We are a French/Swedish couple with a little château in the upper Normandy. We have three grown-up children, they don't live with us, but in Sweden. Philippe is a retired university professor and Christel is also a retired logistics manager from a multinational Swedish company. Our place here in Angerville La Martel is a fine romantic building dating from 1602. Some parts of it are from 1540 something. The whole manoir or little château is in generally good shape. There are original wood panelling all over every room. They are from 1670 something. They need some attention. There is also a very pleasant parc of 2,4 hectares. Another feature is that we are 4-5 km from the sea. Place such as Etretat and others are quite near us. A very relaxing and pleasant area all-together. All in all, this a beautiful region, the Château d'Angerville la Martel is small, compared to many other larges châteaux, but it is cosy and it has all its 17th and 18th century features contained in the boiserie, the chimneys, etc. We are restoring all the time and working hard at it. It is a work in progress.
DIY and building projects
The cultural exchange is obvious. First, there is the château with all its interesting features. Then there is the living style and the regional character. Then, there is, of course, the language. We are fluent in both English and Swedish on top of the French. Last but not least, there is human exchange and experience of interacting with us and profiting a little from our life and professional experiences.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Notions of fitting and a little "building" such as pointing, and mostly painting. No particular expertise is required. Generally, just a good and happy spirit and the willingness to be helpful will be enough. Important to note that there is quite some paint work to do. Before painting, some ground work is necessary. The ceilings of many rooms are in need of attention. Some decoration work can also be on the menu. However, there is no heavy lifting or physically demanding work.
You will have your own room in the château. The room is relatively basic but it has it's own bath. The food will be taken in the large old kitchen diner
For your time off, you have the whole coastline of Normandy with so many beaches and villages too many to list. Then you have places like Etretat on the seaside, the old town of Rouen, the fancy towns of Deauville and Honfleur. A little further you have the landing sites from the second world war. A little nearer you have the sites of the first world war.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week