help needed in large family home/Bed and Breakfast with a Scottish family in Aquitaine, France



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  • Description


    Hi, after a 2 year break due to ill health, where we were only able to take a few helpers, were back😅
    We have finally re opened our bed and breakfast and need help betting it up to scratch. Cleaning, painting, small repairs but also all of the renovation work we had to put on hold while Stewart battled cancer. He's now in complete remission and we're ready to roll! As we are still renovating parts of our property, were looking for people who can clean but also make a mess! We're looking for dynamic, hard working, energetic people who love a challenge, from any background at all. We love the diversity! You can choose whether you want to work in our B and B or work on the renovations and gardening projects, we dont mind, you can mix and match too! Anyone with building experience please contact us. Labourers and hard grafters greatly appreciated too. We have to disassemble a barn wall and remove what's left of the roof before winter too. There's a job for everyone here!
    The reward.... will be having lots of time off in a beautiful part of france, great food and lots of appreciation from us..and lifts/ use of car so you can explore this beautiful area. There are lots of festivals in summer and the weather is usually great. autumn and winter are quiet and weather is mixed. WE HAD A LOT OF WORKAWAY HELP. REVIEWS BELOW.

    Last year...
    We said goodbye to our fantastic helper, Laura from New York, who painted the front of our small hotel. If anyone meets laura on the way round the world, shes just an amazing human being.

    Our Story started in 2014...
    A hugely emotional thank you to the constant stream of world travellers, 2 week vacationers, burnt out office workers and marterial world escapees, we value you all as our friends and saviours. As a result of your help and hard work we officially opened as a bed and breakfast in July 2014. We would never have done it without you. far has been full on bed and breakfast! thanks to everyone who helped we couldnt have done it without you!

    We're a really friendly (we hope), laid back Scottish family who have lived in france since 2001. This is our second year with Workaway , last year 2014, was amazing and an absolutely fantastic experience so far. We had helpers every week since the start of March and were just blown away by their enthusiasm and the energy new people brought to our project. We own a small hotel, currently under renovation (by us) and there's a lot of work to be done. You need to be fit and strong and prepared to work hard and be flexible depending on what we need help with that day, could be anything from sanding banisters to washing up, painting, gardening or helping take stuff to the dump or helping me eat chocolate cake..sometimes we expect a lot of you!

    Riberac is a small but vibrant (from May to september) market town approx 1 and a half hours from Bordeaux. There are bars and restaurants and cafes, a small library and many small shops in town and 5 larger supermarkets on the outskirts. On fridays Riberac has the largest market in the Dordogne and the whole place is buzzing then with street music and artisans selling their produce, everything from ceramics to hand made cheeses. Riberac is a really quiet town, extremely safe and very chilled, but theres always somethig happening locally, from gigs and art previews to markets and open air cinema events. There is a lovely open air swimmingpool a 5 min walk from the house which is open 6 days a week. From the end of Sptember, Riberac is really quiet, but there are still open mic nights, bars and cafes open and the weather is usually better than the uk and much of the rest of Europe.

    A taxi/bus service wich can take you from Riberac to Angouleme or Perigueux for 2 euros each way, I'm not joking! Bergerac airport is 50 minutes drive and the capital city of the region is 30 mins by car or bus and is a stunning small city with a medieval quarter and lots to see and do. Bordeaux is fantastic and has loads of night life, shops and everything a culture vulture could ask for. We have lots of sun in summer and a few spectacular thunder storms in august! We are surrounded by beautiful countryside with a large swimming lake nearby which is really popular with locals. Sounds is! We are very sociable and I cook for a living so you wont starve. We sadly can't cater for vegetarians as we just dont have time to make seperate meals at this point and we do not eat solely organic food, but I do cook everything from scratch and we eat well every day.

    We have 4 kids, all young adults and some or all of them live here depending on time of year and circumstances. we have a large extremely friendly dog called Hamish. We do not smoke but don't mind if you smoke in the garden. We have a good mix of french and non friend friends and live in a quiet street in the center of town, so practising your french will be easy. Music is our passion and the area has some good festivals and music nights/open mic nights. This is a really sociable place and there are some amazing people here, lots of artists and musicians.

    There are a lot of expatriate people in this area, especially in the summer but we are not keen on the whole expat thing and try to avoid it as much as possible. We love having friends over for dinner but not every night, it's a sociable household but not over the top, we think we are quite nice. We are looking for easy going people who don't mind hard work, we are relaxed about the times you work and we will work with you where possible. We love meeting people of all nationalities and try our very best to make you feel at home right from the start. We hope to have 4 rooms ready this summer to do bed and breakfast, we have achieved a lot in the last year with our workaway helpers so if you want to be part of this great project get in touch, We look forward to hearing from you. We need your help! We still have the verandah to complete, a barn to clear, an attic to convert...we could never have managed thus far without all the help from our workaway teams. We really appreciate this so much and try our best to show our appreciation with good food and bad jokes.

