About your hosts and
what makes an
award-winning gite

 

Moving to rural Southwest France to start a holiday accommodation business    

  Meet your hosts, Vanessa & William, and read about their journey on moving to rural France

then discover their story behind creating an award-winning gite 

 

A couple standing on a bridge, gazing at a house in the background.

Bye-bye UK 

In 2016, after years of hard work and feeling the passage of time, they longed for a new and exciting adventure. Vanessa's marketing expertise and fluency in French, combined with William's carpentry and renovation skills, as well as their shared love for vintage fashion and antiques, led them to make a daring decision. They decided to start a business together in France.

During a visit to a French trade show in London, they had the chance to make valuable connections. Within a few weeks, they found themselves in the captivating region of the Dordogne, located in the beautiful South West of France. It was a place completely unfamiliar to them.

As a result, they said goodbye to their cherished home in Clare, Suffolk, and embraced a new chapter in their lives. This chapter would be filled with excitement and endless possibilities.

To discover more about this fascinating journey and see how their story unfolds, keep reading...

 

Version 1: A serene bench overlooking calm waters, providing a peaceful spot for relaxation and contemplation.  Version 2: A wooden bench positioned near the water's edge, offering a tranquil setting to sit and enjoy the scenic view.  Version 3: An inviting bench placed beside the water, creating a serene atmosphere for individuals to rest and admire the picturesque surroundings.

Is there a perfect place?

They explored over 30 properties in their search for the perfect home and business spot, ranging from run-down wrecks to charming small chateaux. Along the way, they made a wish list of must-haves, including extra space for a vintage clothing collection and William's expanding Tin-Tin and Napoleonic memorabilia.

Their top priorities were finding a place with French charm, a refreshing pool, a village bakery, and scenic rural walks. They also wanted it to be conveniently located near a train station and airport. If they could find a location with plenty of sightseeing attractions and amazing dining options nearby, they knew it would be the ideal foundation for a successful holiday accommodation business.

It seemed like a challenging task, but in the enchanting village of Mialet, they stumbled upon an old coach house that miraculously met all their requirements. Once their offer was accepted, they wasted no time in selling their home in Clare. Just a little over six months later, they finally held the keys to their new house. Sometimes, everything falls into place perfectly, doesn't it?

A house with vibrant green shutters, adding a touch of colour to its exterior.

What is a gite?

When they explored their options for accommodation, they realized that their house would make a perfect gite. But what exactly is a gite, you might wonder? A gite, also known as a rural holiday rental home in France, is a typical home of the region. It is solely meant for holiday stays, giving you the flexibility to prepare your own meals. Unlike regular accommodations, gites do not offer cleaning or bed-making services, allowing you the freedom to come and go as you please while enjoying your own space and privacy.

Gites are ideal for those who enjoy self-catering, as they are equipped with all the essential amenities you would expect in a home away from home, such as internet access and washing machines.

Considering these aspects, it's no surprise that discerning guests would prefer gite accommodation over traditional bed and breakfast options.

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Your French Stay is born

So, they Introduced "Your French Stay" - a brand that encompasses holiday rental homes. The first gite they created, aptly named "Beaux Souvenirs" (beautiful memories), was designed with couples in mind, offering a unique and truly French experience. Situated in a charming setting, it offers all the conveniences of home, prioritizing relaxation. The objective was to instantly impress guests with a sense of awe as soon as they entered the gite.

In addition to that, the hosts have intentions to refurbish another one-bedroom apartment on the premises, affectionately called "Le Calid" (The Hug). This delightful area would serve as useful additional accommodation when combined with Beaux Souvenirs for groups requiring three bedrooms for up to six guests. 

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A swimming pool with vibrant orange flowers adorning its surroundings.

What makes an award-winning gite

In addition to all the wonderful features like a beautiful gite, exceptional customer service, and extra amenities, there is something extraordinary about this place - a fashion museum! It's not something you come across every day in France. The owners of this gite understood the importance of standing out in a competitive industry, so they decided to create their on-site fashion museum. Here, they proudly showcase their collection of vintage fashion gems. This may be the only gite in France with such a unique facility.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed, as they were awarded the Most Unique Self-Catering Accommodation-South West France in the LuxLife Hospitality Awards in November 2023. They are incredibly proud of this achievement and genuinely hope that this addition enhances the holiday experience for their guests, creating cherished memories to take back home.

They can't wait to welcome you!