Meet-ups in our 17C house in the South of France

I’m hosting week-long Meetups for designers, project curators, (post-)grad students, researchers, or writers who are working on a plan, project or thesis.

Dates for 2020:
Tuesday 21 April – Monday 27 April 2020
Tuesday 19 May – Monday 25 May 2020
Thursday 18 June – Wednesday 24 June 2020
Thursday 9 July – Wednesday 15 July 2020

Thursday 20 Aug. – Wednesday 26 Aug. 2020

My role is to cast fresh eyes on your project, or plan, and suggest new ways to frame the questions you arrive with. You’ll also interact with the other fresh minds you’ll spend time with here.

Also important: you get to breathe clean air, shop at the market, cook in our summer kitchen, eat in our courtyard,  swim in the river, and/or walk in the Cévennes.

Our guiding principles as hosts are: simple, convivial, and affordable.

850 €

includes accommodation, breakfast and fee

How to apply

Each meet-up is limited to SEVEN people, so we have to select participants – but this is not a test! Just drop us a short email to tell us who you are, what you’re working on, and why you want to come. Send this email to:
meeting [at] thackara [dot] com

using the Subject Header: meet-up 2020

tell us which of the weeks you’re applying for

When your application has been accepted, we will inform you within one week;

Successful applicants will be directed to an Eventbrite web page where you sign up and pay. Your spot is only secured after payment.

OFF-SITES for your team and

The house

The house is believed by local historians to be where the Marquise de Ganges died on 5 June 1667. Her story, written by Alexandre Dumas, Père, is a classic text in French literature.

The seventeenth century town house where I live in the South of France, with my wife Kristi, is an inspiring place to meet, create, and decompress.

Our town, Ganges, is in the foot hills of the Cévennes (national park), 50km north of the Mediterranean.

You enter through a splendid front door to be greeted by our stone staircase with its cast iron banister and original wooden handrail. The house faces onto a pedestrian-only street ; there are car-free squares a few metres in each direction. Off-street parking is 20 metres away.

We do have a normal key as well

The house contains:
 Meeting and/or talking rooms with tables, solid chairs, and sofas
; an outside terrace and courtyard to talk, eat, or ponder; a workroom-summer-kitchen; bedrooms, configured for your needs plus showers and loos.

Here below are some some of the spaces you will use:

The duplex apartment

The house contains: Meeting and/or talking rooms with tables, solid chairs, and sofas; an outside terrace and courtyard to talk, eat, or ponder; a workroom-summer-kitchen; bedrooms, configured for your needs plus showers and loos.

The apartment on the second floor

The studio

The Studio on the ground floor

Summer kitchen and court yard

Summer kitchen

The town

Our food market is 100m from the house

Our house is in the historic centre of a small (4,000 people) market town. Ganges lies at the junction of the Rieutord, Hérault, and Vis rivers. We’re  few minutes by foot or by bike from beautiful river swimming holes and waterfalls. The sea is 35 km away.

Our regional food market (Tuesdays and Fridays) is 100 metres away through an arched stone passageway. Shops, banks, the medical centre, a local hospital, the town hall, the cinema, the theatre – all are a couple of minutes away on foot.

The Cévennes

Walks in the Cévennes
#1 for ecological health and biodiversity in France

Ganges is southern gateway to the Cévennes National Park, a world heritage ecological site; our region is #1 for ecological health and biodiversity in France. The region’s shepherds have helped shape the landscape over centuries.

Transhumance des moutons

Culturally, the region has been a “terre de refuge” for centuries. From the first Gabale tribes, to Résistance fighters in World War Two, and eventually hippies in the 1970s, the Cévennes has long been been a region
of dissenters, rebels, fugitives and nonconformists.

And now, you 🙂

Food and drink

Prepare your own breakfast

We’re not heavy on services but provide al necessities to make coffee, tea and to cook. Think cooker, refrigerator, oven, microwave, pots and pans etc
The market is 50m away: Tuesdays is vegetable market; Fridays is everything. Bread, farmers shop, Organic shop, etc are all within five minutes walk. A SuperU and a Lidl are ten minutes walk down back streets. Various restaurants, bars, and cafes are within five minutes walk; we’re happy to recommend.

