Your hosts - Paul & Isabelle
We lived in England for about nine years where I worked as an Environmental Health Officer and Isabelle worked in administration.
We always took our holidays in France and fell in love with the Vendée because of the great weather and the relaxed pace of life. Each time we visited we found it more difficult to leave eventually decided that we would relocate. To finance the relocation we embarked on the process of renovating and extending a number of houses in England while keeping our respective day jobs. The renovations took us five years and finally in 2005 we put our house up for sale and started serious house hunting in France. We visited numerous old farms in the Vendée and eventually found Les Ammonites in the little hamlet of Chaffauds.
The farm had been disused and unloved for a number of years with the two houses and farm buildings close to derelict. There was a huge amount of work to do but we fell in love with the beautiful views and the calm and quiet environment and immediately put in an offer. We moved to Chaffauds in September 2005 when the real work of renovating began. For the first year the experience can only be described as “camping indoors” while the work progressed. It has taken over four and a half years to complete the renovation of the two houses, much longer than expected due to the sheer amount of work required.
During our renovations we exposed all of the old stone walls to the two houses, and that is where we came across the huge fossil of an ammonite stuck in the sandstone walls - hence the names of one of our holiday homes!
Having finished the holiday homes we are now in the process of converting an old barn which will become our home. We have finished all of the main renovations, and moved in last year with only a few projects left to do. We have some stunning views from our first floor windows across the gardens and open countryside!
To relax, we like nothing better than to sit and watch the sunsets with a glass of local wine, or to spend the day fishing in one of the many nearby lakes. We have also acquired a dog - Stanley - who has been a great hit with our guests!