LET IT SNOW

THE AP­PEAL OF VAL D'ISERE

Business Traveller - - CONTINUED... -

for your­self, or be cooked for ev­ery night. Hav­ing reached an age where a day’s ski­ing and a cou­ple of après-ski drinks ne­ces­si­tates at least an hour sit­ting down drink­ing tea and eat­ing a good meal be­fore I can go out again, catered chalets are a pref­er­ence, and ones where the food is some­thing more than spaghetti bolog­naise. On this visit, we stayed at the con­fus­ingly named Club Aspen, a chalet in the cen­tre of town run by VIP Ski. It had Bri­tish staff when we vis­ited, but we won­dered whether such em­ploy­ment ar­range­ments would still be pos­si­ble post Brexit. For our stay, their tal­ents (when it came to cook­ing) and hard work (when it came to help­ing us lo­cate lost skis) was in­valu­able.

Un­less you are a reg­u­lar to Val, it’s also a good idea to take some ski les­sons, not least since you then have a guide to the ex­ten­sive ski area, which also in­cludes Tignes. Ski schools such as Oxygène, and in­no­va­tion in teach­ing, mean les­sons are more be­spoke, with a greater fo­cus on en­sur­ing you en­joy your­self, so you’ll re­turn the fol­low­ing year. They can also help you quickly re­gain lost con­fi­dence and ac­tu­ally im­prove dur­ing the course of a trip.

Peo­ple choose a re­sort for a mix­ture of ski­ing, après-ski, restau­rants, night­clubs, price, ease of ac­cess, ac­com­mo­da­tion and the pre­vi­ous visit’s mem­o­ries. I know plenty of friends who see their an­nual ski trip as an ex­cuse to pre­tend they are 20 years younger, and then spend the fol­low­ing month blam­ing their aches and pains on ski­ing, as op­posed to dance in­juries. For me, the at­trac­tion of Val is a com­bi­na­tion of deep snow, ex­cel­lent restau­rants and peo­ple of all ages danc­ing to tol­er­a­ble mu­sic at three in the af­ter­noon. Per­haps next year I might join in.

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