Alice De Pree worked for us as Chalet Chef in Chalet du Guide. Having spent 6 seasons in the Alps Alice and her soon to be husband Marky (our F&P driver) were a huge asset to our team bringing such experience as well as a lot of laughter. We cannot wait for their wedding in September and we wish them all the luck in the world for their future as Mr and Mrs Thompson
We started our season, excited to be with a new company but perhaps a little tired and stale from 6 previous winter seasons. However from the beginning Fish & Pips were like a breath of fresh air, inspirational from day one. I really enjoyed our week of training (very rare) and it was great to see everyone cemented into a really strong team.
We enjoyed fantastic dinners with plenty of wine flowing, team games with Matthew, eyebrow raising conversations and we all felt like we were on holiday! This was a very different experience from any training weeks I’d had in the past and I really felt that is was the best, not just for the plentiful wine but also for the opportunity for the team to bond so early on, a bond that would carry us through to the end of the season.
With such a great start, from the fun week of training to fresh powder and blue skies on our first day on the slopes, things were looking pretty promising! We were assigned to our chalets and I was given the lovely Chalet du Guide, where I already felt at home, as it was where we’d spent the last week. Plus, Victoria Spofforth or Spoff as she is more affectionately known, was to be my host, which was great as we had loads in common and already got on really well.
Hard work ensued almost straight away, with our first week entertaining Rupert and friends from the Guardian. This was followed by Christmas week, where the chalet was filled with noise, laughter and hundreds of people, just the way I like it! The Breightmeyers are a wonderful family and the owners of Chalet du Guide. They made us feel welcome and Christmas felt like a great team effort, with gossiping and veg peeling in the kitchen.
Then New Years week rolled around and my season got better. We had the Donaldson family staying, such a wonderful South African family, who we felt really at home with. Then onto New Years Eve, where we all went to the Chaudanne to watch an amazing fireworks display exploding to music with fat flakes of snow falling. As if an evening could not be more perfect, then Marky proposed to me! What an amazing start to 2009 and what an awesome season so far. Life was pretty good!
The months rolled on, all flying by, with plenty of wonderful snow falling and great powder days to be had. All our guys were absolutely dedicated to the skiing/snowboarding. Kev, who’d never seen snow before, was never far behind us, often panting and red in the face but determined to keep up, and keep up he did until the day he started passing me!!
Cracky was the fastest down the mountain and always knew the quickest route to all the bars, closely followed by her wonderful chef Vinnie who joined the team later, when we sadly lost Jen to a broken ankle. He slotted into the team so seamlessly you forgot he hadn’t started with rest of us and he soon became a core member of the team. Fi and Spoff, could be seen carving up the mountain with their new found brilliance and confidence to try anything.
Nick annoyingly dislocated his other shoulder, while doing a cool trick in the park but he’s not one to stay still for too long and was soon to be seen skiing with one pole and a dislocated shoulder strapped up! Abi, the legend, won her first competition in the snow park and was rewarded with a very bling pair of new skis, used everyday from then on. And then there is the old boy Marky, quiet simply the best snowboarder on the slopes, in my opinion!!
I spent many a day skiing with Holly, gazing at her elegance and ease on her skis. Multiple seasons have proved their worth to Holly and Philippa, who both ski brilliantly. However if skiing was not to be the flavour of the day, she kindly entertained me in their apartment in Les Allues, where we righted wrongs, drank coffee and gossiped!
The girls have found an amazing balance. Work hard and play hard, a cliché but true. I’m so impressed with what these two have built. To the outside eye a seemingly easy and smooth running machine, but we know how hard the girls work, how well they get on and how they both breath magic into their company.
I feel privileged to have been a part of such an exciting new company. I’m so sad not to be joining them again, but due to our next adventure to be had in Meribel, it’s time to move on.
September 2009. Watch this space! We’re having a huge Fish & Pips reunion, plus around 80 or so family and friends, for the very first Fish & Pips wedding to be held on the lovely terraces of Braye, Aurigny and Corbletts and surrounded by the wonder that is the Meribel Valley. The perfect end to a perfect season.
Thank you to all of you who made it so special!