THE FRENCH ALPS An Insider's Travel Guide to La Rosière

As Alpine property advisers, we love skiing as much as you do. Its why, every season, we connect with our network of on-the-ground experts across the Alps to get the inside-track. Now, instead of passing around hand-written tips before trips, we’ve compiled the AA’s Alpine Guide. Don’t dream of buckling your boots without it…

THE FRENCH ALPS

An Insider's Travel Guide to La Rosière

As Alpine property advisers, we love skiing as much as you do. Its why, every season, we connect with our network of on-the-ground experts across the Alps to get the inside-track. Now, instead of passing around hand-written tips before trips, we’ve compiled the AA’s Alpine Guide. Don’t dream of buckling your boots without it…

The View from Chalte Rosiere Photo credit: Chalet Rosiere

Looking for an authentic Alpine experience, defined by sunny slopes, great local restaurants and an intimate village atmosphere? You should try La Rosière. It is in the exclusive ‘Club of 1800s’ - at the same altitude [1,850 metres/6,070 feet] as Val d’Isère and Courchevel, but without the crush and queues, even in peak weeks.  An added edge is its direct link to the Italian resort of La Thuile, which means you can reward a day’s adventure with proper pizza for lunch.

Here, Athena's local insider Alex Volkers shares her tips on what makes La Rosière tick.

Where to Eat: The Best Restaurant in La Rosière is 100%, without a doubt, Chez Mérie in Le Miroir. I almost don't want to answer this question…it is SO good. You have to book in advance to get a table. The atmosphere is wonderful, laid-back chic with a focus on sublime produce and a few little kitsch décor quirks thrown in. I'm obsessed with the baked pears and goats cheese starter, washed down with the Belleruche or the Margaux. I'm vegetarian, which can be tricky in Alpine France, but there are always a few vegetarian starters here and the portions are huge.

Best Breakfast: Fresh croissants, bread and roses des sables from Frank's at the boulangerie.

Where to Drink: For drinks in La Rosière, try Le Comptoir: there’s always great people, a nice line-up of live music throughout the season, and Fred, the awesome bar-tender, is always ready to greet you with a shot of toffee vodka. One of the best things about La Rosière’s nightlife is that there is always a great band playing somewhere, like local heroes Sugar Lady.

How to Spend a Perfect Day in La Rosière: SKI! Whatever the weather, a day on the slopes skiing in La Rosière is always brilliant: exhilarating and challenging (both mentally and physically), beautiful, and a huge amount of fun. The great thing about La Rosière is that it borders La Thuille in Italy, so if you are looking for a culinary adventure, you can ski to Italy and have an authentic pizza for lunch! Pre- and post-ski yoga/pilates (both on offer at Chalet Rosière) are the perfect way to protect against injury and reduce soreness for the following day. If you're looking for something a bit lower key, you can see so much of the region on snowshoes - this is a particularly nice way to enjoy the precious wildlife we have locally and you still get a workout. We spot hare, deer and boar tracks frequently in our local forest, and also see eagles.

Favourite Ski-Run: The long super chilled run Tetras - Its the best last run of the day, with the perfect drinking hole/sunset spot en route, called L'Antigel.

Where to Rent your Ski Boots in La Rosière: We always advise our guests to rent boots from Evolution 2/Sport 2000 in La Rosière. Christophe's team are amazingly helpful. They're completely dedicated to making sure you walk out with a comfortable fit. If you have any problems you can go back and they will sort them out immediately.

Where to Shop in La Rosière: The farmers' market on Saturday mornings in Bourg-Saint-Maurice is the best place to buy fresh local produce. If you get the overnight Snowtrain from Kings Cross, you arrive early Saturday morning, just in time to head to the market before going on to your chalet. The rest of the week, we head to La Vie Claire in Séez for organic fruit and veg.

Secret Local Spot: The forest. Chalet Rosière borders a beautiful, communally-managed forest, and it is such a treat to have it on our doorstep. Everyone knows what's on offer in the resorts, and potentially some curious individuals explore some of the more well-trodden mountain trails, but only locals, and a few of them at that, go into the forest. It is so peaceful, there are tons of incredible picnic spots and you're never far from the sound of running water. It's is a little slice of heaven, and a great place to work-out whether you're into hiking, running, mountain biking or tree climbing! Also, a really nice secret spot is the Terme di Pré Saint Didier roman spa if you need to luxuriate.

Where to Entertain the Kids in La Rosiè​re: There are lots of lovely activities for families in La Rosière. You can visit the St ​ Bernards, who have historically been used for search and rescue, and the Jardin d'enfants is a lovely place for the little ones to experience skiing for the first time. After they're done, we'd recommend a chocolat chaud at the La Taverne du McKinley, or checking out some of the fun activities at Les Galopins kids club, such as luging, snowman building and snowshoeing.

Exploring the Italian Side of La Rosiè​re: Definitely hit up the Terme de Pre'Sent Didier... in winter you could make an adventure of it and ski over to La Thuile, take a short taxi to Pre'Sent Didier and spend the night in their lovely adjacent hotel. Rise late, grab a pizza at Lo Tata (they're THE BEST!) and then ski back to La Rosière. In Summer, my favourite way to explore the Italian side is actually by road - the driving is incredible, there's a wildflower sanctuary on the border, lots of picnic spots and a hoard of cute alpine villages to explore, like La Thuile.

The Best Unique Experience: Night-time luging (not for the faint hearted) with Evolution 2 across the fields from La Rosière, down to a fondue dinner in a beautiful yurt near Le Miroir (terrifyingly fun with a great finish)

Alex Volkers, one-time-Londoner-turned-local-resident, left London to take over a family-owned ski-chalet in La Rosière, which she now runs as a boutique well-being chalet, Chalet Rosiere, with her husband Philip. In addition to hosting yoga, skiing and hiking retreats year-round, the chalet is available for private rental, where extra perks include the option to touch down at the door-step by heli-taxi, vegan menus, holistic massages after a hard day on the slopes and après-ski vin-chauds round a fire-pit in a snow-frosted tipi.

La Rosiere Holidays: Photo credit Chalet Rosiere
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