LinguiFamily

Language Immersion Stay at Jeanne 's

France
Châteaubriant
English
From 700 € / week
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  • Graduate language teacher
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Welcome to Jeanne and Scott Farm in the Loire-Atlantique

Hi, we are Scott and Jeanne from Scotland.
We moved to France in January 2023 after going through a rigorous selection process with SAFER. In Scotland, we had a small farming business and horse breeding stud. Sadly, the land which we rented for our business and home was sold to be developed into housing. It was a heartbreaking situation, but we used it as an opportunity to change our lives! In France, we continue to breed horses which is our passion.
We have Sports Horses, Shetland Ponies, and Gypsy Cobs. We also have a small flock of sheep, a handful of rescue hens, two dogs - Thistle our 3 year old Border Collie, and Slug our 15 year old Cocker Spaniel; and a little ginger cat with an enormous personality called Rohan.

Alongside the farm, we have a little Gîte for up to six guests.

We live in the middle of absolutely stunning French countryside, just a stone's throw from the Brittany border. We're a 15 minute drive from Châteaubriant which is a beautiful French town, famous for steak (the Chateaubriand) and of course a very grand château! We're also a ten minute drive from Pouancé which has a gorgeous lake with a beach, along with water sports available throughout the summer. We're a 40 minute drive from Lion d'Angers which has all sorts of horse events throughout the year; a similar distance from the historic cities of Rennes and Angers; and just an hour away from Nantes.
We're just over an hour from the coast and the incredible city of St Malo.

Scott and I live in a beautiful fully renovated farmhouse, originally dating from the 16th century if not before. We have heating from a huge Scandinavian wood burning stove which is incredibly efficient. We burn offcuts of sustainably sourced timber from a local carpenter. The farm is just over 30 hectares of pasture and a small woodland.

Since arriving in France, we've enrolled in the local association to take French lessons and improve our communication and comprehension skills - real French is a lot harder to understand than Duolingo! Scott is now at level A2/B1 and I'm at level B2, so we can communicate pretty effectively (most of the time!) We learned about Linguifamily from the lady from whom we bought our ram (named the Fresh Prince of Bélier). Having been through the process of learning a second language, I think immersion is essential. I'm currently completing my TEFL course, which I'm finding fascinating and very enlightening, so I will be able to take my newly acquired knowledge to improve the stays of our guests, should they opt for lessons.

  • Houseold:
  • Jeanne (Woman )
  • Scott (Man )
Max number of hosts at the same time:
1 people
  • Accept:
  • 10-18 years old (girl - boy)
  • 18-25 years old (girl - boy)

A typical day with us

Each morning starts with feeding Chilli our Warmblood stallion his breakfast, letting the hens out and checking for eggs, and topping up the bird feeders.
We have breakfast which is normally toast and coffee or a cup of tea.
At the weekend if there's nothing pressing to do, we're partial to a delicious French pastry or making some pancakes. I'd normally do my French studies for a couple of hours after breakfast, but should the guests opt for English lessons, we'd do a couple of hours of studying. If not, we can go sightseeing or there's always something to do on the farm!
Before lunch, we make up the feeds for the horses, sheep and chickens, and give hay to the sheep and stallions. We bring in the firewood in the winter, and in the summer we wind out the awning and sit outside to have a yummy lunch. We always have a big pot of tea, normally accompanied by bread, butter, cheese, charcuterie and salad, followed by some fruit or a naughty biscuit.

In the afternoon, we generally get on with the jobs that need done on the farm. This varies greatly depending on weather, what's urgent, and what's the current ongoing project. This includes filling up the water troughs from the well, putting big bales of hay out for the horses, checking and fixing fencing, bringing the sheep in for foot trimming or other care, trimming hedges, tending the garden, grooming and looking after the horses and ponies, cleaning out the hen house, really the list is hugely varied and endless! We stop at around 4 or 5pm for a glass of water and a snack, then go feed the mares, foals and older horses, followed by the sheep. We take the dogs for a walk before we finish up for the day, either down to the river or up round the forest tracks.

