The ski resorts of St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires in France’s Three Valleys are celebrating their 50th anniversary. They’ll be “rolling out the white carpet” with an eclectic mix of free music concerts, sporting activities, fireworks and, of course, a torch lit descent or two.
Throughout February and March there will be musical events including classical quartets, Jazz, acapella, Motown, ‘Gypsy’ and children’s concerts. The relaxed nature of these concerts is entirely in keeping with St Martin’s village atmosphere. Despite being on the doorstep of the high altitude resort of Val Thorens it retains the character and charm of a thriving year round community.
It’s not just the snow that’s sparkling in this very pretty Alpine location. La Bouitte restaurant, run by father-and-son team Rene and Maxime Meilleur were awarded three Michelin stars in February 2015. The chalet style restaurant is located at an altitude of 2,500 metres (8,200 feet), and offers fishy delights such as trout, scallops and crawfish, while meat eaters can tuck into frogs’ legs with black garlic and watercress, duck foie gras escalope, sweetbreads and venison. A three-course “surprise” menu will set you back 115 euros, while an eight-course banquet weighs in at 225 euros.
You could of course “eat at home” if you’re on holiday in St Martin de Bellville. Ski Talini headed up by owner Daisy Mitchell, includes highly qualified chalet chefs with restaurant experience from around the globe and they guarantee to excite the taste buds in ways not normally associated with a ski holiday. They’re one of the few companies able to offer a choice of accommodation in St Martin from a 400 year old chalet in the old quarter of the village to a brand new, purpose built chalet next to St Martin’s gondola lift, with magnificent views. From here there is fast, easy access to snow sure Val Thorens and the whole of the Three Valleys. The Gondola links to a high speed quad chair lift which can whisk skiers from the village up to over 2400 metres in less than 15 minutes.
Talini is an Inuit word that translates as ‘snow angel’, or the making of a snow angel by rolling in snow, Ski Talini’s Chalet des Anges in St-Martin-de-Belleville is the perfect location for making your own snow art!