ALARM!! Bright and early the staff alarm goes off. Here at DM our staff live out. They are only a stone's throw away just up the road in Impasse des Pins Cembro. The small dedicated Delicious Mountain team all live together in their own dedicated accommodation. Some of the advantages of staff living out:
Once the staff are up, dressed and ready to go they take a small three minute stroll to the chalets.
The staff driver heads off to collect freshly baked bread. We have two different types of bread here: Baguettes which are used at breakfast and a “Tradition” which is used at dinner. We get both of these fresh from our favourite local bakery: Boulangerie Le Village des Pains which is located just down the road in Meribel Village.
Staff arrive in the chalet and first on is the croissants and pastries. As a staple diet in the French Alps, no breakfast at Delicious Mountain is complete without freshly baked in house croissants and Pain au chocolat. They are cooked to perfection at exactly 140°C for 40 minutes. The freshly baked pastries release an incredible aroma which fills the chalet like a traditional French boulangerie.
We mustn't forget the coffee though. For an espresso here at Delicious Mountain we use a 100% Arabica single origin Sumatran coffee from Mandheling. These beans are handpicked, semi-washed and partly sundried. The remaining drying process continues as they move down the mountain to the port. This journey can take up to two weeks. This allows the beans to develop a chocolaty, spicy flavour.
For longer coffee’s we use a Monsooned Indian Cherry-AB robusta. During the Monsoon season the unwashed coffee beans are spread in layers around 6 inches thick to expose them to monsoon winds saturated with moisture. To prevent the beans from actually getting wet brick-floored warehouses with open walls on the coast of Western India are used. Processors rake the beans regularly so they absorb the moisture from the air evenly. The whole process takes around 14 weeks.
The Chef begins to prepare daily hot breakfast. This changes from day to day. Some of the more interesting dishes we serve are kedgeree and shakshuka as well as old favourites like pancakes or bacon and sausages. We use from bacon sourced from a local (but run by an English chap) butchers based in the town of Bozel down the valley. If you are lucky he may have made some English sausages that week and they will be in the pan too!
The host lays out the amazing continental breakfast of fresh fruit, homemade overnight oats, cereals, croissants and of course our delicious yoghurt pots made fresh each morning.
Our Delicious Mountain yoghurt pots are very popular whether it’s on top of your morning granola or to have after your croissant. They are made with natural yoghurt with a compote of passion fruit, mixed berry or lemon curd.
Another feature of our continental breakfast is our variety of homemade jams. All of these are made from scratch by Harry during the summer. We have flavours such as cherry and kiwi. Of course we also have our home made seville orange marmalade which you can make yourself at home with this recipe.
Whilst the smell of croissants, coffee and bacon draws guests from their room for an 8am breakfast the host heads down to complete some laundry, washing and drying tea towels, clothes and bathrobes.
At this point the host also conducts hot tub cleaning. They check to ensure the water is clear and topped up to the correct level. They also dip test the water to check the chlorine and ph levels and adjust accordingly. We love our chalet hot tubs, they are a great after ski retreat or pre canapé beverage and so ensuring they are maintained to a very high standard is a top priority for our staff.
Every morning the host updates the in-chalet weather board with today's forecast. We use a range of forecasts to form an an accurate amalgamated forecast from variety of sources that we have found to be the most comprehensive over time.
Guests come down from their rooms for breakfast and morning coffee together. From 8am both our chef and hosts take orders for hot options.
During breakfast the chef and host make sure they are on hand for any Mountain Restaurant Lunch bookings. Some of our favourites are the Cave De Creux in Courchevel which is great for the whole family to ski to. Alternatively if the group wishes to soak up the views we like Le Clos Bernard which is even accessible non skiers.
The Delicious Mountains team is also on hand to give you their take on the weather forecast, piste of the day or the best apres recommendations such as the famous ‘Ronnie’.
While the Chef and a host waits on the guests while the other host heads off to carry out the daily clean of the rooms and communal areas. A daily clean at Delicious Mountain includes everything from hoovering and dusting communal areas to making beds and cleaning bathrooms. Not forgetting to plump up those sofa cushions in the cinema rooms.
Its time for the driver load the skis in the DM minibus ready for the first trip to the slopes. While the gear is being loaded the guests can get their in house DM mountain snack bags (A select mix of yoghurt and chocolate covered peanuts and raisins which are great for a quick snack on the lift). Not forgetting putting on last minute sunscreen.
