Bring your skills & creativity to our beautiful old water mill in Central France




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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Currently we are looking for several guests- ideally with some practical experience with landscaping, decorating, or light building / carpentry etc. to support us with some really interesting projects in the next months.

    Another option would be for someone with good french skills who is interested in conducting some historical research- to see how far back the mill here goes (possibly to roman times).

    We also would appreciate some support with our wonderful 2 children and around the house... in case that sounds like you.

    We are a British & German couple with two little ones, who decided to step out of City life and buy an old water mill in August 2020- perfect timing considering how the world has changed.

    We are well travelled and looking forward to meeting new interesting people who can enjoy our little paradise and leave some of their creativity, skills and passion ... their "footprint" on the mill by being here and contributing to its charm.

    This huge Mill building used to produce high quality metal work like medical instruments- a specialisation that has been famous in this area since Roman times. It was restored 20 years ago and turned into a Bed & Breakfast. We have lots of plans to turn this into a more self sustainable home for our little family, friends and select visitors. We also have a 4 bedroom guesthouse (see bedroom photos) with wooden beams & staircase where our guests can feel at home but also have some privacy. We just installed an external sauna, and restored an old Swedish hot tub (needs some more attention)

    The whole valley is also full of fossils... the prehistoric sea base having been pushed up by a glacier. Next to the River also runs an old long boat canal between Champagne and Bourgogne.

    Set in 3 Hectares with a river, lots of rare birds including Kingfishers and many fruit & nut trees (plums, walnut, apples etc) and interesting plants (Hops, Oregano etc.) there are lots of very old walls and an old fortification that we would like to uncover and understand. There is an old iron working village and roman road also at the edge of the land and across the river there are dozens of 5000 year old burial mound and prehistoric settlements... even on our land.. We have a good metal detector and it's hard not to make finds - so if you like history, come and have some fun. We also have Kayaks, bikes, fishing rods, a decent bow & arrow, VR goggles, Slackline, our "spa area" etc for free time.

    We generally have several workaway / wwoof guests staying so it is a really nice place to spend time. Lina rescued a kitten from the river, so we now have a beautiful cat named by the kidsa as Mitten. We also have an outside cat (Molly) that inherited us when we bought the place.

    Well trained dogs are welcome dogs - just bring your pooper scooper as we have little kids running about.


    We have a lot planned and many underway.


    Hydroponics Tunnel:
    We are in the final stages of installing our purpose designed 5m tall fully hydroponic greenhouse (tunnel) and our dream is to not only produce most of our own organic fruit & veggies using heirloom, non GM seeds, but also to be able to use the Mill as a base for learning about healthy eating and developing small hydroponic systems for balconies, cellars and gardens. The frame and PE is finally installed and we are ready to start preparation for our first sprint planting, landscaping the area. We also want to reroute a natural water source to the greenhouse. It is the start of this farming adventure and would welcome guests with some experience or interest.
    Part of this project is to knock down the old stables and turn into a Seedling nursery - we have a large glass conservatory arriving early Feb so if you have some muscles / basic DIY skills, you will be welcome.

    We also want to demolish an old "shed" and replace with a winter garden (like the seed nursery).

    We also have a lot of trees & hedges that need a major cut, and some replanting, a drive to re-gravel and the front area to put down cobblestones. Additionally, we have quite a few lights / lamposts to put up if someone has some electrical knowledge.

    Modernising the Buildings:
    We have quite a few plans for the main mill including installing a new 3 story staircase, putting in infrared underfloor heating and ripping out our old kitchen know that we have installed a huge new one.

    We also have a 150m2 top floor inside to plaster (if someone likes this) .

    So if you like such projects, you have some choice.

    General Domestic Help.
    We spend as much quality time with our 3 year and 19 month old as we can but there is always something to do... if you are a e.g. a travelling single Mum or just okay to help with some household chores, this would be a huge help.

    The work needs to get done, but it should be fun and something that interests you. We are very flexible and want our guests to have a great experience. We are looking for people who are uncomplicated and do not bring stress with them- that don't need being chased to work or to tidy up after themselves. The guest house is really nice and you will feel respected- we just ask for the same back.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Guests benefit from seeing how country living is... the freedom, sense of nature and quality, rather than the consumerism and rush of city life. You can learn about the different plants, hydroponics, discover lots of new skills and explore prehistory which sits all around us.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Help


    The land has many special corners that we want to develop. We listed some of the tasks above- the skills or experience can be summarised below:

    General building / DIY
    Landscaping & Hydroponic farming
    Design, architecture
    Archeology (we are in the middle of neolithic and bronze age settlements)
    Domestic support (childcare, cooking & cleaning)
    Physiotherapy/ massage as we both struggle due to work/small kids with tension and neck pain

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Russian: Fluent
    French: Intermediate
    Dutch: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    We offer guests to stay in a separate 4 room guesthouse that is attached to the main building, where you have all you need. Two bathrooms, one of them with bath, both with showers and toilets, and four restored bedrooms in total (see photos).. The guesthouse has a communal area upstairs with a nice view on the garden and communal book / TV area. Also a fully equipped kitchen and eating area.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    In your free time you can enjoy your time the way you would like to. On our land there is plenty to do for someone , who loves nature, as we do :) Hiking, cycling, walking, running, inline skating (all along the famous path along the canal from Bourgogne to Champagne) , Kayak/canoe on the river, Swimming, join Yoga and stretching with Lina, Forest walks, Relaxing, Meditation, Rare bird watching, Metal Detecting, Archery, Sauna & Hot tub, Virtual Reality to only name a few options :)

    We live in the middle of nature, between Langres and Chaumont, two very nice old towns. Especially Langres is famous for its medieval flair and the history and philosophy of Diderot.
    Chaumont is supported by young vibes and influence such as street art and sports and quite modern. Both of the towns have weekly markets with local products. The region here is very natural and also has some lakes within 20 minutes drive.

    Here, you really can forget Covid.

  • 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

    We have a fairly good connection- 30Mbit/s and coverage across most areas.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have 2 entrances to the main property but the main drive is very narrow. A normal panel van is fine, but more than that, you will be better to take the bumpy but much wider track. 7m is no problem... above that you might want to look on Google Maps first.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    well behaved pets. and owners.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 productive hours a day, 5 days a week- flexible.

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (4.8)

Communication: (4.8)

Host ref number: 693128995791