When we get back, we feed the stallions, lock up the hens for the night, feed the dogs and Rohan, then cook some dinner. We eat a huge variety of cuisines; from traditional Scottish to oriental, French, American, German, fish, meat, vegetarian, vegan - we are absolutely foodies! We take a huge amount of interest in where our food comes from, we try our best to buy local and ethically produced meat. We are hugely interested in the environment, we try and eat "green" and try to produce as much of our own food as possible, or at least support local farmers and reduce food miles and our carbon footprint. When we have time, we love making homemade bread and baking cakes and cookies.

After dinner, we generally snuggle up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea and watch a bit of telly. We also play card games, board games, and really enjoy a film. If the weather is nice in the summer, we often just sit outside and watch the stars and bats, listen to the owls, chat and have a drink. We are blessed with very little light pollution here, so the night sky is breathtaking. We also have a pair of night binoculars which are fantastic for looking out for wildlife in infra red! We have otters on the farm down in a small pond at the bottom of the hay field. We also have deer, badgers, wild boar and hares. Oh and foxes, although they're not encouraged to hang around because they may mistake our much loved free-ranging hens for a tasty snack!

Scott is a rugby fanatic and adores watching anything rugby on the telly. He's also a pretty skilled archer, and would be happy to introduce you to a bit of basic archery. I'm happiest looking out from behind the ears of a horse, but also enjoy a bit of swimming in the lake in the summer (I'm not a winter-water-goer!) We have bikes and love cycling around the countryside, walking with the dogs and gardening - mostly growing stuff we can eat but we also make an effort to put in as many flowers that are beneficial to pollinators as we can.

For our guests, we'd love to take you sightseeing in the local area, allow you to discover and explore Châteaubriant, Martigné Ferchaud, Rennes, Angers or Nantes. There's literally hundreds of beautiful places to explore on our doorstep or a short drive away. It's a great way to learn new vocabulary that you would almost certainly never study in a classroom - and while study is essential to establish correct grammar, syntax etc, actually experiencing things will stick in your memory a lot more than a dry paragraph on a piece of paper!

We look forward to hopefully meeting you and working on your English together.

  • Room shared with One room is a double bed, the other has two single
  • Pets and animals:
    One 3 year old Border Collie, one 15 year old Cocker Spaniel, and one 1 year old ginger fluffy cat
  • Nearest public transport stop:
    Train station at Châteaubriant or Martigné Ferchaud

Paid options organized by the family

Activities:
Half day trips: These are excursions such as sightseeing in the local area. Including a visit to the Château in Châteaubriant, the war museum in Châteaubriant, market in Châteaubriant, Roche aux Fées dolmen, exploring Martigné Ferchaud... There's literally an endless list of things we can do around us.

Full day trips: These include visits to Angers and the Château, Vitré and the Château, Rennes and the museum or market, or St Malo. Lunch is included.

Machines de l'île Nantes: This includes access to the famous Elephant, the Gallery, and Marine Carousel, as well as lunch. This is a full day excursion.

Horse riding: This is at a local riding center which offers both trekking and lessons. It's a 1-hour session.

AquaPark: This is an inflatable water play park. It's seasonal, includes 2 hours of lifeguard-supervised fun in the lake. This is seasonal and weather-dependent.

Canoeing/Kayaking: This is a half-day hire of canoes or kayaks to explore the river Oudon at Pouancé. All training and equipment are provided. Must be able to swim confidently in open water. Weather-dependent and seasonal.

Tree Top Adventure: This is 2 hours of fully professionally supervised tree climbing and zip-lining in a local forest. Seasonal and weather-dependent.

Transfers:
These are the major connections around us, if there was another place within about an hour's drive we'd be happy to accommodate this as well.

  • Language lessons
  • Lessons at home
  • Paid activities
  • Half day trip
  • Full day trip
  • Full day excursion Machines de l'île Nantes
  • Horse ridding lesson 1 hour
  • Bowling
  • Mini Golf
  • Supervised lake swimming
  • Aqua park Pouancé
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Tree Top Adventure
  • Airport or station pick-up
  • Nantes airport /train station
  • Rennes airport /train station
  • Train station at Châteaubriant
  • Train station at Martigné Ferchaud

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We speak English:
     +33 7 49 08 56 74