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


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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.

  • Description


    24 March 2017 Update
    Due to cancellation we are looking for Workawayers in April and May to help mainly with outside projects. Please see below for further information.
    Caroline and Brian

    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, is at University in Montpelier and comes home every now and then, and Alana is at school in Toulouse and home at the weekends.

    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 - include creation of permaculture, companion planting veggie garden, flower beds, construction of a pergola and restoration of old furniture.
    General garden maintenance such as hedge and bramble cutting, mowing, strimming, weeding etc. And if experienced help with cutting down trees.

    Some of the help required is physically demanding and you should therefore be fit and have suitable outdoor clothing and work shoes and gloves if possible.

    It is very important you can work independently and without supervision at times.

    Knowledge of working with electric and petrol tools (or a willingness to learn) is necessary for some outdoor work.

    Current indoor projects - finishing off a new kitchen (renovation of cupboards and furniture) and utility room. Furniture sanding, painting etc . Preparation of rooms for painting, some taping and jointing of plasterboard if able, sanding of woodwork, painting
    Future projects will include creation of a snug where old kitchen was and two en-suite bathrooms although in all honesty I think these may not start until 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.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and French

  • Accommodation


    We offer two bedrooms, one with double bed and a sofabed and the other with a double bed. There is use of two shared bathrooms. Depending on how many Workawayers are here there is the possibility you will need to share a room.
    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 bikes available to explore the area although they are not new bikes 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.

    We are more than happy to take you to and from our nearest town Saint Gaudens, which is 10kms away. On average I go there 2 times a week.
    You are 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 and bus links from both Toulouse and Tarbes to Saint Gaudens where we can pick you up.
    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?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Improve their language skills, use DIY tools and machinery, learn renovation and gardening skills

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week


Click images to enlarge

View looking from our garden up to the village church
A more shady area to sit and relax
A Heart to welcome you and a Dreamcatcher to make sure your dreams come true
Our house in the one in the middle of the photo
View from a local walk on the ridge across from our house
This is me, Caroline, when I'm not renovating or gardening !
And Brian, likewise, no hard work happening in this photo !
A lake, walk and thermal baths about one hour drive from us
Harriet and Alana our daughters
The front of the house
Rik and Roy taking a well deserved break May 2016
Host ref number: 927722941526



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