizable (the joins need a lot less more
by Zita [24/05/2012]:
For my first workaway experience I couldn’t got better host family.
They all are very friendly, open and do as much as possible to let everyone feel comfortable at their home.
At the end it felt more like helping out friends, than obligatory work. Kate was very fair with the working hours and made sure I had plenty of free time for more
by host [24/06/2012]:
Zita – many thanks for your help in the 2 weeks you were with us. You were always very willing to try anything we asked you to do – plastering, painting, gardening, cleaning up the building site and many other tasks. Thanks for all the help in the kitchen, the nice meals and entertaining Antoine. We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us and more
by Annina [09/04/2012]:
Kate, Marc, and Antoine's was the Workaway experience we were hoping for: beautiful surroundings, great food, and kind and accommodating hosts who went out of their way to make sure we had a fantastic experience. We saw a great deal of Bretagne in the month we stayed thanks to Kate's generosity with her time and her car. The work was interesting more
Chris and Annina - thanks for all your help over the month you were here. You happily had a go at all the different jobs that needed doing during the time you were here. Some were probably more interesting than others (I don't expect taping insulation paper was one of your favourites!) but hopefully you learnt some new skills in exchane for more
Darren - it has been great meeting and getting to know you. The 4 weeks you were here seem to have flown by - maybe it is because you and our other workawayers achieved so much in that time. Thank you so much for all your help in getting the barn ready for the insulation. We were really lucky to have you as well as Andis and Ben all here at the more
by Zane [22/03/2012]:
Though because of winter time we were looking for workaway more south, we came to Kate's and Marc's house because they were sooo .. welcoming ... and not afraid of our 2 kids as an extra luggage. Big thanks for this first of all!! We could stay a pitty little less than 2 weeks, but I am happy we came to this super house and fantastic family! Kate more
by host [14/03/2012]:
Zane, Andis, Tina and Miks - our first family workaway experience and it was great. We really enjoyed having you to stay and getting to know you all. Thank you Andis for all your hard work especially the building work in the barn - it was fantastic to have someone with construction knowledge and experience. And thank you Zane for all your help more
Cheryl and Jo, we have so enjoyed having you to stay. It has been really nice getting to know you, finding out more about your country and hearing about your travels. Thank you so much for all the help with so many different tasks - painting and more painting, moving us into the new kitchen, shifting palettes of insulation (check those more
by Joanna [06/01/2012]:
We miss you all! Has it only been a day since we left? We miss Antoine's antics and the most delicious shortbread cookies already! It has been such an eye-opener for us, especially learning about the hard work that goes behind renovating and building an old house. Kate has superhuman patience, and we are deeply grateful to you for teaching us all more
by Nicola [17/12/2011]:
I had such a wonderful time with Kate, Marc, Antoine and Jeremy! I felt so welcome and comfortable with them, and the work they had me doing. Kate was always available to answer questions, and Marc was great to work with. I would recommend them to anyone and hope to visit once their beautiful house is complete!
Nicola - it was very nice to have you to stay and to get to know you. Good to have someone from downunder! Thanks for all your help with so many varied tasks around the place - harvesting apples and walnuts (and more and more and more apples and walnuts!), cooking, sanding, preparing and painting shutters to name just a few. And of course more
Rebecca and James - you have been wonderful workawayers and we are very sad you have left. You have helped us with so many different jobs over the last 5 weeks - laying lawn, tending the goats, raking leaves, lots of painting (Rebecca is the painter extraordinare), cooking, plastering (James - plasterer extraordinaire) to name just a few. We more
by Rebecca [04/12/2011]:
After 5 weeks staying here we almost feel like we are part of the family now. It no longer felt like Workaway and more like we were helping out friends. Kate was very fair with the hours we worked and made sure we had plenty of free time for fun things such as Foie Gras making and wine bottling! They also all have the patience of a saint for more
Jo and Ryan - thanks for being such wonderful guests/workawayers. We are missing you already. You have really helped us move our big renovation project along - particularly the plastering, preparing and painting shutters, sanding plasterboard. Also and perhaps more importantly, thanks you for all your help with the normal daily life jobs - more
by Josefin [23/10/2011]:
We were only coming to stay for 10 days and ended up stay for a month! We had such an awesome time with Kate, Marc, Jeremy and Antoine, we didn’t want to leave!
You all made us feel really welcome, at home and part of the family! Thanks Kate for all the great sightseeing we did, in such a beautiful part of France! Thank you for taking us to the more
David, it was great having you to stay for 2 weeks back in July. You were always keen to get stuck into any jobs we asked of you and showed plenty of initiative in noticing jobs that needed doing and simply got on with them. Thanks to you the vast mountain of wood to be chopped has diminshed somewhat. We enjoyed all the interesting conversations more
Katarina and Julia - we really enjoyed having you to stay with us. In the month you were with us, you really helped us move our big project along. You were both happy to try your hands at loads of different jobs and picked up the skills easily - especially putting up plaster board, stripping off wallpaper and painting. We loved your Slovakian more
Malvina it was a pleasure having you to stay with us. You were willing to take on, and were very capable at any jobs, we asked you to do, especially pumping insulation into the walls and putting up plaster board. ((Thanks to being coverd in recycled insulation paper we now know what you will look like when you're grey in about 50 years!) Thanks more
by Malvina [12/09/2011]:
My staying with Kate & Marc was just great. They are very interesting people to talk with and always ready to help you and show you around; they have a lovely family, the place is beautiful, the food is great - not to mention the wine... What else could you desire?
Thank you for having me, working at your house was a good experience and I am more
Ciara and Daniel we enojoyed having you to stay with us for 2 weeks. You were always willing and able to help with the various tasks we asked, including insulation, putting up plaster board, gardening and painting. I'm pretty sure that pumping insulation into the walls is not going to go down as one of your all time favourite jobs but we however more
by Ciara [02/08/2011]:
We had a really great time staying with Marc & Kate (& family) in Brittany. Thanks for the warm hospitality. They invited us to an aperitif evening hosted by friends of theirs which was a lot of fun. Kate also took us to the beach and the science museum in Rennes. We also had fun hanging out with their family and the other workawayers, seeing the more
Ben and Laura, It was a pleasure having you to stay and lovely to have someone from Kate's end of the world. You were both willing to turn your hands to anything including taping the insulation paper in the mine - well actually the cellar! We wish we could have turned on better weather for you as you could have seen Brittany in all its glory and more
by benjamin [08/07/2011]:
Hello Kate, Marc & Antoine
It was a pleasure coming to stay with you all, we had an amazing time. Thank you for your hospitality and for taking the time to show us around and sharing your knowledge!
Hope the insulation is coming along well and that there are no setbacks.
Thank you for teaching us a little about the french (& kiwi) way of life and more
Lee and Luke - what can we say except that as our first workawayers you have set the bar high for all the rest to come. It was a delight to have you stay with us and help out in so many ways. You can now put on your CVs that you are experts in planting hedges, mowing vast lawns, general maintenance, breaking down plaster on walls, keeping goats more
by Lee Robson [26/05/2011]:
What an incredible time we had with Kate, Marc and little Antoine. We really connected and became attached to the place. Literally living the dream. Fantastic people, great food, and an amazing project. We learned a vast amount in a short 2 week period and will continue to hone our skills throughout our travels. We mowed lawns, strimmed bushes, more
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