Monthly Archives: January 2014

motorbike repairs and renovations

The motorcycle specialist of the Vendée.

Anyone who visits the Vendée often or lives here, will know that Vendéens and the French have a love of motorbikes. What’s more it’s a great region for the motorbike enthusiast with local motorcycling clubs, quite a few regional motorbiking events which take place throughout the year and with the Le Mans 24 hour endurance race not far away.

Bikes in the Vendée France

Darren Hill of dhm motto – motorcycle specialist

And for anyone who is either an enthusiast or just a bike owner, there is one man in the Vendée who you really can’t afford not to know. Based in La Tardiere near la Chataigneraie but with a new workshop opening in Cheffois in February, Darren Hill of DHM moto is an Italian, Japaneese and classic British motorcycle specialist with 30 years experience of renovating, repairing, servicing and rebuilding bespoke, one off bikes and classics.

Having trained in Italy with Ducati and raced motorcycles himself, he has an unbeatable knowledge of engines and prides himself on doing all the work himself from sourcing difficult parts, engineering one offs, paint one offs and complete restorations, including zinc plating, chrome plating, bead blasting and electric repairs.

motorbike repairs and renovations

Unparalleled knowledge and experience

Whether you are looking to purchase or repair, Darren has a wealth of experience and contacts which is hard to beat, particularly in this area of France and if you’re looking  to buy, he can also source a bike for you. He’s bilingual and according to the people I’ve spoken to, he’s not only 110% reliable but always prepared, quite literally, to go that extra mile.

The warmer weather of spring is not far off and with it a chance for motorbike enthusiasts to get out on the road again. You can contact Darren on or phone on him 0251004216 (0033) or why not drive by and check out his new premises and the man himself in Cheffois.

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Agence Melusine French estate agents

New year and French property dreams

Happy new year and bonne année to you all. I hope you’ve enjoyed some great food, a bit of relaxation, a splash of sunshine and that you’ve avoided the floods over in the UK.

New year is of course a time when many of us look forward and it’s also one of the most popular times for people to start thinking about realising a dream and buying a house in France, whether it’s as a home, an investment property or a maison secondaire.  So as we begin to emerge from recession and with property prices in the Vendée and interest rates still low, could this be the year you finally take the plunge and buy that French house you’ve always dreamt of?

Agence Melusine French estate agents

English speaking, experienced estate agents

With that in mind I caught up recently with Pauhla Hill from Agence Melusine, a fully bi lingual, local and well established estate agency with offices in the Vendée and the Deux Sevres who have many years experience of the French property market. I wanted to know what advice Pauhla could offer to anyone thinking of buying and whether she has any properties with which to tempt us.

“If you are thinking of buying, now is the time to start making arrangements to view.” Pauhla explained,  “Ferry crossings and accommodation are cheap and it is really important to see properties in the winter because If you love one now – you’ll adore it in the summer. It also means that you could have the keys for spring and you’ll also have the pick of the bunch as we’re expecting lots of properties to come on to the market in the next few weeks”.

“As the Vendée is only 3 ½ hrs from St. Malo and 6 -7 hrs from Calais, has 3 great airports and a reputation for being one of the sunniest regions of France, this is an ideal place to begin your French dream.  Obviously, I know a number of people who’ve bought here and they describe it as blissfully stepping back in time and because it has lots of wide open spaces, even in peak season, you never feel like you are on a tourist trail”

“What’s more there is currently a government tax incentive for vendors and to take advantage of it they need to sell their property before the summer. We can explain all the details to you in English if you’re worried about the language and we have a tried and tested list of businesses and people which you might need should you buy, such as builders, house keepers, internet providers etc. We can even recommend places to stay during your search and we really take time to get to know you, to make sure the properties you view are right up your street.”

So here is a sneak peak at just a few of the French properties Agence Melusine have to tempt you with?

House for sale in France

Great property, great location

If you love the bocage and the stunning Mervent forest and lake, have a look at these two properties. Both have lots of original features, space and buckets of traditional French charm as well as being in a great location.

Buying a house in Vendée, France

Stunning property in Mervent

Or for something in a village near historic and picturesque Pouzauges (with its own outbuildings and land), we think this one oozes Vendéen charm and can absolutely imagine sitting outside the last property enjoying the summer sunshine and a cool glass of wine.

Buying a house in the Vendée France

Farmhouse near Pouzauges


Buy a house in France

Tempted yet?

So, are you tempted? If you are (and I am but I already own my dream Vendéen house) you can contact Pauhla or on (0033) 0622006492 / 0251004216 and you’ll find her at

I know that I for one enjoyed every minute of our French property search and contrary to popular belief, ours was a straight forward, utterly stress free experience. 3 years on and I have no regrets and many happy memories. So what’s stopping you – happy hunting!


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