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Life in Rural France

Living the French Dream….The Good, The Bad, and The Hilarious

Living in Rural France

3 Things I Can’t Live Without in Rural France

No matter where you live there are some things you just can’t do without and this will look different for everyone. However, if you’re female and you’re relocating somewhere completely new, like rural France, then I wouldn’t mind betting that one of those things you just can’t do without is a good hairdresser.

It’s a wrench leaving that one person you trust to do your hair right, every single time no matter what. It took me quite a while to accept the fact that I could no longer go back to my hairdresser in the UK.

And trust me I tried to make it work. I loved my old salon so much I used to go back to the UK every ten weeks just to get my hair done. Now that’s what you call love!

However, as you can imagine that just wasn’t sustainable. Eventually I had to admit that it was time to let go and find myself a new hairdresser.

Finding a Hairdresser in Rural France

Well I can tell you right now it wasn’t easy. You get so comfortable with the same person and there’s that level of trust you build up, just like in a relationship. Bottom line I just didn’t feel ready to find someone new. I felt like I’d gone through a hairdressing break up. The thought of putting myself out there was scary.

But I knew I had to do it and so began the long search for ‘the one’. And trust me it didn’t happen straight away. I was adamant I wasn’t going to a French salon. Everyone seemed to come out of those with the same haircut. And it wasn’t a look I was after.

So this left me with a fairly small pool to swim in. And I did go on a few hairdressing dates, but although they were all ok none of them felt quite right. And then finally it happened. My perseverance paid off. After three years of searching I found my perfect hairdressing match.

I’m happy to report that not only did I find a match but she’s also become a very close friend.

Hair salon in Rural France

Nicky's Hair and Beauty - Charente Maritime

Nicky’s Hair and Beauty has been purpose built by her hubby Chris, who happens to be a builder. Located in her house the commute to work is a short one.

It has everything she needs including a massage table and nail desk, and it’s one of the cutest salons I’ve ever seen. The whole thing is decked out in pink. And the toilet is called The Tinkletorium. It’s girlie, warm and inviting, and I just love it.

Hairdresser based in Rural France

Nails and hair get done in one visit and there’s always a glass of bubbles waiting for me on arrival.

Seriously, I didn’t get that sort of service in the UK!

But the best bit is my hair is always perfect each and every time. Isn’t it strange, but this one thing has made me settle so much better into my new life in France.

Kylie Lang having hair done!

Finding a Day Spa in the Charente

But that Nicky isn’t the only Nikki in my life. Spending the amount of hours I do in front of my computer takes its toll. Because of this I’ve struggled with terrible pains in my neck and back. The only thing that really helps to keep it at bay is regular hot stone massages.

Now I know that probably sounds like an excuse to have a good massage, and don’t get me wrong I certainly enjoy it. But it is definitely a ‘must have’ not a ‘nice to have’.

So imagine my delight when I discovered Under the Lime Tree Boutique Spa B&B.

Not only do they offer spa days and massage treatments, but it’s also only a 12 minute drive from my house. What a result.

Under the Lime Tree in Cellefrouin

Nikki’s treatments also include Indian head massage, reiki and shiatsu. I always come away feeling completely rejuvenated after each session.

UTLT is one of the most tranquil places set into the hill in a little village called Cellefrouin. With no neighbours to speak of you can sit in the hot tub looking out at the spectacular views sipping a glass of bubbly. It really doesn’t get any better.

For me, my massages are part of my wellness routine to keep me happy and healthy, so I’m a regular visitor. But I also enjoy going for spa days with friends and enjoying the vegan menu Nikki offers too.

Now although I’m not a vegan myself, Simon, my next door neighbour is. So I bought Nikki’s recipe book to try out some new recipes. And I have to say they really are yummy. Nikki’s food is legendary and for good reason.

Getting IT help in the Charente

And finally something more practical. As someone running an online business, WiFi and computers are a necessary part of my life. Having someone local who can do home visits to fix my tech issues is a Godsend. Luckily I found such a person in the form of the fabulous Rob Smith IT.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve sent desperate WhatsApp messages to Rob. Usually asking him to drop everything and rescue me from whatever IT disaster I was having. He really is the font of all knowledge when it comes to tech issues with both Mac and PC.

Plus he’s fixed every WiFi problem I’ve ever had. And trust me, when you’re trying to run WiFi through huge thick walls across a massive old property, you run into quite a few issues.

Luckily for me there hasn’t been an issue Rob wasn’t able to fix. He also hosts a monthly IT day at Civray Cafe if you don’t want the expense of callouts. Plus he does remote access for computer issues if neither of those are an option.

Everyone’s idea of essential is different, but whatever yours is, if you’re thinking of relocating to rural France then make sure you’ve identified what yours are and figured out your options.

Life is always so much easier when you have your essentials. À bientôt et merci beaucoup!

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