La Bouche en Oreille!
Things are continuing to go better than predicted. Although we have not actively advertised, word of mouth (‘la bouche en oreille’ as they say here) is spreading the news and it is getting very busy. The bar has its little circle of regulars who consume white wine in great quantities, the restaurant which is quiet at the beginning of the week gets progressively busier and by Thursday we are having to turn people away who haven’t booked. The bedrooms are slow but we expected that as most people staying in the area have already booked their accommodation and we are not in any guides for this year. Our brochure is now in print and in lots of shops and ‘caves’.
Customers and new friends.
We have had some truly lovely people stay with us so far and are making a lot of new friends. Norman and Joan Russell got our details from the insurance office in Tournus when they went to insure the house they had just bought. They stayed four nights with us and are coming back in September to continue the renovations on their property. Bert and Jill Wardekker started off staying for one night which turned into three nights on their way through France searching for the ideal region to buy a property. They have sold their house in Holland and want to live in France. They left to look further south but called us the following week to book in for two more nights as they have decided to find something in our area. We are now becoming estate agents as we found four properties for them to view through our enquiries with our regulars. The Ceul family from Belguim stayed three nights after enquiring about accommodation at the newsagent in Uchizy.
We have also had two weekends block booked for the two weddings to which we were invited.
The first was Mallory Talmard who finally tied the knot with Benjamin on 7th July. She held her very memorable hen night ‘chez nous’ (see the last bulletin!!). We got to bed at 5 am and had to be up at 8 am to do the breakfasts.
The 21st was Alix Gricourt’s who married Quentin whom she met during the vendange (grape harvest) in September 2004. We got to bed at 2.30 am after that one as again we had breakfasts to do.
The Other News…
Ambassador Poulos arrived for a fortnights holiday with Shirley (who finally got to see the house they bought in Plottes a year ago) and their daughter Zoe. They had a great relaxing time painting and decorating and keeping the local DIY stores in business and departed for Singapore for a well-earned rest!! Tony’s cousin, Rawy and his partner Nijole came down from Paris to see them and stayed with us for a weekend.
For Bastille Day we organised a barbecue and had sixty five people. It was very successful and we’ve been asked to do another on 15th August. One group who booked (four adults and five children) asked if there was a reduced price for the kids and we said yes.
Big mistake – the little gannets ate more than the parents!! Sophie, Victoria, Anne-Sophie and Zoe did a great job keeping the salads topped up and tables clear, Becca kept everybody’s glasses full and managed the till and Nick manned the barbecue needless to say.
Sandrine phoned one Saturday to ask if we could do ‘brunch’ for eight people on the Sunday. No problem, we said, what would you like? Full English breakfast, of course!! Out came the black pudding, eggs, bacon (well the French equivalent), mushrooms, sausages, baked beans, brown sauce and ketchup. It could be a winner if we could guarantee our stocks!!
One sunny lunchtime a large BMW bike stopped outside and the rider, a german, asked if we did lunches. Yes, we said.
Good, I’ll go and get the others, we are thirteen!! The car park filled with large bikes, all BMWs and it transpired the organiser worked for BMW in Munich and arranged motorcycle tours for buyers.
He took our details and said he’d be in touch to book the place for a few days and that it would be a regular arrangement.
The local chateau, the French scout headquarters, has been full of kids the past few weeks doing theatre workshops, music and dance and then putting on a show for the parents who come from far and wide. Needless to say our Thursdays are busy with all the rooms booked and serving lots of food and wine but the best bit was when the caretaker and his wife arrived to book a room for the Friday night. They had been unable to sleep with all the noise and needed a peaceful night to recover!