Meribel with VIP SKI – food in focus

Skiing when I went with University, was all about the slopes, the fancy dress and the après. Food was a low priority, so long as there was a fondue booked in the week, we would pick up pizzas from the local creperie and create our own creations made from anything we could pick in the supermarché. Some things haven’t changed: It’s still all about the slopes, we still need good après drinks, pizza is always a good choice and we still book a fondue once a week.

Skiing is fun, fast and energetic. If you’re gym fit this will help you enjoy your week more, but don’t shy away from the idea if you’re new and perhaps not gym fit. If anything I hope this blog might sway you to book, based on food alone!

You need to be prepared for a cold day, this year our coldest recorded was minus 29C. The energy that you burn through exercise and keeping warm means that you need good food! Pick a good resort for your skiing experience, do a bit of internet research this won’t cost you a penny. Getting good snow is dependant on your luck and possibly the resort you pick. Where you need to be picky is if you want to get good food, accommodation and a good service. This year I went with VIP SKI, again, it was my 4th year with them, which should tell you something.

The accommodation has been fantastic on all four stays, spanning two resorts and four different chalets. Select the right chalet and you can have a hot tub, balcony and ski-in, ski-out access and the après bars a short walk away. Club chalets provide that little bit extra, the main difference being the free beer fridge, as well as canapés and sparkling wine every night before dinner!

To eat: Cooked breakfasts; cake with tea and coffee for when you come in from the slopes and a three course meal for 6 of the 7 nights.
To drink: Complimentary beer and a variety of wine, red and white, during dinner.

Every morning we would come down to a table filled with multiple cereal options, (Including that lovely looking ‘dorset cereals’ cereal.) orange juice, coffee and teas and a selection of yoghurt. I must admit I opted for the same thing, most mornings: 1 poached egg, cooked tomatoes and some French bread. Finished with a yoghurt (for dessert!?). Bacon was also on offer to those who ate meat. A snap shot of our meals throughout the week, from my memory and odd notes!

Day 1:
 Arrival day Evening: On the first night we were welcomed by champagne and canapés while we all settled in to our new home for the week. The long wooden table was being set while we sipped our champagne and chatted to other guests. Main: Mushroom stroganoff or Beef stroganoff, the mushroom stroganoff had a delicious rich sauce and plenty of mushrooms Dessert: Tequila lime pie this was served with an optional shot of Tequila to hit the spot.

Day 2: We went guiding with the chalets ski host & Guide, club chalets are usually quite large and have their own personal guide. If you don’t know your resort and you’re a confident skier then I would highly recommend this. The guides usually take you somewhere good for lunch too.
Guiding Lunch: We went to an Australian bar/restaurant where they had recently celebrated Australia day, half way up the mountain! Around the table, we had: Veggie burger & frites; 2 xcheeseburger & frites; Tartiflette, Omlette with ham, cheese and onion; A large salad with hot goats cheese (chevre chaud) and a lasagne.
Evening: Canapés and sparkling wine.
Starter: Spicy butternut squash soup – this was tasty on the butternut side but not as spicy as I would have made for myself, then again if it was too spicy it may have not been for all 18 guests.
Main: Spinach and cheese pancake or duck. The creamy sauce made my pancake rich but not stodgy. The duck was well cooked to everyone’s satisfaction this dish was definitely a winner.
Dessert: Bread and Butter pudding

Day 3:
Guiding Lunch: Where we ate: La Caudanne. Around the table we had: Reblochon and walnut salad with frites; Camembert box and meats on the board – this looked fantastic, but was certainly for the hungry, with a three course dinner on the horizon I paced myself; Lasagne, Macaroni cheese. And Italian beer!? I’m not complaining as I like Peroni however we were in France!
Evening: Canapés: fig and blue cheese wrapped in bacon or without bacon if you are a vegetarian, these were delicious! &sparkling wine. 
Starter: Tomato and goats cheese tart
Main: Sea Bass, this dish was the one I was most looking forward too. Possibly because I hadn’t eaten fish since Friday and I was really missing it after 3 days.
Dessert: Summer fruit pudding, this was my favourite dessert!

Day 4
Lunch: Where we ate: Val Thoren: Vegetarian pizza and a Heineken. At the start of the week we knew that our hosts would take a night off, so this was the time to book our fondue restaurant! I would suggest getting the hosts recommendations, after all they have been out in the resort since December!
Evening: Chez Kiki in #Meribel for Fondue, this included being told by the French chef that we needed to stir more, adjust our flame and basically do a fondue right! Somehow we had room for a dessert, clearly our appetite had adjusted during the week!
But despite this the restaurant was perfect, it was 30 years old, with wooden beams, it had 3 levels within the restaurant. It was heaving with fellow skiers, whose hosts had the night off, including a child who had fallen asleep at the head of the table before the adults’ main courses had been ordered!

Day 5:
 Le menuieres Snack: chocolate chaud, and chocolate chaud Chantilly, I ordered this for entertainment as the wipped cream that was piled on the top was deeper than the cup itself.
Evening: Canapés: smoked salmon blinis Starter rare beef salad or Mushroom and garlic on toast
Main: salmon steak or lamb cutlets, the salmon was well cooked and was bought by the chalet hosts with me in mind apparently, which I think goes to show the effort the hosts go to for their guests.
Dessert: wine poached pear

Day 6:
 Courchevel Lunch: Courchevel 1850 Ku DE TA: What we ate: l’ocean pizza (salmon) and a medium beef burger with tasty chips and two beers €58 

: Canapés: Camembert starter with crudités! Hmm good for minus 22 conditions!
Starter: My first Onion soup of the week, and it was worth the wait!
Main: Thai green curry was the vegetarian option, in my opinion this was a dish that fell a bit flat, and it wasn’t the best match against the meat eaters massive steak, which seemed to go down very well throughout the chalet guests.
Dessert: Chocolate torte, this was as a chocolate torte should be: Chocolatey and rich, a great end to our week of many meals.

So if my snapshot of our menu and VIP experience appeals and you have pictured yourself in a chalet for a week at all during this blog, then take a look online and eye up your next ski trip.


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