Cooking facilities in house:
Duplex apartment : fully functional kitchen
Summer kitchen : a 2 rings gas cooker, sink with running water, 2 Fridges, BBQ in the adjacent courtyard.

Eat out
: local cafes/restos: 12-15 euros per person


The house can sleep 8 people. The standard configuration is:
2nd floor Apartment:
family room with 1 large double bed, which can be separated
+1 single bed. 
Plus a “monk’s cel” closed off with sliding door, containing one single bed.
+ bathroom and 2 WCs

Ground floor studio:
One standard double bed (140cm) and
one comfy sofa bed (single)

Ground floor yellow room:
one small double/large single (120cm) and
(a possible tatami-base with matras, single)
Ground floor spaces share the shower-room.
There are 2 WCs

The Apartment, Studio and Yellow Room have  independent entries


Yes, there’s wifi everywhere.

Time out

Time out at the river
A bike rental place is two minutes away
The beach is a 50 minute drive: this shot was taken in February
The CasaNetural Crew were here in 2018

Testimonials from house guests

“The amazing front door and old stone staircase makes for a grand and atmospheric entrance”

“We had a perfect stay. Very conveniently located, spacious and well equipped. The surroundings are soooooo beautiful”.

“We really loved the apartment, It’s light, airy, comfortable, and well-equipped – and for all you get, a very good price”

“the perfect place to hide out and finish writing that thesis, project proposal, or book”

“Very spacious, centrally located, and the kitchen and bathroom amenities are new”

100 words on why John and Kristi love it here:

“We love the clean air. The fact that if you forget to buy a lemon it’s only 100m to the market & shops. The flea market on Sunday. The fact that Ganges is a working town, not a dormitory for commuters. The biodiversity in the dry bed of the River Rieutord just three minutes walk away. The happy babble of school kids walking past the house to the sports field. The historic stone terraces of the Cevennes. The wooden water wheels by the allotment gardens across the river. Doing nothing at the quiet beach on the river just above the waterfall”


This is Rita. She loves guests, but doesn’t bother them unless invited to do so. Always available for walks.
  • The Meetup dates 2020

    April 2020:
    arrive Tuesday 21, leave Monday 27

    May 2020:
    arrive Tuesday 19, leave Monday 25

    June 2020:
    arrive Thursday 18, leave Wednesday 24

    July 2020:
    arrive Thursday 09, leave Wednesday 15

    August 2020:
    arrive Thursday 20  – leave Wednesday 26

  • Meetup Guestbook

    • Maxim Dedushkov / November 7, 2019:
      Dear Kristi and John, thank you for hosting us for our annual Holis retreat. We enjoyed our stay in your beautiful house. The nearby market... »
    • Dominika / October 1, 2019:
      Dear John and Kristi, you’ve created an amazing place, filled with peace and unique energy. A place that adjusts to the pace of the visitor,... »
    • SHUMIN LUO / September 30, 2019:
      First of all, I’m super grateful to John and Kristi who gave me a chance to have a very enjoyable time in their home. It’s... »
    • Michala / September 29, 2019:
      In the place that “chose him”, @john.a.thackara opened his house for small meetups. Not everyday you have the chance to discuss your projects with someone,... »
    • Arely / September 2, 2019:
      The Thackara Meetup 2019 was a wonderful experience overall and a unique opportunity to develop a better understanding of my personal-professional practice. After a week... »
    • Jenny from UK / August 31, 2019:
      For me, the meet-up was truly life-changing; brilliant content, group company, accommodation, food and the waterfalls were to die for! John gave me the boost... »
    • Go from Goldsmiths / August 31, 2019:
      I genuinely enjoyed the every single moment I spent during the week. Thanks to not only the fantabulous Thackara team but also amazing talents from... »
    • Georgina / August 31, 2019:
      John and Kristi, your house is an absolute dream! I felt so welcomed and comfortable. You allowed us to take everything at our own paces,... »
    • Anne / August 31, 2019:
      I was working on my first book and it was amazingly helpful to have the space (both mentally and physically) to concentrate on this whilst... »