This winter, we tackle the old-fashioned gite interior and the rickety island bridge.
Our priorities when it comes to the winter work at Beausoleil are always the fish and the lake. Over the last 9 years, we have gone through a huge amount of work to improve the environment for our fish. In 2015, we had the big silt excavation/swim rebuilding project and last winter, we had the diggers out again to reinforce one of the dam walls due to erosion.
A brand new interior for the gite
With the lake looking the best it ever has, it was now time to turn our attention to the accommodation.
The gite was very comfortable but very much still stuck in the 70’s! Chalet-style wood paneling can be attractive but we were just sick of it. So we took the bold step of renovating the whole interior of the gite, all the rooms, from floor to ceiling, from windows to door handles, to create a warm, luminous and homely decor for our guests.
We’ve removed the large fireplace that took a lot of space so now both the bathroom and lounge are bigger. We’ve also fitted a brand new bathroom.
We’ve moved in ourselves for the rest of the winter so that we can enjoy it and make sure everything is just right.
As a reminder, here’s how the gite looked like before:
And after 3 months of work:
The kitchen has had a bit of a makeover too:
As is usually the case with these types of projects, it was a lot more work than we thought at the beginning as we kept on adding more things to do!
We’ve been meticulous in our attention to detail and are delighted with the new look. We are looking forward to sharing it with our wonderful guests this year. To see more pictures of the new interior, check out the accommodation page.
A stronger bridge to the island
The bridge is an iconic feature of the venue and has been a feature of the property for over fifty years. When we first viewed the property 10 years ago, it was quite dangerous so one of our very first projects was to make it safe.
Since then, time and weather have continued to take their toll. This time I’ve put additional posts next to the older ones that were in the worst condition. I’ve also added horizontal and diagonal members to stiffen the whole structure.
To finish, I’ve replaced 30 top planks. There’s only one wood for this type of job and that’s solid chestnut. It’s not cheap but it contains natural oils which make it excellent for external use above or below the water. Over time, the new timber will age naturally and become almost black.
The real test for the new bridge was taking the John Deere and trailer on the island for the first time ever and it passed with flying colours!
While we were at it, we’ve also rebuilt the stream bridge. We found mostly rotten sleepers under the planks, as well as a thick birch tree root that is going straight across the stream! With new sleepers and new planks, it should be good for another 20 years 🙂
“Point B” feature tree
We’ve had to deal with a lot of tree debris this winter with the various storms and there’s one particular tree that needed attention. The “point B” fir tree overhangs a rock that’s a very nice feature to target and it had started to lean very heavily towards the lake. Instead of taking the tree down, we made the decision to keep it as a feature and securely attach it to another tree on the island. I also heavily cut the branches that were in the lake to remove weight on the tree and make that feature easier to target.
We continue to enjoy looking after this little piece of paradise and seeing it evolve and improve over the years. And now, it’s almost time to open the gates for our first visitors of the season!