April Newsletter 2016
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When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;

Sweet lovers love the spring

So said Will-i-am Shakespeare and delighted to say Spring has finally burst into life here at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans.  The trees are unfurling their green leaves, the bluebells are blooming round the campfire, the copse is carpeted with spring flowers and the distinctive silhouette of the Black Mountains and Hay Bluff puncture the piercing blue sky in the distance.  
To celebrate all things blooming marvellous we’re offering 10% off midweek bookings.  Cycling, walking, canoeing – take advantage of the Wye Valley at its best with 10% off a booking made before the end of April. 
 (Monday-Friday excepting bank holidays and high summer)
Thanks to all  our guests who stayed in the early season.  Log burning fires in the vans, thick duvets, hotwater bottles and blankets have ensured the nights were cosy, even when temperatures dipped below freezing.  Special thanks to award winning blogger Slummy Single Mummy who posted a rave review about her recent stay with us.  Read it here.
Looking ahead we are very excited about all the people coming to glamp and celebrate with us in the upcoming months.  This weekend Sybil will be playing host to our lucky 9Bar competition winners and then we enter party season with a steady stream of hen party revellers, family gatherings and even our first honeymooners.  For anyone thinking of hiring the whole site we do still have a few precious weekends left including 7/8 May, 18/19 June and 3/4 September.  Check our group hire availability and book here. 
At the risk of repeating ourselves glamping doesn’t mean having to compromise on comfort and luxury. We’re really excited to bring you what we think is a unique new service called Glamp n Pamp.  Our fab therapist Felicity offers a range of pampering holistic treatments including massage, reflexology and nurturing facials all on site.  We can recommend this as a deeply relaxing and restorative way to spend a few hours before cooking up something delicious over our new improved campfire.  If you'd like to find out more or make a booking then please get in touch.
Finally, on the subject of campfire cooking and in the spirit of Spring foraging, here is our recipe for Nettle Soup.  Whilst nettles abound all summer long there’s a relatively small window when the heads are young and tender enough to use for culinary purposes. Great for boosting iron levels and packed with vitamin C.  Just remember to wear gloves when you’re picking!

Mad Dogs Nettle Soup 

½ carrier bag of nettle tops or young leaves
2oz butter
1 large onion finely sliced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 ¾ pints of stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt & pepper
4 tbsps double cream

1.       Wearing rubber gloves, pick over the nettles discarding any tough stalks. Wash the nettles thoroughly.  Melt butter in large saucepan and cook the onion gently until transparent.  Add the garlic, potatoes and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft  Add the nettles and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes until tender.  Season.
2.       Puree the soup in a blender and return to a clean saucepan, stir in half the cream and reheat.  Check the seasoning, pour into bowls, add a swirl of cream and garnish with chives... Enjoy!

Hope to see you soon
Jo & Sacha xx
Copyright © 2016 Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans, All rights reserved.

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