Having one skiing holiday in the French Alps under my belt this year and being lucky enough to be going again next week I am re-igniting my annual love affair with the whole alpine chalet lifestyle.
Each year (if I’m lucky) I spend a week in the Alps sliding down a snow covered hill with a couple of planks strapped to my feet. It’s my favourite kind of holiday but, much as I love the skiing (most of the time!), there’s so much more to an alpine holiday than cruising the corduroy or playing in the powder on your Blizzard Sambas (showing my age!).
For me it’s all about the whole chalet experience. I have always loved chalet interiors, the best are cosy and warm but manage to ooze casual chic at the same time. The French have been doing ‘Hygge’ way before the Danish ever thought of it.
You arrive at your picture postcard wooden chalet, just as the sun is setting. It’s lights twinkle through enormous picture windows, and a snow laden roof overhangs the carved wooden balcony where the steaming hot tub sits surrounded by snow. Inside the open fire is warm and welcoming and the smell of vin chaud draws you in.
Soft, fluffy lambskins hang over each chair, bear skin rugs lie on the heated wooden floor. Wool, fur and velvet cushions vie for a place on the squishy sofa and plaid throws are casually draped (you’ll never need to use them) Stag antlers provide you with a place to hang your hat, tartan lamp shades provide subtle lighting, animal skin stools are additional seating and hearts, reindeers and pine trees in wood, metal, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch and linen appliqué add the perfect finishing touches.
So when I’m living this whimsical chalet dwelling dream I embrace the look whole heartedly. Walk through my front door and you’ll encounter enough wool, fur and velvet strewn across sofas in the form of cushions and throws to keep a small army warm.
Now – let’s see about that hot tub and the vin chaud!