Life Cancelled: Planning a Ski Holiday to Cope with the Disappointments of Lockdown

Family skiing is easier than you'd think

How to make up for a cancelled ski holiday I wasn’t supposed to be writing this blog post today. Right now, in a different world, I should be cruising down a perfectly groomed alpine piste, revelling in glorious April ski weather, and looking forward to fondue with a couple of beers this evening. This Easter holiday was the one where we would finally do a ski holiday with no holds barred. We’d saved up, and looked forward to it for a few years. We had the apartment with the hot tub, the plush one where no-one was sleeping on a …

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Ski: Le Hameau du Kashmir – self-catering hotel style.

I am utterly spoiled for every single ski trip I take in future years. Seriously. Totally ruined. The phrase ski-in-ski-out has entered my consciousness, made itself at home, and will forevermore be the barometer by which I measure all future ski trips. This is the view from our apartment at Le Hameau du Kashmir, in Val Thorens over Easter. That slope you see, under the cable car, is not ten steps from the door of our locker room. Which, by the way, contains heated boot posts and glove hangers, so you always start the day with warm, dry fingers, and cosy feet. …

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Ski: Tips for doing The Luge Toboggan Run in Val Thorens

Tips for surviving the Luge toboggan run in Val Thorens

  If you’ve always fancied taking a family ski or snowboarding holiday, then Val Thorens is the perfect place to start. Our kids get very excited about our ski trips, and it’s a complete joy to share the antics of the day with them after a long session on the slopes. But even though they love the skiing, children sometimes need a break, or a change of scenery during a week’s holiday. For ours it can be a lazy afternoon in the apartment, or a swim in the hotel pool. But one of the highlights of their holiday in Val …

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Ski: Where to Eat in Val Thorens

Where to eat in Val Thorens - we pick our favourites for eating on the piste and apres-ski

Waffles in the snow – what more could you want? There’s nothing better than sitting out in the cold air, sunshine blazing down on pristine snow, and cold beer in your hand after a long day of skiing. That moment when you loosen your boots, and your tongue, as you relive the stories of the day, from that time the Bug did a 360° spin without meaning to, to the moment when Dad wiped out in the powder and lost a ski, via the epic sneeze on the chair lift that made people on the slopes look up in confusion. …

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Travel: Les Carroz – A Relaxed Family Ski Resort in the French Alps

Les Carroz d'Araches may be small, but it's a lovely family ski resort in the French Alps

  Travelling to the French Alps for a half term ski holiday I was nervous. We’d never skied during the notorious French winter holidays, and the hordes of British number plates squeezing into the Eurotunnel did nothing to ease my apprehension. I’d heard about the mammoth lift queues, the production line canteen food, and the crowded slopes sure to tempt injury. It was all a far cry from the idyllic mountain charm I was used to as a term-time skier. But we have kids now, and not the kind we can pull out of school for a holiday. Half term …

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Travel: Keeping Kids Safe and Happy on a Family Ski Holiday

Tips for keeping children safe on a ski holiday The girl sharing my lesson must have been around eight years old. “So, we’re in this together then?” I tried to make conversation. “Absolute beginners, you’ll probably do way better than me!”  “Oh no,” our instructor shook his head. “She’s a really good skier. But she broke her arm last season when some idiot lost control and careered into her. She just needs to get her confidence back.” I was 21, having my first ever ski lesson, and the eight year old girl with a broken arm was already a much better skier than I was. Fast forward a …

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Ski

The 7 secrets to the best family ski holiday in Europe.

Seven secrets to the best family ski holiday in Europe

If you’re looking for a very sensible set of tips on how to have a successful family ski trip then you’re reading the wrong post. We wrote that one last week, and you can find it here. No, in this post I’m going to tell you how to really have fun. Read on… Secret 1: Eat whatever you want. As I sat in Hotel Le Val d’Isère on my first night, experimenting with my first ever Beouf Bourgignon, I got to thinking about food. “I’m going to have an enormous croissant for breakfast tomorrow,” I declared, already savouring the thought of my favourite …

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Easter skiing in Val D’Isère with Mark Warner: the perfect choice for families

If you've never been skiing with the family, here's why you need to be brave and give it a go!

By Actually Daddy. Given the importance of skiing for Actually Daddy I’ve decided to hand over the blog to him for the day. Here’s what he thinks of Easter skiing in Val d’Isère. I’ve used my bible, Where to Ski and Snowboard as the basis for my report; there is a short précis online, and much more detail in the book. It gives a great summary of the pros and cons of a ski trip to Val D’Isère, so rather than repeat what is a very accurate guide I will attempt to add some value around it. Why go to Val D’Isère with …

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I’m a convert! Tips for a successful family ski trip.

