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SKI & SNOW LA CLUSAZ


ABOVE: La Clusaz’s restaurants serve a range of Savoyarde specialities


BELOW: The resort offers other activities such as ice-skating


braserade and reblochonade. It’s pure theatre – two fiercely hot metal furnaces, fired by hot coals, are placed on our table. On the top grill we sear gnarled strips of steak while on the middle shelf, we place an entire round of reblochon cheese, which is soon a gooey pool into which we greedily dunk chunks of fresh French bread. It’s far from sophisticated, but few fine dining experiences will put the same smile on clients’ faces. Later, we forego the customary apres-ski in


favour of the hotel’s wellness offering. A stern massage quickly reinvigorates my weary limbs before the thunderous waterfall shower in my room washes away any remaining aches and pains, leaving me ready for a second day on the pistes.


HORSING AROUND Our guides, Fabien and Jerome, meet us in the morning at the foot of Le Grand-Bornand’s Rosay gondola. The vibe here is different to La Clusaz; it’s a natural bowl, surrounded by gentler peaks that trap the sun, offering a good mix of intermediate and advanced skiing, while the blue and green runs to resort mean beginners can join their friends and family for the final descent of the day.


58 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE 09.09.2019


Lunch at La Taverne gives me a chance to sample another local speciality – diot, an intensely meaty, spiced Savoyarde sausage, which is traditionally cooked in white wine with onions. For families and groups looking for activities and experiences beyond skiing and boarding, the area offers snowshoeing, ice-skating and even paragliding. But perhaps the most arresting is “ski-joering” – horse-drawn skiing (£27 for an introductory session). It is with trepidation – as I really do not like horses – that I clasp the reins, before performing a lengthy snowplough to avoid clipping its hooves with my skis, or simply piling into the back of it. My pony quickly works up a head of steam as we canter around a bumpy field near the village, every jolt of acceleration wrenching my arms further from their sockets, but my initial terror quickly turns to exhilaration. I leave La Clusaz impressed by how many new experiences I’ve had in little more than two full days, and the variety of them – a week would offer ample time for clients to hit the slopes, try something new and indulge in some R&R. Unlike France’s many purpose-built resorts, La Clusaz is a real village, and that makes a


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