By Anita Gaits
Over the last few weeks I’ve reported on some of the great après-ski activities on offer through Oxygène, this week let’s look at a few other areas of interest on the mountain of La Plagne.
First off… where to ski? La Plagne has a massive amount of runs covering a huge ski area but where do the regulars like to spend their time? Here are a few of my own and some of the Oxygène instructors favourite runs.
First and foremost I love the Colorado chairlift, it sits right in the middle of Plagne Centre and is a quick 6 man lift with a couple of cruisey blues coming off it. As a beginner the Milka run off the Colorado is a perfect step up from the green run, and as you get more advanced you’ll find hours of fun in the terrain just to the sides of the piste.
Other blue runs we love are the Mira from the top of the Grande Rochette (not for beginner boarders if you fear the flats though). The Mont Blanc over towards Montchavin is great for its sheer length and the way the terrain changes as you head down, and the Bozelet and Levasset, both on the Champagny side, have easily access to some powder opportunities.
If you love the reds the Sources from the top of the Roche de Mio is great, it’s long, technical and varied. Another great red is the Mont de la Guerre and it runs all the way down to Champagny. It is possibly the longest run in La Plagne and changes from wide open pistes to a snake through trees and around farm buildings. It also has stunning views and is hands down my favourite run in the whole resort.
If you fancy trying out some blacks get yourself up the Grande Rochette and go left down the Rochette. It’s not overly technical consisting of two steep stretches at the top, then very little else afterwards to warrant its black label however it’s perfect for beginners, especially when pisted! Then move on to the Mercedes off the Verdons Nord chairlift for a forgiving groomed black. For the more advanced go up the Becoin chairlift and take any of the natural blacks from there, or head further up the Cretes drag and join the long technical and un-pisted Etroits, it’s not for the faint hearted.
Skiing aside one of the best things about the Alps is the food, the local Savoyade cuisine is beautiful and La Plagne has great selection of restaurants to choose from. On piste you have a multitude of ski-in-ski-out restaurants with stunning views, my favourite of which is Chalet Verdon Sud purely for its incredible 360 degree views, its massive terrace and deck chair areas perfect for a midday beer in the sunshine.
Off the mountain there are so many good restaurants to choose from, for fondue, pierrade and other local specialties I love La Metairie in Plagne Centre serves incredible food in a quaint and quirky venue manned by welcoming staff. La Grolle in Plagne Centre has a varied menu that I have yet to go wrong with and they do a vin-chaud that cannot be beaten! If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal then head to the Croq’Neige in Plagne Centre, they serve a cheap and cheerful menu of burgers and toasted sandwiches that’s perfect for a quick lunch stop. They also played host to Oxygène’s recent staff party, providing food and drinks whilst the staff duelled it out in a Wii bowling tournament.
If it’s a liquid diet you’re into then you’re in luck… Although certainly not the biggest range of nightlife in the Alps La Plagne does have a few great bars up its sleeve. Most notably (and where I spend 80% of my time) there is Scotty’s Bar in Plagne Centre. Piste adjacent, showing live sport, live music, with a full food menu and happy hour Scotty’s is the place to be, especially on a Wednesday afternoon when the après band The Dominos are in the house. Live music also takes place on a Monday and Friday afternoon and a Tuesday night, plus an almost constant beer pong game is being played. I love this bar, I think you will too!
For something a bit different why not head to the Fort Colorado, a wooden stable-like construction under the Colorado chairlift. It’s well worth checking out for the chance to chill on the mountain and feel like a cowboy. Another one, and the clue is in the name, is the Rhumerie, a tiny atmospheric bar in Aime 2000. They serve every flavour and combination of rum going; I dare you to try the chilli rum shot. La Mine down in 1800 is a great bar popular with seasonaires. They have live music and DJ’s on a regular basis and host lots of fundraising nights for local Alps based charity Huck Cancer. Finally, for a real old British pub with typical pub food and real ales on draught try the Spitting Feathers over in Bellecote.
So that’s about it, I’ve covered your Oxygène après-ski activities and now the top spots to ski, eat and drink in La Plagne, what more could you ask for eh?