Well, we’re up and running and our first guests have been arriving at Le Poteau’s campsite and gites. With summer bookings coming in steadily, we’re looking forward to a great first year.
This week I have mostly been learning about swimming pools. I can’t say that we had ever envisaged owning one swimming pool far less two. Anyway, thanks to Paul our very helpful builder, I am getting there. I have prioritised the small above ground pool for the campsite and gites. It is such a unique location; tucked away with great views next to the vineyard. I doubt that anyone who has not been to Le Poteau in the past will have experienced anything quite like it.
My discovery of the button from a US WW2 uniform button has got us thinking about the more recent history of the region. It is so peaceful here that it is hard to imagine what it must have been like at that time. If you are interested, this article may be worth a look http://bit.ly/2pRsGkx. Fiona is really keen to find out more as Castelnau, whilst part of unoccupied France (the free zone) was very close to the occupied area of France which ran right down the west coast. There are numerous memorials to the resistance and Jewish citizens – some very formal whereas others are simple stones next to the roadside. These are very moving.
On a more cheerful note, her research also pulled up some interesting looking books. One close to my own heart is called Memories of Gascony by the amazing chef Pierre Koffmann. This article might interest you if you are a real foodie http://nyti.ms/2qYDCx7. Here’s a great quote from it; “Gascony is not merely distinct from Provence and the Côte d’Azur. It is, in my estimation, better. Gascony is more open, more soulful, more deeply French, and, in its un-self-conscious devotion to tradition, more pleasurably frozen in time. Its cuisine is arguably less sophisticated than Provence’s, and yet it is more firmly rooted in the land it sprang from, and it is, I put to you, enjoyed with lustier abandon.” That is certainly the sense you get here so along with a warm welcome, you can experience the authentic, rural France you may have thought no longer exists.
Back to the campsite. We’re really enjoying welcoming our first bookings. This week we had our first repeat booking from a loyal Le Poteau client. We know through Joop and Marijke (for first time readers the previous owners of Le Poteau) that quite a few old friends are planning to come back. It will be lovely to welcome them back and can reassure them, if they are following the blog, that we have retained all the character and spirit of this special place. Just hope the translation works for our Dutch and French speaking clients as it can be a wee bit inconsistent.
Quite a few friends and family members have already booked. Fiona’s oldest friend Caroline (and before you cancel Caroline) by oldest we mean the one she has known the longest are coming in August. They grew up together in Port Logan and have a fair old history together. She runs one of the finest cafes in Scotland; The prize winning Potting Shed at Logan Botanical Gardens. However, it is her husband Robin, a farmer, that we plan to ruthlessly exploit for a few extra beers! His expertise with tractors and fields will be very useful indeed – optional Robin honestly!
We are looking forward so much to welcoming existing friends and family whilst meeting lots of new people and making new friends along the way.
By the way – no badgers -sorry just a bit of authorial alliteration for effect!