Here are the welcome instructions you receive when arriving at our chalet
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The chalet address is Chalet La Crème Anglaise, Villaroger Le Pré 73640 France.
If you’re driving you you’ll find Bourg St Maurice easily enough. Take the Val d’Isère road out of Bourg until you get to Ste.Foy (15mins). Turn right to Villaroger just after Le Monal hotel, go though the village square and continue up the hill to Le Pré. After several hairpins you’ll see a restaurant called L’Aiguille Rouge on your right (7mins). Park there to unload. The chalet is 30 yards along a path which runs to the left of the restaurant. You’ll see a ‘Gites de France’ plaque above our door. You’ll need chains after any snowfall, though they clear the roads very efficiently.
A couple of points about police activities in the area. The tunnels from Lyons to Bourg all have speed cameras which are always operating, as are many of the radar control points. And the Bourg police have regular random spot checks on seat belts and mobile phone use. They tend to hang about on the first roundabout as you’re driving into Bourg from the chalet. You have been warned!
As traffic to this area is a major problem on Saturdays, our changeover is always on a Sunday. In order that the chalet can be cleaned in time for your visit, please arrive no earlier than 4.00 p.m. on the Sunday of your booking and vacate the chalet by 10.00 a.m. for cleaning to be done before the next clients. These timings are essential as our cleaning team needs a good 6 hours to turn the chalet round.
About the Chalet
The front door has a coded lock; the code is changed each season.
Sitting and Dining SpaceMusic: : As the acoustics on the top floor of the chalet are second to none we have installed an excellent sound system, so please remember to bring out your favourite CDs or to plug in your iPods.For background music and weather reports we use Radio Les Arcs: FM 93.4. It gives forecasts and ski conditions in English at 8.20 and 9.20a.m. Radio La Rosière (FM 99.2) has more middle of the road music in the evening.
Games etc: are kept in the pine chest of drawers behind the dining area.
Fire and fireguard: As you will see, there are enough logs outside to do more than a season. There is a hoist on the balcony to lift the logs on to the second floor, which saves you having to lug them up the stairs.
To make lighting the fire easy there is a Grenadier hot air torch. A few bits of paper, some thin logs and 10 minutes with the torch aimed closely at the paper should get you a roaring fire going. However, the torch is not a toy, so please take care.
We have had several near misses with fire hazards and would really appreciate it if you could use the fireguard whenever you leave the sitting area – even for dinner! Logs can spit and there goes the carpet!
In the event of a serious fire issue there are fire extinguishers on every floor. Locations are on a notice next door to the larder. . We pray you have no need for them.
Kitchen and Larder Room (next door)Oven: This is fairly straightforward. Instructions are on a hook to the left of the microwave. In general we use the oven on ‘cuisson traditionelle,’ at 220 – 240 degrees for a roast and less for anything else like, say, a casserole.For faster cooking use ‘cuisson ventilée’ (fan assisted).Try not to mess around with the timer on the right as it can be unpredictable: you could end up with nothing cooked on time, if at all!
Hob: The 4 ring hob has one ring on a timer (back left). To use this one, turn on the dial to the required heating level, then turn the timer on to the relevant number of minutes. It’s useful for heating something up when you’re out of the room or making stock etc.
Extractor hood: This works at full blast when the slider control underneath is just short of the end stop.
Saucepans etc: There are loads of saucepans (beneath the hob) and bowls, serving dishes, cooking bowls, jugs and sauceboats of all shapes and sizes (under the worktop to the right of the fridge). Also a powerful mixer in the cupboard under the oven.
Larder-cum-wine store: Is to the right of the kitchen It has a large freezer with many drawers and a drinks fridge which is also handy for keeping extra bulky vegetables etc.
If you need them, the vacuum cleaner, ironing board and iron etc. all live in here. You’ll also find spare bulbs above the freezer.
Dishwasher: This machine doesn’t really like 2 in 1 tablets. It’s better to use liquid or powder to avoid the glasses becoming milky.
This is on the ground floor next to the bunk room and has a new washing machine – instructions for use are on the shelves.The drier is fairly straightforward, but is one of those that needs to be emptied, so every time you see the green light flashing, it is a sign that it needs emptying (which we do in the bath next door).
The Sheila Maid is an invaluable place to hang wet ski suits to dry out overnight.
There are individual space heaters in all the rooms and bedrooms. In most rooms the top switch is on/off and the bottom switch controls the heat. In all weathers 2 – 3 orange notches up from the bottom should be more than sufficient. One or two rooms have dial heat indicators: in this case level 4 should be ample.
