Help renovating our chateau in the countryside halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse, France



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    We are Rachna (41), Jaap (39), Tijko (7) and Enna (5). We are Dutch, traveled the world and settled a year ago in the Southern French countryside. We live the 'Coeur des Bastides' region right in between the bastide villages Monflanquin and Villereal, halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse. We are relaxed happy people and love to have people around. Our kids are enthusiastic little minions, always a little timid at first but very open and happy after an hour:) They speak Dutch and are learning French very fast.
    Giving up our cityjobs in the Netherlands, we jumped in to a big new adventure. We wanted something totaly different more outside, eco and to have more time for our children and our surroundings. After half a year we are still very happy with the choice we made.

    The castle, that we rent out during the summer months and where we occasionally hosts a wedding, needs renovations of all kinds; to maintain its old historic details but we also want to make it bit more hip. Now it is a bit dark like the middle ages :). Outside is a world in itself. The hole terrain is big and needs some loving care. Using our permaculture experience we are experimenting in our garden and 'potager' to produce our own veggies. But we don't put in a lot of time yet. First preority is the building itself. Coming years we hope to turning a large tract of the terrain in an edible forest... but first things first.... we can't do it al at once... So that is something for the future.

    We invite and expect our guests to be part of the family. We invite you to join us in our leisure activities (but don't feel obliged :) and in discovering our new Southern French habitat. This is lots of fun. The French people in this region are very open and helpful which brings us to nice places. Being a temporary part of the family also means that you participate in the life in the house and to perform household tasks together with us or alone.

    -- We are especially searching two people that can join us from end of May to halfway July --

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Off course being in the middle of a different family will give you new views on live... but also discovering the France people, nature, and of course food!! together with us wat a lucky thing ;).

    We ourselves have some experience with building, architecture (have been city planners in a former life) , natural gardening, but also want to discover the "new" things that make us and the world happy... like eco toilets.... what a nice things... but how can we make these more fashionable??

    Next to us there are some retired owners on the property that are nature loving gardeners, artistic sculpturing painters and the love to such for old stuff in the ground with other France people... they are always active! They can't sit still :)

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    We do have a big list.... ranging from renovation and painting to expert level building, decorating the castle and working in the garden. We have our preferences and priorities but we happily improvise due to what our guests are good at and like to do. Some stuff listed below but it can change as we constantly learn ourselves too.

    Building: create a new gate in the old stone wall, make a floor in the barn and put up water and electricity, clean the attic for renovation, build eco-toilets, to mention some.
    In the garden we want to chop and plant trees, do pruning, expand our vegetable garden and our pool house and terrace, build eco-toilets, maintain fences, etc. We have a couple of hectares of land in which we made ditches to retain water in the coming years we want to extend the park garden and plant with trees, perennial vegs and medicinal plants.
    Besides, we want to see if we can market our place better on the internet. We would love to be able to connect better to a public that is searching for eco-friendly holidays and weddings. We are not what you would call social media experts :) but would love to learn about that!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Portuguese: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    Spanish: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    Ok, from experience, we can tell you, it is really cool to live in a castle :D The building has a U form. Our house is in one corner. Your bedroom is located on the inner court with a great view on the castle and has a double bed (140). The rest of the house we share together. Rachna loves to cook so we do have a big kitchen and make a lot of stuff from our own garden. A lot of time we eat Vegan. We love the nature and pick every moment possible to go outside to have our lunch and dinner.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in Envals, 5 minutes drive from the villages Villereal and Monflanquin. These and the other surrounding villages have a vivid social life and people are open and helpful. Hiking, trails, (mountain) biking, climbing are popular here. There are lots of castles and bastides, prehistoric cave paintings and many other things to explore which make it a really nice place. Moreover, the region is well known for its food and wines and is the no.1 'bio' region of France.
    We ourselve myself do quite some running, cycling, hiking and yoga. You're always invited to join! We by the way also have a solar heated pool which you can use.

    The place is quite remote from public transport so a car comes in handy but we also travel a lot by bike. We have one mountainbike that you can use. We might buy one more. On arrival we can pick you up from Bergerac or Villeneuve sur Lot.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 179266154348