Professional female couple - love DIY, gardening and eco projects with luxury home and estate management experience

Username NottingHillNomads  

37 - 45 years
Not Available
UX Designer & Multi-media producer
7 - 21 Days, 3 - 6 Weeks, 6 - 8 Weeks, 2 - 3 Months, 3 + Months

NottingHillNomads is currently not available. Find more House Sitters    

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We are a professional female couple who love DIY, gardening, eco projects and adventure. Caroline grew up on an estate in rural Australia, Fiona is from just outside Hull, and after running our business from our home in central London for 4 years we have now escaped the city to become live-in caretakers at a gorgeous château in Pays de la Loire, France (found on this site).

About us

Fiona is a CEO and Non-Exec Director with an early career in high-street retail, while Caroline is a digital user experience designer, with a previous degree in Hotel Management from AIHS/Cornell University and five-star hotel experience.

We bring an array of practical skills to our house-sitting assignments including (but not limited to) DIY and basic repair, organic vegetable garden design and implementation, plant care, lawn reseeding, pool maintenance, small engine maintenance, mowing, ivy removal, woodland management (coppicing, hedgelaying), use of tools and equipment, along with general maintenance and a desire to leave things better than we found them - and probably a touch of OCD, in a good way!

When in the UK we enjoy volunteering with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust to help manage woodlands. This is what sparked our interest in coppicing, hedgelaying, hedgehog ecology, and permaculture.

In our current caretaker role (which has included navigating Covid-19 lockdown within France) we've been adding environmentally friendly solutions such as planting native edible pollinators to encourage bees, starting a compost, building bird boxes and hedgehog hotels, using our wildlife camera to uncover all sorts of animals and night-time activity in the garden, and making use of plants growing on the property to make Elderflower Gin and Cherry Clafoutis - it's a tough life!

We communicate regularly with the property owners who are based in the UK full-time. It's always a pleasure to send them photos and let them know how everything is going.

Our skills and approach:

  • Mature but fun natured, happy to socialise but also discrete
  • Hard working, responsible, positive energy, fast learners
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving
  • Security conscious and discrete
  • Caring for animals (great with rabbits, dogs, horses, sheep etc)
  • Very practical and good with general maintenance/DIY
  • Confident using and maintaining garden and DIY equipment such as ride-on lawnmowers, tractors, trailers, quad bikes, chainsaws, billhooks and power tools
  • Able to maintain swimming pools and gardens
  • Make our own organic insect sprays to help manage leafminer, aphids, and other beasties
  • Painting and decorating, put up shelving, curtain rails, lay wooden floors, tile small areas
  • Understand fundamentals of plumbing and electrics with ability to diagnose problems and engineer temporary fixes

Both of us are native English speakers, Fiona speaks basic French.

We have our own vehicles, and both hold full UK car and motorcycle licences.

We are social drinkers and non-smokers.

References attached and CRB checks can be provided.

House-sitting experience

Repeat house-sits in three large properties in North Lincolnshire, UK. One with an attached retreat, and the other a large property with an orchard, chickens, sheep, dogs and a horse.

Each year we spend six weeks managing a 12 acre estate in country Australia,

Last year we looked after a beautiful home with gardens in Notting Hill, London, when the occupants spent six weeks aboard. 

We are currently looking after a Château and grounds in Pays de la Loire, France.

We've also completed a two week project getting a gorgeous manoir in Gascony ready for paying guests, and recently helped the owner of a large château in the Dordogne valley prepare her property for sale.

What we're looking for

With a love of France and a desire to make a positive environmental impact we are beginning to connect with property owners who have house-sitting opportunities and projects that match well with our skills and ethos. Ideally we would arrange to speak on the phone or meet for a coffee (at a safe distance) with a view to confirming availability once all parties are comfortable the Covid-19 situation.

We're ridiculously tidy, super organised, multi-skilled, easy-going and adaptable. We look forward to helping you with your home and gardens with the same respect, care and diligence we apply to our own properties.

Rester en sécurité et en bonne santé,

Caroline and Fiona

Homeowner Feedback / endorsements (1)

“ Caroline & Fiona did a fantastic job looking after our French holiday home during covid lockdown - thank goodness they w ”

Sit Dates Mar-22-20 - Sep-25-20 Homeowner tjkingfisher, Member Since Sep-29-17

Location Landivy Pays De La Loire France

Caroline and Fiona house sat for us at our holiday home in Pays De La Loire, Northern France for a period of 6 months,between March and October 2020.

Our house is in a rural location, and is in a 'half renovated' state with a pretty unruly garden, so the point of them being there was to keep the garden in check and to work on a few jobs inside the house. 

We advertised for a ‘can-do’ couple and that’s exactly what they are.  We were in the process of arranging their visit when covid hit, and they ended up arriving in France just as the first covid lockdown was put in place. They took it all in their stride despite having to deal with the stress and worry of the pandemic in a new environment, different language and an old house with many challenges to keep them occupied. It gave us enormous peace of mind to know they were there looking after the house at such an unsettling time, when we were unable to visit ourselves. 

 Caroline and Fiona are a very friendly, easy going and fun couple, and they took to every task with enthusiasm and good spirit, and seemed to really enjoy the rural life. They kept on top of numerous gardening tasks including mowing, pruning, and keeping our ride on mower in check. They are clearly nature and animal lovers, and although we have no animals for them to care for, they kept us updated on all the wildlife that visited the garden, which was a great insight for us. They also completed painting and decorating jobs within the house, removing old wallpaper and immaculately repainted our old metal cellar hatch and flaky old back door. 

They kept in touch regularly with phone calls, photos and messages, and were  easy to get in touch with and always replied to any phone calls or emails quickly.

They treated our home with care and respect, and improved much of it as a result of their stay. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others as excellent house sitters. 

Tamsin & Julian Davies

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