The water is heated by 2 giant tanks in the laundry room. They are turned to 70c; any hotter and you will be scalded.
The main fuse board is on the left of the front door in the ski room. If the lights should blow, all the fuses are clearly coded and are on trip switches. Spare light bulbs/spots are on top of the freezer in the larder room.
Just inside the door of the laundry room is a panel which controls the water heating and the ventilation system for the loos and bathrooms. The only switch that you need to check is on is the EXTRACTOR which takes unpleasant odours from all the bathrooms etc.
As in all mountain villages, drains can be a nightmare. So please put nothing except loo paper down them. There are bins for other paper etc.
There are two wooden sheds in the car park for rubbish, plus a bottle bank. We cannot leave rubbish outside the chalet as the local dogs may just tear the bags apart and leave an unsightly mess.
House Rules regarding cleaning materials
You should find all the necessary materials: loo paper, soap, etc. in all the bathrooms and in the top of the cloaks cupboard in the downstairs hall.
We also keep loads of cleaning materials, dishwasher liquid, salt and rinse-aid under the sink in the kitchen and items like large (100 litre) black bags, tin foil and cling film in a kitchen drawer. It would be appreciated if these could be replaced if you finish them. Also, if you spill something horrible on the carpet there are spot carpet cleaners under the sink which will sort out wine, coffee etc.
You will find lots of business cards etc. from private instructors, physios and so on pinned on the notice board to the left of the fireplace.
The chalet number is 04 79 06 96 00. Feel free to use it for local calls, but please note that if you make international calls, or plug a laptop into the internet, we will invoice you when we have received our itemised bill from France Télécom. ( if you do bring a laptop we suggest you find out your server’s local call number so that you are not surfing via a UK number-very expensive.)
Looking after you
Stéphanie Corson will arrive promptly at 9.15 a.m. on the Sunday of your departure to get the chalet ready for the next guests, so be ready to leave by then. All we would ask is that you strip the beds you have used so that she knows which ones need to be changed. And start the dishwasher with your Sunday breakfast items before you leave. If you are staying for 2 weeks she will come in to change the sheets, towels, etc. on Sunday. If you want additional daily cleaning, please arrange that with her direct. Please note that she speaks no English. Tel: 06 20 63 43 40.
If anything goes wrong with the equipment or the plumbing, call Véronique. She will contact us and between us we will make sure that it gets put right, using one of the local suppliers.
We also have a couple in the village who are, in effect, guardians of the chalet in our absence. M. and Mme. René Mousselard (she is also called Renée) live in a tiny hamlet just below the square in Villaroger. They are incredibly helpful. René is a retired ski instructor in La Rosière but also a plumber. But remember they don’t speak English either. Tel: 04 79 06 91 10.
Baby Sitting/Child Minding
Child minding: If you are proposing to bring children who are too young to ski, but you want to ski yourselves all day there are creches available; but frankly our advice would be to bring your own nanny because the crèches will work out to be pretty expensive. You could also try the LesArcs.net or safehandsfrance.com.
As far as baby sitting in the evenings is concerned, there are a couple of options: Mme. Renée Mousselard is often happy to come to the chalet in the evening. She needs plenty of warning, so ring a couple of days in advance. Tel: 04 79 06 9110. Alternatively, one of one of Mme. Bove’s daughters may well be prepared to help out. Tel: 04 79 06 93 77. But again, it’s best to give them a couple of days notice.
Food and Drink Shopping
There are no shops in the village. You can buy home made cheese and paté from La Ferme in Villaroger Le Pré.
In Bourg St. Maurice
For a major stock up there are two large supermarkets in Bourg St. Maurice: SUPER U and INTERMARCHE. Both are located close to the last roundabout before taking the road in the direction of Val d’Isère and Tignes.
These supermarkets open Monday to Saturday 8.30 a.m.-7.30 p.m. and Intermarche on Sundays from 8.30-11.15 a.m.
Slightly further into Bourg, on the left past the station, there is a smallish LIDL. Not a great shopping experience but good for basics at rock bottom prices. Open Monday to Saturday: 8.30a.m.-7.00p.m.
And if you want to splash out on a big fish, the POISSONERIE DE LA VALOISE is first class. Again on the left past the station just before the BP garage: Tel: 04 79 07 08 51
In Ste. Foy
There is a small épicèrie for basics (and fresh bread daily). This is behind and to the side of the Hotel Monal. You can order bread there with M. Gapihan for your week, giving La Crème Anglaise as your name. Most basics can be bought here if you run out of things. It’s open every day.
