As a resident at the Maison Gai Saber, you will live in a large room in Francine and Horst’s beautiful 16th century house in the small village of Leigné-sur-Usseau in the Loire Valley. The room is furnished with a beautiful antique bed, a chest for your belongings, and a large desk in front of a window looking out on the village church. Downstairs you will find the shared kitchen and dining area, and a bathroom and shower for your own use. There is also a well-stocked library, leading into the “ballroom,” where the people of Leigné-sur-Usseau got married for many generations.
The bedroom itself is large and the desk is large enough for a writer or an artist of small forms, but if you plan to do larger work, it would be best to come in the warmer months (between April and October) to make use of the many outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces and buildings on the property and in the neighborhood. In the future, there will be more studio and workshop space available. For now, there are a number of lovely gardens, porch areas, and the unheated ballroom with ample space to spread out work and experiment. The large library is filled with books in many languages (English, French, German, Latin, Greek) and on many subjects (art, philosophy, literature, history, sociology, gardens, anthropology), and you are welcome to work there and make use of the vast collection.
Environs and Transportation
Leigné-sur-Usseau is a beautiful rural village half way between Paris and Bordeaux. The train from Paris to Chatellerault (the nearest town) takes between 1 ½ to 3 hours (there are faster and slower trains) and it is best to plan ahead when purchasing tickets to get the least expensive prices. If you come by train, Francine and Horst can pick you up at the railway station on prearrangement. Once in Leigné-sur-Usseau, you can take long walks or bicycle rides over country roads, and through the woods. Please note: this is a small rural village, with no local stores, cafés, restaurants, or other outposts of civilization. Be prepared to commune with nature, your work, and your hosts. While Horst and Francine may take you on trips to nearby sites and will happily take you along when they run errands in Chatellerault, if you will want to frequently go further afield, you may want to rent a car (which can be done for about 5€ per day).
The basic cost for accommodation is 20€ a day, plus approximately 15€ extra if eating meals from the common share (you can also bring your own food - breakfast and lunch are self-catering whilst there is the opportunity for evening meals to be taken with Horst and Francine). Costings are reviewed on a case by case basis. There is also the opportunity to help out in the garden, vineyard or with renovations at the Maison, which can help to reduce a resident's costs.
Please send a short email to Francine
introducing yourself and your intentions at the Maison. All individual applications to the Maison Gai Saber will be reviewed.