I, Isabel (former actress and restaurant manager from London) and my french partner David (farmer) have bought a "pile" in a beautiful region, 2 hours south of Paris, near the Loire - a bit off the usual beaten tourist tracks.
The place is huge... in generally good condition... but it has been uninhabited for 2 years.
We moved here in May (from our farm in Pas de Calais where we have been successfully hosting workawayers for 5 years)... and now we need a small army of good-natured and enthusiastic volunteers to help us knock it into shape.
- You could reclaim the chicken run from nature, clean out the coop, mend the fences and settle in a new flock...
- You could clear-out any number of outbuildings, finding treasures and (more likely) bagging and burning rubbish
- You could throw open the main house, tidy, clean... burn... and whitewash the entire place from floor to ceiling so we have a blank canvas for future renovation...
- You could help me clean, decorate, prepare and run our 7 room Bed and Breakfast complex
- You could trim trees and shrubs and generally reclaim the grounds from Mother Nature
- You could create herb, vegetable and flower beds around the house
One of the first jobs is to get the pool up and running so that whatever happens we can all relax after a hard days work!
The farm is lovely, peaceful and private, loads of space around it with lots of lovely walks.
We are near the charming town of Nevers which has good train transport connections to Paris. And Sancerre which has excellent wines! We are also near to Magny Cours race track so opportunities for fun days out if you like fast cars and motorbikes!
David will help you with your French and I will cook and keep everyone as happy and as comfortable as I can! I suspect things may be a little chaotic as we learn what needs doing but we hope to have fun in the process!
Isabel et David.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
This is a new area for us so this summer will be as much of an exploration for us too. David speaks only French and is happy to help people who are interested in picking up a few words. It is a wine area so I am hoping to make contacts with local producers. It is very near to the Parc de Morvan which we are looking forward to explore. It is an area that is a little off the usual tourist track so we hope to find a more gentle pace of French life. This would be a great place to combine with other hosts perhaps with in the national parc or for people who have arrived in Paris and plan to work their way through France...we would be a great first port! We look forward to welcoming people who are open to all sorts and happy to be part of our own explorations and discoveries.
Outside spaces need organising. Loads and loads of things to paint..shutters and gates and interior walls, doors...if it isn't moving it will probably need painting! Outside walls and pavings to be pressure washed. Gardens to organise. A chicken run to tidy and re-stock. Lots of sorting out. Sewing if anyone can, curtains, cushions etc. Some artistic in-put, however small or large is always welcome. Fields to organise with David, fences and boundaries to repair ready for animals arriving. If anyone can do basic building work, is good with some woodwork then that would be most helpful too.
French and English
Well, there are three houses and a huge barn of a bed and breakfast space. The houses are in need of a bit of TLC in order for them to be habitable so my idea is that people can use some of the rooms in the B&B all of which have their own bathrooms and are clean and tidy. There is kitchen and laundry facilities. I envisage cooking for everyone as I always have done but there is also the scope for you to be quite independent if preferred.
David speaks no (or very little) English so we tend to speak french all the time but I am of course there to speak english if needs be. Our nearest large town is Nevers which has good train connections from Paris and I am happy to collect you from Nevers..... There are cats and large dogs (Labs etc) galore so people should be comfortable with that. They love being walked! This is an opportunity to experience a wonderfully calm rural quiet traditional French way of life with a little twist.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
(max 25hours/week) very flexible...we start early but if you prefer to work in the afternoons then that's fine.