Sorry to have been off the radar of late. What with spring skiing to be had, saying goodbye to guests, shutting down, volcanoes, end of season parties and our Val d’Isere quest, I’ve had little time for blogging, but will make up for it from now on!
So, let’s start with the great Balch lunch. I’ve been meaning to write about this lunch for the past few weeks. It’s infamous amongst F&P, and is quite honestly the highlight of our season. Philippa always makes sure she’s back for this even if it means getting the first flight out in order for her to be sitting down to lunch by 1 o’clock! We take lunch very seriously.
It’s an annual ritual now. For 4 years in a row, the Balch family have treated Philippa and I, and now what seems to be most of the F&P team (!) to lunch at the Roc Tania on the last Friday of their 2 week stay. With great views across the valley and keeping the sunshine longer than any other restaurant in the Meribel valley, it’s a superb spot to settle in for the afternoon. A family affair with Charles, Tracey and their 4 fantastic children, it starts off with a civilised magnum of rose, knattering and lapping up the afternoon sun on the terrace. Everyone orders their favourites – steak, tartiflette, brochettes, flambeed gambas – and tucks in!
After a good feed and plenty of rose, the singing and dancing on the terrace begins – normally lead by 9yr old Sonali, the best mover on the mountain. Perhaps even a spot of paragliding – watching Tom Mayne circling above us after long lunch was possibly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. As soon as the puddings are finished Charles promptly orders the traditional and essential round of Irish coffees. By the time the first round is finished then the second is already on its way! Top this all off with a round of Genepi, skis on and off we go – a bee line to the Ronnie!
After bottles of toffee, more singing, more dancing at the Ronnie we are carted off in the van by a sober member of the team and taken back to the chalets. We always ask the staff to erase this afternoon and antics from memory and the next day we’re back to being responsible bosses again!
Thank you so much to Charles and the rest of the Balch’s for making this day so special for us and all the team.