The team at TVG take après ski seriously. Whether it’s local ales in Aspen or vin chaud in Val d’Isere we know that your experience at the snow is determined just as much by the time in the bar as on the slopes. We also know that, in terms of nightlife, Australian resorts have always been slightly in the shadow of their European or American rivals. We are happy to report that this is changing, fast.
Last weekend we donned our Drake’s beanie and headed down to Thredbo, courtesy of G.H.Mumm. And I can safely say we were treated to one of the finest après ski experiences anyone could hope for at the snow.
Festivities kicked off on-piste, in the ethereal setting of a twenty person lunch inside an inflatable igloo with the crackle of fresh snow beneath our feet. Expertly hosted by Champagne Ambassador Chris Sheehy we were spoiled with a regional and seasonal degustation menu created by Citi Chef of the Year, Josh Lopez (previously of Noma fame) matched with Mumm wines. As Chris reminded us, meals focused around champagne are commonplace in France and it’s a practice we wholeheartedly support. From the moreish Cordon Rouge, to the crisp Blancs-de-Blancs and the complex 2002 Cuvee R Lalou each wine perfectly complemented the locally-sourced produce. The different styles of Mumm confirmed that champagne with food is so much more that oysters and caviar. This may also explain why food-obsessed Australia is G.H.Mumm’s largest and fastest growing export market in the world ahead of the USA, UK, Italy and Spain.
The evenings kicked off with three hours of high-energy entertainment from La Folie Douce a dance troupe of DJs and divas who create a unique mix of high-voltage, high-altitude, show stopping performances. La Folie Douce are regulars on the European ski circuit mixing top 40 tunes with snow-style cabaret and are just what Australian skiers have been waiting for. After a champagne soaked performance and a constantly full glass we were well prepared to carry on the night.
The ultimate hangover cure arrived at dawn in the form of Thredbo’s annual Top2Bottom race. It is a Le Mans start, so racers begin with their skis and boards in hand and run to launch line; they strap and click in for the fast paced blast to the bottom. Along the way they negotiate gates, straights and other racers. Fortunately, racers were welcomed at the bottom with a glass of G.H. Mumm.
We are pleased to see that Aussie après has well and truly grown up. Off-piste celebrations no longer involves just a quick pie and a sticky-floored nightclub. Skiers and snowboards heading to Thredbo can now expect haute-cuisines and high energy nights all washed down with an ice cold glass of bubbly.