e-newsletter from
La Villa de Mazamet
Le Petit Spa
                                     
Luxury Bed & Breakfast in the heart of SW France
 

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La Villa de Mazamet
  
Welcome to our September
 E-newsletter!

Bonjour from Mazamet !

Whilst the start of September was a little cool & damp, as we are writing this edition of our e-newsletter it is nudging 30 degrees so an Indian Summer appears on the cards for us this year.   

September has proved to be another busy month for us here at La Villa welcoming guests from around the world - including New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Canada & the USA to name but a few nations who have passed through our gates. 

Yesterday we started to tidy the garden for autumn; order logs for winter fires; arrange for the chimneys to be swept in October and call our local gardener to trim the lavender & yew trees ready for winter (& can you believe that next week we have to order our Christmas tree!).

We were pleased that a full-page article has appeared in the Sunday papers in Australia (September 15th) about La Villa and you can 'read all about it' with a link below; we have also guest-written an article about the Montagne Noire for a travel & home newsletter sent by colleagues from the Crème de Languedoc website that you may enjoy reading too. 

In this edition of our E-Newsletter we also have a recipe for the French classic 'ratatouille'; our latest offers and news about opening applications for our Les Amis loyalty scheme again.

Thanks for reading, following us on Twitter & liking us on Facebook - it is very much appreciated.

 

  
       

  Front lounge

Latest Offers at La Villa

 

October  - last minute getaways

 

There is still time to grab the last rays of the summer sun her in SW France if you have time to escape!

 

October 7th - 11th - stay any five nights and we will give you one night for free! (Applies to a Superior, Superior Balcony or Deluxe bedroom).

 

October 22nd - 31st -  enjoy a choice of either free cycle hire on one day (for two) or a voucher to enjoy lunch at our favourite salon du thé in Mazamet - applies to any room category when you stay for four nights plus.

  

3-4-2 

 

Yes, from November 1st our three nights for the price of two offer returns ! On this fabulous offer, stay for three nights and you pay for just two (or stay for six and pay for four). Valid for arrival on any day of the week from November 1st, subject to availability).

 

Feeling Romantic? 

 

We have just one bedroom remaining for our 2014 Valentines Weekend Break.

 

Arrive on either Thursday 13th or Friday 14th February and be pampered for the weekend with fabulous four-course Valentines dinner with champagne, free use of Le Petit Spa for two hours on your choice of afternoon and a 20% discount on any 60 or 90 min massage treatment.  Email us to check availability & prices.

 

2014

 

We are going to have a slight price increase (only 10 € per night) for 2014 (our first since 2011) due to an increase in TVA (VAT) that comes into effect January 1st:

 

Classic Bedroom -             110 € per night

Superior Double/Twin -     130 € per night

Superior Balcony -            140 € per night

Deluxe Bedroom -             160 € per night

Deluxe Suite -                   185 € per night (unchanged)  

 

However, for our E-Newsletter recipients, book any 2014 break at La Villa by the end of November and you will pay our 2013 prices PLUS no deposit to pay until the end of January (return guests do not pay any deposit). 

 

To check availability for any of our special offers or late availability, please Email or visit the Special Offers page on our website for more details: Special Offers

 

      
Les Amis de La Villa

 

From October 1st - November 30th we are re-opening applications to  join our loyalty card scheme "Les Amis de La Villa"

 

This card, completely free of charge, is available to anyone who has stayed with us before and provides a host of benefits for any future stay with us, including:

 

  • Free upgrade (subject to availability) to the next available room category (or a bottle of fizz if we are unable to upgrade you)
  • 10% discount off any food, wine and other drinks
  • 20% discount off use of Le Petit Spa & Cycle Hire
  • 20% discount off any 60 or 90 min massages
  • Preferential rates for exclusive use of La Villa

If you already hold a card issued for 2012 you need not re-apply as your card is still valid. For any new applications, please email us and include a full postal address so that we may send your Les Amis card in the post by prior to Christmas. Please ensure your subject box states "Les Amis Application".

 

Once received, simply quote your Les Amis card when making your reservation with us and the discounts will be applied to your final bill.

  
      
A day in the Montagne Noire

 

I was recently asked to guest-write an article for a online newsletter called Crème de Languedoc about the Montagne Noire and I thought this would make a nice addition and bring back some memories for those who have enjoyed either our "Montagne Noire East" or "West" tours whilst staying with us.

  

From vineyards to Cathar chateaux, lakes to medieval villages, the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) offers many contrasts and a great place to visit when in SW France.

 

Stretching from near Beziers towards Toulouse, the Montagne Noire rises to a peak of 1,210 metres just south of the market town of Mazamet and plays home to the border of three departments (the Tarn, Aude & Hérault). Officially part of the 'Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc' the mountains form the southern-most part of the Massif Central.

Historically, the mountain range has played fortress against invading Spanish armies; strategic look-out points for the Cathars fleeing persecution and a network of villages used by the French resistance to pass their secret messages from group to group.

