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48 hours in Val D'Isere

January 24, 2018

Ski, eat, drink, repeat! As we enter our 30th year, we go back to where it all began and spend 48 hours in Val d’Isere to re-discover what makes it so great. Inspired by our founders Tim and Jules, we hit the best après spots, find the most delicious fondue and discover our new favorite ski run. Here’s a clue… it’s not La Face!

The snowy Val d'Isere ski slopes

You might already know the story

It was 1988. Two young British guys were skiing in the French Alps and had an idea. What if they started selling tees and sweats, and made enough money to carry on skiing? They wanted to live the dream; to ski all winter and surf all summer. So that’s exactly what they did.

Tim and Jules the founders of FatFace

‘Ski’ you on the slopes

It’s no secret that we got our name from the most ‘infamous’ black run in Val d’Isère and Tim and Jules’ favourite ski run, La Face. Skiers love its steep descents, icy surfaces and naturally-formed moguls, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. We wanted to find something new to celebrate our 30-year anniversary, and we’ve found a ski run that packs just as much of a punch, but doesn’t get as jam-packed as La Face.

Say hello to Piste ‘S’… It’s basically an ungroomed expanse of leg-burning moguls, but that’s why we love it! It’s great for the glutes, great for the heart — and it’s tonnes of fun too. Work on your technique and master the moguls; just try not to fall down…

The La Face ski run

But if the sound of that fills you with dread and you want to take a more scenic route through the trees — which is quite a novelty in Val d’Isere as the resort is so high above the tree line — then head for Le Fornet. It’s packed with gentle runs, where you can work on your technique whilst taking in the picturesque surroundings around you. You can even get the bus back to town. Now that’s more like it!

The best fondue, ever

It’s not a ski holiday without traditional French fondue. Fact! And boy, do we have something special for you…

Cameleon Outdoor. They’re the brains behind a unique fondue experience you just HAVE to try. Let us set the scene: you meet next to the Tommeuses chairlift before riding a skidoo through a snowy off-piste trail. Enjoy a drink upon arrival around a crackling campfire, before heading inside a super cosy yurt filled with wooden tables and log seats to make yourself at home on. It’s here that you enjoy some of the finest fondue in all of France using traditional Savoyard recipes. Trust us, it’s good. Really good. And the wine’s not half bad either!

A fondue set

Once you’ve consumed your weight in cheese and wine (if you can move from your seat), you can choose to head back down to resort by torch-lit descent or by snowshoe, if you wish. Or you can just hitch a lift back down on the snowmobile. We know which we’d choose…

Ski hard, party harder

Coffee, cocktails, chartreuse (a potent herbal liqueur… try if you dare) — whatever your poison, Dick’s Tea Bar guarantees a great night out. It was one of Tim and Jules’ favourite bars back in the day, and whilst it’s undergone a fairly recent makeover, its popularity has stayed strong ever since. And don’t be fooled by the name; the only tea you’ll want to drink here is of the ‘long island iced’ variety. Live music, world-class DJs, sparklers, dancing on the tables… it’s got all the après goodness you could ever want from one of the world’s most loved ski resorts.

But come on, did you really think we’d forget to mention La Folie Douce… Known all over the world as THE piste party hot spot, no trip to Val d’Isere is complete without heading slope side to dance on the tables (skiers, good luck with those boots), get a champagne shower AND watch crazy acrobats all at the same time. Yep, that does happen. And keep an eye out for guest performers and DJs popping up unannounced to really get the crowd going. Because there ain’t no party like a Folie Douce party!

La Folie Douce bar

And the fun doesn’t stop there

There’s so much more to discover off the slopes in Val. Feeling adventurous? Paragliding. Yes, really. What better way to take in the stunning views of the mountains than heading for the skies? Choose a clear, sunny day to make the most of being up high.

A paraglider in the mountains

Feeling the burn? Soak those tired legs at the Centre Aquasportif spa and swimming pool. Why not treat yourself to a massage while you’re there? You’ll thank yourself.

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