Barter Week is back – stay for free at a bed and breakfast in France
Eight B&Bs in France are taking part in the event this year, with guests pitching their manual or creative skills in return for complimentary accommodation
Following a successful launch last year, Barter Week is returning this November offering travellers the chance to stay at a range of stunning properties – for free.
The inaugural international Barter Week involved 600 properties in 64 countries with guests pitching to stay at a bed and breakfast for nothing, in exchange for certain goods or services. If the host doesn’t have a specific wish list simply offer what you think they might need, from photographs to English lessons or marketing expertise. This year’s event is due to take place from 18 to 24 November with eight bed and breakfasts in France signed up.
Château d’Ortaffa, Pyrénées-Orientales
Close to the pretty port of Collioure, Cathar castles and Spain, Château d’Ortaffa is a large residence which was formerly the episcopal palace of Elne bishops. It has been restored and redecorated with guests enjoying a breakfast of regional products and homemade marmalades on a vast terrace overhanging Ortaffa village.
Rooms have been named Picasso and Baroque, while the Tuscany suite has a panoramic view over the village, the Albères mountains and a Romanesque chapel. Owners Michelle and Alain accept barter all year round.
La Maison Blanche aux Volets Bleus, Morbihan
This hospitable maison d’hôtes, called a ‘white house with blue shutters’, is located in the centre of Brittany and is surrounded by farms.
Every day the owners, Anouck and Joris Delanghe, draw up a four-course gastronomic menu using seasonal ingredients.
They also run cooking workshops, where guests head off to the local market and enjoy lunch at an oyster farm before returning to the house to prepare that night’s dinner.
The couple are looking for guests who can show them how to make the best pizza in their wood oven, tidy up the big garden and translate their website into Spanish and Italian.
Domaine du Grenier, Côtes-d’Armor
Run as a family business since 1986, this chambres d’hôtes is set in a peaceful, flower-filled estate, four kilometres from the sea, ideally placed for discovering Brittany.
Domaine du Grenier has gîtes sleeping two to six people, as well as bed and breakfast accommodation, along with an indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub and landscaped grounds.
It took part in the TV programme Bienvenue Chez Nous, the French version of Four in a Bed, two years ago.
It accepts barter all year round.
L’Ancien Presbytère, Haute-Vienne
Make yourself at home at this 18th-century former presbytery surrounded by the rolling countryside of the Limousin region with the medieval town of Le Dorat on the doorstep.
The chambres d’hôtes has a range of rooms to cater for couples or families and is also a working smallholding, home to poultry, sheep, pigs and cows.
It was bought in 2006 and has been lovingly restored, retaining many of its original features.
The owners, Lisa and Anthony Jones, are looking for gardeners and landscapers, or anyone keen enough to help out with some gardening chores, as they would like to establish a vegetable garden and terrace on a small bank of land. Some fencing and log splitting is also required.
Domaine de Moulin Mer, Finistère
Check in to this boutique guesthouse which is surrounded by palm and lemon trees with the sea just a short walk away.
The grand manor house in Logonna-Daoulas has been renovated and decorated with period antique furniture.
Once you have completed your chores, visit the small port of Moulin Mer or discover the bay of Brest from the coastal path.
The French owner is looking for a landscape gardener to help with works around the two-hectare park or a qualified massage therapist to offer an introduction to massage lessons, as the guesthouse has a wellness room on the ground floor.
Le Presbytère de Champcerie, Orne
Located in Normandy, surrounded by greenery and countryside, this maison d’hôte would be a relaxed home from home.
The character property is a short drive from the village of Putanges-Pont-Écrepin and Falaise, with its impressive medieval castle. The owner accepts barter all year round.
For the full list of properties taking part, visit barterweek.com
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