My last two trips to the snow were to Courchevel, oui Monsieur X gets around a bit.
Courchevel return flights from Birmingham to Geneva (during the winter season only) were around £150 return and my transfer via Annecy was his smoky Saxo. Luckily I was staying at Monsieur X very little ‘penthouse apartment’ aka his studio in La Praz and less said about his place the better, only the words ‘clean up’ need to be said.
Its location was perfect a few minutes’ walk after from the bus stop and cable cars. We would use the free bus service to reach Courchevel 1850 as this is where he worked …on the beautiful slopes of 1850 then selling his photos at La Datcha restaurant in the Forum Centre. The La Datcha staff was very welcoming, there was a good chilled out and quiet atmosphere (due to it being end of the ski season) and the food tasted great.
After a day there I realized my cash isn’t going to last my stay or even another day seriously 8€ for a coffee and a tea in Le Praz and it wasn’t even a proper cup of tea! Yes you can take the girl out of England but not England out of the girl.
We took a cable car from 1850 up to the highest level it cost for around 15€ each, I wasn’t unsure due to the cost but Monsieur X said it would be worth it. He was right the white mountain views of snow and clouds took away any remaining bit of stress I had and drinking white wine lying on a deck chair knowing that I would have a sunburnt nose the next day isn’t what I usually do on a Sunday afternoon (TV, sofa, dinner).
Before heading back down we took a detour to La Folie Douce in Meribel, the sun, dance music and people dancing on the tables reminded me of my Ibiza days and so did 7€ a pint! Watching the tres expensive bottles of champagne been sent via a mini cable car/box from the DJ stage to the VIP area bizarrely reminded me that I need to buy a new car. Why? One of those bottles of champagne was the same price as my car deposit I was saving towards. I seriously need to find a new job to fund my five star lifestyle. I also learned a valuable lesson – trying to run for the last cable car back to Courchevel in snow after a few beers isn’t cool.
I can’t go to a ski resort and not have fondue and after nagging Monsieur X in the cable car and free shuttle bus down the mountains, he gave in at 1650 and we went to the Le Table de Marie not far from the bus stop. It was empty around 7ish but by 8 it was full. Around 60€ for fondue for 2 people did seem expensive to me, however the plate of bread, salad and meats was massive and there was enough cheese for us so there were no fighting over the last melted drop.
The next few days of my long weekend consisted of going up and down between Le Praz and 1850, afternoon drinks in La Datcha and dinner in L’Escorchevel pub and restaurant in Le Praz. It was mainly English/American food on the menu and very big portions, I’ve had a lot of chicken nuggets in my time but not as big as these.
With a car it was easy to visit the town Moûtiers and another resort called Champagny. I think four nights in Courchevel was enough time for a broke non-skier like me to relax, socialize and see this rich resort from the top to the bottom.
The only negative part of my ski trips was at the UK passport control…they let me back into the country.