ABOUT US & OUR STORY SO FAR
Whatever made us embark on such a huge building project?
I think we must have been mad!
Now, after three years of 'hard labour' the barns and
farmhouse are finished and being used! Yay!
It all started in 2009 when my parents bought a holiday home in a little hamlet hidden up in the Ambazac Mountains, deep in the rural region of the Limousin. We imagined spending many hours searching for wild mushrooms in the forest, exploring the many porcelain factories in Limoges and visiting the weavers hard at work making tapestries in Aubusson. No such luck! After the sale completed reality bit and instead we spent the first year renovating the house, rewiring it, putting in new plumbing, building a kitchen extension and decorating it throughout. All the time I was working on it for them my Father kept saying "I wonder who owns the farm next door? It looks derelict. We don't want it to go up for sale and end up with noisy neighbours!" He was right of course - a holiday home is all about peace, quiet and tranquility.
So I got to work... well I asked a French friend of ours to get to work! Philippe traced the owner of the house to a nursing home but unfortunately the old chap had just passed away. Now we had to find out who the relatives were and what they were going to do with the farm. The home gave Philippe the number of one of Monsieur DeJaques' nephews and wished us 'bonne chance'.
I thought it was too early to call them and enquire as he had only just passed away, but Philippe being a 'go getting' type of person didn't listen to me and called that day. The next morning a rather well put together elderly French man was knocking at my parents door. I opened it with trepidation only to find out it was the nephew of the old neighbour. He introduced himself as Monsieur Penaud and asked outright if we wanted the buy the property next door? I could have fainted there and then!
Frances and I bought it all... the two barns, the farmhouse and a little add-on house above the main house, even the forest around the property was included. Now my parents had quiet neighbours!
Well, that was until the building started and we formed the idea of our new business Crafty Retreats!
To see the build in action click here.
Partner & Brain behind Crafty Retreats
Compulsive crafter with Degree in Graphic Design and a Master of Fine Arts from Boston University. Currently undertaking SST Certified - Master Practitioner Course in Embroidery. Stone mason, decorator and interior designer for the past three years! Philippa also has many years experience teaching design and photography at degree level. She will be running some of the courses together with other highly respected specialist tutors.
Partner & Hospitality Director behind
Enthusiastic chef with Degree in Music and a Performance Diploma from The Royal Northern College of Music. Frances will be delivering mouthwatering local dishes along with her own signature dishes for all our guests. After a hard day in the kitchen and doing the washing up Frances will provide us with live piano music in the evening.