Life in a French chambres d' hotes

Back to blogging…

As regular followers of my Blog will know – I have been very neglectful of late  – in fact I haven’t written anything since the 3lst May – and it’s now almost December!  My  2nd daughter – 18-year old Lucie – has put me to shame and is racing ahead in the fame stakes with her fab fashion blog with followers around the world. So I can hardly believe the summer and autumn have passed – and the Xmas lights are already up in Bellac. What have I been doing all this time you may ask – surely it doesn’t […] Read more »

Spring into Summer

We’re now at the end of May and le temps pourris (the weather’s rubbish!) is a familiar cry around town as the French moan the terminal grey skies and non-stop rain – dont just think it’s us Brits who go on about the weather…the French are just as weather-obsessed – if not more so – as they feel hot, sunny days are their birthright. But coming from Glasgow (as I do) I used to think that having a summer wardrobe meant taking off your cardi!  But this year we seem to have bypassed Spring altogether but I’ve just checked the Meteo and it does look like […] Read more »

Changing rooms at the Maison Bellachonne

It’s been a busy old month here at the Maison Bellachonne – and I don’t just mean with guests – our room renovations have ran way over our expected schedule – so we had our own version of ‘Changing Rooms’ – ( you remember the BBC programme with Carole Smiley & Laurence what’s his name).  Well. with just 30 mins to go before our guests arrived, we had managed to put together a (very stylish!) flat-packed wardrobe, made up the bed (complete with plumped-up cushion from the Kylie Minogue interiors range), put up a curtain rail and cleared the room […] Read more »

Hope springs eternal at the Maison Bellachonne!

Spring is taking a long time to appear this year – and with Easter just two weeks’ away – everyone’s hoping for a rapid change to this bitterly cold spell which seems to have swept all over the UK and Europe. And with the Euro crisis continuing (this time in Cyprus!) – have noticed that our guests are leaving it to the last minute to book.  I guess the hospitality business is a good indicator of the economic climate – the French nervous of just what Monsieur Hollande has up his economic sleeve – plus des impots, that’s for sure […] Read more »

Renovation time chez nous

We’ve got the builders in at the Maison Bellachonne as part of our ongoing plans to renovate and improve the house for ourselves as a family and for our guests too.  So we’re creating a new bedroom ensuite on the top floor – ideal for business people/singles/one night stay guests.  This has also enabled us to create more space in the Cream Room (directly below) which means – at last! – we are able to remove the old lambri (pine-cladding) – previous owner’s bad taste I hasten to add, and transform it into the chic & classy room it was always  meant to […] Read more »

Making a lifestyle choice real

When people glimpse your French lifestyle, running a chambres d’hotes in a quaint medieval town & meeting people from all over the world, they often say to me ‘you’re living the dream – just like all those people on the TV lifestyle programmes’!  And it does make me stop and think what we have here – for which I am truly grateful…..and 3 and a half years on, we’re proof that it can be done. And the appeal of these UK programmes shows no abating –  in fact we are hosting a complete production crew for Channel 4  this weekend who […] Read more »

Saying ‘oui’ to wi-fi

Gone are the days when guests come to simply relax chez nous at our lovely chambres d’hotes in Bellac – often the first thing we are asked, as new arrivals come through the door is:  “Do you have wi-fi or how can we get on the internet?” Everyone, it would seem, these days has a smartphone, tablet or laptop – and they want to keep in touch with friends/family/business or maybe just want to plan the rest of their French adventure online.  But,  n’inquietez plus…..Maison Bellachonne is now a wi-fi hotspot (or hotspot gratuit) – rural France comes into the 21st century! […] Read more »

Autres temps….autres moeurs (Times change!)

We’ve just returned from a short break in the UK – as January & February are normally the quietest months chez nous at the Maison Bellachonne.  It’s always good to catch up with family and friends and – for me – stock up on magazines, creme eggs and Rimmel Anti-Fatigue foundation – the latter to keep the allure of an ever-youthful propriétaire!!  We even spotted our last house for sale again in the local estate agent’s window – and I felt a pang of sadness as to the old life we left behind (& what might have been had we stayed there).  It […] Read more »

Chunking it at the Maison Bellachonne b&b

A recent Maison Bellachonne guest left behind the February issue of Marie Claire magazine where I read an interesting article ‘7 New Health Tactics that work!”  One of them was about ‘chunking’  No I hadn’t heard of it either, but seemingly it’s the secret behind successful people – Chunking can apparently help you tackle overwhelming projects by taking small steps.  It’s what the French refer to as ‘petit a petit’ – and many a French guest has uttered these immortal words every time I mention the  renovation plans at our lovely chambres d’hotes. So for 2013 I will identify one thing I want to fulfill – pour […] Read more »

A positive start to 2013!

It’s hibernation time in rural France as the weather plummets to below freezing – and all shutters are closed giving Bellac the feel of a ghost town – especially after dark!  But that doesn’t mean we’re any quieter at the Maison Bellachonne chambres d’hotes (or bed and breakfast as we Brits call it) as guests continue to keep on coming even in snowy temperatures – in fact last week we had to put the ‘Complet’ sign up and even turned potential guests away.  So, why are people coming to the Limousin in mid-Winter?  It’s something I’m asked a lot – but […] Read more »