We all know the world’s best hangover cure is clipping on your skis and gliding through the nearest mint-fresh mountain scenery. Which is probably why mornings spent carving your way down blues or blacks are so guiltlessly followed by afternoons spent carving out a niche at the bar. Here are our favourite places to eat, drink and be rosy-cheeked in some of the finest ski resorts in the world.
Adelboden, the village-sized cluster of gingerbread-house wooden chalets that just so happens to preside over Switzerland’s most dramatic scenery, is also home to one of the world’s great ski-holiday hotels, the Cambrian. The hotel’s spa is legendary, but we’re sticklers for the laid-back atmosphere at its Axe Bar, too, which blends whimsical mountain-themed décor with awesome modern lighting. After an Adelboden-brewed craft beer or a few champagne cocktails, decamp to the Cambrian Restaurant for fresh fig and spinach salad, crispy belly of beer-fed pork with apricot and lavender relish, or tempura okras with tomato-olive bread sauce.
Nobody goes hungry after skiing in the Tyrolean Alps, especially not at Wieseralm, the modern log-built lodge at the summit of the Reiterkogel cable car, where bison steak, truffle spaghetti and hearty kasnocken (dumplings) are washed down with gutsy red wines and frothy Alpine beer. Valley views from the alm’s decking are the reason we put our ski boots on in the morning – and are even better when soundtracked by regular live music. When it’s time to hang up the ski poles, slalom or ride the cable car down into Hinterglemm, where your Finnish sauna or hot tub awaits at 14th-century sister property, Wiesergut.
Slope-set sister to the UK’s litter of Pig hotels, Portetta gets everything about its ski-in, ski-out setting right, from heart-warming vin chauds by the fire to regular gigs at the Fire & Ice bar, lit by flaming torches and decorated with cosy fur furnishings. Inside, the hotel’s lavish Cucina Angelina restaurant serves Savoyard and Italian specialties under cast-iron chandeliers. For some slightly more high-octane après-ski, pop down into the Méribel valley near the mid-station of the Saulire Express gondola for the wild afternoon parties at La Folie Douce.
Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in Telluride, but you won’t feel short-changed by the mountain that gives Jackson Hole, Aspen and Whistler a run for their money. Ski down to the mining-outpost old town for craft beers at the New Sheridan Hotel’s Historic Bar, then hang your salopettes at the cosy Dunton Town House, a mere five-minute stagger away. Refuel the next day at Bon Vivant, a palapa-style eatery at the top of the Polar Queen express lift, serving heart-warmers such as braised lamb shoulder (pair it with the Chateau Macquin Bordeaux) or French onion soup with mustard croutons and brûléed gruyère.
Taking its cues from North American ski lodges, the Lodge Bar is a glamour puss dressed in furs, leopard print and antlers, against a backdrop of bleached wood, muted forest hues and log tables. Stake out one of the ache-relieving Chesterfields inside, or snuggle under a chunky fur blanket on one of the outside seats and get yourself in the mood with champagne or frozen vodka shots. When it’s dinner time, the profusion of antlers begins to make sense: carnivores will delight at delicious slabs of perfectly cooked meat, including rib of Black Angus or Bavarian beef, fillet of Simmental beef, and choice cuts of lamb and veal.