According to The Bug… You may recall that I was a reluctant skier. I was totally happy to sip a hot chocolate while my sister did the energetic bit. But my Dad insisted, and so my Mum set about getting me ready for our first family ski holiday. We spent last week in Val d’Isère with Mark Warner, and the person least inclined to come home when it was all over was me. So how exactly do you prepare a child to enjoy his first ski trip? Tips for a successful family ski trip: Book Lessons: I had several lessons at …

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What to pack for a ski trip

… before and after kids. By Helen… Whilst making a packing list for our forthcoming ski trip it struck me that what I’m taking now is considerably different from what I would have packed 10 years ago, before we had the children. So for anyone planning a holiday in the snow, with or without kids, here’s my advice. What to pack for a ski trip Before kids: Fleece headband that matches  your ski jacket – prevents earache,  but avoids the shame of hat-hair. Duty-free Absolut vodka – distracts the mind from occasional sprains and bruises. Multivitamins – with all that …

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How to prepare for a ski trip with children

By the Bug… This winter I’m going skiing. I’ve been pretty nervous, but I’m ready for my first ski trip. In fact I’d go so far as to say that I’m exceeding expectations, and my plan is to ski faster than Mrs Kamikaze my sister before the holiday is over. How have I made this transition from cautious to courageous? It’s simple really – it’s all in the preparation. How to prepare for a family ski trip Get ski fit: some in our family have been training for long runs recently. This is good as you’ll need cardiovascular fitness on the …

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Bug can ski!

Two years ago my brother took his first ski lesson. We’re lucky enough to live a short drive from The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, and I had been skiing a few times already. I’d done ok with the slippery sticks and will happily fling myself face down in the snow whenever I get the chance, so The Bug, quite naturally, was willing to give it a go. To cut a long story short, he managed his first lesson, with some coaxing from my mother, and consented to a second. To which Daddy was the responsible adult. He’s not as …

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We are Mark Warner ski ambassadors!

Last week GG told you why she needs to take us all on a family skiing holiday. There was much mirth over poor old Actually Daddy and his lack of ability to say something that didn’t sound like it was destined for the board room. Well I am absolutely bowled over and blown away by the news that Mark Warner have today asked us to be ski ambassadors for them. This is how I revealed the news to the rest of my family: Apparently I was too cryptic, although GG confessed that she got it by the second watching, but …

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Why I MUST take my family skiing! #MarkWarnerMum

TWO SKI HOLIDAYS A YEAR! It’s non-negotiable! You knew that  when we got married! It was inevitable that I would become a skier. It was in-utero that I heard these words, flung down the stairs in frustration and anguish. Daddy was having to come to terms with the fact that I would turn 9 weeks old as the ski season began, and Mummy was not as keen to hurtle down the black runs as she used to be. He couldn’t fathom it. I think the words “baby-backpack” were used… Apparently this was acceptable attire in the 90’s. Don’t worry, I’ll …

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I got my Festival Skirt! Miss Francis pettiskirt tutu review.

“This is epic! I look like a giant fluffy marshmallow. Don’t eat me, will you…?” I got excited on Friday when this fabulous pettiskirt tutu arrived from Miss Francis. It was out of its gorgeous box and onto my tiny tush quicker than you can say #autoawesome. I’ve wanted what I like to call a festival skirt since my visits this summer to Just So, and to Feastival, where I saw cute little girls in spotty wellies and frilly skirts rocking moves to the music in the mud. It’s a seriously cool look, in a “oh I just threw it on and …

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Eskimos rub noses…

When I was little, one of my first words was “tiss.” Apparently. Personally I can’t quite believe I was ever unable to utter anything less than a perfect articulation/dissemination/elucidation (see, told ya – eloquent). But Mummy, with her wont for recording cutisms from my past, insists it is so. So we kissed. And then we rubbed noses. Along with those daft games all mothers insist on playing with their babies, we rubbed noses: What do fish do? “Pwah pwah pwah…” What do piggies do? “An approximation of a chesty old chain-smoker…” What do Eskimos do? “Rub noses…” To this day, …

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Why it’s Worth Getting an Outdoor Pizza Oven

The Gozney Roccbox outdoor pizza oven

Are outdoor portable pizza ovens any good? Read our review of the Gozney Roccbox to see how we got on with it. (Spoiler – I’m never buying supermarket pizza again).

How To Sleep Through Night Sweats

A cooling duvet for when you can't sleep because of night sweats

Sleeping in the heat, or through the night sweats of menopause can be difficult but there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting a restful night without resorting to air conditioning. I struggle with heat regulation at night, so when hot weather hits the I take action. Here’s how I sleep in the heat.

Nine Reasons to Travel Alone in 2021

The pandemic outbreak last year cut off the travel plans for millions of people. The holidays we wanted to take, the chances to migrate we wanted to take – they all fell by the wayside because COVID-19 got in the way. We’re now in 2021, and we’re at the cusp of learning to live with this new normal, so why not start planning the rest of your travels for this year?  You might not have considered going away by yourself before, but solo travel can be wonderfully empowering. Going it alone means planning to be safe, planning to reach the …

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