I have recently bought a beautiful old house with a large garden and a couple of hectares of fields and woods in rural southwest France with the intention of running it as a chambres d'hôte next year. I'm on the outskirts of a small village with amenities (easily walkable in 10–15 minutes) and in the middle of a natural park so there's lots of lovely countryside all around. It's a great place if you like walking or cycling. There's a swimming pool, too, but this is out of commission for the winter. There's no public transport here, so you'll need a car to get around; you can borrow one of my bikes to pootle about on. I live with my five small lively dogs and two cats so you must be an animal-lover. I also have chickens and sheep and you may sometimes be asked to feed these. There's a small commercial town about 20 minutes away and larger cities about an hour away so this is not the place for someone who likes clubs and nightlife; having said that, there's a bar in the village and a restaurant with sports tv by the large lake 2km out of the village. I love it here, but you do need to be happy somewhere quiet. Lots of opportunity to read books, play music, practise art, meditate, write, etc.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
I live close to a small village in rural southwest France. There are a number of English-language-speaking people here, but most of the people you will meet in the shops, bars and restaurants will be French so you can learn/practise French while you are here. The area is part of a natural regional park so it's quite unspoilt with lots of wildlife (too much wildlife sometimes - no pesticides means lots of pesky insects in summer!) and good walking/cycling trails. There are not too many distractions so this could be your opportunity to catch up on your reading list, write that book, get your musical ideas down on paper, meditate, drag out your charcoals/crayons/pastels and start drawing again.
I have recently bought a house in France with the intention of running it as a chambres d'hôte next year. However, it's been a bit unloved and needs quite a bit of work doing on it. I'm contracting local artisans for the big stuff, but need some help with shifting furniture and boxes, painting rooms, putting up curtains poles and light fittings, working in the garden, planting veggies for next year, feeding the chickens and sheep when I'm not around, chopping firewood. You need to be practical and strong and willing to muck in.
Own (twin) room with shower and basin and own loo next door. The room is at the back of the house so you'll open your shutters and window onto a barn and a field, which may have my sheep in it. There's a small table to accommodate a laptop and two armchairs, plus a small settee. You can have the use of a small secondhand tv if you can get it to work! I have internet access, though it's not fibre so not superfast. I plan on providing breakfast - self-service: cereals, toast, tea/coffee, juice - plus lunch and supper on the days worked; you can please yourself at the weekends.
This is a quiet place, especially out of season. There's a small commercial town about 20 minutes away (with banks, supermarkets, DIY stores, etc) and three larger cities about an hour away south, west and northeast plus Bordeaux some 2.5 hours southwest. However, this is not the place for someone who likes clubs and nightlife. Having said that, there's a bar in the village that serves food, which is open most evenings, and there's a restaurant with sports tv by the large lake 2km out of the village. Some of the local villages have fêtes to celebrate ceps, chestnuts and other local produce. There is NO public transport so you will need your own car. I have a couple of bikes I'm happy to lend for cycling into the village (about 10–15 minutes walk away). If you like cycling, bring your bike as this is prime countryside for cycling. I love living here, but you do need to be happy somewhere quiet. Lots of opportunity to read books, play music, practise art, meditate, write, etc. There's a small TV the previous owners left behind; if you can get it to work (I haven't tried), you're welcome to have it in your room.
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