For our second Workaway stay, we stayed in this incredible castle for 2 weeks. The oldest part of the place dates back to the 13th century and from the 15th century it served as a home for the Augustinian Monastic community for 250 years. Many centuries of owners brought the castle to what it looks like today. It underwent a major renovation in 1866, making it look as it does today. The locals call it the “Castle of Sleeping Beauty” and it really looks like it is right out of a fairy tale! Today it is a family home and B&B, plus a farm house on the property is a rental cottage and another building has been turned into a studio/gallery.
We worked on a lot of different projects during our stay. The biggest project was preparing the Gite (rental cottage) for the spring/summer vacation season. Sierra helped to re-decorate the cottage, choosing art, objects and furniture from the property to create a cozy vacation getaway.
And John built a wall and shower stall and then helped to install the shower, sink and toilet.
This claw foot tub was going to be moved out of the cottage but Sierra protested! Insisting it stay because it is perfect and adds so much appeal to the cottage… Don’t you agree?
The giete’s front porch overlooks a little pond.
John built these awesome rustic handrails from wood found around the property!
Photo below is the front of the cottage as the handrails are in progress…
Check out the cool tiles on the roof of the Chateau! They are colored ceramic laid out in patterns.
Below is what you might find in the top of one of those towers…
Above is a stairway through one of the towers.
Here is our room! First we were placed in one of the towers, about halfway up a really narrow “servants staircase” right off the attic. It was freezing up there so after a few days in that room we were given the option to move down into a better room, we were pretty happy about that!
Above and below are photos of the beautiful dining room, the painted ceiling was really pretty!
Here is John in the Salon, this is where we could be found after dinner, playing chess, poker or guess who? in front of the fire.
Hi! Here we are on our last day!
Meet Leon, Hans and Jeane. Jeane was our hostess. Her son Leon and John worked together a lot and we often played games together in front of the fire in the evenings (is it just me or does Leon look a lot like my brother?!)
Jerome, the younger of Jeane’s two sons (not pictured, he was mowing the lawn when I snapped this pic on our way to the train!) worked with us as well, and he had a cute shy kitty named Meow. Hans was the contractor, he’s a super cool, incredibly positive Dutch man that pretty much ran the show as far as building went.
Here are some of the rooms we happened across. We were never given an official tour (it would have taken at least an hour!) and sort of left to discover the place on our own. Wandering around and opening doors we would find a room with pool table, beautiful bedrooms…
An amazing library full of very old books behind an unassuming door in the attic… I went in there often to look around.
And an incredible photography room full of bottles of developing chemicals and some bottles labeled “potion”(!!!), old cameras, film and slides that were developed and some undeveloped. John and I looked around in there for a long time, looking at every glass slide, some of them faded and some with clear images from long ago!
Outside chickens roam and provide us with more eggs than we know what to do with! There is the studio and gallery of Nico Vrielink, father to Leon and Jerome. His paintings are throughout the house and they are really beautiful!
Below is a photo of one of the koi fish in the pond being harassed by a frog. Can you see whats going on here? The white koi fish has a frog attached to his face! The frog stayed that way for hours. It was pretty hilarious!
Here is the little greenhouse where Sierra spent a lot of time weeding and tidying.
One of the stone walls in the back garden.
The front garden, overlooking rolling hills and farms…
We were at Chateau de Burnand for 2 weeks. We worked like crazy and had only one day off! It was by far the hardest worktrade we have done (and hopefully the hardest we will ever do!) but all in all it was a good experience and we are glad we did it!