New luxury apartment La Tocade, Chatel
November 7th, 2012
New to the rental market for winter 2012/2013, and minutes from the pistes of Linga, Apartment la Tocade is located on the top floor of a beautifully renovated farmhouse originally constructed in 1870. The apartment has been renovated to the highest standard throughout and is beautifully furnished with bespoke, handcrafted interiors, combining traditional alpine materials with modern design and comfort.
La Tocade is ideally located, situated opposite the main pistes and lifts at Linga. It is also a short walk to the Piou-Piou nursery, ski hire as well as local amenities.
The apartment has a spacious open-plan layout (approx 75m squared ) and will comfortably accommodate 7-8 people. There are two bedrooms, one double, one triple (containing double and single beds) as well as a separate coin montagne with bunk beds. In addition, either bedroom will comfortably accommodate an additional child’s bed or travel cot.
The apartment has its own secure ski locker as well as separate locker with private boot warmer on the ground floor.
The apartment also boasts a generous covered private balcony with views overlooking the pistes at Linga on one side and the beautiful Chatel valley on the other.
Apartment facilities include fully equipped kitchen, dishwasher, washing machine, free wi-fi, Wii console, DVD player (plus selection of DVDs), IPod docking station, hair dryer. There is private parking for 2 vehicles.
Complimentary linen, towels and luxury toiletries are included for all guests.
Ski hire, lift passes and ski lessons can be arranged for guests in advance of arrival.
La Tocade is available to rent on a self-catered basis throughout the year. Rental prices start from £750 per week.
For more detail just click the link La Tocade self catered apartment
Catered ski chalet holidays
September 18th, 2012
Catered Ski Chalet Holidays
It seems only right that good food should be at the heart of a well-earned holiday in France – with its peerless tradition in gastronomy and amazing regional produce. So it’s perhaps not surprising that catering has become such a mainstay of the chalet holiday experience. You only have to spend a few short minutes visiting chalet holiday websites to see how integral the catering is to the holiday overall, with enticing images of mouth-watering cuisine featuring no less prominently than the skiing itself.
The advantages of staying in a catered chalet are fairly obvious. After a long day on the slopes, it’s an industrious soul indeed who volunteers to cook for the group as a whole, and many would be tempted by the more expensive and less easily-budgeted option of dining out each night. Although perhaps not quite as accurately as a leave-your-wallet-at-home all-inclusive break, a catered chalet holiday allows you to gauge the total cost of your trip by paying for your meals outright. Especially with a family or large group, this can make budgeting much easier. No less importantly, staying in a catered chalet can allow you to relax without having to worry about booking a table for a large group, getting the kids home at a sensible time, or leaving the warming welcoming glow of the chalet’s log fire.
But while the advantages of staying in a catered chalet may seem self-evident, the pithy description ‘catered chalet’ perhaps raises more questions than it answers. Catered by whom; for how many meals; and, most importantly, what will you be eating? This article sets out to answer some of these questions. Crucially, you should use to your advantage the fact that chalet holidays provide a very personal service. By building good relations with your chalet host before you depart, you can a much better idea of what to expect when you arrive.</p>
<p>Catering is normally provided by your chalet host – the member of staff who looks after you and your fellow-guests throughout your stay. Of course, the level of catering experience and proficiency can vary enormously, from relative beginners to highly skilled chefs. So, before you book, you might want to ask about your chalet host and their catering credentials.</p>
Chalet catering usually covers breakfast and evening meals, six days out of seven. One day per week, the chalet host generally has a day off and guests are encouraged to dine out, so bear this in mind when you’re budgeting. Lunches are generally not provided as guests would normally be out skiing, but some chalet hosts will provide packed lunches – ask your chalet company if you’re unsure. As you return from the slopes each afternoon, coffee and cakes will welcome you back to the chalet. This is a really nice touch which is standard in almost all catered chalets.
