{ THE IN­SID­ERS }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MICHELLE ROWE

CARO­LINE FAMY Tourism man­ager The Three Val­leys: Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens, France les3­vallees.com Stay: Ho­tel Le K2, Rue des Clar­ines A new ho­tel with spa­cious alpine chalets on Courchevel’s Cospillot slope; hotellek2.com. Al­ta­pura, Rue du Soleil, Val Thorens Opened last year, this well­lo­cated ho­tel of­fers the lux­ury of ski-in, ski-out ac­cess; al­ta­pura.fr. Le Melezin, Rue de Bel­le­cote, Courchevel Set amid conifer-clad slopes a stroll from one of Europe’s most pop­u­lar ski hubs; aman­re­sorts.com. Af­ter dark: Night to­bog­gan­ing, Val Thorens This 6km, 45-minute run is the long­est in Europe; hire head­torches and hel­mets, and en­joy mulled wine and cheese served at the bot­tom of the run; valthorens.com. Dine: La Bouitte, St Mar­cel, 5km from Les Menuires Rene and Maxime Meilleur are pop­u­lar fa­ther-and-son chefs at this Miche­lin-starred restau­rant. Try the house spe­cial­ity of foie gras; la-bouitte.com. The Medz­ery Cabaret, Preyerand, Les Menuires This lively alpine restau­rant serves French and Savo­yard cuisine; there’s a colour­ful post­din­ner show; cabaret.le.medz­ery.free.fr. Late: Le Malaysia, Place Caron, Val Thorens With the big­gest dance floor in the area and open un­til 5am; lemalaysia.com. Ice driv­ing: Val Thorens A 980m Alain Proust-de­signed cir­cuit (be­low the re­sort) al­lows be­gin­ners (and ex­perts) to test their Top Gear skills on ice. Cars pro­vided; icedrivin­ga­cademy.com. PA­PER bags for pantry es­sen­tials that feel like leather and wash like fab­ric? Uash­mama (pro­nounced ‘‘wash mama’’) bags from Italy are en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and hold their form when washed, so can be reused. They also pack flat for easy stor­age and come in a range of sizes and colours. More: hardtofind.com.au. THE pre­vi­ous own­ers of Mill­house on the Bridge in his­toric Rich­mond, 20 min­utes from Hobart, have opened charm­ing self-con­tained loft ac­com­mo­da­tion at their new prop­erty. Loft Over the Vines is a stu­dio-style apart­ment with a well-ap­pointed kitch­enette on the Furneaux acreage over­look­ing the Coal River Val­ley and Tolpud­dle, the old­est Shop: Es­co­bar, La Croisette, Les Menuires This cho­co­late-maker cre­ates homemade cho­co­late, nougat and genepi (liqueur) spe­cial­ties; nougats-es­co­bar.com. Re­lax: La Folie Douce Club, top of Plein Sud chair­lift, Val Thorens A late-af­ter­noon out­door meet­ing place for the re­sorts’ hippest skiers. Philippe Starck-de­signed decor mixed with vi­brant DJ mu­sic at ‘‘the high­est open-air club in Europe’’; lafoliedouce-valthorens.com. See: Cime de Caron, Val Thorens Don’t miss this 3200m peak with its amaz­ing views of about 1000 French, Swiss and Ital­ian sum­mits. Bet­ter still, dine at one of the lofty restaurants; valthorens.com. vine­yard in the val­ley. There’s an an­tique queen-size brass bed and a sin­gle, plus lounge seat­ing, re­verse-cy­cle heat­ing/cool­ing and flat-screen tele­vi­sion. Con­ti­nen­tal break­fast con­sists of gen­er­ous pro­vi­sions and poached fruit from the es­tate, in­clud­ing rhubarb and ap­ples. There is a two-night min­i­mum stay: $150 a dou­ble a night. More: loftover­thevines.com.au.

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