On that note, we’ve come prepared.
Thanks to a generous baggage allowance, we’ve packed in plenty of food: a bottle of red wine wedged info a snowboard boot (alcohol is really expensive); teabags; hot chocolate; coffee; jars of pesto, jam, peanut butter and pasta sauce; olive oil; cheese; tins of sardines and baked beans; a packet of oats; snack bars – while these all helped to weigh down the bags, they make a big difference to our food bill!
We’d also been told we could do an online food order that would be delivered to us when we got to our apartment, and sure enough, within minutes of our arrival, a box with milk, bread and other essentials appear – fantastic! In fact, we soon realise everything’s impressively efficient, as our ski hire and lift passes are sorted out in a trice, too, just downstairs in the same building we’re staying in. That means there’s time for the kids to enjoy playing in the snow as it falls. And we do manage to keep our spending under control during the week, as we eat breakfast and dinner in our apartment, and sometimes lunch too, though we’re glad of the handy mountain cafes with sunny outside eating areas by the beginners’ slopes at times, too.
The Best Norvay Resorts for Easter Skiing Photo Gallery
PERFECT FOR KIDS
For the first few mornings, we hop on a free, five-minute shuttle bus up to the ski-school area for the girls’ lessons (Imogen has two ski holidays under her belt, Scarlett just one when she was old enough to ski). By the end of the week, we’re hopping on the button lift by the hotel to take us up the mountain, thanks partly to the lovely lifties, who happily slow down the lift and help the kids get on. The instructors are also friendly and fun and speak excellent English, and the beginners’ slopes are easily accessible, with fun props to ski through and around, themed with resort mascot Valle the snowman (a life-sized cuddly version can often also be seen skiing around the area and there are activities such as a treasure hunt on skis, a BBQ and an end-of-week ‘race’ which all involve Valle, too). The only slight downside to the lessons is that they last just an hour and a half, which for British parents on their only ski holiday of the year, doesn’t allow much time for skiing sans little ’uns. Got older kids? We’d recommend staying at the other Radisson Blu Resort further down the mountain: it boasts a bowling alley, wave machine and proximity to the snow park, plus another ski-school area.
Leaving my husband and kids sleeping, I manage to sneak out at 7am for the pre-breakfast Early Morning Skiing session midway through the week, which proves to be another unforgettable experience. I take a T-bar from beside the hotel the gives me access to a bunch of black runs served by a chairlift that’s also open early for the occasion. Cloudless blue skies mean chilly, -10°C temperatures when I set out, but I soon warm up as I blast down the empty corduroy runs! The temperature creeps up a little over the following hour and a half and the snow softens just a touch, m’-^m the conditions even more amazing, i suddenly realise I have cold teeth in m grinning as I ski! I then head to trie nearby Knettsetra mountain restaurant to warm up and fuel up with the buffet breakfast that’s part of the deal, and discover that, incredibly, just 15 of us had been on the slopes. Then it’s time to head back to rejoin the family as the rest of the lifts grind into action and the normal ski day begins.
The kids get more and more confident on their skis as the week goes on and, on the last day, we ski right to the other side of the resort, which we could do almost exclusively on lovely, quiet, gentle, tree-lined green runs. It’s quite an adventure, fuelled by plenty of snacks, and the girls have a great sense of achievement afterwards, seeing where they’ve been on the piste map…
We celebrate our accomplishment by heading back to our accommodation for a play in the indoor/outdoor pool and a soak in the outdoor hot tub with stunning mountain views (those staying at the Radisson Blu get a discount for the spa.
• Crystal Ski Holidays (crystalski.co.uk; 020 8610 3123) offers a week’s selfcatering at the four-star Radisson Blu Mountain Resort and Residences from £529pp when booked online (based on four sharing), including flights from Gatwick to Oslo and transfers. Direct flights available from all major UK airports.