Hot Tub Highlights of 2021
Like everyone else, for us the last two years have been pretty chaotic, upsetting, worrying and occasionally very sad. But we always try to focus on the best moments, and try to think positive thoughts for the year ahead too.
Thinking back over the last twelve months, about the best moments and highlights of 2021, there have been quite a few. And lots of them have made me smile when I reminisced and looked back through my photos.
Workwise, it's been a busy year and our hot tub deliveries and events have taken us to some incredible new locations. For the first time ever we visited the Haute Pyrenees and Gers. I can't begin to describe just how stunningly beautiful the Pyrenees really are in real life. If you haven't been yet I can definitely recommend it because the scenery is breath-taking.
Image credit : Wilderness Travel
It's on my wish list to go to the Pyrenees again for a holiday, instead of for work. And we have a good reason to go back too. Because on a delivery to Gers I discovered that an old Southport friend lived next door to our hot tub customer! It was great to meet up with her and I'm sure we'll get together again in the new year.
Other memorable outings
There are a couple of events that stand out in my mind and for different reasons. In July we held one of our Hot Tubs On Tour summer events at The Mad Hatter's Kitchen in Caunay (79190). What a place! It really was one of the top events of the year for us.
Apart from taking four new hot tub orders, we got to spend a few hours at the venue of one of the most popular music festivals in the Deux-Sevres - Mad Hatter's Wonderland Music Festival. It is easy to see why this place is so popular with locals and tourists. Charlotte and Glyn made us feel very welcome; there was live music on in the afternoon and the food was fresh, home-cooked and delicious. But the highlight of the day has to be the alpacas. One very brave and inquisitive lady even came over to check out the hot tub. Fortunately she wasn't tempted to drink it (maybe the bubbles put her off), but we got a great photo.
We went back to Mad Hatter's later on in the summer when we had family over to stay. The Wonderland Hop. was a fantastic weekend of music and food in mid-August. It's another recommendation from me to you for next year! Our kids have already said they want to go again so maybe we'll see you there.
More recently I have to say that the Christmas Fayre in Lessac in November has made it into the Top 3 as well. I don't know whether it's because we had several happy customers come to see us, or because we got a few new orders, but it really was a memorable day. The festive atmosphere, mince pies and vin chaud might have had something to do with it too.
More great news came through earlier this year from the Chats de Chatillon refuge that we support. As well as adopting our two adorable kittens from the refuge we also sponsored one of the long-term 'unadoptable' cats - Pebbles. This beautiful cat was brought into the refuge in a seriously bad way and the vet who examined her didn't think she would survive. However, with lots of love and care Pebbles survived and developed into the most stunning cat I have ever seen. Sadly her chances of finding a forever home were very slim because she was diagnosed with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). It meant she would likely spend her whole life in isolation. Amazingly though, Pebbles was adopted early this year by the most incredible family who also took on another FeLV sufferer. So Pebbles has a feline friend and a wonderful family who love and adore her.
We always say that the Cotswold Eco Tubs never look out of place and our best-selling Burford Deluxe wood-burning tub blends beautifully into any surroundings. Location wise we could not have envisaged the impressive view from a customer's hot tub in Bellac. We didn't know what to expect when we went to deliver self-employed estate agent Chris Summers' new tub. He warned us there might be "a few steps", but he would be on hand to help with the lifting and carrying. What we didn't expect was the incredible view from his patio looking out across the river and houses of Bellac.
Although they can't quite beat Chris' outstanding view of Bellac, it has been equally rewarding and memorable delivering tubs to our neighbours. We definitely have to ensure that we maintain our 5* customer service status where they are concerned. I would hate to upset our lovely neighbours in any way, because they have made me and Tim feel really welcome.
An incredible milestone
When we started out in February 2020 we were very optimistic about our new business venture. But not long after that Covid and national lockdowns came along. We wondered time and again whether we had made the right decision to move to France. However, we were fortunate that we could carry on with our deliveries, even with a few lengthy manufacturing delays. Happily though, this year the delays were resolved because we ordered in advance. And I am happy to report that we have actually reached an amazing 100 happy hot tub customers mark! Definitely a good reason for a celebrations after all the trials and tribulations of the past 18 months.
Getting into the festive spirit
There's no rest for the wicked though. We sold six more tubs recently with two very special ones being delivered this week, just in time for Christmas. Once we finish these then it will be feet up for a while until we deliver another four in February 2022. Travel restrictions between France and the UK have impacted our plans but we have to look on the bright side. Family and close friends are happy and well, and so are we. Christmas will be another non-traditional occasion, but we're thinking of starting some new traditions. Hot tub based of course. Let's all try to make this Christmas holiday the best it can be until we can all meet up again.
And on that note, Tim and I would just like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Who knows what the future will bring, but we can look back and remember lots of good times in 2021. Joyeaux Noël - Merry Christmas from Hot Tubs In France!