Meet your hosts
We are Andrea and Luke. We live on site full time with our son and a collection of animals - from our great dane, through to the our free range chickens, and an assortment of 'barn' cats. We moved to France in 2012 with a desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle in rural France. Its been an amazing journey with lots of ups and downs (mainly ups!). Running the gites gives us a huge variety in life - running a small business is often like that - one day you can be clearing the stream or cutting hedges, the next it's accounts, or updating the web site, life is never dull. Helping the guests settle in and enjoy their stay is also very rewarding - its good to see them looking increasingly relaxed and refreshed as their holiday progresses. We enjoy chatting to them and being on hand to ensure they enjoy their stay - for example drawing out a map of an ideal circuit for a morning run, through to advising on the best local restaurant for a special family event.
SInce moving here we have tried to become more self sufficient and reduce our impact on the planet - we now are self-sufficient in eggs from our free range hens, we have carefully managed the trees on the site to allow to become self sufficient in firewood. We have spent time creating a number of wildlife habitats around the grounds - guests have occasionally been lucky enough to see fire salamanders, deer and the wild boar for which Brittany is famous (after their regular appearances in the Asterix books). There is a family of wild boar living in the woodlands behind us - and the cottages were named after them (Les Gites du Sanglier translates to the WIld Boar Cottages). We have created nesting sites and now have swallows that return each year, along with blue tits, coal tits, chaffinches, wrens, robins and we often have the local buzzards resting in our trees, when not wheeling overhead. Bats and owls are regular visitors and can be seen and heard on summer evenings. There is still more we would like to do, especially increasing our veg patch and fruit trees.
From childhood holidays we have loved France; the combination of beautiful scenery, amazing food and wine, warmer weather, friendly people and a great outlook on life - all adding up to a great quality of life. In 2008 whilst on holiday in France we started properly looking for a base to enable us to visit more easily and have somewhere where we could entertain friends and family, somewhere in France we could call our own. The search continued every time we visited in 2009 and 2010.
By 2010 there had been a subtle shift in our thinking - what about moving out to France? We then started looking for somewhere that we could run as a small business, whilst giving us the chance to meet people and have space for the entire family to stay!
We had a vision of what we wanted - something we could put our own stamp on, somewhere that had real character, whilst being close to local attractions, and with good access to the rest of Europe, especially the UK.
It took a further 18 months of hunting, and countless trips, until we found what we were looking for - a great location, a beautiful building with real potential. A few months later (in early 2012) we picked up the keys and the hard work began..
We now live here permanently and have been welcomed into the local community. We have been doing our own version of 'Grand Designs' to preserve and update this beautiful example of Breton architecture, from a tired building at risk of falling down, transformed into a beautiful home and holiday cottages that have retained their charm but offer modern comfortable living for our guests. Every year we add new features whilst also trying to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
We look forward to welcoming you to our little slice of France.