Provision of alcoholic beverages varies from chalet to chalet, with many offering wine and beer during the evening meal, while some even keep a stocked fridge from which guests can simply help themselves. Details will often be given online, on the chalet company’s website or holiday advertisement, but again you might like to check in advance.
Most chalet companies will accommodate special dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan options, dairy-/lactose-free alternatives, gluten-free, wheat-free, low salt, diabetic, halal and kosher. It’s worth noting, of course, that you know more about your dietary needs than any chef does – so don’t be afraid to share that knowledge.
This is an increasingly popular option for skiers who have booked a self-catering chalet but do not wish to cook for themselves. It might be that you couldn’t get a catered chalet, or might be that you have just skied too long and hard to face the trip to the supermarket. Whatever the reason, chalet chefs are available for hire and will come to your chalet each morning and evening to prepare meals for you.
This article was submitted by The Chalet Experience, a ski holiday website specialising in catered chalets in France.
Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France
July 22nd, 2012
Well it’s been a very exciting race, I managed to watch every stage of the 2012 Tour de France and I have enjoyed it loads. Bradley and Team Sky did a great job throughout the Tour and made winning look easy.
Not only was this a great win for Bradley, but this was the first time a British Rider has one the Tour De France, I have to admit being of Italian blood I was following Vincenzo Nibali but having cooked for Team Sky a month ago I felt a certain connection with them and was very pleased when Team Sky ended up with 1st and 2nd place.
It looks like Team Sky Boss Dave Brailsford has commented on Mark Cavendish saying if he wants to leave SKY he can, I get the impression Team Sky would like to concentrate on the GC and that might not be what Cavendish wants. It will be also interesting to see what Chris Froome decides to do, I am sure he is desperate to compete for the title next year but I don’t think Bradley Wiggins will want that, I can see Bradley Wiggins wanting to try and win more Tours.
We will just have to see how that one goes, but now I suppose the riders have to concentrate on the Olympics next week.
Bradley Wiggins wins Criterium de Dauphine Chatel
June 11th, 2012
Bradley Wiggins wins the Criterium de Dauphine in Chatel. It was a very well deserved win and looked the favorite from the start of the race. Myself and the family made it up to Chatel to watch the riders come over the finish line , there was a great turn out and Chatel village looked the part.
I was very lucky to be cooking that night for team Sky, and it was all made better by Bradley winning the Dauphine. I would say that he is looking good for the Tour de France in July, he has a strong team behind him. It was a great experience meeting the riders and having a drink after dinner with them.
We hope that Team Sky go all the way in the Tour de France!
2nd out 860 chalets on Trip advisor!
February 6th, 2012
Just to give you an update, we are now ranked 2 nd out of 860 chalets. We would like to thank all our clients for adding reviews on Trip Advisor. Each year continues to get better with more clients returning to the chalet. Please if you are looking to book get in there early.
Ps A big tahnk you to my staff and all those connected with Alpine Connection!
5th out 708 chalets on Trip Advisor
March 9th, 2011
It’s been 1 year since I have asked clients to leave a review on Trip Advisor and in that year we have found ourselves 5th out of 708 chalets. Also this week we were awarded with a Certificate of excellence. From this result you can tell that at Chalet Rustique we try to offer the best service where possible. Its hard work, but myself and the team at Alpine -Connection get a great buzz that clients have had an amazing time with us.
For those looking at booking your next ski holiday, you should take Trip advisor into consideration as its now more important than a grading that is given by the tourist office, guide book etc… So remember when booking your next ski holiday look at our reviews , and who knows we may be looking after you.
Zoe wins back to back in Italy
March 1st, 2011
Zoe Gillings, Britain’s No 1 Olympic Snow sports athlete put in two excellent performances in Gressoney, Italy, this weekend at the Italian SBX Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) Snowboard cross races clinching two back to back victories on consecutive days. This result is all the more impressive as Zoe has had a troubled season with regard to finances and she is still recovering from an injury sustained at the Olympics back in February which has culminated in absolutely minimal on snow training time in the last 12 months.