You can buy wine from the cave at the Hotel Le Monal: it can be a bit expensive but the wines they sell there are, without exception, good.
There is a very good butcher on the left as you go down towards Bourg. There is a small grocery store on the right and a good boulangèrie further down on the right: Chalet du Pain
Dr. Regis Gobert, Place de la Mairie, 73640 St. Foy Tel: 04 79 06 92 22
There is a pharmacy in Séez at the end of the village on the left as you go towards Bourg. You can’t miss the neon green cross. They are very helpful. There is another bigger one in the centre of Bourg in the street at right angles to the station.
Follow the road out of Bourg to the last roundabout up on a hill, opposite the BP garage. Turn right and you will find signs to the hospital. Tel: 04 79 41 79 79
There are four Banks in Bourg St. Maurice – 2 of which are in the street right opposite the Station. Another in Arc 1800 if you’re skiing.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 8.30 am – 12 noon and 2–5.30 p.m.
All have ATMs, as does SUPER U (to the right of the entrance)
There are also ATMs in Arc 1600 and 2000 but, be warned, they only appear to work intermittently.
If any of your party are arriving by train at Bourg St Maurice there are taxis at the station. Tel: 04 79 07 03 94.
In Villaroger, Jean-Paul Robin runs the taxi service. Tel: 04 79 06 93 93. You can also reach him via his wife, Annie, at L’Aiguille Rouge restaurant. Tel: 04 79 06 91 51. He has a people carrier and can take up to 8 though at a price! He does get pretty booked up so we would recommend plenty of notice.
The main one is opposite the station in Bourg. Tel: 04 79 07 12 57
The police station is on the left on the way out of Bourg. Tel: 04 79 07 22 81
You can get your pass from the cabin in the car park just below the chairlift in Villaroger or by the funiculaire in Bourg. Both places take credit cards.
Children under 6 are free as are 72+s! There is also a discount for families of 4 if the children are between 6 and 17; discounts are also given to children 6-14, and for 65+s on proof of age.
Lift pass choices
You can choose either a 6 day Les Arcs pass (2010 price, 209 euros) or a Paradiski pass (249 euros). The latter provides you with access to La Plagne, using the new double-decker cable car and also entitles you to a day each in La Rosière, Val d’Isère /Tignes and Les Trois Vallées. You do NOT need a photo.
You can also buy a carnet of 10x1day tickets, called Ski Zen, which anybody can use: very useful if you have people in the party who don’t want to ski every day.
The lifts passes operate on a magnetic card. Wear the card on the left of your ski clothing so that the magnetic strip can be easily read each time you go through lift entry gates
Even if you have taken out accident insurance we would strongly advise you to take out Carté Neige assurance at the time of buying your lift pass. It is 2.7 euros per day which entitles you to first class treatment on the slopes if you have an injury. (Less than the price of a hot chocolate). Worth every euro in our view, because your UK holiday insurance is very unlikely to get you off the slopes in a helicopter if, heaven forbid, you have a serious accident. Be sure to take out NHS (European Health Insurance Card) too.
The first lift is 3 minutes walk (200 m). Turn right out of front door, left up between the houses and right by the last house. Carry on along the road until the lift comes into view. You can see if it is working from the chalet balcony. Sometimes after a heavy overnight snowfall it takes a little while to make the runs safe from avalanches. If you call the ski pass hut near the lift they will update you. Tel: 04 79 06 92 07
We use INTERSPORT in Bourg. It is an enormous outlet to the left of SUPER U: it has a wide choice of rental kit.. Tel: 04 79 04 04 30. Sunday opening hours are 09.30-12.30 and 16.30-19.00.
They give a 10% discount to La Crème Anglaise clients, so remember to mention our name and give them a Crème Anglaise voucher.
You can now pre-reserve your skis with Intersport on line: intersport-bourg.com
There is also a company called Ski Grizzly who will deliver skis and boots to the chalet door (and collect them at the end of your stay). They are a little more expensive than Intersport but their service is very convenient and reliable. Obviously you need to call or email them ahead of your week. skigrizzly.com Tel: 0033(0)62 62 44 054
There are excellent ski schools in both Arc 2000 and Arc 1600 and another one in the new village, Arc 1950.The quickest way to reach the Arc 1600 ski school is to drive to Bourg, turn left for the funiculaire and take this up to Arc 1600. The ski school is a 5 minute walk through the square, past all the shops and up some steps to a wide open space where the ski school meets.
