What should you expect?
A chicken mansion, paintball battles, homemade cider, masquerade parties, impromptu festivals, a backyard farm and a few days in the country with friends.
The Big Picture
This one’s a bit different than the others in our series. We’re stepping out of the normal, busy, action-packed, high-strung, city-centre lifestyle – to take a breather. Our first rural location in our tour of the world’s most amazing workspaces, here you’ll get a glimpse into French country life, several (well trodden) big steps away from the big city.
You’ll feel like you’ve spent 5 days of holidays… but you’ve done more work than you would in the city!
It’s as if a mad coworking scientist distilled the best features of you’re go-to coworking space in the city, and installed them where nobody else would’ve thought to – on a wooded hillside in the Eure-et-Loire region of France. Mixing a unique events calendar, organic home-grown food, fast wifi, fresh country air, and cider from the neighbour’s orchard, this is a paradise of a kind.
It’s a space steeped in eco-awareness, founded in family ties and built from the ground-up from its members – and for all of these reasons, it feels like you’re hanging out in a country house with friends, rather than renting desks at a “workspace” with a coffee machine…
So: let’s go coworking in the French countryside.
What You’ll Learn from the Space
Your first time working at Mutinerie Village, you’ll learn something painfully obvious. As one coworker put it to me:
You’ll realise suddenly – “I’m stupid working like that in big cities! Here, you’re focused but *not* stressed. You don’t feel like there’s a million things to do, and you can focus on one thing at a time, calmly and effectively.”
One might call this state of Buddha-like self-awakening a kind of coworking enlightenment, but it’s something you’ll get when you work there. With the calm chirping of country birds, the soft pitter-patter of a rainstorm, the far-off “bahs” of sheep, the rustle of leaves in the wind and the morning calls of chickens in the backyard – you’ll have an environment that’s renewing as it is refreshing.
You’ll learn how unhealthy, cluttered, messy and disorganised your mind is, and your workflow. Here, where everything slows down a million times from the pace of big city life, you’ll be able to really be focused without being stressed (yes, in case you’ve forgotten, there’s a difference between these two things!)
At this space, you’ll learn to take a bit of a break, to catch your breath, to come to your senses and to be surprisingly balanced and productive. And we can guarantee you, there’s few places better in the world to do that outside of the Village.
Where You’ll Find the Space
Upon arriving for the first time, and winding around the gravel road down through pastures and old farmhouses, you’ll wonder if you’re going in the right direction. With a quaint old church village behind you, and open green fields of cows and sheep in front – you’ll wonder what on earth a coworking space is doing in this landscape!
But when you pull up to the house, you’ll begin to understand. Once you step in and get setup with the wifi, and get cosy next to the fire with some nice music on the radio – the “village effect” will start.
You will notice the onset of the “village effect” when you start to feel a little more comfortable in your chair, when you’re a little less worried about that deadline, when you’re making jokes with someone cooking in the kitchen, when you’re smiling a little more often and when you take a deep breath of fresh country air.
This might be the only coworking space in the world that’s officially located inside a state-sanctioned national park. The park is called Le Perche, and it refers to the old province that was repartitioned after the French Revolution. Dotted with forests and woods, lakes and creeks, pastures and farmlands, interspersed with ancient villages and gothic churches, Le Perche is well-known for being one of the most beautiful regions in this part of France.
It was no accident that Mutinerie Village is based here, as it’s actually a long-time inherited family farmhouse. The three brothers who received it from their grandfather are, to no surprise, the same three founders of Mutinerie in Paris. This is their vision extended into the countryside, and as it’s through family lands, this is a family coworking space built with care and a deep heritage.
Where You’ll Be Working
The grounds at the Village offer you various places to work and relax, depending on the weather, time of day, temperature, and your mood. The main property is a large house situated on a hill, with a garage underneath for storage and a small temporary workshop. In the main entrance, you’ll find a warm common area, that’s literally warm because there’s a century-old iron stove fireplace that keeps the place well-heated in the colder months.
There will be a world class barn…
Outside you’ll find a big porch area, setup with a mix of wicket chairs and rustic tables, underneath the shade provided by an old tree that leans toward the house. But your coworking is not limited to these more “civilised” areas – there’s a smooth green grassy hill you can setup on with a chair or towel, and get productive under the sun.
