We found our project of transforming the chateau and running our own dream business so exciting we allowed the whole process to be filmed for the Channel 4 series, “No Going Back - Chaos at the Castle”, where you can see all our adventures and hard work. We first got involved in filming in November 2003, when we were in the process of leaving work and organising the move to France.
The programme has been
shown in Holland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and indeed all over he
world through Discovery RealTime, and has been repeated several times.
Sadly, we did not get paid for taking part. We regarded the filming as a way
to boost our project into the public eye, and thereby attract guests. In
that sense the enterprise was wholly successful for us, and several other
businesses we associate with.
Since then, we have had over 400 hours of filming, and got to know the film crew very well (they’re a great bunch). The whole process has been at times exciting,
tiring, harrowing, but mostly fun. We hope everybody who watched the series enjoyed it, and would like to thank everyone who agreed to be filmed for it.
Read the transcript of our webchat from Thursday 4th Nov by Clicking Here
We have recently participated in the “revist” programme (a further hour of television), aried in October 2006.
There is no denying life has been a little strange since the programme was aired, and that is saying something because it was pretty odd
during the year of filming! Since then the programme has been shown numerous times, and has been aired in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, France and Israel. We have now become
almost accustomed to being recognised, and really appreciate peoples’ good wishes and interest. We were at first overwhelmed by the volume of emails we received and
the bizarre requests (from arranging for visits to snail farms to tours- neither from guests). Lots of people have asked us for advice, but really we feel as though we are
still working out how to run our own business, and we think it will always be trying to improve things.
People always want to know about what it is like being filmed, and whether it “gets to you” and if the programme was “true”, well the answer the
first question is that you do get used to a film crew, but it never feels normal, and sometimes you are just tired and want to be left alone. I loved the time when we were
being filmed drinking at a café and were mistaken for French soapstars! We did have fun though, and look back on the filming (mostly) with fondness. You will have
to make up your own mind about the second question!
We have been asked about whether there is to be a follow up programme, and the answer is, they haven’t filmed anything yet! The production company occasionally contact
us to find out what we’re up to though; so you may be seeing us on the small screen again – who knows! Lots of exciting things have happened since the film crew
left – not least of which is the development of our business, and our first full season! We have been really busy as a result of the programme and we are also proud
to say we have also had an excellent percentage of repeat bookings and referrals. We have also had another wedding and held several anniversary parties, all of which were
a great success. We are pleased to be associated with the brilliant website on Limousin www.limousinentrée.com for
which Patrick is a restaurant critic. We have had lots of magazine articles written about the Château, and enjoyed the glamous visit and photoshoot with Eve magazine.
have also had a few “high-profile” guests, but we are too discreet to namedrop! We are have now finished another Suite in the Pavilion (the house built as an artists
studio), and will be starting on a gîte in 2007. We are pleased to announce two painting courses for next year, to be run by a lovely couple who organise artists’ courses
We all love living here and the feeling of community we get, and the warmth with which we have been accepted. We recently had a party for
all the people who have helped us over the past year or so (trades people, restaurateurs, suppliers, friends and dignitaries) and it went fantastically. The party really
made us feel settled and that we have “made it”.
We have had a couple of disasters over the year – including a horrendous leak, nearly being snowed in (but the children loved it!) and having to dig up our fuel tank
and replace it (I still feel ill when I think about how much it cost!). The main thing we have learnt over the year is that guests are the best thing about our job (but
also sometimes the worst!). We have had so many great evenings sharing bottles of wine and chatting to guests, and love sharing the treasures of the area with people.
We are still not going back, and love the Château and the life it offers us. It is hard work, but nothing worth having is easy. We don’t want to do anything
else as long as we are able, but the bottom line is that we still have to get the bookings, and need you to give us a chance to show you how beautiful the Château
and the countryside here is. Come and visit the Chateau- you will love it!