Chamonix Apres Ski ReportThis week we've had stand-up comedy, live music & far too much to drink
21st March 2012
It seems like we've had the best of everything this week in Chamonix; glorious sunshine, fresh powder, St Patrick's Day madness and some great nights out.
Last week was the hottest of the season so far with temperatures reaching 29c up at Brevent. One word. Deckchairs. When it's that hot and sunny you are perfectly entitled to use slushy snow as an excuse to hit the apres early; claim your table somewhere sunny, such as Elevation or Le Vagabond and start ordering in the rosé/beers until it gets chilly at about 7pm.
Last Thursday saw a massive night going down at Le Vert with an appearance from international superstar DJ Krafty Kuts, alongside Soul of Man and local favourites R.I.A. and G-Funk. It was the Vert's 6th birthday and they smashed it with funk, hip hop, breaks, drum & bass, general awesomeness... the Vert always know how to throw a good party but this one was off the scale. Check out this video from James Iszatt for a taster of what went down and visit the Vert Facebook page for a heads up on what's happening soon, such as tonight's fancy dress party.
You never realise how many Irish people you know until St Patrick's Day rolls around. It turns out Chamonix is full of them, or people who are vaguely related to an Irish person, or have been to Dublin once, or have a dog called Murphy... either way, everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon and start consuming copious amounts of Guinness whilst wearing a silly hat. Munster Bar in Chamonix Sud naturally cornered the market this year - with live music and a BBQ it was packed to the rafters with people dancing on every available surface, including the bar. The night started with a double bill of 6 Nations rugby, Wales v France followed by England v Ireland, so by the time the party started everyone was already in high spirits. All the bars and pubs had live music playing and people were spilling out onto the streets and wandering from one to the next, making for a great festival atmosphere. Most places had a late license so the revelry carried on into the small hours, making Sunday a strangely quiet day on the ski slopes...
It was lucky that the hangover only lasted 24 hours as Monday was a night not to be missed at the Jekyll. Every Monday is Comedy Night and they always get acts that are well worth the 10€ entry fee but this Monday was sold out way in advance due to the appearance of none other than Rufus Hound. The Jekyll is a traditional pub and has no stage so the comedians just stand in the corner of the room with the audience literally under their noses; way more up close and personal than many of them are probably used to but it makes for a great atmosphere. Keep an eye on the Jekyll Facebook page for details of upcoming acts.
It was a friend's birthday this week so we made a return visit to the Ghandi restaurant in Les Houches, as she had heard good things about it but had not yet tried it. Once again we had a great meal; we shared a mixture of starters and I tried the Jhinga Fry (prawns in a spicy tomato sauce), Aloo Palik (creamy potato and spinach) and the onion bhajees. Continuing the prawn theme from my earlier visit, this time I ventured into the realms of the vindaloo. Although I like a bit of heat from my curry I don't enjoy them so hot that they blow your head off, so I have always regarded vindaloo with a certain amount of fear. This one was perfect though - big juicy prawns, rich tomatoey sauce and enough heat to make my mouth tingle but not burn. Be warned that curries in France never seem to be as fierce as those served in the UK so if you like them super-hot you should ask when ordering for extra chilli.
The long awaited fresh snow has finally arrived so I'm trying to avoid too many late nights so as not to scupper early starts on the hill. Good intentions and all that. The sunny weather of late has been beautiful but it's nice to have winter back, it is only March after all! To get back in the winter mood after a day in the powder I recommend calling in to Le Lapin Agile (opposite Mcdonalds) for one of their so-thick-you-could-stand-your-spoon-up-in-it hot chocolates and a plate of free nibbles.
Coming up this week we seem to have gone all Butlins-retro-style entertainment with the Miss Jacuzzi 2012 contest up at La Chavanne on the Flegere slopes this Thursday. I won't be entering (despite overwhelming public demand) but I could be missing out on a trick as prizes include a holiday in Normandy, parapente flights, lunch in a mountain restaurant and free drinks in an array of Chamonix bars. If whipping off your thermals and jumping in a bath at 2000m isn't your cup of tea then you can still join in the party with DJ Phillipe Garner of Le Choucas who will be commanding the wheels of steel from the comfort of the bar.
It's one for the ladies this evening with the Chamonix Girls' Zone party at Le Vert. 15€ will get you a three course meal and a caraffe of wine, followed by a superheroes fancy dress party with music from DJ R.I.A and Mollie. There will be prizes up for grabs including a DC snowboard, a tattoo voucher and Winter Sessions tickets. If you're not interested in the meal you can rock up after 10pm for the party and guys are allowed to join in the fun after 11pm, providing they make the effort and dress up too!
Other than that, there's the usual array of fun to be had, check out our What's On Calendar to find out where to head for live music and good times.