• Our journey,  Work in progress

    One year of Maison de la riviere

    It’s hard to believe that we’re already celebrating one year in business. After a painstaking nine-month renovation project that costs us a few neurons and damaged muscles, as well as a few quid, we were finally in business. Come December 2018, we welcomed our first group of guests. Apart from my humble waitressing career more than a decade ago and the customer servicing skills I have acquired during my many years as account manager in advertising, I had no experience in hospitality. Neither did my husband, a self-confessed ‘hater’ of people. But thanks to his remarkable design skills and my irresistible charm, it appears that we managed to strike the…

  • Daily life,  Our journey,  Work in progress

    The joys of pollarding trees

    When we moved to Maison Barbe in November 2017, we found the driveway covered in leaves from the four huge plane trees on both sides of the entry gate. Walking around the grounds, we’ve identified another four, even taller, plane trees, three of them sustaining the goats’ hut. We didn’t think much about it, but have subsequently found out that the said trees need to be pollarded yearly so they stay under control. If you don’t know what pollarding is (and neither did I until now), it is a method of pruning that entails cutting the higher branches of trees to restrict their growth in height. I didn’t know what…

  • Our journey,  Welcome to Frenchfully,  Work in progress

    Maison Barbe: in the making

    This is Maison Barbe, the cottage we have been renovating since we moved in last year in November. Happy to report that the works are going well and we can finally see it transforming under our eyes and becoming more welcoming than how we found it. To add more space to its somewhat small rooms (typical for this type of béarnaise-style farm house) we have decided to paint all the dark-colours in white or light grey, as you can see from the photo below, which is the living room. We are keeping the original floor-tile, but all the dark bricks surrounding the wood burner have been covered in light-grey paint.…