Kate and Nathan Veach are well on their way to living their dream in Burgundy!
Guest: Kate Veach
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Kate Veach and her husband Nathan were already living a life very connected to France with a French restaurant in Geelong outside of Melbourne, Australia but always dreamed of living in France, so just prior to COVID they made the decision to get serious about achieving their dream. They knew they loved Burgundy so drew a circle around Beaune with a limit of an hour travel distance and found their dream property 56 minutes from the epicentre of their search!
They had a brief of being in a village, walking distance to amenities, with a cellar and in a wine area. None of which was in the final property! They have found a property in a hamlet 3kms from a village with a number of outbuildings and some land which they found online during the Melbourne COVID lockdowns and bought sight unseen with only 7 photos! Purchasing remotely of course is a big risk so they engaged a buyers advocate to decipher the legal documents and work through the finer details. The result has been a beautiful experience of restoring the 100ish year old house and 500 year old barn, establishing themselves in a little French community.
Renovating historic buildings in France requires a bit of a different skill set than those in Australia, for example, there are no foundations! The house is built straight on the dirt with terracotta tiled flooring mortared directly onto the ground! Kate’s advice is to use the trades in your own village and those recommended by neighbours referrals. Trying to find assistance by Googling and sending out emails from Australia has proven unsuccessful. Being on the ground on site is necessary for some of the time.
Eventually Kate and Nathan wish to create more accommodation on the property and host cooking classes there as well. There is so much to do and see in Burgundy. Kate told me about the picturesque villages to meander through, Burgundian food is known to be focused on fresh local produce and there is a wonderful Burgundy wine route. The area is also well known for excellent brocante!
Whilst there are challenges along the way, Kate recommends to anyone dreaming of a similar life as hers, just do it! Be realistic with your skill set to achieve the dream, but once that’s clear, get going and do it! It’s been the best thing she has ever done!
I am currently in France visiting the Burgundy region in a couple of weeks. Kate and her husband Nathan are coming to visit with me and some girlfriends to host a cooking class with us and a traditional Burgundian dinner. I’ll report back here afterwards about our experience with them!
Instagram – @lapetitemaisonburgundy