When we saw this housesit advertised months ago now, we knew right away it would be a good one for us. The timing was perfect, August is such a busy holiday time in Europe, so a good time for us to be off the road. There wasn’t a lot of pictures in Wendy’s advert, just the two Jack Russell’s, and one of the back garden, but in the notes was that the house was in the country near Versailles, how perfect is that.
I couldn’t get that application off fast enough!
We arrived the afternoon before our house sit starts as usual and Wendy, originally from Ireland and Patrick, a born and bred Parisian showed us around the vast 100yr old farmhouse, and the grounds, about 1 acre in total of hedged gardens, an orchard and the vege patch, full of soon to be ripe tomatoes and pumpkins!
We also met Fanny and Mona, who are just so funny and a breeze to care for.
The name of the village is Autouillet, and it consists of a church that is closed because it’s undergoing renovations, but the builders are on vacation, a Marie or the town hall, also closed for the Mayor’s holiday in August, and about four dozen houses. To say it’s quiet is an understatement.
We use less than a quarter of this massive house, just our large bedroom upstairs and its bathroom, complete with claw-footed bathtub, it’s typical French kitchen and breakfast area. The house also has two staircases, formal and informal dining rooms, six bedrooms and eight toilets, (that I have found so far). The first couple of days I got lost, and more than once!
The grounds must have been an idyllic place for Wendy and Patrick’s children, hide and seek would have gone on forever, so many places to hide.
Paris is 40 minutes away by train, and Thoiry with its huge 16th-century châteaux and safari zoo, supermarket, pharmacy and a couple of restaurants about a 10-minute walk, you can actually hear, see and smell the animals from the path down the road early in the morning.
We are surrounded by forest as well, so great for walks that we do take the dogs on most afternoons, even though they certainly have a large enough yard to exercise.
So this is where we will spend August, taking a few day trips into Paris and the surrounding area, but mainly just enjoying being here.