For a more traditional ski resort I adore Klosters. This charming little town is undeniably posh, but equally friendly and discreet. Just look who goes there. Prince Charles and sons William and Harry can ski there without attracting paparazzi. Carole Thatcher lives there with her ski instructor chap. Socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson is a regular.
The welcoming residents of Klosters opened their homes and hearts last season to the Skiing with Heroes charity (www.skiingwithheroes.com) which took a group of injured British ex-servicemen and women seriously disabled from conflict, illness or accidents. Tara skied with them and they were introduced to Prince Charles.
Klosters, homely little sister to glitzy Davos down the valley, is protective of its royal visitors. It is not flash with bling, furs and soulless accommodation. Old money, family run hotels, cosy restaurants and comfortable chalets are its trademark. And good service. Andrist Sport kitted us all out with skis, boards, boots and helmets with immense patience, and didn’t even complain about broken and lost poles.
Après ski is more subdued here than most ski resorts. Aperitifs and a gentle game of ten-pin bowling – my strike puts my bowling above my skiing – at Chesa Grishuna is followed by a superb dinner at the Silvetta Hotel.
Courses of salmon with mango and wasabi, pomegranate sorbet, roasted beef fillet with red wine shallots, chocolate timbale with rum sauce call for some serious skiing the next day to deserve lunch.
And superb skiing is what Klosters offers: forested glades, challenging off-piste, deep powder plus beautifully groomed pistes for the less adventurous.
We caught the Gotschna cable car from the village at of 1,124m to the Gotschnagrat at 2,285m. Over the ridge lies the Parsenn, a wide expanse of mountain which offers powder heaven and with skiers thin on the ground in early season. Comfortable red runs, under the watchful guidance of instructor Jo, flattered the most uncertain skiers.
We celebrated a great morning’s ski with more diet-busting food: pigling ragout with potatoes, zucchini and carrots at the Schwendi mountain restaurant.
The following day we took a short bus ride from Klosters along the valley to the Madrisa, a separate mountain covered by the same lift pass. Its south-facing slopes are a joy for sunny day skiing, with family-friendly wide-open blue runs and easy reds.
After a day on the slopes I was happy to wallow in the wellness centre of my wonderful Hotel Vereina Its Aquareina Spa boasts a pool with a view, saunas, thermal baths, heated stone loungers, fluffy towels and a rock-lined waterway to explore. Bliss with knobs on.
For more information on Klosters visit: www.klosters.ch. Return flights to Zurich with national and budget airlines. Swiss Rail Pass: www.swiss-pass.ch. Swiss Tourist Board: visit www.myswitzerland.com.