We are a fun and friendly family of four (Lotte, Nick and our two girls) living in a beautiful, fully renovated farmhouse in the Gers, SW France, one of the most beautiful parts of the country. We are Brits but moved here a few years ago after living and working all round the world (the US, Turkey, London, Hong Kong among others) in international development, communications and journalism. Our girls are 5 and 3 and are bundles of fun and energy. We enjoy exploring the region (and its food and wines), all things outdoors, throwing parties and socializing with friends and generally thinking up and executing projects around the house and garden. Our renovated 1840s farmhouse is about 2km from a lively market town, about 20 minutes from the region's main city, Auch, 1.5 hours from Toulouse, and an hour or so from the Pyrenees. We have a garden of about 4 hectares, a large heated pool, and are surrounded on all sides by fields and beautiful views. A car is available to guests. Nearest airports are Lourdes/Tarbes and Toulouse Blagnac.
Babysitting / child care
Help in the house
The Gers (old Gascony) is an amazing and beautiful region to explore. It's a great place to learn French (while living with an English-speaking family) because people are friendly and life is relaxed. The region has unique cuisine and wines, so it's great for foodies. We are about an hour from the Pyrenees and pretty much on the Santiago de Compostelle route, so lots of great walking. It's a rural area but local towns and villages are always busy with markets, fetes, and festivals. Apart from after school childcare the work schedule would be completely flexible allowing lots of time for adventure.
There are three areas we'd love to get help with. Our old farmhouse was fully renovated to a high standard a few years ago but we are planning to add some colour to the walls throughout and would like some help with wallpaper/painting and decorating. Second, we have a garden of nearly 4 hectares and are always looking for projects to improve it eg adding irrigation, creating new flowerbeds, planting trees and for Spring 2020 putting in an organic vegetable garden! We'd love to have help with this particularly in Spring and Autumn when there's a lot of general upkeep to do. These areas of work will be our priority for the coming months.
We also have two delightful little girls of five and three so it would be great to have someone who can help entertain them (without TV!), after school and at weekends and holidays. The arrangement might suit a couple or friends travelling together who could do decorating/gardening + childcare but we're pretty flexible.
English and French
We have just renovated a large and beautiful section of the house to a very high standard including a bedroom with double bed and nice views over surrounding fields, a mezzanine area (with double sofabed), brand new bathroom (with shower but baths are available in the 4 other bathrooms). As there are two double beds available (in the bedroom and mezzanine) the arrangement would suit a couple or a pair of friends.
Join breakfast with the family (eggs, toast, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, veg smoothies etc) or help yourself.
We are both usually home for lunch and prepare either something cooked or salads or sandwiches. Or we'll all go out to a local restaurant.
Cooked dinner with the family. We tend to all like different food so often go with a buffet/smorgasbord approach for meals and you'll probably have a range of options. Or you can prepare food yourself.
It's a very rural area so not great for people looking for wild nightlife! We live 2km from a market town which has a busy market on Mondays and quite a few bars and restaurants. There are lots of lovely little towns and villages to explore including Marciac (which has a world-class jazz festival every Summer) about 30 minutes away, Auch (the regional capital with lots to do and see) about 20 minutes away, Lupiac (birthplace of D'Artagnan). There are loads of great restaurants and vineyards scattered around the towns and villages. The mountains are about an hour away where you have Lourdes and lovely towns, villages and hiking - it's easy to cross into Spain. Toulouse is about 1.5 hours away. The Basque coast is about 2.5 hours away with beautiful places to visit such as St Jean de Luz, Biarritz and San Sebastian. Public transport isn't great, but we have two cars one of which is insured for all drivers and will be available to workaways.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week