Choosing to stay in a chalet, rather than a hotel, while on a skiing trip, offers many added benefits. The primary advantages are the additional space and rooms available, and the greater freedom to come and go as you please. Catered chalets go one step further, offering prepared hot and cold meals, and a wonderful ‘home away from home’ feel. Skiing holidays are rarely considered ‘cheap’, and for some the additional cost of eating out during the stay makes the trip a financial impossibility. Booking a fully catered chalet will ultimately not only save you money, but will also feed you well, and help you avoid holiday-induced overindulgence!
Traditional and Eclectic Menus
Most catered chalets make every effort to tailor their menus to a variety of different taste preferences. There is generally something for everybody and the chalet hosts do their best to ensure that no one goes hungry. Generally the menus are based on traditional favourites with a few added local specialties for those with more adventurous palates. Most skiing holidays are fairly physically strenuous, even if you are not an expert skier. Therefore, your chalet hosts will make sure you start your day with a hearty and healthy breakfast, have provisions to take with you, and come back to a warm home-cooked meal to round out your day. The menus are not considered ‘fancy’ but are created by professional chefs who then train the chalet staff on how to make and prepare the dishes. All meals, and baked treats, are 100% hand-made using the freshest local ingredients, and are frequently paired with hand-selected local wines.
Catered chalets will offer a buffet style breakfast with a wide array of choices. Full hot English breakfasts are popular and some chalets even ship in Heinz baked beans for true authenticity. Other options will include cold cereal, pastries, granola and fresh fruit and yoghurts. Before leaving for the slopes the chalet hosts also help their guests pack enough food and snacks to take with them to fuel their day of skiing.
After an exhilarating day out in the snow and fresh air, guests return to their chalet for afternoon tea which is usually a real treat! Home-made cakes, warm tea and hot chocolate are just a few of the items on offer.
Dinner is also considered an important social event and this is where most catered chalets excel. The main course dishes can range from Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce, to Braised Rump Steak or Chicken Chasseur. Dinner is followed by decadent desserts (if you have room!) and the meal is always expertly paired with the perfect wines.
Although most catered chalets adhere to a set menu they also do their best to accommodate any dietary requirements or preferences. A special children’s menu can be offered and will usually make even the pickiest of eaters happy. Menus can also be adjusted to suit vegetarians, those with a lactose or gluten intolerance, or any potential nut allergies.
Simply put, staying in a catered chalet is the best way to insure a relaxing, stress free holiday. The food will still be a very enjoyable part of your holiday, just without the expense, or effort, of eating out every time!
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered chalets in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.