My partner Caroline and I made the leap from the UK and moved to France in March 2016 as we felt that the time was right for us to have an adventure and do something different!
We have both left successful and demanding careers in the UK to get out of the rat race and have a better quality of life and time to enjoy the things that really matter! I worked for many years as a teacher before moving into management within the NHS and a local charity. Caroline worked as an RSPCA Inspector a very rewarding yet heartbreaking job.
We are both animal lovers (naturally) and enjoy having more time to spend with our menagerie which includes 3 dogs, 1 cats, 2 tortoises and 7 chickens. Most of our animal family have come from the RSPCA and came with us on our adventure to France. So far their grasp on the French language is as impressive as ours!
We bought our place in June 2016 and worked very quickly to turn it into a viable gite business. We are situated on the edge of La Chaize-Giraud in an acre of natural French habitat. It is within walking distance of local amenities and just 10 minutes drive to the beautiful sandy Vendee coastline. We are happy to chauffeur people short distances in the local area.
In exchange for 5 hours work for 5 days per week (the 2 days off will usually be during the week) we will provide:-
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with wine and/or beer with dinner plus tea and coffee with cakes and/or biscuits
Accommodation can be either in our gite or one of our guest rooms in our house depending on availability & season.
We would be happy to collect you from a local train station if required.
Help in the house
Enjoy and experience the West coast of France and a taste of village life. An opportunity to practice your French with the locals and to a lesser extent with us (if you want a laugh!). Depending upon the time of year there are lots of local fetes and events we would be happy to take our workaway guest to.
We would like some help with managing the garden. We have an acre of land which consists of large areas of water and lots of trees and un-landscaped habitat. Tree work and help with various projects in the garden would be great.
Although the house is in a good state there are some small DIY tasks (which may include some painting) we would like help with. In the spring we would like help getting everything ready for the start of the new season. Smartening up the indoor and outdoor spaces and carrying out general maintenance jobs. In the Autumn we would like help to close everything down the gite business for another year!
We would anticipate that most of the help would be outside to take advantage of that sunshine, retreating indoors if it gets too hot or decides to rain.
English and very basic French.
Depending upon the time of year and availability the guests will be staying in either our gite or guest room in the house.
We will always try to place guests in the gite whenever it is possible. The gite is completely self contained, has a large king size bed, private bathroom and cooking facilities. This gives guests their own space and privacy.
If staying in the gite we will provide a selection of food and drink giving the guests the freedom to what and when to cook. In addition to this we will also cook some evening meals together in the house. On work days we will provide the lunch and sit and enjoy this together.
Alternatively if it is not possible to accommodate guests in the gite they will be given a comfortable guest room in the house where you will be invited to use the facilities as your own and you will be treated as a friend.
The most obvious attraction is the stunning Vendee coast which stretches for miles. Although most popular with tourists in the peak season of July and August, it remains a stunning place to visit and walk throughout the year. We love to walk the dogs along the beach out of season where you barely see a soul.
You will find restaurants and cafes specialising in freshly caught seafood and of course amazing infamous french creperies. Away from the coast the countryside is expansive and charming. We are lucky to be situated on the edge of woodland and on a cycle path. Wildlife is abundant and we regularly see deer, birds of prey, kingfishers, red squirrels to name just a few - right on our doorstep...it's a nature lovers paradise.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week