My Alpine Fantasy

Clearly I haven’t gotten over my alpine obsession. While many of you crave winter warmth, I’m still fantasizing about a chic chalet. I think I’d better start planning now for next winter since soon I’ll need to be getting my head situated for spring. But in the meantime, we’re still snowbound and I haven’t yet set foot on the slopes so perhaps it’s time, before it’s too late, to take one more look at my winter fantasy.

My latest pick for my bucket list of chic ski resorts is Courchevel. It’s incredibly beautiful

but can be a bit of a see and be seen sort of place. I’d feel perfectly comfortable walking around town in something like this

or this (although I probably wouldn’t, I like that I could)

or carrying a bag like this

but sometimes I wouldn’t want to have to deal with the scene.  So it’s a good thing I’ve found a fabulous place to stay where I could take a break to just enjoy the view. Hotel de Charme les Airelles underwent a massive renovation a couple of years ago and is now one of loveliest spots in town.

With beautifully appointed rooms decorated in chic chalet style

There’s a fabulous restaurant

and an elegant spa

In fact I’m not sure I’ll even have time to ski! Although I did find very stylish ski luggage (thank you Vanity Fair)

Chances are however that my ski expert husband would leave me in the dust (or powder) so perhaps I’ll just poke around town. There’s the beautiful new Chanel “ephemeral” pop-up store that probably needs investigating.

photo zoot magazine

and all the little shops for comestibles such as Chez le Gaulois

or the delectable Boulangerie au Pain d’Antan

because you never know when you might need a little sustenance.

But even if I don’t get to Courchevel this year, a little chalet inspiration might just be in order.  Chaletbau Matti is a family firm that has been in Gstaad since 1941 (discovered through Greet at the beautiful Belgian Pearls blog). They design and build the most exquisite wood alpine style homes. They cut and stockpile their own wood and also collect antique wood for construction and decoration. Their designs span the spectrum from traditional to modern aesthetics. If I were ever to build a chalet in the alps, they would surely be my choice!!

And then I think I’d have to convince Greet to come and finish the interiors because her family’s company does such amazing work that’s so compatible. I know many of you read Greet’s blog, but have you ever actually looked at the Lefèvre site? Here’s a sampling that would be just perfect for my chalet.

So now all I need is a raclette dinner and my little daydream is complete!


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63 Responses to My Alpine Fantasy

  1. Heather says:

    A lovely day dream!

  2. really loveloy winter images!

  3. The epitome of ski chic! Sigh I am bummed I never made it to the Alps when I lived in France. I guess I’ll have to settle for some slope in Japan since it’s so much closer!

  4. Holly Hurd says:

    You are unbelievable, I feel like I’m there!!!
    Holly
    venturemom.com

  5. We went skiing last week and it was so much fun…That ski resorts is STUNNING! Just image staying in a place that beautiful. Happy Tuesday, sweetie

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Diana – oh lucky you – we haven’t yet made it to the slopes – soon I hope! Isn’t Hotel de Charme les Airelles gorgeous? Definitely my kind of place!

  6. elle says:

    Q- I can certainly make myself available as your ski or luggage caddy when you decide to fulfill this dream. Happy New Year.

  7. Ann says:

    Growing up back East, I was never good at skiing as much as I wanted to – didn’t help I started learning in my early 20’s and being tall didn’t help. The minute the boyfriend and I broke up….I packed up my ski’s (some day I will try it out West). For now, I’ll be happy to wear that outfit, sipping something hot and hanging out in the lodge, or spend the day in the spa, or shop and eat those yummy cured meats. Those places look like heaven. So if you need a friend to bop around with – I’ll be happy to indulge. Looks like heaven.

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Ann – I’m with you. Although I enjoy skiing I’m not that good – my husband is unbelievable so of course has not much interest hanging out with me on the slopes. Sounds like you, Elle and I need to take a trip!

  8. Kelly says:

    Cozy Chic! From the boulangerie to the spa, this looks like a dream getaway to me.

    xo Kelly

    p.s. I secretly dream of wearing mukluks…I might look slightly silly here in Atlanta though :)

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Kelly – Isn’t it though?! I know – love the look of the boots – you obviously need to be someplace cold and chic to wear them!!

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. What a daydream!
    I would love tho have that coat and be able to sit in a chalet and sip hot drinks before my trip to Chanel. Can you imagine chilling by one of those fireplaces, looking out onto the snow covered mountains? Heaven on earth.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Teresa
    xoxo

  10. Jennifer says:

    The ultimate in chalet chic. It never tires. Thanks for all tips – I hope to see some of them one day!

  11. So beautiful….it’s so on the list!!!! Must more glamorous than Crystal Mountain near Seattle, that’s for sure!

  12. Amanda Teal says:

    I think you just summed up my fantasy ski trip! I’ve always wanted to go to Courchevel…fingers crossed it will happen someday! x

  13. If you are going to sky–that is definitely the way to go! Beautiful, chic and delicious food–when do we leave!

  14. I love it! Vail…Beaver Creek…Aspen…..WY..VT…the Alps all some of my favorite places I have been to enjoy the beauty of the mountains. And raclette! A family tradition and a favorite NYE dish. Happy 2011!

