Care of a small miniature pony and minimal care of two miniature sheep
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We are an American couple who are blessed to own a beautiful historic estate on 181 acres of fields and forest in Brittany, France. We host workshops and Holiday Home-Stays on our property in the summer months. We are looking for a mature married couple* to help us out with care-taking, gardening, key holding and help with preparing, greeting, etc. We generally have another couple onsite who will work along side you, and when we can, we are on-site and work along side with everyone and have a lot of fun in the meantime! (Note: ours is not a moneymaking enterprise, we wish we could pay!!!! We take minimal guests, and are just trying to cover some of the costs of taxes and the upkeep of the place and have a good time in the process!!)
*Sorry, but this means no singles or families. Past experience shows that our place is too remote for single folks and doesn't work for us or them, and as far as families, we can only offer a one bedroom apartment that accommodates two people only. Though we love animals, we ask that you do not bring pets on this assignment.
We ask for 25 hours work/week per person in exchange for a lovely furnished 1 bedroom apartment (utilities and Wi-Fi included) in our 14th Century Manoir. We ask that you make at least a 4 week commitment, and if mutually agreeable, extending the stay.
These are the types of tasks we need help with: General care-taking of property; cleaning, prep, and greeting of vacation home-stay and workshop guests; General gardening; keep forest paths clear of fallen tree debris; mow lawn (we have two ride-able lawn mowers) trim hedges with electric trimmer; plant flowers and vegetables; weeding; occasionally cut down trees and chop wood as needed (we have electric and gas powered saws); Rake driveway when needed; Fertilize fruit trees; Experience in additional types of property and home maintenance a big plus! (If you have additional artistic talents, such as mural painting, tree-carving, upholstery, please let us know!)
Enjoy the majestic Brittany coast and sandy beaches, walled Medieval cities such as St.Malo, Vannes, and Dinan and the 2020 Medieval Festivals! Explore the nearby village of Rochefort en Terre (voted most beautiful village in France!), The Medieval village of Malestroit, Josselin and it's gorgeous Chateau and the Artisan village of La Gacilly, home to Yves Rocher and the largest outdoor photo exhibition in France! Explore the wonders of Carnac's Standing Stones, and visit one of the most famous landmarks in France, Mont St. Michel. If you think you would enjoy visiting and working in one of the most beautiful settings in France, please get back to us soon! If you would love to wake up everyday in the beautiful peaceful countryside on a private estate of 181 acres of field and forests; meeting and interacting with charming traditional French folk; practicing French; love the Ocean; want to be in an environment steeped in Medieval History; ....then this is the place for you! Thanks, Ernie and Terry
Though some spaces are still filled, due to Corona Virus cancellations we still need help this year from May 1 through August 17, 2020 We are asking for at least a four week commitment. Experience the 'real' French in Brittany, as it is one of the most traditional areas of France.
PS. We require a mature married couple* that own a home or have owned a home in the past. Please be aware that you must, ABSOLUTELY rent/bring your own car/motorbike while you are here. If you are coming from outside France, it is often much cheaper to rent a vehicle long term from your home country than within France. We've had married couples help us out the last few summers and have had a blast together!
After nearly 40 years of corporate life we were ready for our next big adventure and met Terry and Ernie through this platform and quickly entered into a dialogue with them about the opportunity. It was clear from our first conversation that they were the type of couple we wanted to work for. They were very easy to get ahold of and always welcomed our calls and addressed our questions and concerns. Importantly, they are honest and did not sugar coat the assignment. This is a very beautiful and large estate which requires upkeep, so if you like spending time outdoors and don't mind getting your hands dirty, you will enjoy your time here. Terry and Ernie were very reasonable about their expectations from us, we were able to self manage our time and work load. They trusted us to do as much work as we were comfortable with and capable of. We had plenty of time for enjoying ourselves and exploring Brittany. We spent many hours just exploring the grounds, finding something new and interesting around every corner. This place is absolutely stunning. They usually have two couples sharing the assignment which made our experience even better. We were fortunate to be able to share the assignment with another English speaking couple whom are now our new close friends. It was so nice to have someone to socialize, share meals, run errands, etc. It also allowed for a few weekends away from the Chateau while the other couple looked after the place. We truly enjoyed our time at the Chateau and have nothing but positive things to say about Terry and Ernie.
Peter & Janine May – July 2019 Janine and I had the wonderful six weeks experience of Care-taking for the Chateau Le Mur which is a lovely property located in an incredible part of historic and picturesque Bretagne. The work at the property was plentiful and at times very challenging though rewarding to see the gardens, orchards, buildings and rooms at their best. Terri and Ernie were very supportive and appreciated the effort put into repairs, ground keeping and cleaning. We worked closely as a team with other caretakers from other parts of the world with whom we will hopefully remain in touch. We enjoyed the local restaurants, museums, galleries, Fete de Musique (Summer Solstice) and visited the nearby villages of Malestroit, Carentoir, La Gacily...mixing it with the locals. The Chateau is in an amazing area from which to centre travels to larger and historic locations such as Josselin and further afield to Vannes, Rennes, Angers, Mont Saint Michel, St Malo. Ernie encouraged us to visit Puy de Fou, an incredible experience. Thank you to Terri and Ernie for a fantastic opportunity.
