In 14 weeks time we have deliberately rigorously turned our lives upside down. Our original plans are still translated into reality on a daily basis and we are now partly operational. While spring has arrived, we are not guaranteed to get rid of the snow yet. On 1 April, for example, no less than 20 centimeters fell, forcing us to postpone the work on the campsite. More about that later in this second newsletter from St. Bonnet de Condat.
Bar and épicerie open!
On April 8, we decided, if only for the village, to open the bar en épicerie. That still had a lot of feet in the ground. The suppliers of both drinks and cash register did not get it done in time. A ride Clèrmont Ferrand with a van that fell through its axles as a result.
Moreover, we had to do mental math, a lot of mental math! Anyway, in the end we were lucky with about 80 interested people during our opening night, which was very pleasant. The next day we got up early to get bread, after which we opened the shop for the first time. Again a lot of interested people and a lot of pleasure from our hard work to see that we can be of service.
Customs, opening times and drinks
The same opening weekend, the following cultural differences occurred. In France it is normal to order the first rosé around 11:00 in the morning, whereas in the Netherlands this rarely happens before 15:00. The preference in terms of drinks is also different here. Aniseed drinks are mainly drunk and the kir is also in great demand.
Local aperitifs should of course not be missing and we do our best to learn everything. For example, we have now realized what a ‘Monaco’, a ‘piscine’ are. At the same time, we do not expect that a ‘snow white’ will be ordered here soon… Moreover, the French eat much later than the Dutch and so we repeatedly adjusted and will adjust our opening hours.
Although we are already open, we still want to establish as many local partnerships with suppliers as possible. We already have local wines (AOP Côtes d’Auvergne) and bread from baker Joël Gladines from the neighboring village of Marcenat, but are also busy discussing whether to include meat, pâté, cheese, etc. in the range.
While we adopt a different rhythm, Cor has come over again for a full month to help us. With the help of the materials that we were allowed to borrow from the baker (who also supplies our bread) and from Jeroen and Rachelle, the maintenance of the site was continued. Mowing, raking, picking and countless trips to the ‘déchetterie’ for green waste. The result is a true metamorphosis. We are far from done, but it looks more like a campsite every day!
We got an unexpected surprise today. The internet provider announced that we are eligible for fiber optic internet! From May 5th we can also offer our guests fast WiFi. If the boss allows you to work remotely, we especially recommend that you inquire about the possibilities!
First unknown guests
Our first ‘strangers’ guests are now also enjoying their stay in one of the Mobil Homes. The couple with baby, accompanied by their dog, have family in the village. Their visit required a long drive and we are more than proud to welcome them to our campsite. Of course we hope that they are the first of what may eventually become a long guest list. Bookings are now also starting to get underway for the rest of the season, so we have every confidence in a great first season.
Welcome from 02-05-2022
Now that the website is live in three languages and the reservation module works, we would like to invite our newsletter readers to come and stay with us from 2 May onwards at any given time. Whether in a chalet, Mobil Home, caravan, tent or RV, you will receive a temporary 5% discount on your stay with the code NEWSLETTER5!
À bientôt, lots of love.
Dennis & Jelle