I am a California native and Francophile. I frequently traveled to France for business and often for pleasure and have now purchased a house in the middle of my favorite country in the middle of the village of Evaux-les-Bains.
Evaux is the location of a natural thermal spring dating from Roman times. This region known as the Limousin is now part of the expansive Nouvelle Aquitaine region which includes Limoges and Bordeaux and extends all the way south to Biarritz. Evaux-les-Bains is located in the eastern part of the region close to Chambon-sur-Voueize and is surrounded by astounding natural beauty, many lakes and hiking trails. There is fishing in nearby Etang-de-la-Lande. The Voueize and Tardes rivers, tributaries of the Cher river run through this area from the Loire valley.
The house was once part of a chateaux and has some interesting architectural features. I suspect that there may be additional features to be discovered. It is built on solid bedrock so it is in great shape for its age but unfortunately the current decor that looks to be from the early 1970s. The house is in need of not only updating but some light remodeling.
The property has a studio apartment which has been run as a rental for those taking the waters at the local thermal spa. This apartment would be available to volunteers. The house also has a good size bedroom on the top floor for volunteers to use. Attached to the house is a retail space which I use for my personal atelier and eventually also a gallery.
I would love to host a couple and/or one or two single persons to help with general clearing, cleaning, painting, repair and I would welcome ideas to make the maintenance of the house more efficient.
Local activities include hiking the Les Rochers de Bord trail, visiting the thermal spa and the local casino, and kayaking the surrounding rivers.
Several wineries are located around Clermont-Ferrand and the closest airport is also located in Clermont-Ferrand - an hour and a half away. Montlucon which is approximately half an hour away has an SNCF train station.
This central location can be ideal for weekend mini breaks if you have a car because it is just over 3 hours to Bordeaux, Cognac and Lyon and 4 hours to Dijon or Le Mans.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This region of France is unknown to the average traveler. It is a much more immersive experience in terms of language and rural culture and regional cuisine. The beauty of this countryside is undeniable and offers an opportunity for outdoor activity in a safe and pristine environment while still being within driving distance of major cities.
Please note that I will be in the US and France from the end of October to the beginning of April. The telephone number listed is in France and the mobile number listed is in the US.
Creative people who have an interest in renovation and are willing to strip wallpaper, pull up carpets and help to create a beautiful space which reflects a historic French aesthetic are welcome.
This host offers a language exchange
My native language is English but I am learning French. I would welcome a French speaker.
The studio apartment located on the first floor would be ideal for a couple or possibly a single person whereas the top floor bedroom is roomy enough for two but is intended for another single person. Each room has it's own bathroom which must be cleaned thoroughly each week by the volunteer(s).
Towels and linens will be provided and washed weekly. A washer and dryer are available in the garage. The use of the laundry should be coordinated with those present in the household.
A continental breakfast will be provided daily in addition to dinners, with the exception of Saturday dinners. If you are someone who enjoys cooking it would be fun to prepare some meals throughout the week. Cleanup and dishes will be the responsibility of those not cooking the meal.
As I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke, there is absolutely no smoking permitted and smokers are not welcome due to second-hand smoke. I also have cats which will be moving from the US to France in the near future, so if you are allergic to cat dander you should consider this.
There is local bus service but a vehicle is recommended so that you can take advantage of the hiking, fishing, kayaking, etc. Countless villages are along the main routes of this region, often built on the banks of rivers and each has their unique charm. Within Evaux-les-Bains is the casino and the thermal hot springs. Within walking distance are bakeries, cafes, a pharmacy, groceries, post office, etc. The ancient cathedral of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul is around the corner and open to visitors every day but is completing renovation at this time.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Part time remote workers are welcome provided they have 4 hours a day available to help with projects.
There is a municipal campsite .6 miles from the property at Av. de Budelle, 23110 Évaux-les-Bains, France. Arrangements to reach the house would need to be arranged.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week