We just spent a month in the French countryside, house-sitting and working at the beautiful Chateau le Mur, owned by Terry and Ernie Monaco. The chateau is just stunning, and the manoir with the individual apartments was a perfect place to live for a month. We exchanged 25 hours of work per week and found lots of jobs to do. We really liked getting to pick and choose what jobs we thought we would be best at, and when we would do them, which allowed us to also enjoy a few out-of-area excursions. The apartment contained every convenience. With shops in the nearby town of Carentoir, we were able to stock up and do cooking "at home." The nearby town of La Gacilly was a huge treat! We also loved the social activities with other caretaker couples on site, as well as Terry and Ernie, whom we were lucky enough to get to know. They are fun and funny, and so obviously care about this historic property, and we came to really care about it too. We would go back in a heartbeat. If you have the chance to spend a month in the beautiful Brittany region of France, are willing to pitch in and do some work that best suits you, I can't think of a better place to explore than the Chateau le Mur!
Terry and Ernie are the most friendliest of all people. They welcomed us warmly, and involved us in many social events with them. Le Chateau Mur is a great place to work, the grounds are beautiful as is the Manoir. Terry and Ernie are beloved of the beautiful chateau and their enthusiasm and energy shone through and is infectious to all around. It has been a pleasure to work with them in their ideas to maintain, upkeep and improve the property. They are so approachable, an interesting and passionate couple. We would have no hesitation in returning back to the chateau to work with this wonderful couple again. We will definitely keep in contact with them. Paul and Julia
Lots of hard work preparing the grounds of Chateu Le Mur but a wonderful experience to be able to live in this beautiful part of France and enjoy being part of life in a Chateau. Ernie and Terry are an exceptional couple who made us very welcome.
We stayed here for about 6 weeks in the summer of 2016. We knew from our initial email contact that our hosts Terry and Ernie would be good fun and ‘team’ people. They are also kind and really interesting. They have tastefully renovated this gorgeous 19th century Chateau and 14th century Manoir. It is a stunning property of 181acres in the heart of the Brittany countryside, full of artistic touches, historical quirks and lots of flair. We helped in the garden, which was a pleasure to be in. We also did apartment changeovers and feeding and grooming their lovely pets (two lovely cats, a very sweet dog, miniature sheep and miniature pony). The hours were fair and flexible and they encouraged us to take time off to explore the beautiful region of Brittany. We got a great apartment to stay in, spacious, cool and comfortable with its own kitchen where we cooked for ourselves. We worked closely with the great caretakers who were here during our time, so it helps to be a team player. The atmosphere here is fun, lively and welcoming. The property is extensive, including natural woodlands and there is always lots to do, so you should have a genuine work ethic and be prepared to use your initiative. Having your own car is very useful to visit the nearby towns and many attractions eg La Gacilly, Malestroit, Josselin, Redon, Vannes, Carnac, St-Malo, Mont St-Michel etc. We would recommend helping out / housesitting for Terry and Ernie, to anyone who is happy to contribute their time and skills in return for a great base to explore Brittany, meeting very interesting hosts and the chance to stay in a beautiful historic property . Looking forward to a return visit in the future. It was a pleasure to share your property. Thank you so much! ?
John and I consider ourselves to be very lucky to have been caretakers of this fantastic property in Brittany. Our interactions with Terry and Ernie via Skype, email and phone were very professional yet super friendly. We were provided with a list of tasks to complete and a generous timetable to complete them by. Whenever a situation arose we were able to easily contact Ernie for clarification. Our timing meant that we did not actually meet Terry at the Chateau but we know this was the exception as Terry is usually present during the summer. Of course we also had a lot of time to really enjoy ourselves in this beautiful part of France. So much to see and having the Chateau as our base was a fabulous option. We thoroughly recommend anybody to take advantage of the caretaker option at Chateau Le Mur. It was a memorable experience that we will never forget.
We really enjoyed working with Ernie & Terry at Le Mur. They were very easy to 'get on with' and had realistic expectations regarding our work skills. The accommodation was fine & we enjoyed travelling about the countryside around the Chateau. Although we had committed to work 25 works a week, Ernie and Terry were very flexible about this & we were able to travel further afield for a few days at a time to visit other parts of France. A great experience that I would recommend (have recommended it to all of our friends!)
We had a thoroughly enjoyable experience at Chateau le Mur chez Monsieur et Madame Monaco! Sadly we never actually got to meet Monsieur "Ernie" as he had had to go back to the States, however we enjoyed the company of Madame "Terry" for the month of August 2017. We were able to work autonomously and pretty much chose from a list of "jobs" which needed doing around the chateau, the Manoir and the grounds in general. Nobody checked to see whether or not we had worked out our daily five hours, consequently one often did more just to finish to a point or complete the job! We were sad to leave, having very much enjoyed our time living in this rural outpost of Brittany. We have kept in touch with the Monacos to date and would hope to meet again some day.