Even if we like to think we go skiing to hit the powder 9-5, the truth is by 3pm our legs are craving a different type of exercise: a dance on the tables of some of the highest bars in the world!
Despite the Austrians being the clear winners of Après ski, French ski resorts still have plenty on offer, the following of which in my opinion are the best. I’ve stuck to on-the-mountain venues, which usually involve some après ski-skiing… all the more fun after excessive amounts of beer and vin chaud.
La Folie Douce
Where? Val D’isère, Val Thorens, Meribel, ValD’isere, Alpe d’Huez
New this season: St Gervais/Megeve
Summed up nicely by its translation “ the sweet madness” and oh how sweeet it is.
La Folie ticks all the clichés of an après bar: plenty of champagne, plenty of tables (for dancing), amazing terrace views, a VIP area (for rich kids and good looking girls) and a selection of DJs, dancers and divas.
Warning: it also ticks the cliché of being SUPER expensive. However, no worries just factor in some pre drinking over lunch or sneak in your trusted hip flask. The Folie is the epitome of après; you must experience it at least once in your life.
Throwing away all the champagne: more pretentious fun
Where? Val Thorens
A personal favourite following many a university ski holiday spent on its terrace, Bar 360 is the stuff of après ski dreams and should by no means fall in the shadow of its neighbour, la Folie Douce.
Bar 360 is perfectly located on the piste, yet close enough to VT that you can fall all the way home if (or when) needed. Whilst dancing on the terrace, face in the sun and beer in hand, you can’t help but doubt all your life choices and decide to do a ski season (guilty).
The best of the best
Where? Les Deux Alpes
The French capital of freestyle wouldn’t be complete without a suitably cool après bar. Happy hour runs 3-5pm so you can finish your day on the slopes on a boozy high. Even better, there is the chance you will be sweet-talked by one of the cool kids from the park… what is it about freestylers? Just don’t promise to attempt any of the kickers (jumps), however many drinks you’ve had.
Seeking a freestyler? Look for tall tees and bandanas
Le Rond Point Bar
Also known as the “Ronnie,” a favourite of seasonnaires, usually an indicator of a good time. With risk of repeating myself, it boasts all of the usual: sun drenched terrace, mountain views and alcohol a-flowing, but also live music 7 days a week, from both DJs and a mix of ‘Ronnie,’ live bands. Its infamous toffee vodka is a must-try, especially if your legs are lacking a little energy after a day in the mountains.
If you want to bump into a celebrity this is the bar to go to: the famously chique Courcheval is only a stones throw away.
Was that Prince Harry?
Le Arcs- L’Arpette
The seasonnaire hangout of les Arcs, especially worth a visit on a Wednesday when all the Chalet girls and boys have their day off and descend on L’Arpette for some much needed table dancing. Kick back while drinking cheap wine through long straws and descend into a boozy haze in the afternoon sun. Beware it’s quite a long ski home… so make sure your beer goggles aren’t too foggy.