Learning to ski and kicking back in a La Rosiere chalet isn’t the hardest thing to get used to. Samantha Baden hit the slopes for TNT.

I’m intercepted by chalet girl Rachel on the way to the kitchen carrying a just- used mug. “Stop, leave it right there,” she says. “You’re on holiday – that’s what we’re here for.” Delighted, I hand her my dirty cup and drift outside to the sun-trap balcony where I join the other 10 guests at my La Rosiere chalet. They’re busy drinking beer while staring out at the breathtaking snowy views over the stunning Tarentaise Valley. I pick up my first coldie of the holiday, settle into a comfy chair, kick back and think to myself, ‘I could get used to this’.

Beginner’s chalet

Having never stayed at a chalet before, it’s great to hear that the basic concept 
is to make yourself at home. My pad provides daily cooked breakfasts, afternoon tea and a three-course dinner – with as much wine as you can drink.

Hitting the slopes

Once kitted out with gear, I head for the ski area. As a complete beginner, I have a healthy serve of nerves, but I’m taking it easy with some lessons. La Rosiere boasts direct access to Espace San Bernado, which spans both France and Italy. It boasts a good snow record and has 150km of pisted runs, the longest of which is 11km. When I get back to the chalet later for afternoon tea, I find some of my fellow guests – experienced snowboarders – have impressively boarded into Italy for the day.

La Rosiere

Party on dude

The 10 of us settle down for dinner together and swap stories of the day’s adventures over red wine and delicious tartiflette. Later, we head to Willy´s Bar (accessible straight from the slopes) for après-ski, before moving onto the resort’s hotspot, Le Petit Danois, which is packed full of young holidaymakers and ski season workers. Some of our group then push on to late- night venue The Moo Bar to try their hand at being pole dancers, but I head home.

When I finally get back to the chalet, I lie awake for a few minutes looking forward to my next day on the slopes and a familiar thought pops into my head: I could get used to this.

Learn to ski

Everyone has to start somewhere and I got my skiing start while at La Rosiere.

Lesson plan

My French ski instructor Bruno begins by showing me how to put the skis on. Next he lets me get used to the sensation of sliding. Eventually we are side-stepping up a little hill and snowploughing down.

Enjoying it

As the hills get bigger so does my anxiety. “All the time I say to you, just relax,” Bruno advises, “you will enjoy it more if you relax.” He’s right.

Life’s a drag

It’s finally my moment to step forward and try the dreaded drag lift. The anticipation builds. I grab the bar and stick it between my legs. I fall in a heap. “Did I tell you to sit down?” a calm Bruno asks, helpfully. “Just lean on it, 
it’s not a chair.”

Essential information

WHEN TO GO: The winter season runs from mid-December to the end 
of April.
GETTING THERE: Fly from London to Geneva airport from where you can get a transfer to La Rosiere. Alternatively you can get a train from London St Pancras to Bourg St Maurice train station.
GETTING AROUND: You can walk or there’s a free ski bus to take you from your chalet to the ski area.
VISAS: South Africans need a Schengen visa.
CURRENCY: Euro. 1 GBP = 1.17 EUR.
LANGUAGE: French, but English is widely spoken.
GOING OUT: A beer costs £4.
ACCOMMODATION: A week in an apartment costs from £585 for five people sharing, while seven days in a chalet is £299.
GET MORE INFO: larosiere.net and burasnow.com

» Samantha Baden travelled to La Rosiere, France with Bura Snow (burasnow.com). Seven nights at the Bura Snow Chalet starts from £299pp and includes transfers, breakfast, afternoon tea, dinner and wine. Lift passes cost about £180 for six days.