Zoe made an impressive start to Saturdays competition qualifying in 1st place, over half a second in front of her closest rival. Zoe then went on to dominate the heats putting in some strong technical racing and beating her opponents convincingly to take gold. Zoe then went into Sundays competition full of confidence from the previous day. She again put down the fastest qualification time but faced stiffer competition in the heats being passed into second place at the first corner of the final heat. Zoe quickly fought back passing back into 1st place where she remained for the rest of the race. The FIS competition is a lower level of competition to world cup but saw 28 athletes on day one and 19 athletes on day two competing from nations across Europe.
Zoe commented after the race, “It’s about 3 weeks until the next World Cup and I came here to get some much needed training in, I didn’t expect to win as Its been a really tough season but everything just fell into place and I won both competitions. I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Zoe recent highlights have been 8th place at the Winter Olympics, 3rd place at the French FIS race in Puy St Vincent, 7th at the World Championships in Spain and two victories here in Italy at the weekend yet due to the politics involved in British sport Zoe’s entire funding is ending at the end of March.
Zoe commented about her funding situation, “It’s really disappointing that my funding is being ended, especially when my results at the Olympics and World Championships easily meet the criteria set by the government for World Class funding. I’ve been told all my life that if I reach the top level in my sport I would receive funding but now that I have, the funding still isn’t there due to the politics at the top level which I simply cannot control. What motivation to succeed does this provide to young British athletes?”
Zoe finished, “It’s taken a while but I’ve realised I can’t rely on anyone else, I’m now doing this myself with the close and overwhelming support of my three principle sponsors BMW, IOM Sport Aid and Pokerstars, I am working very hard on setting up in business and have already launched my first, an e-commerce based electronics website – www.zgelectronics.com. The next business in a totally different field will be launched in the Isle of Man in the second week in May followed by another business in the UK 4 weeks later. It’s all go but I’m loving the challenge. Nothing is going to stop me becoming World No 1 again.”
Gillings takes 3rd place in French snowboard cross cup!
January 11th, 2011
Following 10 months of rehabilitation since the Winter Olympics back in February in Vancouver on her left knee and after UK Sport’s decision to end all World class funding of Snowboarding in the UK, Zoe Gillings returned to competition at the weekend with a 3rd place finish on Sunday in the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) French Snowboard cross Cup beating Olympic Silver medallist Deborah Anthonioz, re-affirming her position as Britain’s No 1 Olympic snow sports athlete.
What makes this result stand out is that Zoe still hasn’t received the £31,000 of funding covering 1st October 2010 until the 31st March 2011 and she has had to fund the World Cup SBX program herself with minimal personal finances. This funding is now nearly 3 ½ months overdue and its now over half way through the funding period.
Unfortunately Zoe doesn’t have the available finances to run the program herself and as such she hasn’t had any coaching since the Olympics. During this time Zoe has also undergone key hole surgery to her knee to plug the cartilage she damaged during the Olympics. She has undergone a long and painful summer of rehabilitation with zero time training with her coach.
Despite this competition being a lower standard to World Cup, it attracted more than double the amount of athletes Zoe is used to including Olympic gold medallist Maelle Ricker, Olympic Silver medallist Deborah Anthonioz and several other World Cup athletes. What makes this result even more remarkable for Zoe is that she beat the Olympic Silver medallist by over 1.5 seconds and finished immediately behind the Olympic Gold medallist – Ricker – who finished in 2nd place.
Zoe commented after the race, “Obviously having had no preparations since the Olympics I’m really happy with the result as even without any training with a coach and following a serious knee injury I have proven I can still beat the World’s best SBX athletes, Just imagine what I can achieve with a funded program. This is a true testament to my current sponsors which include BMW, Pokerstars, Isle of Man Sport Aid and the Isle of Man Steam Packet company without whom I wouldn’t even have been able to turn up at the competition never mind compete.”
UK Sport, the government funding body released a statement in December 2010:- “Whilst results in Vancouver were of course taken into account, it was decided that, at present, there was not enough evidence to suggest that British Ski & Snowboard (Zoe’s governing body) would have the programme or athletes capable of reaching the podium in Sochi in three year’s time or at the winter Olympics in 2018.”