Today, peace & tranquillity prevail and the Montagne Noire's natural beauty and variety of scenery is what draws people to the area. The western part of the mountain range starts at Lac Saint-Ferréol, a reservoir built in 1667 to provide a water source for the Canal du Midi; a 90 min walk around the Lac takes you in and out of the three departments.

 

Heading east, you pass through a mixture of evergreen and deciduous forests dotted with villages like Saissac & Montolieu, with stunning views towards Carcassonne and the snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance. Further on towards the Mediterranean, the must-see are the villages of Caunes-Minervois with its 8th century abbey and Minerve, which was under siege for six weeks in 1210 as part of the Albigensian Crusades and ended with 140 Cathars being burnt a the stake after refusing to denounce their faith. 

A short detour from Minerve to the villages of Homps provides the opportunity for a sedate two-hour boat trip on the Canal du Midi or, now passing through the vineyards of the Minervois, you have the opportunity to visit an ancient olive grove where you can learn the process of growing, harvesting and pressing olives, followed by a tasting of this golden liquid.

 

As you move closer to Beziers, and the end of the Montagne Noire, the wine village of Saint Chinian, which has a wonderful Sunday market in the shade of its plane  trees, is worth a visit to buy some of SW France's finest vintages before you journey back through the valleys to Mazamet.

           Ratatouille             

 
Ratatouille

  

What could be more French than ratatouille? 

  

When we moved to France in 2009 we practiced different recipes for his wonderful side-dish and tweaked it each time until two guests from Paris told us, earlier this year, that it was the best ratatouille they had ever tasted - so I am keeping this recipe as it is from now on!!

 

We serve as a side-dish to one of our favourite main courses of beef encroute but it is equally tasty with meaty white fish & chicken and, as you will see below, makes a tasty filling for a veggie lasagne.

 

 

Ingredients (serves up to 12 as a side dish) 

 

2 large courgettes - sliced length ways and then diced

2 large aubergines - sliced length ways and then diced

2 red peppers - de-seeded and diced

4 large clove of garlic - finely chopped or use a garlic press

2 large onions - diced

3 tins of tomato pulp (not pasatta as you nee some texture)

Fresh basil & thyme, finely chopped (you can use dried thyme)

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

 

Place the diced courgette & aubergine in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Place a plate on top and then something heavy to weigh it down - leave for an hour. What this does is remove the bitter juices from these vegetables.

 

Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees.

 

Place the drained courgette & aubergine in a large mixing bowl with all other ingredients (apart from the tinned tomato) - toss with salt & pepper and then about a tablespoon of olive oil. Divide between two roasting tins and bake for around 20 mins (just keep an eye on the vegetables as you don't want the edges to burn).

 

Remove from the oven and spoon back into the large mixing bowl and, whilst still warm, stir in the tinned tomatoes. Once cooled you can then either divide amongst individual ramekins (we use glass ones like shown above) if serving as a side dish and they re-heat perfectly on a baking try covered in foil at 160 degrees for 20 mins. Alternatively you can re-heat in a pan (or place in a sealed contained and refrigerate or up to 5 days, the flavour will intensify so we always make a day ahead).

 

As mentioned above, the ratatouille is also an excellent filling for a veggie lasagne. Make a cheese sauce and layer sheets of lasagne with a spoonful of ratatouille topped with a slice of mozzarella and some cheese sauce, finishing with a layer of the cheese sauce and topped with grated parmesan. Bake for 25 mins in a hot oven (200 degrees).

      
Escape... from Australia
 

This year as have seen a marked increase in guests from Australia - (in July, August & September accounting for 20% of all ours guests)- Many Australians have heard of Mazamet due to ancestral links with the wool industry.

 

Earlier in September, after a journalist stayed with us in July, a fantastic article appeared in the "Escape" travel section of the Sunday newspapers across the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

 

For our past guests and friends in Australia who were not able to see the article, we have now uploaded this to read here on our website.

 

      
Exclusive Use of La Villa Private Dinner Table

 

Did you know that you can "take over" La Villa exclusively for you and your friends/family - a great place to spend a birthday, special anniversary or just a get-together!

 

We can put together a bespoke package including meals, day trips, wine tasting golf - and with you own "chef" and "masseuse" on hand, what could be more perfect?

 

La Villa can sleep up to 14 guests for exclusive use (in 7 ensuite bedrooms) so why not think of an occasion to celebrate and Email us to check availability and let us put a  personalised quote together for you.

 


We look forward to welcoming new guests and old friends to La Villa de Mazamet. As always - please get in touch with us via Email if you would like any further information, rates or to check availability; you can also keep up to date via our Website
  
Please remember, if you have time, to forward onto a friend, like us on Facebook, or give us a RT on Twitter #villademazamet - it all helps us spread the word !

With kind regards

Peter & Mark
La Villa de Mazamet, 4 rue Pasteur, 81200-MAZAMET, France
 
 T: +33 (0)5 63 97 90 33
September 2013
Latest Offers at La Villa
Apply for your Les Amis de La Villa card
A day in the Montagne Noire
Recipe - Ratatouille
Read All About It - down-under!
Exclusive Use of La Villa