Welcome to our September e-newsletter!
Bonjour from Mazamet !
Welcome to our September e-newsletter, we hope that all is well with our friends throughout the world.
September has been a very busy month here at La Villa with the good summer weather continuing for most of the month, although today as I write our newsletter we have the first (and hopefully short-lived) taste of autumn.
During the past month we have welcomed guests from places near & far across the world; hosted a wonderful 60th birthday weekend for a former colleague from the UK who used La Villa exclusively for the weekend - and then, just this past weekend, we welcomed a lovely group of guests all the way from Hawaii who choose to stay at La Villa for three nights as part of a tour of France.
This coming weekend we have the annual "Vide Grenier" (literally translating as "empty your attic") - a huge table-top sale that takes over the whole of Mazamet's town centre with more than 300 stalls; then on October 7th the annual "De Ferme en Ferme" takes places where farms located in or around the Montagne Noire open their gates for the day for food tasting of the farmer's produce (from fois gras to goats cheese!).
October is a great month to spend time in SW France with autumn colours starting to show on the trees and a host of wonderful and eclectic fetes & fayres like "Fete a la Chataigne" (chestnut fayre) in nearby St. Pons that attracts in excess of 20,000 people!
In this edition we have our latest offers for the autumn & winter months; a trip to Castres by train; a recipe (by popular request from our Hawaiian guests) for Potiron Soup and news of some of the changes we will be making over the winter months here at La Villa.
We hope that you enjoy our September e-newsletter, thanks for reading, following us on Twitter & liking us on Facebook - it is very much appreciated.
Latest Offers at La Villa
Treat yourself to an autumn or winter break to soak up the sights & tastes of the Tarn at this wonderful time of year!
October Offer (e-newsletter exclusive)
Stay for a break (minimum three nights) in October and not only will you receive 20% off the third night's stay, we will also give you a bottle of fizz on your arrival plus a 15% discount of any massage treatment, cycle hire or use of Le Petit Spa.
To check availability, please email email@example.com
*not including the weekend of November 30th-December 2nd
Three Nights for the Price of Two !
From November 1st until April 30th our fantastic 3-4-2 offer recommences.
Stay for any three nights and pay for only two ! For example, stay in a Superior bedroom for three nights for just 240 € - that's just 80 € per night B&B for two adults !
Weekend Winter Warmer
From November 2nd, why not treat yourself to a two or three night mini-break at La Villa?
The price for a two-night Winter Warmer break start at just 400 € for two, including dinner on both nights, use of Le Petit Spa and a choice of either a 30 min massage each or a bottle of wine with each dinner.
PLUS - stay any weekend between November 30th and December 16th and there will be present under the Christmas tree to take home with you.
To check availability for any of our special offers or late availability, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the above, and many more, Special Offers can be found here on our website http://www.villademazamet.com/en/specials.html
Les Amis de La Villa (Friends of La Villa)
So far nearly 50 people have requested one of our new Les Amis de La Villa cards - don't miss out on this great (free!) loyalty scheme that is open to anyone that has already stayed with us.
The benefits include:
- Complimentary upgrade on arrival to the next room category when booking a stay of three nights or more (subject to availability, if we are not able to offer you an upgrade we will give you a complimentary bottle of fizz!)
- Exclusive card -holder weeks (April, June, October & December) with special dinner bed & breakfast rates.
- 10% discount of all food & drink throughout your stay
- 20% discount of any 60 or 90 mins massage treatment
- 20% discount on use of Le Petit Spa
- Advance notice of special offers
To join our new "Les Amis de La Villa" email email@example.com with your full postal address and we will send you your loyalty card at the end of 2012.
Potiron Soup - a true taste (& colour) of autumn
A potiron is a small pumpkin like squash very common in SW France, if you can't find a potiron, you can use a butternut squash instead.
Ingredients(enough to make 6)
1 large squash
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 litre of chicken stock
For the garnish - fresh sage leaves, single cream & croutons
Firstly, don't peel the squash, the skin cooks down and, not only is it one of the most nutritious parts of the soup, it also helps with the colour & consistency too!
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds (you can toast these for a garnish or try planting them to grow your own squash for next year) - then cut the squash into 2 cm cubes; place in a roasting tin with the chopped garlic and drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt & pepper. Roast in a hot oven (220 degrees) for around 20 mins.
10 mins into the roasting of the squash, melt some butter & olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions well (being careful not to burn them otherwise the soup will taste bitter); remove the squash from the oven and add to the onions, stir well to combine and then add the stock. Bring to a simmer for 15/20 mins. Blitz in a blender until smooth whilst still hot.
For the garnish, we make croutons with left over baguette from breakfast and shallow fry in olive oil; pour the soup into warmed bowls, add a few croutons to the centre and drizzle with cream, adding the sage leaf in the middle - enjoy!!
Castres - By Train
As you will have read, or experienced first hand, our self-drive day tours have proved really popular during 2012. Not only are we planning to add an 8th route for next year, we are also going to be writing a guide to things guests can see on foot, by train or on bike!
One such place to visit by train is our neighbouring town of Castres. Leaving Mazamet at either 9.30am or 11.30am, the 20 min journey by train makes just one stop on route (on a Friday, you can make this stop in the small village of Labruguiere to see their weekly market).
Arriving in Castres itself, within 10 mins walk you are in the heart of this bustling town that has an indoor market everyday of the week (plus other outdoor markets on three days); a good range of boutiques & shops; plenty of restaurants & bars, and a wonderful riverfront where the medieval houses dip into the water.
Head first to the Goya museum which has a collection of both paintings & sculptures by the Spanish artist who spent the last years of his life in the Town; the nearby church and theatre are also worth a visit along with the beautiful topiary gardens.
For lunch, why not try the one Michelin Star "Bistrot Saveurs" http://www.bistrot-saveurs.com/ and end your time in Castres with a walk by the river or (May-October) a trip by boat up the river Agout.
For more information on Castres visit the official tourist office website: http://www.tourisme-castres.fr/index.php?lang=en or email us ask us during your stay for our top tips.
...and finally !
This winter we are planning some changes at La Villa (you know how we like to keep busy!)
Firstly in the garden we are going to create a wooden gazebo that will take up much of the lawn area by the pool - this will provide a comfy seating area for those who like to sit, read and enjoy a glass of wine in the shade.
Inside, we will be making some small changes to the TV lounge with new artwork, shelving for our ever-growing DVD library (currently 200 + titles) plus cataloguing the DVDs for easier selection for that in-room movie.
On the top floor, we will be creating a "Deluxe Suite", room 7 will remain as a beautiful Deluxe category bedroom with a commanding view over the Montagne Noire; whilst the rear Classic bedroom will become a 20 square metre lounge with a large flat-screen TV, DVD player, Nespresso coffee machine and minibar.
If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our guests facilities here at La Villa we would love to hear from you. Email us with any suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to welcoming new guests and old friends to La Villa de Mazamet. As always - please get in touch with us at email@example.com
if you would like any further information, rates or to check availability; you can also keep up to date via our website http://www.villademazamet.com
Please remember, if you have time, to forward onto a friend, like us on Facebook, or give us a on RT on Twitter - it all helps us spread the word !
With kind regards
Peter & Mark
La Villa de Mazamet, 4 rue Pasteur, 81200-MAZAMET, France