Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Skiing in Megève, 2015

The snow is sparkling in the sunshine as if covered in pixie dust. You're whizzing through the mountains, amongst the trees and past trickling streams, making your own tracks through fresh, untouched powder. The birds are singing and hot air balloons float across the blue sky in the distance. Snow-capped mountain-tops peak out from whispy clouds around you. 


Of course, skiing isn’t always like that. Some days it’s cloudy and snowy and you sit on long chair lifts with your teeth chattering and as little of your face exposed as is humanly possible. But those moments aside, I love skiing.

It’s like riding a bike really.

OK, it’s not actually anything like riding a bike. But what I mean is that once you know how to ski, you don’t forget. Like driving too.

I’m fortunate enough to have been skiing most years since I was about eight, but I ended up not going for the past two. Awesomely though, it turns out I can still ski, HOORAH!

Between you and me, the actual skiing is only part of the reason I love going on a skiing holiday: it’s just as much about the food, the chalet, the town, being in the mountains and the atmosphere for me.

So let me give you a flavour of our skiing holiday last week. It was such a treat, and just what I needed after a busy and stressful term. (Let's just ignore the fact that I have an even busier and more stressful term coming up, for which I should be preparing, mmm kay?)

This post will be a pretty picture-heavy one, but I figure everyone likes pictures, right? Who wants to read actual words these days, eh? (Says one of the most waffly bloggers in the blogosphere).

The Town

My fam love to ski in the ludicrously charming town of Megève in the French Alps.

Nestled between snow-topped mountains, picture cobbled streets and traditional wooden chalet-style buildings, complete with shutters with hearts cut-out. It's a living town as opposed to just a ski resort, and a very upmarket one at that.

Laaaaved these Longchamp bags!
The streets are lined with Porsches, Ferraris and Range Rovers, and they buzz with well-heeled shoppers spending their money in fur shops, designer stores (Hermès, anyone?), the town's little department store Allard, interesting independent boutiques, cute cafés, brasseries, crêperies and waffle stands.

Unsurprisingly I can't afford more than an over-priced waffle, but it's still fun to window-shop.

The town's traditional praline chocolates in a yummy sugar coating. 
Megève is also home to a number of amaaaaazing chocolateries and pâtisseries which, as you can imagine, are always extra enticing at Easter.

And come night, the town looks extra beautiful...

The Chalet

We stay in a wonderful catered chalet-hotel called Les Cimes, which is run by Ski Royale.

It's cosy, stylishly-furnished and perfectly-located too.

The atmosphere at Les Cimes is always so welcoming, friendly and relaxed, and I love getting to know the other guests too. The staff are the absolute best - Michelle, Adam and all the others make everyone feel super welcome and at home. It's almost like staying with friends.

The view from our balcony
There's always tea and coffee out which I of course love, but OH MY DAYS, the food at Les Cimes is always out-of-this-world. Like, super snazzy and tasty and in abundance.

Every morning we awake to a continental breakfast of pastries, bread, jams, nutella, fruit, yoghurts, cereals and the cooked dish of the day (we had everything from banana pancakes to bacon and eggs.)

And when you get back to the chalet after an exhausting day on the slopes, some sort of freshly-baked treat is always ready and waiting to be devoured.

A few hours later and it's pre-dinner nibbles time!

Often cheesy and often accompanied by something bubbly...

Pretty sweet, eh? Oh, and if you hadn't already realised, my vegan, refined sugar-free, gluten-free lifestyle pretty much went out the window for a week but what can ya do? WORTH IT!

After canapés it's time for what is always a spectacular three-course meal. I only wish I'd taken pictures on more than just our last evening. But here's a flavour for you...

Cream of asparagus soup with saffron to start
Steak and scallops with butternut squash purée and wedges for the meat eaters
Cauliflower and blue cheese quiche for me
Boozy tiramisu for pudding!
Or perhaps sticky toffee pud.
And all finished up with cheese and crackers.

Every night.


Good thing skiing's such good exercise then! Ahem...

The Skiing

I don't care what people say, it's definitely gravity powing me down the slopes as opposed to much effort on my part. Sure, a bit of toning occurs, but then you go and sit on a lift and have a long ole rest whilst admiring the view.

And when the sun's out, the views really are glorious!

It's just magical.

There are so many different areas to explore, and when skiing at Easter you basically have the mountains to yourself. Seriously, one day we must have seen about ten other people on the slopes, tops.

Casual private mountain
I have heard tales of people having to QUEUE for lifts earlier in the winter. How horrideously awful.

This year we also downloaded an app called Ski Tracks which (without internet) tells you all sorts of interesting things like your altitude and speed - the sister and I both topped 40mph which was faster than I'd thought!

And of course, we never go too far without a stop at a cute chalet restaurant perching on the mountainside.

On chilly days, hot chocolate is a must.

Oh, and a ginormous slice of the fluffiest, most awesome lemon meringue pie may have occurred too.

On warmer days, chilled Diet Cokes in the sunshine are on the menu.

If you're wondering, the jumper I'm wearing is one I absolutely love, kindly sent to me by Tokyo Laundry. It's cosy but not too chunky and the perfect cropped length for ski trousers... Or just high-waisted skinnies.

And of course, big, warming, carby lunches occurred on a daily basis too. I don't know whether it's the fresh air or the "exercise" or what but skiing is some hungry work!

I had an absolutely dreamy holiday and am so grateful to my parents for taking me, Les Cimes for being so wonderful, and the sun for coming out!

A less sunny view on our last morning
What are your thoughts on skiing holidays? Hope you all had lovely Easters too!

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