Having been drawn to the Poitou-Charentes region and the ‘undiscovered’ Deux-Sèvres, we came to live permanently in the rural farming hamlet of Mandegault with our two young children in 1995, loving it for it’s unpretentious rurality, peace and tranquility.
Leaving behind careers in Art & Design, a major change in lifestyle began. We threw ourselves into clearing land for growing vegetables, planting fruit trees and establishing safe areas for poultry. Aspiring to self sufficiency but knowing that we would need another source of income, we embarked on a three year project to convert the stable and bread oven buildings into our two gîtes, now known as ‘Le Four du Boulanger’ and ‘Les Ecuries’. Most of the work was carried out by ourselves, right from the re-roofing and digging out of the beaten earth floors to the stencilling on the reclaimed linen curtains.
Since then, our passion in restoring old buildings has developed as has our motivation and enjoyment in offering hospitality. Our latest project was to restore a sad ruin in a beautiful setting nearby by using or re-using only natural materials in the restoration and rebuilding. With a major input from local artisans in the early stages, this ‘maison de campagne’ is now available to rent.Le Ruisseau Perdu
We take a real pride in what we do; considering ourselves, strangely enough, ‘ambassadors’ of rural France! We get a huge sense of satisfaction from welcoming guests from all over the world and inviting them to share in our lifestyle of fresh, organic garden produce, local traditions, home made jams, basil wine, free range eggs and occasional shared evening meals under the lime tree…... Our recent labour of love apart from ongoing improvements to the comfort and charm of both the gîtes and their gardens, was to restore an overgrown orchard and forgotten stone wall, extend the ‘potager’ and to plant more trees and hedging. Since 2012, we’ve been working on our ‘final project’ to restore a house and outbuilding by the beautiful lake of Lambon near Celles sur Belle. This house will be available for long term rental in September 2014.
After several years experience of rural France, we have quite an extensive knowledge to share with our guests. We’re always happy to help with anything we can from the best places to visit for local produce, markets, fairs, ‘brocantes’, gardens, galleries and concerts to local recipes, help with drawing & painting, restoring ruins ….
We look forward to welcoming you to one of our rural retreats for a relaxing taste of ‘real’ France, where a respect and forethought for the environment and local traditions are embedded in what we try to do.