Après-ski à la Française

by olivia hoffman
© Jerome Galland

Arguably one of the best parts of a ski holiday is not the actual skiing itself – but the après-ski. Translating literally to “after ski,” the après-ski is a ritualistic part of this winter experience that follows the athletic endeavor. Since slopes tend to close around 4 or 5 p.m., there is plenty of time in the late afternoon to direct all of that adrenaline into another fabulous activity.


Originating in Norway in the 1950s, the tradition quickly traveled down to the French Alps and was swiftly embraced by a culture that loves any excuse to wine and dine. Needing a name for such a celebration, the French coined the term après-ski.

Resorts around the world offer a form of après-ski that consists of warm drinks, boozy beverages, and hearty food to help skiers wind down after a long day on the mountain. But the wonderful thing about après-ski is that you don’t even need to ski in order to join in on the fun! Spa-goers are just as welcome as ski-bunnies.

To fully embrace the après-ski tradition à la française, we break down the necessities on what to wear, drink, and eat so that whether you are in Chamonix or Park City you make the most of this Alpine ritual.

What to Wear

Since après-ski typically follows a day on the slopes, most people arrive bundled up in their snowsuits. But just because it is practical does not mean it can’t also be fashionable! A warm down coat is the best way to make a statement as you walk into the party. Jackets and coats from the stylish French ski brand Aigle all flawlessly imbue style with comfort.

When the jacket comes off, a cozy sweater will feel perfect up against a crackling fireplace. The French cool-girl brand Sézane has plenty of sweater options that look like they were made to be worn in the Alps.

Lastly, accessories make the whole outfit. A cute hat and stylish boots will make sure you are looking “chalet-chic” from head to toe. The French ski brand Rossignol has a vast selection of quality winter gear and accessory options to choose from. Top off the look with a patterned, handwoven scarf from artisan French brand Létol available on the MFCH Boutique.

What to Drink

The most traditional winter drink for an après-ski is vin chaud (mulled wine). All around France, and particularly in the mountainous regions, vin chaud is the drink of choice for snow athletes and non-skiers alike. Red wine heated with cinnamon spices and orange slices makes for a wonderfully cozy drink. You can check out this mulled wine kit available on Amazon to get a taste of the French chalet in your home!

If you would rather opt for a crisp drink, another satisfying après-ski beverage is an Aperol Spritz. The simple cocktail made with prosecco, sparkling water, and Aperol –  a bittersweet liqueur –  is enjoyed throughout the year in Europe and is sure to transport your taste buds to the Alps when enjoyed in winter.

What to Eat

After burning so many calories out on the slopes, après-ski is the time to refuel. What better than a hearty plate of cured meat and melted cheese? The most traditional Alpine winter dish is, without a doubt, fondue. A piping hot pot of melted cheese paired with a charcuterie board makes for a most satisfying meal on a chilly afternoon.

For a more substantial meal, raclette served with roasted potatoes is another delicious option. While fondue is typically only used for dipping bread, melted raclette can be spread over vegetables, meat, and potatoes.

Bring the fête de fromage to your kitchen with indulgent recipes by Louise Pickford in her latest book Fondue & Raclette. Five of her recipes are featured in the Jan/Feb edition of the magazine!

Whether you treat it as the end of a long day on the mountain or approach it as the start of a cozy evening by the fire, the après-ski is a winter delight for avid skiers and armchair admirers alike. So layer up the clothes, pour the libations, and warm up your insides with a decadent snack at the mountainside party of the season.

Read next: Sports d’Hiver Travel Posters

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting My French Country Home in this way as we provide recommendations to our favorite brands and products.

Related Articles

This Site Uses Cookies

Don’t be alarmed, we do not use or store your information. We are a French site and this is simply a regulation for the European Union to let you know that this website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Read More