Would you like to spend the summer living in a small 19th century chateau with sweeping views over the rolling sunflower fields of Gascony?
We are an adventurous Australian/British family with a 2.5 year old daughter, and we have recently relocated to South west France to spend the next year elevating our property to its full potential. Whilst the main house has been lovingly maintained and is in good condition, we have extensive plans to renovate the outbuildings, and landscape the grounds.
There is a lot of history here; the chateau was reputedly given as a gift by Napoleon Bonaparte to one of his generals, and if you’re interested in interior design or construction, this is an interesting project.
We occupy 2 hectares of land, with a sunny courtyard, and lovely swimming pool. On a clear day you can even see the Pyrenees mountains in the distance, over 200km away.
We're ideally looking for an energetic couple who have a 'can-do' attitude and a willingness to pitch in and help with whatever needs doing. Skills or experience in gardening, building, and/or childcare are particularly useful. Each day/week will be different, so being open-minded and flexible with regard to your responsibilities and duties is also important. A current driver's licence is also essential for your independence.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
First and foremost, you'll experience what life is like living in the countryside in South West France! Along with that, you'll be able to practice your language skills (French and English), learn about the restoration of a chateau, and the large-scale construction involved in the conversion of a barn. You will also be able to soak in the beauty of nature by engaging in gardening projects, and playing outside with Rosie.
Additionally, you will have the opportunity to explore all the villages and towns in the surrounding area. Within a short drive there are countless lovely villages to discover, many wonderful farmer's markets, and the cosmopolitan city of Toulouse is less than one hour away. There are also thousands of Armagnac producers nearby, and Bordeaux is only 2 hours away for any wine enthusiasts.
If you wanted to explore a little further afield, you can reach the Pyrenees mountains in a few hours, as well as the cities of San Sebastian and Barcelona in Spain. Or you could drive to the Mediterranean and enjoy the beach. It's up to you what you want to do with your time here!
As hosts, we will do our best to be share our experiences with you, and any local knowledge we have that you may find helpful. We will also endeavor to be flexible so that our respective goals are met with mutual satisfaction.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
5 hours work/day, 5 days a week. We will work together to establish a mutually convenient schedule, which can vary from week to week depending on our respective plans.
- Gardening; we're striving to landscape our 2 hectare plot of land to make it as beautiful as possible, so there will be ongoing planting, weeding, and lawn mowing. We’re also planning on developing the walled courtyard, landscaping a paved outdoor dining area, and planting an orchard and vegetable patch. We’d love help with all aspects of these projects.
- Window Restoration; we're trying to restore and keep as many original aspects of the chateau as possible, including the wooden window shutters. We need help removing the shutters, sanding them, patching any holes, and repainting them.
- Childcare; we are looking for a couple of hours childcare each day, and one or two evenings a week (so we can go out to dinner). Rosie loves playing outside on the trampoline and slide, going for walks, coloring in, playing with Lego and play doh.
- Cleaning; our open plan kitchen will be shared with you during your stay, and we'd appreciate your help keeping it clean and tidy on a daily basis. It does get a little chaotic with Rosie's toys, and all the cooking we do! The floors need to be swept and mopped daily, and all the surfaces wiped. Occasionally I might ask for your help cleaning and tidying after a big day of cooking, or a party.
- General Maintenance & Odd Jobs; we will have various remodeling projects taking place during your stay, and we'd love your help on other projects depending on your skills and interests. Please let us know about your experience! Other ongoing general maintenance tasks will include painting, chopping wood, shopping or collecting supplies, driving, assisting with food preparation, unpacking boxes, etc.
You will have a private bedroom, with comfortable bed and linens, along with a private ensuite (shower and toilet). You'll also have your own sitting area and TV (with Netflix) in your bedroom. We know it's best for everyone to feel like they have adequate privacy and space!
However, you won't have private kitchen facilities, so we will share our large open plan kitchen. It's very well equipped, and we'll make sure you're provided with ample food. Feel free to let me know if you have any specific dietary requirements and we can stock the fridge accordingly.
You will also have access to a car to drive (if you don't have your own), and are more than welcome to use the swimming pool.
If you enjoy beautiful landscapes, picturesque medieval towns, delicious food, bountiful farmer's markets, and authentic rural living, you'll love our little corner of South West France.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families