Help renovating an old stone house in the southwest of France




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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    I am an English artist who is lucky enough to be able to split my time between New York and a tiny village in the south west of France. I've been a fine art photographer for over 25 years and recently moved into making sculptural works. I'm a BBC radio 4 addict and listen to it constantly during work. My wife and I enjoy setting up the projector to end the day with a late night movie fest. We both entertain and cook a lot. I tend to cook more the traditional roasts as well as the paella on the terrace and the sushi. Nike cooks more of the Asian food as well as the desserts. Our house is often full of friends and guests. I'm usually working on a few projects at any one time from working on a new series of Photographs, to creating a piece of sculpture, to a new building/renovation idea for our place in France. I am fortunate that my work is also my great pleasure.

    The above description was written preCovid. Sadly these days we don’t entertain the way we would normally and as the art world is pretty quiet for the moment, we have been concentrating more on our new building project- an old stone house with a beautiful view at the top of our village.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Help


    We recently bought an old stone ruin at the top of our village in France to renovate into a living space and workshop. We are looking for help with the renovation as well as with the day to day of living in the countryside.

    One of the reasons we love our village so much is its complete contrast to life in manhattan. If you want a late night party scene, our place is not for you.. you need to be in Manhattan! We work six days a week and take Sundays off but as a work away you would be expected to work Monday to Friday five hours a day with Saturday and Sunday off.

    A lot of the work is very physical, so we always like to tell people ahead of time. It can range from the less physical work of cleaning the pool,cooking, shopping or house cleaning/turnarounds up to re-pointing stone walls, digging a basement out to relay a cement floor, or putting in windows and doors. You don't have to know how to do all of these things before you come to us but you need to be handy,hard working,strong and willing to learn. We live together as a family, so everyone,chips in on what needs doing whether from hanging out the laundry to baking a cake to mixing cement or plastering a wall. Because we are in a small village a drivers license is very handy.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Our place is an old converted village inn. It is three independent buildings all next to each other with a shared terrace and solar heated swimming pool at the back with a small walled garden opposite on house and a bigger garden further down the village where we play croquet or badminton or just laze with a good book in the hammock under the cherry tree. You will have your own private room in one of these houses. We try and rent these houses out when we can, and we tend to be particularly busy in July and August. If all the houses are rented out, which can happen in July and August then you will have an old converted wine cuve as your bedroom. These are located in an old stone house on the same street at our other houses. There is an open plan loft space upstairs with a big kitchen, old velvet sofas and of course the all important projector for the evening's entertainment. This house also has a lovely roof deck and BBQ for meals al fresco.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in a tiny village in the Languedoc in the Aude in the foothills of the Pyrenees . The local post office, open mornings four days a week is next door and a very basic cafe is located at the end of our street. We are 15 minutes from our local market town of Limoux- famous for its sparkling wine and simple winter carnival. We are 45 minutes from Carcassonne, an hour and a half from Toulouse and four and a half hours from Barcelona. Our area is famous for its Cathar Chateaux as well as beautiful countryside. We are surrounded by local vineyards. There are plenty of beautiful walks, You are also welcome to borrow our tandem bike or any of the other single bikes we have.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • 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

    Five hours per day. Monday through Friday.

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Host ref number: 211678276617