From Barn to Luxury Guesthouse…

From Barn to Luxury Guesthouse…

In France, various outbuildings are called “dependences”, and the chateau has several of them. We didn’t need to house any cows- or carriages- so we decided instead to convert some of them into self-contained accommodation.   We thought it a perfect way to make use of these spaces AND add some additional income, which definitely

The Guesthouse is finished… finally

Since my last blog I have been pondering on how best and what to communicate with you all on an on-going basis. Some of you want the day to day and view the blog posts as an unfolding story whilst others want to see more of the chateau renovation (particularly the before and after pics),

Paris Patisserie

Once in a while, you get an offer you can’t refuse. For me, this was a chance to take part in the Workshop Fou de Patisserie, with three mega-star patisserie chefs. On top of that, it was a chance to spend some time in Paris checking out suppliers and- hopefully- doing a little bit of

Mastering the art of French cooking

The chateau kitchen was always functional enough that renovating it was not high on our list of priorities. Besides, we had plenty more to keep us occupied! Then, in the dead of winter, 2015, reality hit: the oven shorted the power every time we used it, the hot plate was often, well, not “hot”, the

Preparing for the French Summer

There is always a lot to do when I arrive at the chateau for the summer. The winter here is cold and wet and our 200-year-old chateau certainly doesn’t like getting her feet wet. So, over winter all the window shutters are closed, pool covered, outdoor furniture packed away, plants sent to the greenhouse and

Work begins on the chateau

The chateau is in the north of the Loire Valley in the Mayenne Department. You can see the exact location by putting Chateau de la Carriere La Cropte in Google Maps.  We are right on the edge of the village of La Cropte, in fact we can see the church spire from our back gate!

Lost in translation, mid-renovation

As always, we were glad to see our lovely chateau. I honestly don’t think we will ever get over the feeling of amazement when we catch that first glimpse coming up the driveway and the sense of awe that it is actually our HOME on the other side of the world!     The first

Food, glorious food…

The food in France- even in the middle of winter- is delicious but I fear a few too many baguettes, pastries, and cheeses are being consumed! We visited the local restaurant and had a meal that would match any five-star restaurant in Melbourne and for around ¼ of what we would pay.     Unbelievably

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