Renovating Our Guest House


P6800044-1024x717It was always the plan to have some form of accommodation that we could rent out for holidays when we moved to France. We had both been in the hospitality business to some degree before and we knew it was something we both thoroughly enjoyed. The pleasure of meeting new people and sharing what we had with them. Read more

Making Our Home What It Is Today

IMG_9403 - Version 2Sometimes life goes by so fast, we find ourselves running on autopilot and it takes a special occasion or a comment from a friend to make us stop and take a look at what we have actually achieved. Read more

The Potting Shed


The potting shed or the summer kitchen; in my mind it has two names and two jobs but today it is wearing its gardener’s hat! One of the best things about old houses in France is that they very often come with a host of outbuildings and the moment I saw our house, this little old structure captured my attention.


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Inside Our French Home


When we started searching for our home we had a wish list: somewhere within 20 minutes of the coast,  a large garden, a village location, and we needed enough space for a family of seven. Sounds simple enough, except it wasn’t. Roddy found and bought the house while I remained a 9-hour plane ride away with the children. Izzi was taking her final International Baccalaureate exams and couldn’t leave. After a flurry of emails, Skype calls and endless photos and videos criss-crossing the Atlantic, he returned home with documents in hand and a house purchase finally underway in France. Read more

The Summer Kitchen Revisited


This time last year I chatted about our summer kitchen and I asked your advice about what to do with the ugly, falling down, insulated ceiling. You can read the post here if you missed it. You may also remember I promised you an update in a couple of months time.

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A Very French Renovation

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I am very  excited to introduce you this week to some very dear French friends of ours who live in the south west of France. They have renovated not one, but two old farmhouses in succession for their family to live in. Read more



Having started my series of articles about renovation with a 12th century château renovated by a truly dedicated Frenchman, I thought it would be fun to go to the other end of the spectrum for my second article and meet an ‘expat’ family who have completely transformed two barns into a pair of fabulously comfortable gîtes. These jewels are nestled in the tiny hamlet of Vergné in the north of the department of the Charente Maritime and an hour east of La Rochelle, they stand alongside a lovely farmhouse which is home to Simon and Sue Paine and their two teenage children. Read more