Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sloping off for a Fun Weekend; Two Days in Les Deux Alpes Can Be as Good as a Longer Holiday, Says Bo Wilson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sloping off for a Fun Weekend; Two Days in Les Deux Alpes Can Be as Good as a Longer Holiday, Says Bo Wilson

Article excerpt

Byline: Bo Wilson

FEW things are more thrilling to the senses than a perfect Alpine morning, a dazzling contrast of ice crystals and blue sky and the whoosh and crunch of virgin snow. That is part of the enjoyment of a week on the slopes but, for a shorter trip, those impressions are just as important. At least, that's what I tell myself as I make my way to Les Deux Alpes, France's most popular resort with British skiers, for two nights only.

It's a long way to go for a mini break but I have high hopes on arrival. The Hotel Cote Brune has adorably kitsch furnishings vintage Christmassy scenes on curtains and bedspreads, wood-panelled walls and antique sleds.

The ingredients for a successful ski trip, of course, are ample snow, good food, fondue and apres-ski. Luckily, Les Deux Alpes is sizeable, with 68 restaurants and dozens of bars. On night one I tick off the second at Les Melezes, a verging-on-gourmet restaurant. Any disappointment I have at not getting my face into a fondue on arrival is banished at the first crunch of a magical amuse bouche a toffee cherry tomato. Next up: balls of foie gras encased in jellified Sangria. Unexpected but welcome.

The next day my only full day we go halfway up the mountain to 2,600m. I'm taken under the wing of Simon Edwards, an instructor at the European Ski & Snowboard School, and he immediately helps me claw back my confidence. I'm soon able to turn slower yet ski faster sometimes even without shrieking. We set off down the Jandri 1 the longest blue run in Europe and have a leisurely few goes before returning to town.

Over lunch at pizza and pasta restaurant La Grange, reunited with the rest of the group who've braved more challenging terrain while I was with Simon, talk turns to Genepi, the lethal herbal liqueur picked and distilled in the mountains. Later that night I will try it, at a pirate-themed bar. …

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