we are Guy and Cybèle, a english-french couple eco-renovating a late eighteenth century house in the charming village of Cherval (the village has a restaurant/bar and a bakery).
It's a small house with a large garden and we are looking for some help with both. The most part of the renovation is done but we would appreciate some help to finish.
The garden is just over an acre of land with small fruit trees : figs, hazelnuts, cherries, prunes, peach and apricot tree etc. We are interested in permaculture and intend to create what will be mostly a forest garden. There is a pound with some residents Koï carps.
We like to share eating together, talk, taste wines and nice recipes. When we eat, we eat at table and have a real meal with food and sometimes wine with the use of mobile phones kept to a minimum.
We eat mostly organic without much meat, vegetarians are welcome. Vegans too, though you may have to give us cooking tips and/or extra cooking help.
Inside, conditions are quite basic, but with hot running water ! You could camp in the garden. (We had a room with tatamis, but we are isolating it right now...). We have a suitable place for you to park your vehicle or camper van.
We accept smoking outside.
We speak English, French. Guy speaks Italian and some Spanish. Cybèle speaks German and some Japanese. The language we use at the house is usually French, but can be English too.
We have 2 cats, so we can't accept other animals.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
You will be able to take part in an eco-renovation learning some of the techniques that we have been learning. We use only natural materials. You can learn about natural insulation materials and how to apply them.
We can explain the local area and suggest places to visit. We could take you to visit some sites of interest locally such as the nearby château de Bourdeilles and Abbaye de Brantôme or an abandoned castle in the woods. There is a some concerts in the villages around im summer. You could also enjoy swimming in the river.
Guy is interested in history and politics, and Cybèle in pottery, theater, danse.
Guy is a cycle tourist and can advise on places to go by bike. Cyclists are particularly welcome.
We can help travelers with their level in French or English.
In 2019, the house is our priority, we need help to finish the renovation.
Help needed soon :
From 20 to 26th of August we will do an lime and hemp mortar to insulate inner walls. We already have some neighbors to help and we need one or 2 helper with strength to help with the preparation of the mortar (cement mixer).
After, we will have to :
- Fit poplar wood panels beneath the wood wool roof insulation,
- Do an earth, straw and lime mortar insulation for the inside of a south facing wall,
- Install a reed bed (phytopurification) water treatment system (next spring),
- - Build a wood wall for the new bathroom,
- install the plumbing for our first floor bathroom and our new ground floor kitchen. Someone with knowledge and experience to share in this area would be great !!
Garden is lovely in spring/summer, you could also enjoy it and help us for :
Picking fruits (summer/autumn)
Make some delicious recipes with fruits and vegetables (including jams and syrups) (summer)
Redesign and plant the pond to encourage natural life /Feed resident carp coy.
Removing staghorn sumac trees
Planting trees (in autumn)
Collecting wood (autumn/winter)
French, English, Italian, German, some Spanish and Japanese
It's a small house with a downstairs living room and two upstairs rooms. You will sleep in an upstairs room which you get to by a ladder. Alternatively, we could sleep upstairs and you would sleep in the living room downstairs. From mid May onwards, the weather should be warm enough for camping. Camping is also possible, but obviously not obligatory unless we are doing a job with lots of volunteers. We can discuss this by e-mail.
The tgv fast train from Bordeaux, Paris, Poitiers or Tours arrives at Angoulême.
There is a bus from the Angoulême sncf railway station, direction Perigueux. Look up Transpérigord to find the times. It then costs just two euros to go by bus to La Rochebeaucourt et Argentine or Mareuil, near to us. You can put your bike (non dismantled) in the hold. In France, you can carry a bike dismantled in a bike bag on all trains apart from the Ouigo trains without paying extra.
Alternatively our nearest railway station is Montmoreau Saint Cybard on the slow train (TER) from Angoulême to Bordeaux. The station is 23kms 14.5 miles from our village.
Around Cherval are a lot of nice villages with cafés and concerts im summer.
We are 17 kms from Aubeterre Sur Dronne, where there is a monolithic church and a similar distance to the covered market in Villebois Lavalette where there is a castle.
In Angoulême, there is a festival of comics once a year and the museum of comics. Périgueux is just over an hour on the bus. It's the capital of the local area and a historic town with big street markets on wednesdays and saturdays.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week