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Ski and party


January 14, 2004
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St Anton, AustriaThe resort:

There’s nothing jet set about StAnton’s looks. At first glance it’s a large but traditional Tyrolean village, its pedestrianised high street flanked by wooden chalet-style hotels, cafés, bars and boutiques.

The skiing:

St Anton is one of the worlds greatest ski spots. Among 200 miles of runs there are bags of the white-knuckle stuff. StAnton’s red runs, they say, are the equivalent of blacks elsewhere. While it’s not the best resort for beginners, on the wider slopes of Rendl "beach" you can muster your courage with a glühwein or two.

The resort is part of the Arlberg area which includes exclusive St Christoph, high-rise Zürsand classy Lech, which was a favourite of Princess Diana and her young sons. Other fans include Prince Edward and Caroline of Monaco.

The social scene:

Après-ski, they’ll tell you, was invented here. The Krazy Kanguruh and the nearby Mooserwirt on the slopes are popular rivals – even before the lifts shut. More sedate is the tea-dancing at the Postkeller, then there's a warm welcome at the more casual Tom Dooley, and live music later at the Drop Inn and Pinocchio.

Courchevel, FranceThe resort:

Très chic, très cher, très snob describes France’s most fashionable resort, put on the map by Brigitte Bardot and Giscard d’Estaing. It extends over four villages, 1850, 1650, 1550 – the numbers denote height in metres – and Le Praz. The place to be seen is 1850, preferably in one of the luxury hotels such as the Byblos where they’ll even put slippers on your feet when you take off your ski boots.

The skiing:

The extensive pistes of the Trois Vallées circuit make this an excellent choice for all levels of expertise. Whizz over toMéribel for lunch, take a quickie up to Les Menuires or Val Thorens and still get back to Courchevel for a superb - if pricey - dinner.

The social scene:

Down pink champagne in the Byblos bar before deciding where to dine. Gofor the La Saulire restaurant if you like fondue,the Michelin-starred Chabichou or Le BateauIvre for refined cuisine. If you fancy Lebanese, check out the Byblos. For post-prandial drinks, head for La Mangeoire. Then La Grange, the best club, will keep you up until 4am.

REPORT: TOBY DANOS

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The Tyrolean village of St Anton nestles amid 200 miles of ski runs and, according to locals, is the birthplace of après ski
Courcheval is France's most fashionable resort, and one of its most glamorous hotels is the chic Byblos

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