We are Linda and Russell, an English couple who came to France looking to be self-sufficient, and to enjoy more time with our young family in warm sunshine, enjoying good food.
Arrived from the UK in 2003 with four children …
House hunting with 3 under 5's could be difficult. Yet, despite this, we managed to find our dream house ...
It wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea! Most thought we were crazy, but then we can cope with being different!
Renovated an ancient monastery …
So we moved into our delapidated old monastery. No mains water, but we had a well. No central heating, but we had open fireplaces. Some rooms had no doors or windows. We stayed in the most habitable rooms with a camping stove and started with a ridiculously low budget for renovations!
Whilst renovating we both ran our own businesses, so from time to time we’d put our earnings towards something life-changing. For us they were the wonderful ponies, Jump and Poli, the 1953 Massey Ferguson, and then the pool, which was so welcome in the hot Bordeaux summers.
Passionately about the environment, love animals and health conscious …
Over the years we’ve had all sorts of animals, including injured or underweight hedgehogs. As we are definitely animal lovers, several of us became vegetarian. Eventually this became vegan, and as one of these is the cook in the family, plant based food has been the main option for some years now.
Our time in France has been wonderful although not always easy. Probably because of the hard times, we have learned to appreciate the simple things in life, make do and mend, recycle and upcycle. That ethos has stayed with us ever since.
The children are all grown up now, so it was time to think about our next adventure ...
Moulin de la Cueille, on the banks of the River Clain.
The Watermill …
On our first visit we fell in love with this watermill and its idyllic setting. We hope our guests will to.
Our way of life is built around natural methods and materials.
A haven for wildlife, a retreat for our guests, an opportunity to get back to real life.
The clean river water of the Clain flows through wild woodland at La Cueille, the air is fresh, and the wonder of nature is abundant.
So what do we offer our guests?
Healthy eating : to sample or share a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, offering home made plant based breakfasts.
Picnics and evening meals are available on request, with low sugar or no sugar desserts.
Most foods are locally produced and organic, and some are picked along the local footpaths.
Healthy environment : comfortable beds, organic linen and quiet places to contemplate and inspire. Enjoy the views, catch sight of the heron or the dashing kingfisher.
Wifi can be made available in bedrooms if chosen, but we recommend that our guests disconnect from the constant radio waves and connect to nature instead.
Healthy activities : there are ample footpaths to explore on foot or mountain bike. Pony trekking and kayaking can be organised for those who’d like to see the countryside from a different angle.
For those searching for zen, we will be organising yoga sessions or retreats with an amazing local yoga teacher.
So what are our plans for the future?
Self sufficiency : - the vegetable garden has been started but plans had to be changed when the river level rose and flooded the vegetable patch!
However nettles, hazelnuts, wild garlic and asparagus are abundant. Local walnut and chesnut trees keep us busy in autumn.
A real bonus is the spring water from La Cueille, tested A-A+.
Off-grid : we still yearn for off-grid living. The island will be a great place to start, so watch this space.
Workshops : the workshop opposite the house is nearly ready. We hope that guests will share some woodwork and metalwork projects, recycling or upcycling.
Another outbuilding will make a wonderful craft workshop, with its beautiful weeping willow and full view of the river. Be inspired or meditate while drawing, painting, sewing or knitting. Next door will be the pottery one day!
Does this sound like you?
Keep in touch to follow our progress
An incredible holiday at the home of Linda and Russell. We were very warmly welcomed by the owners of this lush green setting. Everything was done so that we could spend the most pleasant holiday possible. Amateurs of vegetarian cuisine will be happy. I recommend bed & breakfast at the Moulin de la Cueille without hesitation.
Christelle et Jean-Seb, September 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you open all year round?
Mostly, but we will close for quiet months in winter. All details can be seen on the bookings calendar.
Are dogs allowed at the Mill ?
Generally the answer is no, because we have free range chickens, as well as our own cats and dogs. However, if you dog is well behaved, please call, or email, to discuss.
What are check in and check out times ?
Our standard checking-in time is between 4.00 and 7.00pm. Check out is before 11.00 am. These times can be extended if notified in advance.