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Kate – I like your travel experience – all wonderful places. And if your family enjoys raclette, then I’m coming over!!

  15. Now look what you’ve made me do – got drool all over my keyboard. Such fabulousness and I don’t even usually like the cold, could easily stay inside any of these great places, especially with those delish looking desserts!

  16. Now thats the perfect vacation!

  17. oh, can I come with you..mostly because I want to dress the part…but also because I love to ski….so much fun…. maureen

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Maureen – but of course – the more the merrier – I think we have a few others interested as well!!

  18. I love your dream–in fact, I just might step right in.

  19. Mrs. French says:

    Love the way you dream!

    • quintessence says:

      Hello Mrs. French – Thank you – glad you’re enjoying the reverie. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. While I love the beach, I’m a mountain girl at heart! Love your coverage of Courchevel where we learned to ski as kids (though the Hotel de Charme never looked so good!) Your pictures are better than browsing the Gorsuch catalog!
    xxoo

    • quintessence says:

      Buzz – Oh what a lucky girl you were! And this all started from browsing the Gorsuch catalog (I knew I liked you!) xo

  21. Ah yes, the Alps….Winter or Summer, I would love to go again someday.

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Anita – I’ve been the Alps in the summer many times but only once in the winter – and I was young, didn’t ski and DEFINITELY didn’t appreciate it!

  22. Wow! That looks amazing! I’d be happy in any of those. Shall we go? xx

  23. I don’t ski, but I’d be more than happy to go there! What a dream!

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Marianne – I’m a terrible skier but like being out there – but also happy to lounge, shop and eat!

  24. Loving your Alpine fantasties. I always love when the Gorsuch catalog arrives. I fantasize of looking chic for apres ski!!!

    • quintessence says:

      PPT – Thanks – and as I said to The Buzz – it was the Gorsuch catalogue that got my cogwheels turning in the first place!

  25. I don’t ski due to being a klutz but since this is fantasyland I’ll swoosh down slopes. Love your dream!

  26. My husband has proposed a last minute trip to either Maui or Deer Valley…I was leaning toward Maui until I saw your post..if you use just a little imagination you can easily trick yourself into thinking you are in Courchevel and the skiing at Deer Valley is actually better…unfortunately I always feel a little under dressed but your fashion suggestions are right on!

    ~jermaine

    • quintessence says:

      FK – Either option is obviously lovely but you can see where my head is at. I hear Deer Valley is fabulous – have always wanted to stay at Stein Eriksen. You’ll have to report back!!

  27. Greet says:

    Thank you so much for featuring me!! Loved your post ! Beautiful and charming chalet pictures! I really dream to have a chalet of my own some day!!
    Have a wonderful week!!
    xx
    Greet

    • quintessence says:

      Greet – My pleasure! I would obviously love to have a chalet as well – and your work would be so perfect for it!!

  28. carey karlan says:

    I like absolutely nothing about skiing but absolutely everything about your ski fantasy! I have really been enjoying your coverage of all things interesting.
    Carey

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Carey – I must admit, that although I do ski (rather badly), it is my least favorite part of my fantasy as well. Loved your charming dressing table over at stacystyle! Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Barbara says:

    These alpine interiors are perfection. I love the simplicity of the fireplace surround the cows are crossing!

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Barbara – Aren’t they beautiful?! I love that shot as well! And btw – love your elephant card!

  30. Lisa says:

    Oh, I can smell the snow right now! I spent time in the Alps when I was very young, once, skiing with some friends from college. I would just love to go back.

  31. I love the alpine life. Last spring is did the haute route and stayed in high mountain huts as I toured from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland. We were stranded for a few days in Zermatt because of the volcano — absolutely splendid. We had lunch at the most incredible alpine restaurant, called Chez Vrony, you can search for it on Splendid Market — really incredible.
    On the first night of the year we took a gondola to the highest restaurant in Washington state, the Summit house, 6872 feet! What a delectable adventure.
    Happy New Year!

    The most incredible alpine restaurant ever

    • quintessence says:

      SM – Sounds like a FABULOUS trip!! And I did look up Chez Vrony – WONDERFUL – exactly my kind of place, which I guess you suspected! And your new year’s eve treat sounds equally enticing!! We were clearly on the same page – exact that you actually lived it!!

  32. What a lovely picture you paint here! I think a weekend at a chalet would be very fun—the perfect escape, truly. So much chic inspiration here—from the alpines and what to wear, to stunning interiors… you spoil us!

    Also, I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year* I have so been meaning to stop by and see all of the wonderful posts I have missed. I look forward to all of the inspiration you will bring this year and wish you wonderful things for 2011 :)

    xoxo

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Sarah – thank you! Wishing you a very Happy New Year as well – look forward to all the beauty you will bring too!! xo

  33. slim paley says:

    What a gorgeous post!
    That Chanel coat needs investigating!!

    Happy New Year to You!!
    xx
    Slim

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Slim – thanks! yes I think that Chanel store needs some serious perusing. Wishing you a very happy new year as well! xo

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