Artist and illustrator Tatiana Alida shares her insider guide to Courchevel, taking readers on a snow-capped tour of the swish French ski resort.
Essential items to pack?
I would probably say a balaclava – it gets really cold whilst skiing.
The best time to visit Courchevel is…
I love it in March or April when the sun is out and you can enjoy lunch on the restaurant terraces, but the snow is still good for skiing.
Our first pitstop should be…
Caves des Granges.
Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…
I don’t normally stay in hotels in Courchevel, but there are a few very famous places such as Cheval Blanc Courchevel, Six Senses Residences & Spa Courchevel, and Hôtel Byblos.
For an early morning workout head to…
I don’t work out when on a ski trip as you burn so much energy already, especially if you do little off-piste skiing and have to carry your skis in those heavy snow boots.
Where should we go for breakfast?
The Creperie in 1850 for a delicious savoury crepe. For sweet crepes, try Le Tremplin.
How about for a long, lazy lunch?
For a low, slow, and chilled lunch with views it has to be La Soucoupe. On the pistes, Chalet de Pierre – you can walk to it from 1850.
And for dinner with friends?
Nothing beats dinner at home in the chalet with a mountain Beaufort cheese fondue; it’s pretty simple to make and we always play the game of if you drop your bread in the pot you have to do a shot or take a layer of clothing off… that you can’t do in public!
A must-try spot for date night?
Take them ice-skating in the Olympic ring; nothing like a doing an activity on a date. Follow with mulled wine by a fire pit in the snow.
Your favourite restaurant in town?
Budget: La Fromagerie.
Blow Out: La Mangoire.
Where should we head post-dinner?
Le Tremplin for fabulous cocktails, live music, and dancing and people watching. Be sure to order their giant cocktails if there are a group of you; they give you flowers to put in your hair and it comes with sparklers.
The drink to order at the bar…
A Moscow Mule or a Genepi (on the rocks).
The best place for people watching…
Les Caves de Courchevel.
The culture spot to rave about…
No culture, just indulgence.
Treat yourself with…
A hot chocolate with Chantilly cream for €11.
For great shopping head to…
The strip of shops next to Tremplin, it’s pretty high-end shopping, so don’t expect to find cute vintage shopping here.
The one place only locals know about…
L’Oeil de Boeuf in 1550 – great meat and reasonably priced.
La Soucoupe terrace at the top of La Loze.
For a change of pace try…
A day at the spa for a full-body massage; you get aches and pains all over from skiing.
Great day trips include…
Lunch in St Martin de Belleville at l’Etoile des Neiges or la Bouitte if you want to go big and delicious!
A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?
Premier de Cordée by Gaston Rebufa – classic, early days Alpinism.
How should we spend the final day of our trip?
On a sunny terrace with a light vegetable broth and a massage…
What’s your Courchevel secret?
Find a lovely ski guide and ask him to show you the mountain where no one is. Les Avalles in the Vanoise, is not very hard off-piste skiing, but a stunning and totally peaceful spot.
In a word, Courchevel is…