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In mid 2015 we bought our French dream which was a rural cottage in the tiny village of Ladapeyre in Limousin, central France.
The property was full to the brim of rubbish and needed extensive renovation but we saw beyond this and the potential of the old stone property. It was 2016 before we started work and we visited at every opportunity to make the house fit for habitation.
At this time John had his own gardening & handyman business in the UK and Sara ran a Community Bank. Every holiday was spent in France doing work on the property.
Our dream initially was to renovate the house with a view to retiring here. Every time we came to the house it got harder to leave so we came up with the idea of running a small bed and breakfast and our 10 year plan, became a 4 year plan and we moved here in March 2019. John gave up his business and I still work remotely for the bank.
During the early part of 2019 we worked day and night and eventually opened one en-suite room and guest salon in July 2019.
The work continues to complete the second room and other renovations around the rest of the house and garden.
John & Sara Osborne
Bruce, Munchkin, Milly and Jasper, in order of pictures.
The property didn’t have any working plumbing, electrics or heating. It was full to the brim of rubbish, including old furniture, general household items, clothes and even a popup tent in the main salon.
It had clearly been left for many years unlived and unloved.
Sara initially refused to stay in the property until it had a working bathroom, so we stayed in nearby hotel until such time as John had got this installed. His first priority!
Fortunately the property was linked to the mains sewage which in France is an advantage. Many rural properties are only serviced by septic tanks of which numerous don’t meet French standards.
It took around 18 transit van loads to the tip ‘dechetterie’ to clear the property and we became very well know by the staff there!
Once it was cleared and then cleaned, the massive job began of turning this property into our home and eventually a working Bed & Breakfast ‘Chambre D’hote’.