Unsurprisingly, the apres-ski offer from some stations in the French Alps owes a lot to the cuisine and wine culture of the country. This is the certainly case at Les Menuires, where they are about to celebrate the 9th annual Semaine des Vignerons - "vintners' week". From 2 to 9 January, thirty winegrowers from all over France will be presenting their products in a series of evening events. So, after enjoying a day on the slopes, you have a wonderful chance to recoup your strength sampling fine wines and other speciality produce including cheeses, sausages and speciality breads.
Accommodation can be booked via the Les Menuires Tourist Office; for the Semaine des Vignerons, a studio for four occupants costs from 236 € per person for seven nights, including six-day ski pass and entry to the evening tasting events
In Val d'Isere, one of the biggest culinary events of the year will take place towards the end of the skiing season. Here, between 15th and 21st March, a number of chefs boasting, a handful of Michelin stars between them will gather together for Pistes gourmandes, la cuisine pure - which translates roughly as "gourmet slopes, pure cuisine.
Competitions, debates, lectures, demonstrations and even cookery classes for adults and children are all on the menu at this event; you just need to slip off your skis and start to enjoy the best cuisine, discover new recipes and learn more about ethical products for a better diet and culinary experience.
For the period coinciding with Pistes gourmandes, the Tourist Office of Val d'Isere is offering 7-night packages including lodging, ski pass for six days in the Espace Killy, Val d'Isere & Tignes and entrance to the swimming pool at the ski station's new sports centre. All inclusive from 349 € per person in an apartment for four occupants, or from 775 € in a hotel.
A visit to the Pistes gourmandes is also an opportunity to pamper yourself with a dinner at the Table D'Ours, the only Michelin-star restaurant in Val d'Isere. Other Michelin stars in the mountains can be found at Chabichou, and La Table du Kilimandjaro, in the elegant ski station of Courchevel, as well as Flocons de Sel in Megeve and Albert I in Chamonix.
If your flights of fancy soar to sampling the menu at the highest altitude Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe, then you should book a table at l'Oxalys in Val Thorens. Here, at an incredible 2,300 metres, the chef, Jean Sulpice, even offers Sunday afternoon cookery classes for those who, like him, are passionate about both skiing and high quality cuisine.
All you need to know about skiing in France: Maison de la France and SkiFrance.
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