The Paradiski ski area is huge. Actually, it is the second biggest linked ski area in the world, with the giant French resorts of Les Arcs on one side and La Plagne on the other. It is fair to say that our Ski Beat chalet in Plan Peasey was perfectly placed, metres away from the Vanoise Express gondola that links the areas together.
Ski Beat cater for Vegans
Both me and my partner are vegan and considering that France has not exactly embraced the plant-based world of veganism just yet, I was wondering how we would cope. Luckily, Ski Beat have it covered and cater for vegans with full three course meals.
In fact, I ate some of the best vegan food I have ever tasted. My favourite dish of the week was a vegan Shepard’s Pie. It tasted better than any meat based equivalent I have ever had!
It is hard to choose which dessert was the best overall as they were all delicious, but the fruit crumble just about edged it. The crumble on top was light and crunchy, complimenting the sweetness of the fruit underneath.
Another nice touch was that the chalet hosts prepared our very own vegan cakes for when we returned from the slopes. Some of the other guests were curious and were tasting the cakes, and some preferred them over the non-vegan cakes. I think it opened some of the guest’s eyes with how delicious vegan food can be.
William Sitwell – A controversial guest for vegans
Interestingly, William Sitwell was also a guest staying in our Ski Beat chalet. Many of you will recognise him from his appearances as a guest judge on Masterchef, as well as being head editor of the Waitrose food magazine.
For those of you who do not know, William had to step down as the editor of the magazine because of the following ‘joke’ comments he made in an email to vegan writer Selene Nelson;
“Hi Selene. Thanks for this. How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?”
As you can imagine, William is now a very controversial figure in vegan circles and really divides opinion. Personally, I believe it was ill-judged; but having met William and recognising what a dry sense of humour he has, I think it was written with his tongue firmly placed in his cheek and was meant as a joke. Albeit, a not very funny one!
I got to know William quite well on the trip and realised what a fun, witty, and all-round nice bloke he is. He even tried and enjoyed the vegan food, as well as cooking a very tasty vegan breakfast for us one morning! Not sure we have converted William to veganism just yet – but give it time!
Peisey-Vallandry Ski Area
Peisey-Vallandry is the local ski area to the Chalet Fleur de Neige in Plan Peisey. On arrival we had a couple of hours left before the ski lifts stopped for the day, so we decided to warm up our legs and hit the slopes.
This was just enough time to explore the local slopes and we headed up on the reasonably fast chair lift. This gave us a decent top to bottom descent with a choice of a blue, red and black run down.
We also diverted down to the other side of Plan-Peisey. There are some delightful and narrow tree-lined blue runs to navigate down.
Les Arcs combined with Peisey-Vallandry has 200km of slopes to explore. Sticking to the valley we were in and utilising the long and fast Derby ski lift, we loved exploring the slopes around Arc 1800.
When we were feeling slightly more adventurous, we headed up and over into the next valley, making our way over to the Arc 2000.
There are some glorious open sweeping runs down above Arc 2000. But snowboarders beware, there is a really long and nasty flat blue run into the village.
The highest point above the village is Aiguille Rouge with simply stunning views from the top on a clear day. From here there is a choice of runs back down for those of all abilities. Advanced snowboarders and skiers will love the varied off-piste terrain.
From there we went onto the furthest point which is Villaroger. To be honest, I wouldn’t bother doing this again as the slopes were hardly exciting with rickety charlifts heading back up – best to stick and explore the slopes above Arc 2000.
The other half of Paradiski can be reached via the impressive and fast double decker Vanoise Express gondola. I had the full Paradiski area ski lift pass but I don’t think it is needed. The reason being is that the Les Arcs-Peisey-Vallandry ski lift pass also allows a one day pass over to the La Plagne ski area. With so much to explore in Les Arcs, I personally didn’t need any more than the day pass in La Plagne.
We enjoyed a day exploring La Plagne, but found the runs back to the Vanoise Express to be exposed and icy. Late afternoon the sun basks in glory over the valleys of Les Arcs, leaving it colder and in shade on the long runs back down towards Les Coches.
Chalet Fleur de Neige in Plan Peisey – Ski Beat
What I loved about the chalet was the huge open plan lounge and dining area. Despite it’s size it felt cosy and welcoming. With lots of comfy seating by a log fire, it was the perfect space for everyone to congregate after a hard day on the slopes, telling tales of the day’s adventures, with a homemade cake in one hand, and a cup of tea in the other.
Everyone also enjoyed slipping away from the table after the evening meal to the comfy sofas for a chat. Not without a few glasses of wine of course!
Our chalet hosts were amazing. Not only were they superb cooks, they were a lovely couple who were friendly and engaging without being over-bearing.
Our room was basic but had everything we needed. It was just about big enough for the two of us but we could have done with more cupboard space.
The bathroom was a decent size and modern looking. The shower was powerful and we always had hot water – more than I can say for some luxury chalets I have stayed in in the past!
Downstairs there is a ski / snowboard storage area, and a heated boot room. Next to this there is a small sauna. Ideal for relaxing those aching muscles after a day on the slopes.
It is worth mentioning a company called ‘Massage Me’ that can come over to the chalet and offer massages in you’re the convenience of your room.
A week skiing / snowboarding can really take it out of you. To get the most out of the holiday it can be wise to get a massage half way through the week to ease out all those aches and pains. I had an all over massage to work the tiredness out of my muscles and felt great on the slopes the next day.
A Paradiski ski holiday with Ski Beat
I was overly impressed with Ski Beat and especially the Chalet Fleur de Neige. Ski Beat have really taken on the responsibility of catering for vegans and do it in style. We were not considered an afterthought and had the most delightful and delicious food prepared for us.
I love the Paradiski ski area and especially Les Arcs. It has something for everyone and has such wonderful and endless terrain to explore.
Ski Beat is a no-brainer for any vegans wishing to go on a ski / snowboard holiday. The same goes with the Chalet Fleur de Neige in Plan Peisey.
For more information check out the Ski Beat website by clicking here
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)