Help Renovate a beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, South West France

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  • Description


    UPDATED MAY 2018

    We are now looking for help with outdoor work in the garden and vegetable patch. Experience using petrol equipment such as a chainsaw, professional strimmer, hedge cutter, ride on mower essential.
    Help with installation of automated watering system in the vegetable area.
    There may also be some indoor decorating and furniture renovation work to do.

    We would like help to renovate a beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, a small rural village in South West France, 1 hour south of Toulouse.

    12 years ago we fell in love with this beautiful house despite the work it needed. For us the amazing space and rural location was perfect for our young family. Its been our greatest pleasure bringing up our 2 daughters with the freedom and relaxed lifestyle we have found here.

    However whilst doing this we haven't managed to get as much work completed as we would have liked. But now they are 'all grown up' ..... well kind of ...... the time is available to get on with the renovations and finally realise the dream to run this as a bed and breakfast eventually.

    We are English and in our mid 50s and have 2 daughters aged 22 yrs and 17 yrs.
    Brian works full time in Toulouse travelling back and forth each day during the week, and is at home at the weekends. He loves all sport and in particular Rugby.

    I, Caroline, am based at home and run a small business selling greetings cards and do a small amount of English teaching if I can fit it in. I really want to get on with what I enjoy most which is renovating the house and garden but I need help. Cooking, anything crafty and animals are also my passions.

    Harriet, our eldest daughter, lives and is at University in Montpelier and comes home every now and then, and Alana lives and at school in Toulouse and home some weekends and school holidays.

    We have some lovely pets; a couple of dogs and cats as well as goats, chickens and a couple of guinea pigs. Occasionally horses and donkeys come to help by eating the grass in our fields .... there is really too much land but it gives us great privacy !

    We love being outside in the gorgeous weather we are lucky to have, so if you like the idea of coming to Saint Marcet, sharing a glass or two of wine alongside a good home-cooked meal in exchange for some help, then we would love to meet you.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Help


    We are looking for workawayers to help with :

    Current outdoor projects - Preparation and maintenance of vegetable garden, installation of automated watering system. Preparation and planting up new areas with shrubs and boundaries.

    General garden maintenance such as hedge and bramble cutting, mowing, strimming, weeding, watering etc. Experience with trimming and cutting trees.

    PLEASE NOTE: Some of the help required is physically demanding and you should therefore be fit and have suitable outdoor clothing, work shoes, gloves etc

    It is very important you can work independently and without supervision at times. You should be someone who likes the countryside, rural locations, the outdoors and the sun, which can be hot to work in over the Summer months.

    Knowledge of working with electric and petrol tools is necessary for some outdoor work.

    Current indoor projects - Finishing utility area, renovation of cupboard, sanding, painting, carpentary etc . Bathroom completion, again some painting and odds and ends to finish.

    Future projects will include decorations of bedrooms and creation of 2 ensuite bathrooms, as well as turning the old kitchen into a 'snug' living room later in 2018.

    Help with caring for the animals, dog walking and some general household jobs would be useful .
    If you fancy cooking occasionally that would be nice too.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Improve their language skills, we are predominately an English speaking family. Brian and Alana are fluent in French so would be happy to help with French.
    Learn to use DIY and renovation tools and outdoor machinery. Learn variety of DIY skills such as plasterwork, renovation of brickwork
    Renovation of furniture and a variety painting techniques
    Learn concepts of permacultural living, recycling, upcycling (and real cycling if you fancy riding a bicycle up and down the hills ! ), knowledge of plants, propergation and other general gardening skills.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and French

  • Accommodation


    We currently offer a large bedroom with a double bed and a sofabed. There is use of two shared bathrooms.
    There is also plenty of room outside should anyone want to camp or come with their own motorhome.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in a rural farming community area and the village is small with a bar, a church, a local baker, tennis courts, a small fishing lake and a very large village hall that occasionally has an event or two happening.

    We have bicycles available to explore the area although they are not new and it is pretty hilly around here. There are some lovely places to go on walks.
    If you have a full driving licence there could be the possibility of the use of a car on occasions.

    When possible we are happy to take you to and from our nearest towns Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse which are approximately 10kms away. On average I go to St Gaudens a couple of times a week and this is the nearest main line train station. You are also welcome to join us on trips to other towns when possible.

    Local towns have all the shops and amenities you may need, lovely lakes, walks and markets to explore and offer rail and bus links to bigger cities such as Toulouse, Tarbes and Pau.

    The Pyrenees are less than an hour away by car with a host of activities, including mountain trails for walking and cycling. There are also many places for canoeing and rafting around the villages between us and the Pyrenees.

    Spain is also less than an hours' drive away if you fancy practicing another language !

    Nearest Airports are Toulouse, with budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair flying in and, Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees (sometimes just known as Lourdes) with Ryanair flying in. There are many other airlines that connect with Toulouse.

    There are train links from both Toulouse and Tarbes to Saint Gaudens and a bus link from Toulouse to Boulogne sur Gesse.
    We can collect you from Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse.

    Car shares are often available through blablacar

    Coach/buses to and from Toulouse through megabus, flixbus and ouibus. All offering cheap deals from city to city.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My Photo Album

Rik and Roy taking a well deserved break May 2016
The front of the house
Harriet and Alana our daughters
A lake, walk and thermal baths about one hour drive from us
And Brian, likewise, no hard work happening in this photo !
This is me, Caroline, when I'm not renovating or gardening !
View from a local walk on the ridge across from our house
Our house in the one in the middle of the photo
A Heart to welcome you and a Dreamcatcher to make sure your dreams come true
A more shady area to sit and relax
View looking from our garden up to the village church

Host ref number: 927722941526