My name is Michele and until 6 years ago I was busy in Kent teaching violin to primary school children. I started the restoration of the house 5 years ago and opened 4 years ago as a b&b/hostel enjoying enormously the contact with all the guests that have passed through the house. The house is 400 years old and has taken a lot of time and energy and passion to restore. It now has all the original features of tiled floors and wooden beams but with modern power showers and central heating. The house is a social centre for the community as it was previously owned by a celebrated photographer and is opposite the abbey that runs degree courses and is populated by students during peak seasons. My children are mostly off travelling and studying in London. I have brought up 3 children and worked in London as a Music Therapist for 12 years.
My partner is French but speaks Spanish and Dutch and English and can occasionally be persuaded to cook and when he does it is WONDERFUL. Sadly my beautiful dog Nelson has gone back to his roots to a family in UK but I still have my cat, Hector.
In the 4 years of running the b&b things have gone from strength to strength. It seems that the house chooses the people although the guests think they have chosen the house! The first year of opening I had a trickle of guests, all very kind and appreciative but still a trickle. The second year I had plenty of pyschiatrists, a life coach, a Buddhist retreat group, born again Christians and ordinary arty types. It seemed that the house chose the people necessary to guide me through my then, turbulent love life! The 3rd year, last year, with love life calm and happy the house attracted photographers, cooks, stylists, writers, followers of the Tour de France, flower arrangers, musicians etc etc. I was often fully booked and with the plumbing at full stretch I had a retired couple stay for 2 weeks from Australia who got chateaued out and went round fixing up all the necessary odd jobs! This fourth year of being open is nearly at an end. In fact I was almost fully booked up until the beginning of October. I have received many more Parisians this year and even some returning guests. Wassim from Paris returned with his whole extended family! I have musicians from Orleans, photographers from Australia, several website designers, language students, delightful musicians etc etc.
My one regret from this current year is that people didn't stay for longer. Often guests left wishing they'd booked for longer, which wasn't always possible with me being fully booked. My house continues to be a magnet for independent, creative people who are looking for something extra from their holiday and when there is a connection of like minds, it's a shame not to be able to build on this. Stay open-minded when you book! The unexpected (always good) can happen!
What can I tell you about me? I like meeting people. It is my pleasure to run this b&b and to meet people from all over the world, to speak French and to listen to what people want from their holiday.
If you want to exhibit your art here? Ask. This is something I tried out last year and sold 3 photos. But I hadn't properly sorted out prices and prints and know that I could do better next year.
The excellent up right piano has attracted pianists and singers who want to keep rehearsing and that suits me fine. I LOVE to hear the music in the house and if you are keen to rehearse with me on violin, then I would love that to.
Life motto? For me the b&b has given me the privilege of seeing so many different people. So I guess from personal experience, I think its important to be happy. Simple but takes a lot of courage to implement.
I can't live without decent coffee, plenty of hot water, music and delicious food. Oh and interesting people are certainly a plus. I like to meet people who live or think outside of the box. I guess, if you're struggling in life, you're welcome here! And if you're successful, you're also welcome! because I like to learn from people's lifestyles and choices.
Last year's obsession was Paul Coehlo books...just finished a 5th. I have them all here if you want to borrow them...More recently I have started writing again. Last book I read was a re-read of 'Life, Love Pray'.
Now teaching English full time in the village secondary school and Sambin middle school so am here ALL year round now to welcome guests.