Our on call driver service is there to take you to and from the slopes in the morning and afternoon. Whether that is to catch the first lift or collect you from Apres to be back in time for dinner. It is just a short drive to La Chaudanne to start your day where you can access lifts to Courchevel, Les Menuires and Meribel Motarett.
Whilst the guests head to the slopes and the chef clears away breakfast. With breakfast put away it is the perfect time to get the afternoon tea cakes in the oven. All our afternoon tea delights are made in house. We have sweet favourites such as chocolate brownies or lemon and pistachio shortbread and also savoury options like sausage rolls and focaccia. Both a savoury and sweet option is prepared daily for the guests to enjoy with a hot cup of tea when returning from a day on the slopes.
Once a week the staff head out shopping. With the chalet clean and the cake out the oven, the staff take a trip down the valley to Albertville for the weekly chalet shop. They select the best fresh vegetables and fruit as well as meat and fish ready for the week ahead. The weekly shop allows us to cater for all our guests dietary requirements whether its extra vegetarian dishes or gluten free cake ingredients.
After packing away the shopping away the hosts do a second cleaning check of the chalet. This is done by a different person so they pick up anything that might have been missed by the first person.
Our hosts collect the hand picked dinner wine from our cellar cupboard.
We have gone to the wine producers directly in search of the perfect wine selection for our guests. We have visited their wineries and vineyards during the summer months to source the perfect complements for our famous chalet catering.
While the hosts get the wine the chef lays out afternoon tea ready for the guests to return.
Around 11:00 the Delicious Mountain staff leave the chalet to head back to the staff accommodation. They may then head off to the slopes for an afternoon of roaming around the Three Valleys. The only day this changes is a Wednesday which is our staff day off.
After a few hours of skiing the staff return to the chalet to prepare for guests returning and begin dinner preparations.
First things first: get the kettle’s boiling and the ice bucket filled for those after ski drinks. Our Guests can help themselves to a selection of coffee’s and Tea’s as well as an unlimited supply of house wine, beer, spirits and mixers during their stay. Because of this it is important for the host the keep on top of the drinks levels and make sure there is always something cold in the fridge for the guests return.
The Chef sets about dinner preparation and tonight on the menu is our favourite; a warm griddled pear salad to start, duck and red wine jus for main and an apple terrine for dessert. Chopping pears for griddling and mixing vegetables with red wine and spices for a rich and velvety jus to accompany the duck.
The host lights the fire. While the guests are at apres or heading back to enjoy a dip in the hot tub, our hosts ensure there is always a roaring fire to enjoy prior and during canapés.
Whilst dinner is cooking the host clears away afternoon tea and sets the table for this evenings meal.
We have a very traditional place setting here at DM. Everything from red and white wine glasses to soup spoons and dessert cutlery has been carefully selected and laid out. Here at Delicious Mountain we consider every detail when it comes to a table setting and we take great pride in delivering a first rate table service.
The driver collects the last guests from Apres ski, whether that is at The Rond Point, LDV (Lodge Du Village) or Jacks. As the last guests return the hosts ensure everyone has a glass of something to drink and that they are all settled and ready for canapés at 19.15.
As guests take their seats at the table the host introduces this evenings wine choice including its vineyard location, grape variety and even its biodiversity properties. The chef then introduces the menu for the evening.
Whilst the guests are enjoying their first course of the evening, the host heads down to make sure the hot tub drinks are topped up ready for the next day. With the use of an outdoor hot tub drinks cooler, it allows us to perfectly place a selection of drinks for the guests to enjoy from the comfort of the hot tub without having to head upstairs to the fridge. Plastic glasses are available for use in the hot tub.
After the guests have enjoyed their dessert and a good catch on the days events over dinner, the host lays a hand picked variety of cheese by the fire. This is accompanied with a specially selected port and of course after dinner coffees. Everything from locally sourced Beaufort (from a town close to Meribel, similar to cheddar) to melted Mont Dor (made in a ski resort in Northern france similar to camembert) is served throughout the week. This is accompanied with bread, crackers and fresh fruit and nuts.
After a clean of the kitchen including the cooker, hob and floor and dining room, the host lays out the cereals and fruit for tomorrow’s breakfast.
Just before departing the host asks the guests if there is anything else we can help them with. Sometimes this is a great opportunity for the staff to head into town and catch up with friends over a beer or game of pool, whether that is in The Taverne, O'sullivans or The Den.
Guests settle in for the night.