A bit more about us

 To get to know us better, we will tell you a bit more about us and our adventure in France. We are a Dutch couple and live in France since 1999. Arie (an ‘oldie’ of now 66 years) worked at the big flower auction in Aalsmeer and Petra (a young one of 61 years) was a social assistant. Some 21 years ago we decided that we wanted a change of life, like a lot of you….

The question we hear the most is : how did you find this place?

And we answer : on the internet….. which is true in itself, but it’s not the answer people want of course :). Actually they want to know why and how we could leave our comfortable lives in the Netherlands. Lots of people don’t understand how you can leave everything behind and start a new life.


And it is true that you do not do that every day of your life, and it is true as well that it is not easy !  But it was so wonderful and felt like a real adventure ! When we moved to France 21 years ago we did not know what to expect, we hardly spoke French, had never worked in a restaurant or bed and breakfast. It is so exciting to start all over, difficult of course, but so energising and an unforgettable experience. We bought an auberge in the Allier first, a café, restaurant and we created 4 rooms for bed and breakfast. We met a lot of new people, we started singing in a choir right away (we had not sang before….) just to meet people and make new friends.

Pub and auberge

The café (or pub) attracted loads of neighbours (in the country you are still a neighbour at 10 km), who were curious about these strange Dutch people. So in a very short time we knew a lot of people. We had a ‘butchers’ evening’ every Friday, when the ambulant butcher stopped at our place, people came to buy meat and then had a few (or more) drinks, we did that for years. And it was a very good way to learn French ! Petra also had some jobs to survive the long winters.

Direction Puy de Dôme 

And then 7 years ago we sold the auberge and moved to the Puy de Dôme, where there are more tourists, we rented a big house. And we created a new bed and breakfast, with a large garden and swimming pool in the summer and there is skiing in the winter. We have the most beautiful view on the volcano Puy de Dôme. We hope to continue this for some time yet.

If this makes you want to come and meet us ‘live’, please do ! We hope to see you soon ! You can go back to the home page here.

Kind regards,

Arie and Petra