Note that the funiculaire runs every 20 minutes: on the hour, 20 past and 20 to. So you will need to catch the 9.00 a.m. train to get to a class for 9.30 a.m. Allow 30 mins in the car to get to the funiculaire and off load your kit.
In order to get to the Arc 2000 ski school you need to take the three chair lifts up from Villaroger and drop down via a blue run into Arc 2000. The Arc 1950 ski school is lower down the same mountain.
Apart from the ESF ski schools there is an English called New Generation. New Generation is run by a great chap called John Thomas (no sniggering please) and all their instructors are English speaking: skinewgen.com
The instructors are sometimes also available for hourly or 2 hourly lessons in the afternoon. Again, check with Martin. For more details, their website is: optimumski.com
There is also the possibility of having private lessons with Christel Mousselard, the daughter of the Mousselards mentioned earlier. She is a fully qualified ski and snowboard instructor with ESF in Arc 1800. She is able, with the permission of the ESF, to come to Villaroger to give private lessons or to act as a guide. She is a delightful young lady whom we have known since she was knee high to a grasshopper, and speaks fluent English. You can contact her on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on her mobile: 06 84 97 77 15. You will need to book her up several weeks in advance
In addition to Intersport, you may well be able to get your skis waxed and edged by Bernie who lives in the village but uses the workshop at Optimum. He gets pretty busy, but call him on his mobile: 06 80 20 29 11
This is not a definitive guide, just the places we know and like. If you find any new good ones please let us in on the secret.
VillarogerL’Aiguille Rouge: run by 2 charming sisters: Annie and Edith. Unpretentious Savoyarde food. Very friendly. Only open in the evenings if they have bookings for at least 10 people. Tel: 04 79 06 91 51
La Ferme: You can eat as well as drink at Michel Emprin’s welcoming pit stop. Pretty standard local fare, but sustaining and good value. Handy if you can’t be bothered to cook. Tel: 04 79 06 90 85
Ste. FoyLe Monal Hotel: two restaurants. On the first floor, a combination of a menu gastronomique and traditional Savoyard fare featuring raclette, fondues, etc. On the ground floor, La Grange: now run as a separate concern from the hotel, with a more ambitious menu with international leanings, generally, but not always, successful. Attractive décor (and waitresses). Tel: 04 79 06 90 07
La Becqua: Tiny cave-like place run by larger than life host with a line in bawdy French jokes. Now specializes in Lebanese cuisine. A character evening with food to match. Tel: 04 79 06 90 51
Bourg St MauriceLe Refuge: If you happen to be in Bourg at lunchtime or in the evening this as a very ‘sympa’ local place in the pedestrian street in the centre of town. Good food and excellent value. Tel: 04 79 07 52 54
Opposite side of the valleyLe Miroir
Chez Mérie: definitely the place for a special evening out. Cosy, very pretty restaurant with lovely food and a very warm welcome. Usually a number of interesting ideas on the menu. Not cheap by local standards but well worth a visit. Don’t expect swift service. Must book. Tel: 04 79 06 90 16
MontvalezanLa Chaumière: Another timber- clad place with a big open fire. Specialises in food cooked over wood. So steaks etc. the order of the day. Tel: 04 79 06 84 55
On the slopes
Above VillarogerLe Solliet: Now run by Aline and Francis, a delightful couple from Gascony. Perfect stop right on the piste, both at the beginning and especially at the end of the day. Huge terrace. Choice of self service or restaurant. Can get crowded on a fine day. Food prices a bit on the high side in 2008 . Tel: 06 12 53 36 27
Arcs 2000Chez Eux: In the parade of shops at 2000. Good pizzas and pasta. Often difficult to get a table at peak of lunchtime and service can be s-l-o-w.Tel: 04 79 07 43 97
Les Chalets de l’Arc:: Big chalet restaurant on the slopes above 2000. Great food and very popular. Can be chaotic at lunchtime even if you book, so best to go early or late. But the food is worth the wait. Tel: 04 79 04 15 40
Belliou La Fumée (at Pré St Esprit below 2000): unquestionably the place to get stuck in a snowstorm. (Only 2 lifts to get home) Tiny hut, once a royal hunting lodge. Serious food, very interesting menu and charming co-owner, Annie. Not cheap but worth it. Must book by 10.15am. Tel: 04 79 07 29 13
Le Pré St Esprit: ( also at Pré St Esprit, not surprisingly) Much more basic than Belliou , but warm and friendly inside with a big fire burning. It has both waiter and self service food. Especially good as a quick pit stop on a cold morning.
Tel: 04 79 07 37 46
Arc 1950Luigis: Both a restaurant by the piste and a bar below. The bar is more like the type you’d expect in Val d’Isère with lots of chrome and Sky TV, so a good place to meet up if you have people all over the 2000 slopes. Co-owned by the man who also runs Le Monal. Tel:04 79 00 15 36
Arc 1600Le Cairn: very welcoming pizza and pasta specialist in the corner of the ‘square’ overlooking Isère Valley. Ideal for meeting after ski school. Reasonably priced.
Tel: 04 79 07 79 85
La Malouine: In the same square. Owned by émigré from St Malo which explains maritime décor. Galettes and crèpes a speciality. Lethal staircase up/down to get to loo. Tel: 04 79 07 74 59
Chalet de l’Arcelle: Just below 1600 ski school. Smart, small restaurant with comfortable chairs plus tiny original chalet where you can eat. Big terrace with wonderful views over valley. Gigantic portions of very fresh food. A real favourite.
Tel: 04 79 04 21 35
L’Arpette: Above 1600. A choice of self service at great value (especially their cold buffet) or served in a rondella around a big fire. All purses catered for. Much improved in both attitude and quality. Tel: 04 79 07 45 80
Arc 1800L’Aiguille Grive: large chalet restaurant to left of main part of 1800. Slightly off the beaten track by Charmettoger lift, but very popular with 1800 crowd.
Tel: 04 79 07 43 97
Above VallandryLa Blanche Murée: great place for a pit stop on way to Peisey Nancroix. Big, sunny terrace but rather cheerless inside. Food now good for simple mountain lunches. Tel: 06 09 40 56 53
La Poudreuse: useful stop at top of lift. Good value but can be a bit of a self service scrum at lunchtime. Several extravert Oz waitresses. Tel: 04 79 07 90 25
VallandryLa Bergèrie de Raphael: perched just above the ski lift. Small terrace and even smaller restaurant run by fat and happy chef (Raphael). Real care over food. Terrific salads. Must book. Tel: 04 79 07 94 95
La Caverne: Aussie run pub/hotel on ‘Le Foret’ piste just before you get to Vallandry itself. Unquestionably the best hot chocolate in Les Arcs, complete with marshmallows. Sky Sports and Internet access.
La Caleche: At the bottom of Vallandry pistes about 50 yards to the left of the lift. Small ‘local’ restaurant with great value food (eg ribeye and frites for 10e in 2008) run by welcoming couple who speak no English. Best to book. Tel: 04 79 04 20 75
Plan PeiseyLa Cordée: Just above and to the right of the Vanoise Express cable car to La Plagne. Excellent food from an enthusiastic team. Great spot if the sun is shining, but be aware that seating outside is limited. Tel: 04 79 07 01 14
Le Solan : Also to the right of the cable car but slightly below it. Very cozy inside with a log fire and very helpful staff who are miked up to the kitchen for speed of ordering. Easy to get stuck in there on a snowy day, but remember you have to get back to Villaroger! Tel: 04 79 07 15 06
NancroixL’Ancolie: if you get a chance you must try this. It’s off the beaten track at Nancroix but they have navette to take you back to the lift. Exceptionally pretty little restaurant with wonderful food and delightful hostess, Jeannette. Don’t rush it (except that you’ll have to leave at 3.15pm to catch the last lift home). They only take pre booked reservations. Tel: 04 79 07 93 20
Staying on/ Arriving early
A number of our clients like to extend their holiday by a few days and need somewhere to stay locally. We’d recommend 2 alternatives
Le Monal at Ste Foy (see restaurants above). Very convenient 2 star hotel with a lively atmosphere in the bar and restaurant. Rooms ok without being much to write home about’ though they are updating them. Tel: 04 79 06 90 07 le-monal.com.
Le Chalet du Rassel. No expense has been spared in the renovation of this old village brewery a mile up the road from Le Monal. Lovely bedrooms (all en suite), sauna, massage, high class food, amazing sitting room/area. Mountain guiding thrown in. Would cost a fortune to stay there if it were in Val d’Isère. 100-150 euros (depending on the time of year) a night and well worth it.
Tel: 04 79 06 92 94 alpineculture.com
It’s also worth checking out the Les Arcs website: www.lesarcs.com