Anne and Thierry Mirabaud, 65 and 66 years old respectively,
owners of a local gite “La Ferme de Mamou”:
When tourists leave the gite, many admit to Anne and Thierry that being there felt like home. “That is the best reward” say the retired couple with a smile. Resident in Les Contamines since January 2013, the Mirabaud family has been attached to the village for many years. Anne first discovered the resort when she was eleven years old. Her parents, both professors at the University of Montpellier, took the family to Les Contamines every year.
“At the age of 13, I was already climbing the Dome de Miage” grins Anne. Her parents bought an apartment in the village, the years passed and the young woman met Thierry during her studies at the Faculty of Science in Lyon. Together, they continued to holiday in the village. They rented apartments or chalets before deciding to buy their own home. “When my parents died in 2003 and were buried in the village cemetery we started to look to buy a property here”, remembers Anne. “We wanted to find a place for our family to gather.”
In 2005, after a lot of research and a little bit of discouragement, they discovered a old farmhouse dating from 1836. It was in a more than pitiful state. Mind, the couple was extremely motivated. Anne is an architect and she designed the farm with an invincible desire to keep the original features. The paintings just under the roof were renovated and preserved. “I think that the locals have been affected by the respect we have shown with regards to their heritage” says Thierry. From the beginning of the renovation works the couple intend to transform part of the farm into a bed and breakfast. They created an apartment on the ground floor and the first floor can accommodate up to 14 people.
“Tourists who book with us are often grandparents who want to gather their family together” explains Thierry. Retired since 2010, the couple decided to settle permanently in the Contamines to enjoy the quality of life and further develop their tourist activity. “We want to transmit our love of the village,” explains Anne, “Les Contamines offers a certain authenticity, a gift that one must cherish.”
Photos : © Zir