British World Cup SBX Team Manager, Dan Brier, commented, “Zoe knows she has a long way ahead of her to return to full fitness and to get back to her full potential which makes this latest result quite extraordinary. Zoe likes to let her results do the talking and I think winning several World Cup podiums in the last 2 years, being ranked 5th in the World in 2009, finishing 8th place at the Olympics in February and most recently beating the Olympic Silver medallist on Sunday despite the difficult circumstances she has endured over the past 4 years with funding and program management, she has proved at the very least that she has the potential to reach the podium in Sochi (Olympics) in 2014. I hope UK Sport are already reviewing their decision.”
Gillings more determined than ever
December 13th, 2010
Zoe Gillings, Britain’s No 1 Olympic snow sports athlete today announced she is more determined than ever to again become the World No 1 snowboard cross athlete following UK Sport’s decision on Thursday to cut all funding to snowboarding from March 31st 2011.
In 2006, following Zoe’s 15th place finish at the Winter Olympics in Turn, snowboarding was allocated £248,000 by UK Sport for the next 4 year period. Zoe received an additional Athletes personal award to put toward sporting and living costs of £13,500 per annum for the first two years and then in recognition of her success and results on the World Class podium program this was increased to £19,500 for the last two years which ended in September 2010.
Apart from the £248,000 (£62,000 per annum) that is used to put towards coaches, technician/team manager and physiotherapist when affordable, and pay for all their travel, accommodation and subsistence around the world on a 12 month basis, Zoe was provided with a full time dry land training base at the English Institute of sport at Bath University where she had daily access to a strength & conditioning coach, physiotherapist, doctor and sports psychologist. Even with £248,000 it was extremely difficult running this program, now, Zoe will receive no funding, zero.
UK Sport released a statement, “Whilst results in Vancouver were of course taken into account, it was decided that, at present, there was not enough evidence to suggest that British Ski and Snowboard would have the programme or athletes capable of reaching the podium in Sochi in four years time or at the Winter Games in 2018.”
Zoe commented on this, “I don’t agree with that: I am capable of reaching the podium in Sochi. I may be biased as I’m talking about myself but I believe results should do the talking. World cup competitions in Boarder cross are the highest level of competition with all the top athletes in the World competing in these competitions.” Zoe’s World Cup rankings for the last 5 years are:-
1) 2006 – 36th in the World.
2) 2007 – 12th in the World.
3) 2008 – 7th in the World.
4) 2009 – 5th in the World.
5) 2010 – 14th in the World. (An injury sustained at the Olympics meant Zoe couldn’t fight for a World Cup ranking but finished 8th at the Olympics in any case.)
Zoe continued, “Since 2006 I have stood on the World Cup podium three times, that was in 2008 & 2009, including a third place at the World Cup Finals in Valmalenco in 2009. I even beat the current Olympic Gold medalist, Canadian Maelle Ricker in the 2010 Austrian Boarder cross World Cup where I finished sixth overall.” How can I not be capable of reaching the podium?
The UK Sport website details a top 3, top 8 or top 12 finish at World Championships or Olympics for UK Sport podium funding. Zoe has finished within this criteria both at the last World championships in 2008 and at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
Zoe commented, “There are lots of questions which I’m trying to find answers to, but the biggest is to understand how the decision has been made. I appreciate there is strict criteria on allocation of funding and if your performance is not up to scratch, then fine, but my results have improved every year since the funding began and come well within the criteria set by UK Sport on their website. Why am I not being funded?”
Zoe commented about UK Sport, “Make no Mistake about it, I may not agree with their current decision but over the past 4 years UK Sport have been the single biggest influence in my career and have allowed me to get to where I am today. They have helped me in many ways with my World Class program including building me an indoor start gate and producing me technologically advanced equipment on the lead up to Vancouver, they are not just about finance. They are a World Class organization and one required to take our top athletes to the podium.”
