Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

COUR BLIMEY! GILL MARTIN Takes the Children Skiing in Italy - but Finds the Ice Doesn't Extend to the Menu

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

COUR BLIMEY! GILL MARTIN Takes the Children Skiing in Italy - but Finds the Ice Doesn't Extend to the Menu

Article excerpt

Byline: GILL MARTIN

Chalets covered with snow in Courmayeur THE first meal the kids ordered on our familyfriendly ski trip to the Italian Alps was, predictably, pizza and ice-cream.

Pizza no problem. But ice-cream? Not a chance.

Yet here we were in a five-star hotel in the country that makes arguably the best ice-cream on the planet.

We asked the waitress if the chef could be persuaded to whip up a simple vanilla or strawberry icecream.

No, came the embarrassed reply.

How about a sorbet? Another no.

They glumly opted for pannacotta.

Five-star cuisine was reserved for sophisticated parents. All delicious but we felt the children deserved better service.

The Grand Hotel, for all its grandeur, was not living up to its name for junior guests.

There certainly wasn't an absence of ice in the resort of Courmayeur.

In mid-December it was freezing, with bright blue skies and sun glinting on the mountains.

But, like many resorts, natural snow was thin on the ground at the beginning of the ski season.

Thanks to snow-making equipment - cannons sprinkling water that falls as snow on the slopes - boarders and skiers alike are kept happy.

Skiing through those icy showers is an exhilarating way to wake up all the senses and hone the appetite.

Sub-zero temperatures guarantee the calories burn up so that even after a hearty breakfast, a steaming cup of hot chocolate will be a vital elevenses sugar boost until lunch in a welcoming mountain refuge.

Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley shares views of the magnificent Mont Blanc, and is ideal for families. The traditional village is car-free and has excellent restaurants on and off the mountain.

Show me a child who doesn't like pasta and I'll eat my bobble hat.

Italian food and skiing go together like a horse and sleigh: carbs, protein and delicious desserts provide vital energy on a plate. We tucked into gnocci, potato pasta with a gloopy cheese sauce, breaded veal escalopes big enough to sole a shoe, deer from the forest, cured beef, wholemeal bread with figs and walnuts.

Daredevil Jake, 14, fuelled up for an afternoon's blasting down the slopes. …

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