Stay with us and our animals in our beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, South West France



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    UPDATED 22nd May 2019 with projects currently underway

    We are now looking for help with:

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Preparation, planting and maintenance of Vegetable Garden and Greenhouse
    *️️️️️️ General Garden Maintenance - strimming, hedge trimming, weeding
    *️️️️️️ Cutting up wood from recently cut down trees
    *️️️️️️ Renovation of furniture

    Other Work Planned for this Year

    *️️️ Creation of a Winter 'snug' from the original old kitchen
    *️️️ Clearing loft space to allow for roof insulation and boarding

    PLEASE NOTE: Previous experience of using petrol equipment such as a chainsaw, professional strimmer, hedge cutter ESSENTIAL if you are wanting to be involved in tree and hedge

    We would like help to renovate a beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, a small rural village in South West France, 1 hour south of Toulouse.

    15 years ago we fell in love with this beautiful house despite the work it needed. For us the amazing space and rural location was perfect for our young family. Its been our greatest pleasure bringing up our 2 daughters with the freedom and relaxed lifestyle we have found here.

    However whilst doing this we haven't managed to get as much work completed as we would have liked. But now they are 'all grown up' ..... well kind of ...... the time is available to get on with the renovations and finally realise the dream to run this as a bed and breakfast eventually.

    We are English and in our late 50s and have 2 daughters aged 24 yrs and 19 yrs.
    Brian works full time in Toulouse travelling back and forth 4 days during the week (works from home on a Friday) and has the weekends free. He loves all sport and in particular Rugby.

    I, Caroline, am based at home and run a small business selling greetings cards and work part time for a local milliner. What I enjoy most is renovating the house and garden but I need help. Cooking, anything crafty and animals are also my passions.

    Harriet, 24yrs, lives and is at University in Montpellier, and Alana, 19yrs, lives and at University in Toulouse. Both pop home occasionally.

    We have some lovely pets; Mowgli our 8yr old dog, Lilly a young dog that arrived in December. She surprised us by havin 6 puppies not long after we got her from a rescue centre. We have kept one of the puppies and he is called Teddy now 4 months old !

    We also have Matilda and Harry our cats as well as miniture goats and chickens. Occasionally horses and donkeys come to help by eating the grass in our fields .... there is really too much land but it gives us great privacy !

    We love being outside in the gorgeous weather we are lucky to have in the Summer months, so if you like the idea of coming to Saint Marcet, sharing a glass of wine alongside a good home-cooked meal in exchange for some help, then we would love to meet you.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Improve their language skills, we are predominately an English speaking family. Brian is fluent in French so would be happy to help with French.
    Learn to use DIY and renovation tools and outdoor machinery. Learn variety of DIY skills such as plasterwork, renovation of brickwork, pointing etc
    Renovation of furniture and a variety painting techniques
    Learn concepts of permacultural living, recycling, upcycling (and real cycling if you fancy riding a bicycle up and down the hills ! ), knowledge of plants, propergation and other general gardening skills.

  • Help


    We are looking for workawayers to help with both indoor and outdoor projects and have listed those currently being undertaken above.

    PLEASE NOTE: Some of the help required is physically demanding so you need to be fit, and have experience working in outside environments.

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ You will need to have your own suitable outdoor clothing, work shoes, gloves etc *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️

    It is very important you can help independently and without supervision at times. You should be someone who likes the countryside, rural locations and the outdoors.

    During Winter months the weather can be extremely cold and variable.
    In the Summer it can be VERY hot and because of this we are happy to be flexible with working times ie. to work early morning and late afternoon/early evening.

    Knowledge of working with electric and petrol tools is necessary for some outdoor work.

    Help with caring for the animals, dog walking and some general household jobs would be useful .
    If you fancy cooking occasionally that would be nice too.

    Future projects will include creation of a Winter snug where the kitchen once was. This is a project we would like to tackle before the Winter of 2019. Clearing out our huge attic space to allow for insulation. A job best done in the cooler weather !

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English and French

  • Accommodation


    We currently offer a large bedroom with a double bed and a sofabed and a bedroom with a large single bed and sofa
    There is use of two shared bathrooms.
    There is also plenty of room outside should anyone want to camp or come with their own motorhome.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in a rural farming community area and the village is small with a bar, a church, a local baker, tennis courts, a small fishing lake and a very large village hall that occasionally has an event or two happening.

    We have bicycles available to explore the area although they are not new and it is pretty hilly around here. There are some lovely places to go on walks.

    When possible we are happy to take you to and from our nearest towns Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse which are approximately 10kms away. On average I go to St Gaudens a couple of times a week and this is the nearest main line train station. There is a cheap bus service to Toulouse running from Boulogne. You are also welcome to join us on trips to other towns when possible.

    Local towns have all the shops and amenities you may need, lovely lakes, walks and markets to explore and offer rail and bus links to bigger cities such as Toulouse, Tarbes and Pau.

    The Pyrenees are less than an hour away by car with a host of activities, including mountain trails for walking and cycling. There are also many places for canoeing and rafting around the villages between us and the Pyrenees.

    Spain is also about an hours' drive away if you fancy practising another language !

    Nearest Airports are Toulouse, with budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair flying in and, Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees (sometimes just known as Lourdes) with Ryanair flying in. There are many other airlines that connect with Toulouse.

    There are train links from both Toulouse and Tarbes to Saint Gaudens and a bus link from Toulouse to Boulogne sur Gesse.
    We can collect you from Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse.

    Car shares are often available through blablacar

    Coach/buses to and from Toulouse through megabus, flixbus and ouibus. All offering cheap deals from city to city.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

A lake, walk and thermal baths about one hour drive from us
And Brian, likewise, no hard work happening in this photo !
This is me, Caroline, when I'm not renovating or gardening !
View from a local walk on the ridge across from our house
Our house in the one in the middle of the photo
A Heart to welcome you and a Dreamcatcher to make sure your dreams come true
A more shady area to sit and relax
View looking from our garden up to the village church
The front of the house

Host ref number: 927722941526