In 2013 Bob and I (Helen) bought our current property, a 14th century maison de maitre that had been derelict for a few hundred years. Since then we have been working on the house and grounds to create our dream home.
We have 15 hectares which are shared between our six horses (and two goats) and our developing garden. We have discovered that the more you do the more you are capable of tackling and the best thing about such a big project is that there are so many different things to do you can never get bored.
We are often distracted by fun projects, last summer we built a bread/pizza oven out of cob (mud and straw) in the garden and have had great fun making pizzas together with all our visitors.
We have three dogs that are very much part of the family and a 22 year old son who is away at university a good part of the year.
We love cooking together and exploring new food ideas so if you would like to cook with us and share your favourites we would be really pleased.
DIY and building projects
We would be delighted to share with you any skills we can whilst working on the house and grounds. We are restoring the house using traditional methods and so can teach you things like plastering with lime and clay/mud. We are native English speakers and speak French.
The tasks depend upon the time of year and what we are currently tackling but we always have different things on the go and of course there is always general maintenance. We will propose a variety of tasks so that you can find the things that appeal most to you and if you have any particular skills we will be sure to find you a project to use them.
A few of the possible tasks: preparing/laying terracotta floors; lawnmowing; lime washing walls; hedge trimming; roofing; plumbing and electrics; chopping and splitting firewood; laying a path; mixing up mortar; repairing and creasoting horse shelters; sanding and painting etc etc
And we do have machines for these jobs, i should add.
We can be flexible with the times and days you work so that you can make the most of visiting the region or just relax by our lake with a book.
We have a guest room in a separate wing of the house with a double bed and a private bathroom. Next to this is another bedroom so if you are two friends traveling together you could have separate rooms and share the bathroom. There is WIFI. We would provide your meals, our meal times can be erratic but the food and local wine is always good.
We are close to: Le Mans, famous for it's 24hr racing and ancient Plantagenet city; to Angers; to the Loire valley with it's chateaux and vinyards. There is a train station a few km from us and we would be happy to drive you there sometimes, we also have bicycles you can use. the train takes you to Le Mans, Angers etc. The Sarthe river is a half hour walk through the forest, the river offers fishing, kayak and walking its banks.
We also have a baby grand piano that would love to be played and a drum kit if you are musical.
We have a lot of wildlife around us, we see wild boar and deer as well as a range of birds, ducks and eagles etc
We have resident Little Owls who are often in the garden especially when they are training their young during summer evenings.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week