Help with taking car of an old house in a medieval village in Auvergne, Central France

  • Favourited 367 times
  • Last activity: 13 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    The Intro
    "So where to begin, well how bout with us, Laura and I met seven years ago now on a farm in Argentina, workawaying in fact. One thing led to another, her falling in love with me and then me falling in love with her (that is the order in which it happened, I swear to you). Then thousands of miles in the air, a million skype calls, a million emails, then a few overland journeys of the US and Europe, then a trip on a boat across the Atlantic. After all that travel, you can imagine, we needed a break. So we eloped and moved to Paris. That was a few years ago now. And after a truly urban experience, we're ready to breathe clean air again; we're ready for the open spaces of the French countryside. Not that we disliked Paris, in fact, we love it (well more me than Lau). But yeah now we're starting down a different path, one that leads to roots, to an anchor, to a stable future.

    We just bought an old bourgeois mansion in a medieval, well mostly medieval, village in Auvergne. BRIOUDE, it's called. Volcano country, cheese country, wholesome living country, those are Auvergne's claims to fame in case you've never heard of it. Many refer to the region by it's geographical name, the massif central. That's because it is massive and central. ha ha ha.

    We're gonna open a bed&breakfast/hostel/cafebar in this old building and hopefully bring a bit of life and excitement to this precious, but increasingly abandoned, region. It's in pretty good shape and the building is really charming. There aren't too many major renovations needing to be done, besides building a few bathrooms and the bar, painting outside, sanding shutters etc. Laura keeps calling it our blank canvas, because the walls inside and out are literally white, because it's a space for us to be creative, because it's going to be, I hope, a physical representation of our experience, creativity, personalities and love for one another.

    We're not altruists or humanitarians or idealists; we've just some how discovered this place. And it is true that people have been moving away from these villages in search of economic opportunity for decades. So many of the towns and villages around have seen a significant decrease in their populations, yet they all have charm and beauty. We would love to make something that would attract others to move to these places. And it definitely is a motivation but in the end, we don't really care about repopulating the area. What we really want is to make something beautiful to share with others.

    By the way, I'm Zach and I'm American and Laura is French."

    Five years later....

    So the place is full on open!!! Restaurant and rooms. We got a very warm welcoming from the villageois(ses). We were lucky to have two articles in the fooding... Laura's sister and her husband joined us for the crazy advanture that is to open a place like this!! They helped us making it very special! But they are going there own ways this year, so we are going to without them. And ....... we are going to have a baby!!

    As the summer comes along, we dont have any time to do anything else and it would be great to get help around the house, give a hand with the baby and maybe go on with other projects that we can't finish ourself because of the craziness of the restaurant and rooms... Also it's fun to have people coming from other places to stay in our little town of Brioude!!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    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

    What do I think is going to be the greatest benefit for those staying with us? Access to the nearby extinct volcanoes, to the countryside and villages of Auvergne, to the numerous delicacies of the region that one can only find here (especially cheese). We know now everywhere you should go!!!

    Travelers will surely fall in love with the region, its people, its cuisine, its geography.

    As for the cultural exchange in our home, if you want to practice English or speak about the US , Australia and travel, I and my brother in law are your men. If you want to practice speaking French and learn more about French culture, Laura and her sister are your girls. And then I guess for there to be an exchange, you'll have to give us something from wherever from. Good conversation will suffice.

    As for learning, we've learnt so much since we started here (electricity, plumbing, building walls, breaking walls, taling...all sorts of things). We are pretty good at DIY, we can give you confidence to be able to do it all by yourself! If you like cooking, the boys are the chefs!! If you want to create your own B&B or your own place , we have sooooo much to share about that. We are into wine a lot, so you can also get to know wine. My sister does a lot of sawing and knitting... There is so much to learn from an experience like this!!!

  • Help


    The help needed is mainly to take care of cleaning. Make meals for the workers. Help around the house, keep on eye on things, continue on projetcts that we can't go on with in summer time and have some life around us while we work !!
    And very soon, help with the baby sometimes...
    We already have employes to work on the restaurant and the BnB !

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner
    Portuguese: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    Laura Speaking; Im always very curious to learn any languages, i dont like going in a country not knowing any word. Idealy i'd like to know more Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic....

  • Accommodation


    In our Home/Hostel in the city center of Brioude. Single bed in a dorm of 6 beds. Shared bathroom. Full access to our appartment.
    3 meals / day
    Breakfast + lunch + dinner
    A little beer or wine here and there ;)

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Auvergne, regions of volcanoes, rivers. Ideal for hiking, fishing, kayaking, climbing ...

    L'Auvergne, régions de volcans, de rivières. Idéal pour des randonnées, la pêche, le kayak, l'escalade...

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (max 25/hours/week)

Host ref number: 496664188575

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