The fantastic daily fragrance of freshly baked croissants, the swish of soft snow under your skis, the magic mountain views, as far as the eye can see.
There aren’t many better sights, smells and sounds when it comes to a winter holiday, and as far as the French Alps are concerned there are few resorts that would trump lofty La Plagne.
One of the most snow-sure resorts on the continent with accommodation positioned at altitudes ranging from 1,200m to 2,100m, La Plagne has something for skiers and non-skiers alike and Alpoholics Chalets provided us with a week we will never forget.
And we got engaged!
But more about that later…
The fact that Alpoholics recently received 100 per cent five-star TripAdvisor reviews for three consecutive years is no coincidence. Runner-up at the 2014 World Snow Awards for Best UK Chalet Company and shortlisted again in 2015, 2016 and 2017, they certainly know their stuff.
We were pointed in their direction by ChaletFinder, who help fill over 1,400 chalets across Europe each season and found us one that ticked every box.
A holiday is, by design, an opportunity to relax and switch off, and stepping away from the stresses of organising every detail of your trip is an added bonus. Alpoholics mastered our ski holiday down to a tee, leaving us with one simple job – to enjoy carving through some of the finest snow in all of France before finishing the day with a stunning three-course chalet feast.
Our chef served up a hearty cooked breakfast (alongside a crazy choice of continental treats) every morning to make sure we were well-fuelled, and the traumatic experience of unclipping the bindings and waving au revoir to the pistes each afternoon was eased by the thought of a fresh cake standing proud on the living room table.
Wine glasses were on automatic re-fills every night at dinner, and there was even a couple of bottles of ‘bubbly’ on hand to raise a glass to the future Mrs Fox!
Besides the skiing and boarding across La Plagne and Les Arcs there were plenty of extras on offer, including a 30-minute uncontrolled slide on your backside (aka tobogganing), the usual ‘aprés ski’ drinking holes and tenpin bowling for some night-time fun.
Tick, tick and tick … but back to the more important stuff…
At the resort’s highest point, the Bellecote Glacier boasts stunning views across the Alps and towards Mont Blanc, and there is also a pretty ‘cool’ ice sculpture museum chiselled deep inside the glacier itself.
At the foot of this glacier, Sally agreed to join the Fox troop!
Having a professional photographer in the group helped convince the bride-to-be that standing on a rock and facing away with both arms out would make for a nice photo. Little did she know the plan was purely made to give the calm and collected* ‘groom’ time to sneak up behind and stoop to one knee.
*Not true, but shhh! I’m allowed to exaggerate, right?
Despite one friend thinking Sally was about to have her trousers pulled down from behind, the surprise remained romantic and the rest, as they say, is history.
The smiles on the snow were unstoppable.
There are often times when, as your vacation nears an end, you are happy to go home – batteries recharged, ready to return to familiar surroundings and settle back into everyday life.
Not this time.
A life in the mountains is one worth living. Maybe one day we’ll find ourselves there full-time.
Dream. Travel. Smile.
Thanks for reading … JF
*** Post edited from 2017 review written by JF for Alpoholics & ChaletFinder, published by the Jersey Evening Post***