Après ski. Food you should try after skiing in Châtel, France – Portes du Soleil.

In my previous blog post, which you can find here, I wrote about my first skiing experience in the charming village of Chatél, located in the French part of the skiing resort Portes du Soleil. Eating local food is part of a concept called aprés ski (‘after skiing’), and trying some traditional dishes like raclette or fondue in charming restaurants is simply a must. With the photos below I’ll prove why. Warning! The pictures are not suitable for vegans… prepare yourself for some cheese porn!

I feel like the picture above is so inappropriate that it shouldn’t be shown to those under-age 😉 Do you know the name of this dish? Keep reading to find out.

Believe me, your body will scream to eat or drink something warm and comforting after skiing for the whole day. The best thing is that you’re allowed to eat calorie-rich dishes without any feelings of guilt! Why? Because you know you’ve burnt calories while skiing on the slopes and need to refill your fuel for the next day. Let’s start with a description of Fondue Savoyarde aux Morilles, which is a pot of melted cheese into which you dip some accompanying ingredients.

Cheese Fondue with charcutrie, Chatél in France
Fondue Savoyarde aux Morilles.

The fondue is served with charcutrie (cold cuts of local meat) and some pieces of bread. Digging these ingredients into the melted cheese is almost like a sexual pleasure. Our fondue was made of three different kinds of cheese and mushrooms. If you want to make a similar fondue at home, you can find the recipe here. It tasted divine.

Cheese Fondue with charcutrie, Chatél in France

The next delectable dish you cannot miss after skiing is raclette – which was traditionally the name of a cheese, but is now also used to refer to a dish which originated in Savoie, a region of the Alps between the borders of France, Italy and Switzerland.

Raclette

Raclette consists of cheese which is melted underneath a special electric grill and scraped down onto boiled potatoes, cured ham and pickled gherkins. The most exciting part of trying this dish in a restaurant is that you look at the boiling cheese turning brownish and crispy under the electric fire and scrape it yourself onto the potatoes and ham – it can only be described as an orgasmic experience! I recommend eating both Raclette and Fondue at Cafe/Restaurant called Zeph.

Crème brûlée – probably known to everyone as a rich, creamy vanilla dessert with a caramelized layer of sugar on top which appears after being burnt.

Crème brûlée

Our crème brûlée was on fire for a very long time, which was very pleasant to watch, as you can see in the video below.

Even though Crêpe bretonne did not originate in the area where I was staying, it’s a popular dish in many crêperies – places where you can eat a variety of savoury or sweet French crêpes. It’s made of wheat or buckwheat flour and plenty of butter for a rich, buttery flavour. Mine was simple: with cinnamon sugar and almond flakes.

Crêpe bretonne
Crêpe bretonne.

Don’t forget to fuel yourself with some heartwarming drinks while skiing on the slopes. We had some tea, hot chocolate or mulled wine with citruses after skiing.

Hot chocolate I drank in between skiing on Chatél’s slopes.
Siney beer and mulled wine

Shops with local produce are amazing places to visit. Beautiful displays of hundreds of types of cheeses, charcuterie, honey and colourful confiture will make you want to try them all. The photos below were taken in a local shop in the area called Morzine.

Cheese heaven!
Don’t forget to visit some bakeries to try sweet patisserie and freshly baked bread.

I know it looks as if consuming all the food shown in my blog post will make you put on weight. High calorie cheeses, cured ham, crème brûlée, hot chocolate, mulled wine and crêpes do not sound like a healthy selection of food! But isn’t being on holiday and skiing a lot a great excuse to indulge yourself in all this naughtiness? Of course it is! I actually lost weight during that holiday, even though I ate cheese almost everyday. So my only advice is ‘Keep calm, ski a lot and eat whatever you want!’ Which of these dishes would you like to try the most?

Winchester Christmas Market

I have always said that Bournemouth is in a perfect location because it’s not far away from famous cities and tourist attractions. Winchester is one of them. It’s the former capital city of England and is located only 40 miles (approx. 64 km) away from Bournemouth. It’s famous for Winchester Cathedral (the longest Gothic Cathedral in Europe), the legendary Round Table of King Arthur, and the city’s beautiful Gothic architecture. During the winter period, it’s also famous for its Christmas Market, which is located around the charming Cathedral. Here is my photo collection from a Sunday visit to the market. I am sorry to disappoint all crafts lovers, but the photos are mainly related to food. I can’t help it, I’m a foodie and food stalls interest me the most!

Christmas decorations with Winchester Cathedral in the background
The Market is very busy at weekends. Be prepared to walk like a penguin, but don’t give up – it’s still worth going there!
A big pot of aromatic mulled wine
Italian chestnuts.
This bag cost me 3 pounds. Even though the chestnuts were a bit hard, I enjoyed them. They’re not easily available outside of the Christmas period so it’s good to eat them now!
Authentic crepes were sold by two French ladies. I chose a classic one with lemon juice and sugar. Delicious in its simplicity.
I love taking photos of food menus on a black chalkboard. It always looks amazing.
The High Street in the centre of Winchester. Not sure how to feel about this cute dog being used by the lady as a Christmas decoration…I found out that some people reported it to RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Hopefully, it’s nothing to be worried about.
Street artist
 I’m glad we stayed in Winchester until it got dark. The Christmas lights added to the Christmassy atmosphere.

I would love to know what your favourite food stall is at Christmas Markets 🙂