    Last year we had a few spectacular storms in summer and a few indoor water features, but we smiled though it. We went to a few parties and outdoor events, swum in lakes and visisted the felibree in Verteillac, albeit briefy and a bit later than everyone else and we've tried our hand at throwing some pots. Everyone has brought so much energy and laughter to the project that we are really keen to keep the momentum going. So get in touch please, we'd love to hear from you!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Handwerkliche Arbeiten
    Sonstige Arbeiten
    Sprachen praktizieren

  • Help


    We really need enthusiastic, hard working people to help us, skills are not essential but enthusiasm and a good work ethic is. We rely on your help to move our project on and we wil really appreciate you. We have several bedrooms, an attic and a large function room (which is totally wrecked by water damage) to complete. My husband is an electrician/plumber and heating engineer and we have had many years in the building industry here in France and in the uk so we are pretty clued up on all things renovation, but we are always learning and happy to share knowledge.

    We would be especially interested in the following trades. Plasterer, roofer,plumber,tiler, but someone with a good general skill base would be fantastic. We would need you to sand floors and woodwork, lift heavy items, mix cement, strip paint, paint, general building work.We need active, fit strong people to do manual labour. Dependinmg on what we are doing it can be a messy and dirty job so please don't contact us if you are afraid of dust and hard work. We are very experience so can offer a lot of instruction and will always have your safety in mind. we hope to pass on the skills we have so you can take them forward to your next homestay experience. we are easy going and enthusiastic about our project and we like to work from 9am till noon, have lunch then do another 2 hours work, leaving most of the day to do as you please.

    We are happy to collect or drop off at local towns or at the swimming lake if you want to go out and about during your off time but we cant offer a taxi service as we are usually busy working on the house. However we try our best to ensure you really enjoy your time with us as much as we value your help and support.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    english and french

  • Accommodation


    We can offer individual or shared bedrooms depending on how many workaways we have and what time of year it is, some are en suite some are shared bathroom. The house is a work in progress, but its comfortable and has everything you need. You have free access to the kitchen and little sitting - dining room, our house is your house. we don't smoke but you can smoke in the garden, away from the house as much as possible as we need to keep a smoke free environment for the paying guests.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The Dordogne region of south-west France is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the country. Visit this beautiful region of France and discover the chateaux, beautiful medieval towns and villages, unspoiled countryside and prehistoric caves - just some of the many reasons why the region attracts visitors.

    There are many 'famous sights' in the Dordogne, including: Lascaux caves; Marqueyssac gardens; medieval Sarlat; Chateau Castelnaud; prehistoric caves in the Vezere Valley, etc. Yet it is the places that you visit outside these 'hot-spots' that will stay longest in your memory - the scenery, the peace, the coffee in a small cafe, the picnic next to a stream. The Dordogne is beautiful in the same way as the Cotswolds or Tuscany are beautiful - the way it simply makes you want to stay forever enjoying the quiet, the countryside, the scenery...If you are a music lover, theres a lot on offer in this area from open mic nights, small band venues, open air music scenes.

    There are many outsdoor music festivals in Aquitaine in the summer,the fete de la Musique on 21st June is a national music event with something happening in every town,anything from punk, ska andreggae to classical and jazz or rock...all bases covered. It goes on all day and most of the night, especially in Perigueux and is usually fantastic. The Souk in July, is Riberac's own mini festival with one night of free music with bands from all over france and then 2 days of paid entry music. check it out online for more info. So, if you would like to come and help us, get in touch.

    We can collect you from Bergerac airport or Angouleme, Perigueux or Mussidan rail station depending on where to are coming from. Please don't get the bus to Perigueux, the drop off point is too far for us to come to collect you as it's not actually in the city but miles away in the middle of nowhere. Some people have experienced huge delays or the bus just not turning up at all, eurolines seem to be unpredictable. I would really recommend blabla car/co-voiturage of if you are travelling by train then be sure to book tickets in advance as some of our helpers have had difficulty getting on trains without pre booking, especially in summer months.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    25 hours a week

little old me
Eric laying the new floor
farewell party for Drew and Sarah, Frane and Maja
Frane and Maja from Croatia
Eric and Julies last day.....
Eric Julie, Lotte and Mario....our fantastic team who got on like a house on fire!
The finished stairs, so dramatic, we love them
Mario, Eric, Julie and du force!
super Mario
july 2014 Mario adding the finishing touches
July 2014 The beautiful finished verandah with some of the fab workawayers who made it all possible Eric, Julie, Karen, Lisa, Lotte and Mario
July 2014 Finished Pink room bathroom which was started by Brian in above
This was what our balcony looked like at the start of march.
Mario boxing in the pipewor in the bathroom
July 2014 Karen and Lisa start the derelict room......full steam ahead and looking great!
Emily and Chloe from Kansas and Lucy from England via Spain....a great team!
David tackling the balcony
our son Oliver and his girlfriend laurine
Isla, Mitch and Cheryl our fantastic April 2014 helpers
April 2014 Cheryl sanding the railings on the verandah
you have to install your own toilet in this house!
Stewart (my husband) and Brian after dinner
thank you party for our workaway helpers Lauren, Steve and Brian. Eternally grateful for their help, enthusiasm and friendship
March 2014 Brian our very first workaway helper and all round fantastic guy.
Cafe Colonnes in the square

Host ref number: 826648882325