About Us


IMG_4056January 2014-Desjardins Cottage came to Karim via his grandparents Francis and Lydie (nee Desjardins) Balivet and had been vacant for many years when we started spending weekends here during the years we lived in Paris 1999-2008. We’d drive down on Friday evenings so as not to miss the Toucy farmers market on Saturday morning and we found it harder and harder to leave on Sundays, sometimes staying the extra night and dragging ourselves back to Paris early Monday morning.

We love this region of France and I always imagined renovating the house with a view of letting it out to friends and holiday makers. There is just so much to experience and enjoy in the beautiful Bourgogne countryside. I love the ‘vide grenier’ (empty the attic) markets in spring/summer and driving to surrounding towns to sample the wines (Irancy and Chablis) or hunting out little treasures in antique and bric-o-brac shops. Karim likes country walks and cooking. Perfect!

IMG_6263_2We moved back to Australia in 2008 with our two small children and now live in the dramatically different though equally picturesque village of Leura in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

We’ve now spent 5 months back in France renovating Desjardins Cottage. Our 5 year old has been attending the local school and is speaking French fluently. Our son has been continuing his high school studies by correspondence and has loved catching up with old school friends in Paris. They’ve both been enjoying horse riding lessons at the nearby equestrian school of Pesteau.

We travel back to Australia this month, sad to say aurevoir (for now) to our old and new friends in the village but delighted to know that we have brought our little house back to life and that others will soon be enjoying it too!

Best wishes

Penelope and Karim SaiButton Reserve