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Contactless Catering: a new approach to a chalet holiday in France

At the start of December four members of the Iglu Ski team were treated to a getaway in Val D’Isere and Meribel, two of the most popular French resorts, to see for ourselves the reality of skiing in what seems like a chaotic time for travelling abroad and to test out ‘Contactless Catered’ Chalets. The biggest hiccup of the trip; was the never-ending snow more than anything else!

View in Espace Killy

Stunning early December views

The day before our flights to Geneva we had our Fit-to-Fly LFT-antigen tests done - in and out in 5 minutes - and received a negative test barcode certificate which was scanned at the airport by EasyJet. At Gatwick, we simply showed our NHS vaccination pass (make sure you have downloaded the Travel pass as well as the Domestic pass!) and French statement of honour. It’s now even easier to get to France with no pre-departure test required. However, you may be asked to complete the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form on arrival.

And that was it! There was no hassle at Geneva airport and we were suddenly racing up the mountains in the snow which was getting heavier and heavier. The excitement of our first skiing trip in more than two years was building, helped by the relentless snow which had got so heavy that the snow chains had to come out - much more hassle than any Covid documents we had to organise!

We arrived at Chalet Cascade and the benefits of contactless catering were obvious: ice-cold beers and crisps waiting on the table for us. A quick pool tournament was followed by dinner. The food was really easy to prepare - various boxes of different food (labelled for each day) were already in the fridge with recipes on the table. All we had to do was heat it up in pans or steam vegetables. The preparation didn’t take longer than about twenty minutes for any of the dinners we had (starters, mains and desserts!), with lamb stew, raclette and salmon over the next few days among other things. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available; we had a lovely vegan risotto one night. A dip in the hot tub and a sauna session later and we were off to bed.

Breakfast was simple, warm croissants in the oven, lots of cereal to choose from, fruit and/or eggs. All fuelled up, we grabbed our ski gear and headed to the slopes. Thankfully the chalet is ski-in/ski-out so this took no time at all. The snow was amazing for early December and we spent the next two days whizzing around the Espace Killy ski area (Val D’Isere/Tignes), lots of jumps, falls and laughs. After so long away from the mountains it felt amazing to be back.

Restaurants and bars were no hassle either, as long as you had the NHS Vaccination pass on your phone (which you need to get to France anyway) then all was fine, just a quick flash at the door and you’re in, this is the same policy at ski lifts. The whole process was pretty smooth, queues were no longer really than a normal holiday providing everyone had their phones ready before reaching the front (which you’ll get used to after one gondola lift!).

Chalet l'Arclusaz

Chalet l'Arclusaz

We nipped to Meribel to stay in Chalet l’Arclusaz with the same fantastic contactless catering and facilities. Travelling to France for the fully vaccinated is even easier than when we visited back in December, there’s no better time to get to La France and finally click into those skis/snowboards after so long away.