Favourited 475 times
Looking for somewhere idyllic to spend lockdown? And missing the memory of a family Christmas? We have welcomed workaways for both and look forward to finding like-minded souls to share this special time with our family at Mont Joly. It might not be the best time to travel but sometimes you can discover a gift in challenging circumstances.
We love sharing our slice of heaven with like-minded people who join our family. Seeing the transformative effect our place has on others rewards and validates us, and makes the ongoing project more pleasurable. This place is made to be shared, and as a 10 bedroomed chateau with extensive grounds and vineyards, there is always something to be done and enjoyed!
We came to SW France on holiday over 12 years ago and fell in love with the area and our chateau. We stayed, and created a new life based on family and friend connections, contact with nature, healthier living and expanding our horizons. Our kids are now 13, 18 and 21 year old (the older 2 now studying and working in UK) and we have 2 adorable dogs, cats and chickens.
We have welcomed over a dozen workaway couples since starting 2 years ago and relish wonderful exchanges and experiences and feel that our family is expanding.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
My husband and I retrained as life coaches and work from home with separate trips back to London for work and training. We occasionally host coaching, wellbeing and leadership retreats for groups. We are well integrated into the local community and are fluent in French but this is an English speaking household.
We both come from families with an 'open door' policy. We love sharing our dream life and home with others and learning from them too. Sharing my own childhood with children of many nationalities made me a linguist and we all have a love of travel. Our former aupairs of up to 16 years ago still visit and remain very much part of the family. In terms of language, I have experience in TEFL and we have an extensive library of English books, DVDs as well as local guides. We can direct you towards French resources. You are also welcome to join me in mindfulness and yoga practice.
Our place would best suit an enthusiastic, animal loving, non smoking couple who seek to get the most out of each day. Driving license and cooking skills are a bonus too. Your own transport will help you make the most of all there is to do in the area, although we are happy to drop you off for buses etc too.
In terms of projects, there's a long list to choose from depending on your initiative and skill set. There's always wood to be chopped for fires so some heavy lifting required in addition to general gardening. And we are removing render in our barn renovation project. Plus general house help/light DIY, window cleaning etc. If the weather is bad, there's always work to be done on the computer. Previous workaways have house and pet sat if we're away and enjoy being king/queen of the castle! Recent projects include building a garage from a kit, a treehouse platform (waiting for the treehouse to be built) and creating a labyrinth walk in the garden.
We are passionate and hardworking and expect our workaways to be the same, 5 hours per day for 5 days a week (not including helping at family meals) but we are flexible and will encourage you to make the most of good weather and explore, and there is ample opportunity to relax and travel too.
We have 4 ensuite double or triple bedrooms furnished and decorated to a high standard. We expect volunteers to leave the rooms and house as they found them. We have a low red meat diet and normally grab a sandwich at lunchtime and have the main meal together each evening - enthusiastic cooks are particularly welcome. This is a strictly non smoking and only occasional drinking home.
If you love nature, either for adventure or relaxation, then there is a wealth of things to do. A car is preferable for making the most of the surrounding area but previous guests have made the most of cheap buses for Spain (San Sebastian) and the beach. If you're happy to stay put (and many find it hard to leave the sanctuary of the chateau), we are happy to pick you up from train/bus stops in Pau. We are 15 minutes drive from the historic city of Pau, an hour from the mountains and Spain and 90 minutes from the Atlantic surf. We have bikes and are on wonderful cycle and hiking routes, but our lofty position means only the very fit cyclist can face the Tour de France type climbs to reach us and public transport. I spend a lot of time on the school run so am happy to give you a lift when it's on my way. We encourage guests to share in our family life if they wish, whether at playing cards after mealtimes or on dog walks or excursions.
We request that volunteers provide personal references if they are not already reviewed on Workaway and be available for a chat via Skype. Please quote 'Dreams' to show you have read and understood before applying. We look forward to hearing from you and, I hope, help in realising more dreams during your travels.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Lots of space for parking
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile: