Read all about the staff visit to Tignes

Having completed a ski season 5 years ago in Val Cenis, I love returning to the mountains and was very excited for my first staff educational to Tignes!! So I didn’t mind getting up at 4am to meet the rest of the team and head to London Gatwick for our flight to Geneva airport. After checking in, dropping our bags off and heading through security checks it was time for a bacon sarnie.

Before I knew it we had landed at Geneva airport, the flight was only 1 hour 10 minutes!! After collecting our baggage and entering through passport control we proceeded to collect the keys for our car hire. We then started our 3 hour journey to Tignes 1800.

It was a pleasant drive and even managed to get a glimpse of Lake Annecy which was beautiful as the sun was shining. We finally arrived into Tignes 1800 at 14.30. The views were amazing and made it worth getting up at a ridiculous time!

No time to check in to Kalinda Village as we headed straight to Tignes Le Lac (which is a 10 minute drive by car) to have a look around Tignes Espace and Le Lagoon. I was surprised to see these two leisure centres there as after a hard day skiing all I would like to do is have a beer!  I did see lots of families making use of the facilities though and it is a great way of keeping the kids entertained away from the slopes. As an added bonus, if you have an Espace Killy lift pass you get free access to the swimming pool which has beautiful views looking onto the slopes.

After a couple of hours in Tignes Le Lac it was time to drive back down to our village to collect our ski equipment for the ski lesson in the morning. I collected my skis and poles from Sport 2000 which is next to Kalinda Village; the service was very quick and efficient and was in and out in no time. I then dropped the skis in our locker room which was on level -1. Very handy having the heated boot-racks!

It had been a long day and we were looking forward to our first French dinner! Up to Tignes Le Lac again where we ate at Chalet Bouvier which was a cosy restaurant with a lovely ambience. We had Tartiflette, Raclette and Fondue in one meal! I have to say it was a lot of cheese in one sitting but thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was up at 07.30 to get ready for our 3 hour ski lesson. The meeting point was at Tignes Le Lac at 09.00. I was very happy with our ESF instructor Pierre as not only was he very handsome, but he was also very patient and definitely knew his stuff! The weather conditions were perfect at first and as the lesson drew to an end it started to become cloudy.

Once the lesson was over and we had returned our ski equipment back to Kalinda we then drove up to Tignes Val Claret which is the next village up from Tignes Le Lac. We had a Funiclar ride which takes 7 minutes up to 3032m at the foot of La Grande Motte Glacier. It was an interesting experience as it is like going on the underground in London but instead it’s a train under the mountain!

By this point I had gained an appetite so we had a snack lunch at Le Panoramic. On a clear day the views would be amazing however on this occasion it was a white out but I didn’t let that get to me! As well as a buffet style lunch you can also pre book the restaurant which looked absolutely amazing, all the chairs had fur covers on and the restaurant itself looked very authentic.

After visiting several ski apartments and hotels it was time for dinner and tonight’s restaurant was La Table du Coffee which is located in Val Claret. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who showed us to our table. I was hoping to have something other than cheese again! This wasn’t the case.... Goats cheese salad for starter followed by Duck. Dessert was a selection of mini treats which was yummy! Although they gave us limoncello which I took a dislike to as it is very strong for me!

Saturday already and yet another early start, I have woken up with sore shins and muscles that I didn’t even know I had which ached! However no pain no ski is my motto to get me through the next 3 hour ski lesson with Pierre. The weather was a white out but that didn’t stop us! I had regained my confidence and felt like I was skiing like a pro! I was gutted that this was my last lesson but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I would definitely recommend having a lesson to boost your technique.

Snack lunch at Restaurant L’Escale Blanche where I had a delicious carbonara served with a nice ice cold coca cola! No time for dessert Lbut that’s okay as I saved room for dinner which was in Tignes Les Brevieres which is the village below Tignes 1800. It is a cute village with a number of restaurants. The one which we ate in was restaurant l’Armailly. We had Aperitif in the cellar which was a selection of meat and cheese served with white or red wine. I have to be honest I was quite full from lunch so for my main I opted for a vegetable soup which I thought would come in a small bowl.... but it was huge! However I made room for dessert which I shared with my colleague also called Nicole Blueberry & pear crumble with ice cream. Delicious! L'Armailly offer a free return shuttle service for guests staying at Kalinda Village which is so convenient.

Sunday and it is our last day in Tignes L, we had some spare time so it would be rude not to visit the pool, Jacuzzi and steam room facilities at Kalinda to relax our muscles followed by our last trip up to Tignes le Lac for our final lunch. I forgot the sun cream and got myself a red nose which the rest of the group found rather amusing!!

I would definitely love to go back to Tignes. There is something to suit everyone from skiing all day to the leisure centres to having lunch on the mountain restaurants. People were polite, the food was scrumptious and to top it off the atmosphere was incredible. I would love to have had a few more days skiing and maybe ski over to Val d ‘Isere to the famous La Folie Douce as we didn’t have time to visit that. Other than that I had a great bank holiday in Tignes and can’t wait to return!

Want to know more about Kalinda Village? Read Nicole's account of the staff visit here.