Practise yoga and self-development in a gorgeous healing retreat centre in Nouvelle Aquitaine, France



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  • Description


    We opened a healing retreat centre in south west France in 2015. Matthew works in peace work in the middle East and as a couples coach. Emma is a writer and is now working hard trying to make the retreat centre a success, but there is always so much to do. We have 4 children, 3 of whom are grown up and visit occasionally, one aged 12 who lives here.

    The retreat centre is used for yoga courses, self-development workshops, shamanic trainings etc. Tasks could include pruning plants, helping prepare meals for the groups that visit, washing up, cleaning, tidying up the grounds, planting vegetables and looking after our cats - to create a beautiful experience for people attending the courses.

    At other times of the year we need help keeping the outside environment beautiful: weeding the flower beds, straightening the sunbeds, hanging out washing, but someone flexible that could also turn their hand to painting furniture, or indeed help move it, popping into town to pick up lunch or some lightbulbs. Sometimes there are projects we all get involved with, other times there are things to do alone. If you have particular needs please let us know.

    We are also keen to improve our French - we are currently at intermediate level and would like to become fluent - so would welcome native French speakers who would be willing to spend time talking slowly in French with us.

    We are in the countryside a couple of km from the market town of Chalais. This is a quiet place, although Bordeaux is less than an hour away by train.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    Language practice

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Matthew was brought up in the Middle East and left Lebanon during the war to move to England, but never felt at home there. Emma is Scottish by blood but has lived around the UK and in Egypt. They would both love to live in the Middle East but settled in France because it's much safer. We like to welcome people from all over the world into our family. We will include you in our family activities so don't be shy! Although this is France we speak English at home. Matthew enjoys scuplting and music and there is usually a creative project on the go you can get involved in.

  • Help


    The kind of help we need varies each day. If there is a course going on then you would help us keeping the place feeling lovely. When the workshop guests leave we head outside to keep the weeds at bay. We have dug a vegetable patch and grown our own veggies this year so watering that too.

    Our season is April-October so outside of those dates, during the winter, the tasks do not include hospitality and are more likely to be repairing, re-painting, tidying, cleaning.

    We are also keen to improve our French - we are currently at intermediate level and would like to become fluent - so would welcome native French speakers who would be willing to spend time talking slowly in French with us.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Arabic: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    Often a pretty bedroom with ensuite or private bathroom but it depends if we have lots of guests in which case you may have to share with a workaway of the same gender.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    It's very rural with walks and bike rides around us, a nearby river for fishing and kayaking and we have a swimming pool. The nearest town in walking distance is Chalais which is on the line between Angouleme and Bordeaux which are both nice cities to explore. We have bicycles you are welcome to use.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 945954443655