Help rebuild a watermill and enjoy delicious food in Burgundy, France



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    We are a French-speaking Australian couple in our 30s rebuilding a centuries-old watermill in the wonderful Cote d'Or wine region in France, near the main town of Beaune. This is a long-term project where we are aiming to make progress each year over the Spring-Summer-Autumn and gradually restore two buildings to their former glory while eating delicious food and meeting / working with great people.

    This year we are hoping you will join us for part or all of two weeks around September 9th-20th.

    Any and all help much appreciated (and well-rewarded with food / good times), especially with building, gardening, cooking, and potentially helping look out for a two year old / any children of Workawayers who join us.

    We can pick you up in Beaune and provide everything once you get here!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Our team will be roughly half French-speaking half English-speaking / other languages so there will be some opportunities for language exchange as well as the chance to learn some traditional as well as modern construction skills.

    In addition, we are passionate about food and the home-cooked meals use delicious local produce from the market, a chance to learn about real French food and wine.

  • Help


    When we started on the watermill in 2017, one wall of the rear building had fallen down, but that building was saved by the courageous work of a local stonemason.

    Then, in Summer 2018, with the help of some amazing old friends and new friends (and a French builder-friend who knows old stonework by heart) we did a lot more on the place - including re-mortaring some other critical parts of the walls, installing modern drainage around the site, demolishing a 1980s concrete floor, and preparing for the local stonemason to redo the worst part of the roof.

    We are looking for people to join us in September 2019 (9th-20th). Experience / skills in construction are not necessary but would, of course, be handy. We will have expert supervision from our builder (who has worked with volunteers for many years) and just need people who are willing to give things a go.

    Likely tasks will include painting and installing the doors and windows, re-doing some of the masonry on the outside of the buildings, and laying a floor in one of the two buildings.

    There will also be some gardening, and 1-3 young children - so people who would like to do some planting and/or childcare are very welcome!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Sleeping arrangements will be either tents (outdoors) or camp beds (indoors) - we are happy to provide tents, beds/mats, sleeping bags, or for people to bring their own.

    There is makeshift gas shower (outdoor) or the option to rinse off in the millstream. We have a composting toilet but hope to install an indoor one on a septic tank during the working bee this year.

    We provide absolutely everything once you get there - as previously, there will be delicious home-cooked food, wine and French aperitifs, and plenty of time to explore the local wineries / local area in between work on the house.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We can pick you up in Beaune, which is a well-connected town at the centre of the great Burgundy wine region.

    September is a great time to visit Burgundy as it is vintage / harvest time - and we can also help put you in touch with local vineyards during and after our working bee.

    Our first round of help in 2018 turned out to be amazing thanks to the awesome people who turned up - we hope that some of you might be able to make it this year!

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Up to 5 hours/day, 5 days/week

The watermill is in a beautiful secluded spot just outside a Burgundy wine-making village
Rebuilding the wall of the house
Delicious food and wine
View to the local village
Before and after (2018)
Host ref number: 196659827638