Well, as I sit here and watch the rain pour down on a typical cold, grey English June day, I certainly am… But not of a sun-drenched beach – instead I am dreaming of a snowy, but sunny, mountain. Why? Well, because my nephew Alastair and and his wife, Kathryn, have just ‘gone live’ with their winter chalet holidays in the glorious French Alps – and because they are offering their guests allergen-free meals!
Yes, I know that most of you will be thinking sun rather than snow, but, knowing how far ahead you need to plan your holidays if you suffer from a food allergy/intolerance, you cannot start think about it too soon! Moreover, if skiing is your passion and you are either dairy or gluten intolerant, you will know that a skiing village is about the worst place to be – baguettes, fondue, raclettes, Croque Monsieur, patisserie, hot chocolate…… All off the menu for you! So what would you not give for a ski resort which actually catered to your needs?
Both Al(astair) and Kat(hryn) – now known as AliKats! – are food and cooking mad. Better – Al lived here with us for several years before he got married so he is steeped in freefrom food and the exigencies of catering for those on restricted diets. Even better still, their very first chalet (they have worked for the last two seasons in other peoples’ chalets to learn the ropes) has got two kitchens so they can run a gluten/dairy free kitchen and a ‘normal’ kitchen. You interested?…. Kat is really excited by the challenge of creating as good allergen-free food as she does ‘normal’ food – and did some serious raiding of my cookery library before she left!
On the skiing front, their chalet is just outside Morzine (a really pretty mountain town with not a high rise in sight), less than an hour from Geneva airport (they will collect you) and with very easy access to the amazing Portes du Soleil skiing area around Avoriaz. Al is also a keen ‘backcountry’ skier so if you do not fancy those endless lift queues of screaming French school children (as you might guess I do not…) he will take you ski trecking in the truly beautiful countryside around Morzine.
The chalet itself looks delightful – as you can see, a real traditional, pitched roof Alpine chalet complete with hot tub and sauna to ease those aching muscles. There are lots of pictures on their website, so do take a look. Also on their site are prices, booking details, maps and all the other stuff you need to know. Check in to www.alikats.eu
And, before you ask – no, I am not on a percentage – although, unless you all book them out for the season, I am hoping for the odd weekend’s skiing before next Easter…..