Alpe d'Huez Apres Ski Report
13rd January 2011
It has been a debauched week in resort so far, with over 200 Irish students descending on Saturday. As a result the bars have been overflowing and energetic.
My lovely girlfriend is also in resort this week, which is always a great excuse to get together a group and head down to Fondue en Folie who boast serving ‘The Greatest Fondue in the World'. They have had a change of chef this season, but I am delighted to confirm that their blue cheese fondue is as ambrosial as in previous years. As usual we ate far too much, so attempted to shrink our cheese bellies with my first grolle of the season. The recipe for this hot digestif is a closed-guarded secret and varies from restaurant to restaurant, but includes coffee, eau de vie and lemon juice served it a multi-spouted wooden pot. Odd as it may sound, a grolle is always a delicious and cordial way to end a traditional Savoie feast. My elegant and graceful girlfriend spilled a large quantity down her jumper.
Sphere Bar have been exploiting the good weather and putting on après bands every afternoon at four while offering deals on jugs and shots to help you unwind on their terrace. Underground has also been attracting the après crowd with their enormous suntrap of a terrace above the bar. Alpe D'Huez is always a great place to be when the sun shines.
On Tuesday Smithy's Tavern held a “Luck of the Irish” night for the benefit of the visiting Celtic hoards. Visitors were treated to a new shooter, the attractively named ‘Lumpy Irishman', while DJ Northey pumped out tunes from Flogging Molly, The Pogues and … B*witched. The girlfriend abandoned me to try out Le Pub, the bar that replaces the restaurant above nightclub Les Caves. She reports that the atmosphere was brilliant, the barmen wildly convivial and the music ‘miles better than the usual rubbish'. I was also instructed to keep an eye out for the hidden gnomes and trains running around the walls (I think she drank a little too much Jagermeister…).
Last night was O'Sharky's grand re-opening after their refurbishment and also barman Jimmy's birthday, so the atmosphere inside was positively riotous. The crowds were entertained by an Irish trio from Lyon playing jigs and covers, while the charming bar staff kept the Guinness and Kilkenny flowing. Co-owner Ant was also inexplicably staging a juggling display at one end of the bar, but we were suitable impressed by his skills. We eventually rolled out and down the hill to Igloo where the ‘sexy show' was in full swing to the gawping delight of our visiting students.
Tonight in resort it's music night, with Bluefunkt playing in Smithy's, Muntfinger in Underground and even rumours of a possible local duo delighting the cords in Sphere. Igloo then has a guest DJ playing until the small hours. Bluefunkt are a popular Alpine rock-covers band that always delivers a boisterous performance to delight the table dancing throngs in Smithy's Tavern. Muntfinger are playing a season exclusive in Underground, as they are this year resident in the UK winter. If you like your rock music spandex-clad, swaggering and frenzied then you simply shouldn't miss them – I certainly won't be.
Next week is the 14th annual Comedy Film Festival which will be holding it's celebrations at the Palais des Sport. Rumours that Johnny Depp will be attending always fly round resort at this time of year, but it never transpires. Who knows, maybe this time! On Sunday French DJ's Kapich and Nepy will be playing at Smithy's and later in the week Local acoustic guitar phenomenon Pee-Wee will hopefully be dusting off this guitar for a song or two at Pacific and Smithy's Tavern is holding an iPod Battle on Tuesday night where the different tour operators and companies will be fighting it out for a huge prize by entertaining the crowds. Roll out the red carpet and get ready for another great week.
Remember, we're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time!