Tuesday

The Arctic Lodge


I've been meaning to write this blog post for sometime, but life got in the way. At the very beginning of December I tagged along on one of Gus' work trips (he runs a company called HedgeBrunch) to visit The Arctic Lodge. A newly renovated chalet in Val D''Isere, this home from home is a destination with a difference. Not only is the house itself absolutely incredible, but the whole vibe is a refreshing change to the "candle at both ends" skiing experience we all know and love regret once we arrive home and are back at our desks...


Having flown in from Geneva (I flew there from another trip in Brussels and wasn't asked for my passport once, slightly worrying...) we got a transfer to Val D'sere. I'd been there before, but many moons ago and never really embraced the whole "ski life" thing. I can't ski very well at all, we never skiied as kids (as parents are more of a "get me to the beach" people) which instantly puts you at a disadvantage. I hadn't been on the slopes for five years and was more worried than excited...



all kit (both of us) Ortovox here

We arrived at the chalet, and just wow. It's everything a chalet should be - and some more. With everything from an outdoor hot tub to snuggly sofas and beds in typical "hygge" style. We were there for four days and I didn't even get to the swimming pool in the basement, as you just wanted to hang out with the guys, chill by the fire or run yourself a bath overlooking the mountains.



Remembering how to ski after 5 years was easier than I thought, but thats most likely huge testament to TDC Ski who spent a morning with all the four year old French kids on the nursery slopes with me the following day. Gus on the other hand was straight up the mountains and down again, he's frustratingly good... We met for lunch at the Arctic Cafe which (just like our chalet) made us a healthy lunch before an afternoon of doing the same all over again...



Eventually we decided we'd head back to our chalet (which you can ski to) and arrived to find the fire roaring and gluten free, dairy free pancakes with vegan chocolate spread waiting for us. I nearly died and went to heaven... Once we'd got the ski boots off (my least favourite part of the experience; clunking around in boots that make you walk funnily and bruise your shins) I stuck into a pile of them, followed by some excellent (gf, df) chocolate cake... Heck, those blue slopes don't ski themselves... I earned it.


A hot bath and a nap later, we were ready for some apres ski. I think the fact not a single photo was blog worthy tells you how fun it was... After eating at La Baraque (would recommend) where the gin and tonics were the size of fish bowls, the following morning was a challenge. How on earth the boys managed to get themselves out of bed to get on the ski lift I will never know. I slept in and came out only for the promise of Orangina and sunshine, which was honoured. Lots of you asked from my Instagram where this jumper was from, it's a brand called Perfect Moment here. Really good value for the quality... 

sweater, Perfect Moment at Net A Porter / sunglasses, Kate Spade in the sale

In the afternoon I gave a go at skiing again, I'm not quite at the stage where I'm carefree and able to relax - but not far off. More than anything it's the embarrassment of not being able to do something, particularly when there are little whizz kids around without a care in the world practically cartwheeling down the mountain face... Or at least thats what it felt like. Hey, at least I looked good (classic case of all the gear, no idea). I did a a major haul from Net A Porter's ski offering here, followed by an Ortovox order for Gus (check out the men's stuff here it's lush).


After another long day we took a trip to the lodge's secretly located sister venue, the Refuge. Piers, the founder, and his team invited us there for dinner and once we'd wrapped up warm he took us on a walk to get a proper view of the surroundings. When you have nothing but snow and rock around you, you really feel at ease. I hadn't felt this far from home for a long time, and I liked it...


So, if you're after a ski trip with a bit of luxury and no pressure to eat constant chips and cheese I'd really recommend The Arctic Lodge. I was extremely nervous for two reasons: 1, not a great skier (I'm now very much ok, as in I can get down a mountain alive without using a ski lift) and 2, because I didn't want to eat like a student as I'm trying hard to eat well. Neither of things were an issue, and I left feeling refreshed and wonderful.

Thank you to the wonderful team at The Arctic Lodge, The Lifestyle Agency, Perfect Moment and Ortovox
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2 comments

Eloise said...

This place looks THE DREAM. And your photos are incredible! xx

Ellen said...

Well I am now totally gutted at not going skiing this year. I do empathise with your skiing plight, my boyfriend is also MUCH better than me so goes skiing with my sister (who is also frustrated that I'm a bit of noob) and they just ditch me at the bottom of the mountain. RUDE. But still, few things make me feel more alive than the mountains in winter time.

Also, you have the best ski outfits.

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