And at the entrance to the house, you’ll find a huge stone barn. Inside this barn will be one of the newest additions to the village, a makerspace! With a laser cutter, 3D printers and more, it will be a world-class barn to prototype in right in the middle of the countryside! Everything’s in development, so stay tuned…
In general, the Village is extremely flexible to work at, which is why it’s important you send a request and ask if there is availability, and what’s going on at any given time you want to go. Because if there’s a big group or company there, there will be more buzz and activity – and vice versa if there’s nobody there, it’ll be as quiet as a country house.
Tip! For a time, there were two cats at the space – called Victor and Buthon (appropriate because the nearby village is called Saint-Victor-de-Buthon). It’s cute, but sadly Buthon has recently disappeared! So if you see a cat wandering around the grounds that you don’t recognise, let someone know ASAP!
Where You’ll Be Living
In comparison with other spaces in our series, accommodation is easy here! That’s because the Village has built-in accommodation with its coworking. When you go, your daily price to cowork there includes the bed and clean sheets you’re going to sleep in (plus anyway, good luck finding an AirBnB in the tiny village of St-Victor-de-Buthon!)
Upstairs from the main room, you’ll find several bedrooms – two shared and one private. The beds are comfy and with windows that let morning light in slowly, it’s really the ideal space to wake up before a day of work. There’s also a whole detached house next-door that has sleeping arrangements too, with a small kitchen and en-suite bathroom.
It’s peaceful, cozy and can accommodate many more too for parties and big events, as there’s plenty of nice grassland around to camp on. In the summer especially, there are visitors who set up camp to cowork, to really get that country vibe full-force.
The Events You Will Go To
Mutinerie Village is quiet and peaceful, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in events of all kinds to animate the space on a regular basis. Here you’re gonna find that there are many workshops, training sessions, breakaway brainstorming groups and – maybe most important? – awesome parties that are happening around the year.
Instead of running down a list of generalities about the life there or types of events, here’s a selection of some of the most interesting to give you an idea!
Digital Detox: This is a chance to escape the city for 48 hours with no technology to hit the restart button. It’s funny because the idea is this: go to a coworking space to stop working and using technology …With organic meals, meditation, yoga, hiking, cooking and gardening, this will detox your body and your mind.
La Mascarade: An homage to the masquerade balls thrown at the grand palace of Versailles, this countryside gala is an institution for the Village. It features a banquet, a mask-maker station, decadent costumes and top-notch musicianship (by whoever wants to participate!)
Creature Nation: Glastonbury and Burning Man have nothing on Creature Nation – a 3-day festival organised at the Village of music, workshops, lectures, games, meditation sessions and costumes. Plus it’s hands-on partying, because if you go you participate to help set up the fest or take it down!
What You Will Eat
Like the accommodation, this section is also more straightforward for the Village! And that’s because a lot of the food you’re gonna eat is grown right there in your own backyard. They have a large kitchen garden for fruits and vegetables in the back, as well as a homemade greenhouse.
What’s more? They have a “Chicken Mansion” for their own chickens! The fresh eggs are like nothing else, and there’s a reason that morning scrambled eggs at the Village are so legendary.
All the food is cooked for you (and with your help!) when you cowork there, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals include homemade french fries straight from the garden, lasagne, fondue, raclette, barbecue, homemade pizzas, gratin de raviolis, fresh salads, brochettes and cakes.
To top if off, you can finish your meals with fresh made apple cider, right from the neighbor’s farm. If you walk for fifteen minutes, you can stroll through the very orchard that the cider is made from! Pretty rare for most coworking spaces…
At Mutinerie Village, other coworking spaces’ “after hours” are your “all hours!”
As you might be able to guess, the focus of activity is always generally around the workspace. During most nights, you’ll be able to sit under the stars with a crackling campfire and acoustic guitars, relaxing with s’mores and beer. It’s a great way to wind-down after a productive workday with home cooked meals.
Outside, you have the beautiful nature of Le Perche at your doorstep. Just outside of the space, there are some long nature walks that go through forests and farmlands, and plenty of smooth-paved bike routes along small roads that wind up and down through the hills of the region.
And for the more adventurous, there’s Les Ecuries de Saint-Victor up the road, where you can ride horses through the beautiful country landscape. There’s No Limit Aventure Paintball, for some high-octane, adrenaline-pumping action to shake up the idyllic peace of the region. And finally, there’s the Parc Aquatique du Perche, where you can swim, play volleyball and partake in other seasonal water activities.
But, the question is, in the crisp air of the countryside with a shining summer sun and romantic forests and sweeping hills, with homemade cider and fresh-backyard-farmed produce, a group of good friends (and, okay, fast wifi) – what else do you really need?
The Practical Stuff
The Copass Crew