Help us to realise our own dreams and to finish converting a Charentaise House in a small village between Cognac and Angouleme.



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  • Description


    We have recently bought a Charentaise House in a small village between Cognac and Angouleme. The house had been uninhabited for 25 years before approximately 2005. It was then bought by the previous owner who made efforts to start a Gite business and to renovate the main house before he encountered a variety of personal problems which led to his abandoning the project. We decided to buy the complex to see if we could both realise our own dreams and to finish what he had started.

    We have already made significant progress but as we both still have full time jobs in the United Kingdom, it has not been as straight forward as one might imagine.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    This host offers accommodation and payment.

    Host has indicated that they will pay at least the minimum hourly wage of their country for each hour worked and that accommodation will also be provided. They are asking for help with a business or business activity. Contact the host directly via the site messenger for more information and details about the wage provided. Any arrangements should be agreed in advance with your host.

  • Help


    We are not looking for free labour, we are looking for people who genuinely want to visit the area, drink the Cognac, learn the language, as we are still trying to do and who are happy to trade their enthusiasm for those desires for some help in general tasks.

    The house has three Gites, all of which are habitable and one of which is currently on a long term let to a lovely young French couple. We do not intend to start the Gite business until at least 2016, if at all. It follows that there are two uninhabited Gites that are free for any volunteers to stay in.

    We have professional workmen currently undertaking the majority of the renovation works, but as always, there is a great deal of general work that needs to be done.

    The main jobs that immediately spring to mind are the clearing of the courtyard, so that it can be reinstated. That would require weed killing, digging and many runs to the local tip.

    The previous owner also left a significant amount of clutter in the two large unused barns which will also need to be taken to the tip or to local charity shops.

    Anyone with joinery skills would be more than welcome. We have a large number of broken or missing barn doors, both machinery and pedestrian. It would be wonderful to have these reinstated for both aesthetic and security reasons.

    We would be more than happy to host a joiner and his family for a summer holiday in exchange for this work.

    General decorating skills would be great as there is always something that needs painting!

    We both enjoy cooking and I would therefore hope that you would at least eat well during your visit.

    The house has a swimming pool which you would be free to use during your stay.

    Please email me if any of this is of any interest, stating when you would like to come and what help you think that you would be able to offer.

    And if you have read this far, thanks for taking the trouble to do so.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Either a two-bedroomed Gite or a room in the main house.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The local village, whilst beautiful, does not offer too much by way of activities.

    There is a small bar, but we understand that it is to close shortly, or at least the current owners are selling it.

    The local town is about 4km away and is on the river Charente, where there
    are opportunities for kayaking. The mountain biking looks great although I haven't had time to try it yet!

    There are a wealth of lovely restaurants in the area and the town of Cognac and is only about 11km away.

    Angouleme is about 18km away and is a wonderful city.

  • 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

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 621187557933