If you’re in the mountains with your date this Valentines Day you’re already onto a winner – stunning white scenery and a frolic in the snow never did a budding romance any harm. But if you want to make your Valentine feel extra special, what are your options? Here are a few potential dates ideas in Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne and La Rosiere…
Wilderness Camp & Sledging
The “would you like to dip into my fondue?” date.
Sharing food is a sure fire way to make or break a young romance. Either your hands touch lovingly as you dip into the fondue bowl, or you start a fight over who’s eaten the bigger portion. An evening meal at the Wilderness Camp makes the former much more likely. You’re bussed to the bottom of a track near Tignes 1800, which takes you up into the trees before you discover the camp, in a clearing in what feels like the middle of nowhere. A huge campfire lights up two large Mongolian yurts decorated in the traditional way with beautiful fur rugs and cosy cushions, each with a toasty log burner in the middle.
Cosy up around the campfire with your welcome kir before going inside for an amazing Savoyarde meal. Even going to the toilet is an experience here – it’s in a cute gipsy caravan decorated with candles. After the meal, a tipple of the local genepi will keep you warm on a star-lit sledge ride down the mountain to the charming Alpine village of Tignes Le Brevieres. If he lets you win the sledge race to the bottom, you’ll know the answer to the fondue question…
Do it with: Evolution 2
Price from €69. Call to book: 04.79.08.35.29
The “let’s take a roll in the snow” date.
Don your tennis racket-like snowshoes and hold hands as you walk into a Narnia-like landscape of huge rolling snow dunes, like a bright white desert of pristine powder. Follow your rugged mountain guide on an adventure off the beaten track through the trees into places skis can’t go. There are lots of options for a snowshoes trip, from a night walk ending at an isolated cottage or igloo for a meal, to a weekend-long trek overnighting in a refuge. Your guide will show you how to recognise the animal prints and plants, and may even make you a campfire meal and a hot drink in a picture-perfect snowscape. Inevitably when faced with mounds of fresh snow, you’ll end up diving in – the question is, will you leap in together?
Do it with: Attitude Raquette
Walks take place in La Plagne and Monal, pick up arranged from all resorts. Prices from €15. Call to book: +33 (0)126.96.36.199.72
Hire a raclette or fondue kit
The “Cheesy Night In” Date
You’ve rented a lovely apartment and want to spend some time in it, you can’t afford yet another restaurant meal, or you just want to get your date on his/her own and make your move. Not many people know this, but some supermarkets offer FREE hire of raclette and fondue kits when you buy your meat and cheese. They’ll even deliver it all to your door – giving you time to light a few candles and get Smooth FM on. As your cheese melts, you’ll find out whether your heart will too.
Do it with: Carrefour
Most branches offer free hire, including Carrefour Rue de la Post, Tignes, +33 (0)479.00.99.10
Settle into a sledge powered by up to 7 huskies for an authentic Arctic adventure. Take the lead and be the musher, if you think your date will be impressed by your masterful mushing skills. Or cuddle up in the sled and allow yourselves to be pulled along – but beware those corners and make sure you hold on tight!
Do it with: Evolution 2
Price from €65. Call to book: 04.79.08.35.29
The “let’s get wet” date
Once you’ve stripped to a bikini, which you’ve almost lost in a water slide plunge, most social inhibitions are gone – leaving you to really get to know each other. With your 6-day ski pass you get a free trip to Tignes’ La Lagon swimming pool, and for around around €10 you can upgrade to access the spa for a real treat. Les Arcs’ brand new aquatic centre boasts 3800sqm of pools, spa, waterfalls, water jets, games and a huge glass wall with a spectacular view of Mont Blanc. A day’s entry to everything costs around €14.
Or for a special Valentine’s drink/meal out EDGE recommends:
Brasserie du Petit Savoyard: This Tignes restaurant specialises in traditional alpine delicacies. Experience a hearty mountain meal at this charming eatery.
La Pignatta: Renowned Michelin-star chef Antony Tempesta is behind this winter’s revamped menu at Tignes restaurant La Pignatta. Their signature Italian pizzas and Savoyarde classics are still on the menu too.
La Queue De Cochon: A Tignes bar restaurant of gastronomic heights and bar of extreme quality. A real fine dining experience for a special holiday night out.
L’Armoise: This restaurant is worth seeking out in Tignes Val Claret – tucked away, just off the central crossroads, opposite the bakery and Curling Hotel. The friendly owners take great care and pride in their food and wines, and giving guests a lovely holiday experience.
Bagus: The staircase next to Underground Bar on the Rue de la Poste leads up to a cosy traditional restaurant with a large sun terrace at the back – it’s got a view spectacular enough to impress any date.
Le Coffee: This Tignes bar’s signature chilled Ibiza soundtrack is the perfect accompaniment to romantic sun-downers on their huge terrace.
O Chalet: Tignes Val Claret becomes this winter’s apero hub with the opening of Tignes bar O Chalet’s huge brand new apres-ski terrace on the south-facing front du neige near Tufs. Set the tone for your evening at Tignes bar O Chalet with tapas, a happy hour cocktail and tunes from guitarists or DJs.
Oh La Vache: This brand new Tignes restaurant is all about the best local cheeses and 5-week matured mouthwatering meats, cooked in a special wood charcoal oven.
Pepe 2000: Popular Tignes restaurant Pepe 2000 has been completely renovated this year to offer a modern take on traditional Alpine dining. Watch your food skillfully prepared in the open kitchen, pizza oven and hot dessert counter.
So.Bar: Cosy Tignes bar So.Bar stands out among the standard ski resort fayre with its off-the-wall entertainment, art deco decor and a specialist spirit and wine menu.
1789: One of the best kept secrets in Val d’Isere and home to the famous Cote de Boeuf cooked on an open fire in the heart of the restaurant. Found down a little path between Bar XV and Baraque on the main street opposite the bus station.
The Lodge: Right in the centre of the new Mille8 ski and activity hub, Les Arcs restaurant & bar The Lodge opened this season to great excitement. A chic brasserie with sharing platters, Savoyard dishes and even oysters, go in time for the ‘musical aperitif’ at 4.30pm.
Le Solan: This Plan Peisey bar/restaurant at the foot of the Vanoise Express serves up friendly apres on their outdoor terraces with deckchairs, fire pits and games available. Savoyard chalet-style it specialises in local mountain delicacies, the pizzas get rave reviews and the beer and wine selection is plentiful.
L’Avalanche: Under new management this winter, La Plagne bar/restaurant L’Avalanche is the place to enjoy a local beer and Savoie delicacies in Plagne Centre. Recline on one of the deckchairs on the piste-side terrace and ponder the menu, which focuses on local delicacies like fondue, tartiflette and stone grills.
La Spatule: La Plagne restaurant bar La Spatule is your warm and lovely place to be with its cosy, sunny terrace. Enjoy traditional crepes, galettes & Savoyard dishes.
Le 5 A 7Siete: With the feel of a traditional chalet, La Plagne bar Le 5 A 7Siete in Plagne Soleil is the perfect place to recover from your mountain ski adventures.
La Relais Du Petit Saint Bernard: Come straight off the slopes into this cosy restaurant with traditional cuisine in a breathtaking setting. Call to book: +33 (0)479.06.80.48
La Taverne du McKinley: Relaxed atmosphere, spacious south facing snow terraces with the best sunset views in La Rosiere. Quality food served all day with takeaway available too. Hot drinks and a fine selection of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.