Zoe now faces uncertain times ahead but she is clear what direction she is going to take, “Even though this news is extremely demoralizing and at the moment I literally don’t know how I’m going to fund the program going forward there is absolutely no question, I will be continuing in the sport, 100 per cent. I have faced many obstacles in the last ten years – some minor and some very serious – and even though the answer to the current funding problem is yet to be found, there is no question I will continue.”
Zoe continued, “I’ve got a few ideas that I’m currently exploring. I am contacting some high profile business men to see if they can help mentor me as I try to set up a business. Peter Jones from the Dragon’s Den and Mark Pearson from the Secret Millionaire please check your emails. I’m now more determined than ever, if anyone out there thinks you can help, please get in touch”
“I would like to thank my major sponsors, Pokerstars, BMW and Isle of Man Sports Aid as their assistance in my program is now the most it ever has been.” Commented Zoe.
El Bulli to close:-(
November 2nd, 2010
Ferran Adria, the experimental Spanish chef whose restaurant El Bulli has been voted the finest on the planet, shocked the gastronomic world with an emotional speech at a food conference in Madrid.
In separate remarks to The Daily Telegraph he confirmed he will hand back his Michelin stars and other awards, opening the door for Heston Blumenthal´s Fat Duck to reclaim the crown of “world´s finest restaurant” for Britain.
It was the most dramatic throwing in of chef whites since Marco Pierre White said he was returning his three Michelin stars and retiring from his kitchen in 1999.
Adria blamed his decision to close the Spanish restaurant on personal problems and exhaustion. He will snuff out his kitchen’s famous flame after 2011 for at least two years, and may not return after that.
“It is tremendously stressful working 15 hours a day while still being creative,” he said. “I saw John Galliano on TV this morning and if you told him he had to work those hours he would go crazy.”
Later at the Madrid Fusion conference, he admitted he was looking at projects beyond his restaurant – including the possibility of academic research into gastronomy for Harvard – that could keep him busy until 2020.
“This is a very personal decision,” he said. “Now I have made the decision I am very, very happy. I had a family problem and realised I didn’t want to go on like this. I don’t want to holiday in the Bahamas but for 25 years my team and I have been focusing on cooking, and we deserve more normal lives. And our families deserve more time with us.”
One suggestion is the “problem” was a major health scare for a member of his family, though this has not been confirmed.
“People talk about media chefs” he said, but he pointed to one of his helpers who had arrived at the conference at 5am to set up for Adria’s cooking demonstration “and he doesn´t drive a Ferrari. Yes it is glamorous or we wouldn’t all be here, but it is also very hard work.”
He also used the opportunity to take a swipe at the Michelin Guide, which critics argue favours traditional French chefs.
“I have to show respect to the guides [by handing back his Michelin stars and other awards] but I have to say I do not always agree with their classifications, in Spain and elsewhere – and I’m not just saying that out of patriotism.”
In a dig at chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse who have opened restaurants around the world, he said he was more interested in research than money. “Otherwise we would have opened 40 branches, everywhere to Peru,” he smiled “but we would have to do a different kind of cuisine.
“What I have to decide is whether we have taken haute cuisine as far as it can or are there other things to do. After two years of being closed we will decide if we are actually going to reopen.”
He made his decision after a heart to heart with Joel Robuchon, the French chef who is both friend and rival. “He said it was time I went home,” Adria reports, who spends much of his time travelling around Spain and abroad giving cookery demonstrations.
Adria, whose delights include Parmesan snow, was accused in 2008 of “poisoning” diners by using too many chemicals with his so-called “molecular gastronomy”.
However, yesterday he said the very term was dreamed up by marketing men. “Nothing in my demonstration today was about molecular gastronomy,” he added.
Clutching a glass of Champagne he told the Telegraph: “For me, life is all about creativity.”
Adria said ruefully: “Even the Rolling Stones don’t tour all the time now. This is an opportunity to be self-critical rather than going around saying I’m the best.”