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Fish and Pips Chalet La Ferme in Méribel Village: Ready meals take the hassle out of self-catering

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 23 March 2017

The living room in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

The living room in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

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EMMA BARTHOLOMEW tries out Fish and Pips’ hassle-free ready meals whilst skiing with her family, at a luxury chalet in Meribel Village

Meribel Vallee. Photo: Meribel Tourisme Meribel Vallee. Photo: Meribel Tourisme

Self-catering chalets give you the privacy and the freedom to do your own thing on a ski holiday– but slaving away at the stove to feed your family might feel like too much hard work after a hard day’s skiing.

Boutique chalet company, Fish and Pips, has recognised this and came up a unique idea I love. They offer their guests ready made meals.

I jumped at the chance to try them out on a skiing holiday with my children and our family friends at chalet La Ferme in Méribel Village.

While you’re out skiing, Fish and Pips’ trained chefs can whip you up a hearty supper, and leave it in the fridge along with heating instructions.

The view to the ski lift from La Ferme The view to the ski lift from La Ferme

Fish and Pips take food seriously, and even publish their own cookbook with all their best recipes.

Adam who was tasked with cooking for us has contributed some recipes of his own, and we were impressed with the gourmet twist he gives to home cooking.

His fish pie was served with a citrus green salad - a dressing to die for, and for which he generously shared the recipe. The heavenly Thai red curry came with a creamy coconut rice and crispy Asian salad. And we had an absolute feast on his veggie burritos.

Prices range from 35 to 45 Euro for four people, and 5Euro for each extra person. This is a bargain when you see the hair-raising price of food in the resort’s supermarkets, and to be honest you couldn’t make it any cheaper yourself.

The double bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) The double bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

The Fish and Pips bespoke experience means you’re not left entirely to your own devices.

We chose our meals before leaving the UK by filling out a simple online form, where you can also request ski hire, lessons, child-care, massages, and ski passes – meaning you’ll avoid the long queues in the lift pass office on your first day on the slopes.

A breakfast hamper ready and waiting for you means you don’t have to find a supermarket as soon as you arrive in resort, and

taking your pick from the wine and champagne list is a nice extra.

A double bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) A double bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

Fish and Pips pick properties for their prime location, and you can see the new high-speed Golf chair lift just the other side of the ski slope from our balcony at La Ferme.

The chalet which sleeps 10 has a rustic chic feel, and its open plan kitchen diner makes a perfect spot to eat together and perhaps even for long games of Monopoly.

The spacious three-story flat has three twin bedrooms, and four single beds tucked away at the top in the rafters – which the

kids nabbed as soon as we arrived.

The swimming pool in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) The swimming pool in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

Down in the basement meanwhile, there’s a stunning pool and sauna complex.

Méribel Village is a tranquil, hidden gem in the Three Valleys, a five-minute drive around to the busy town centre where you’ll

find the three main cable cars and the Ecole du Ski Français (ESF) base.

You can arrange a lift over in the mornings and back in the afternoons with the Fish and Pips jeep, and Adam made sure we got to our lessons on time each day.

A twin bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) A twin bedroom in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

He also took us over to Intersport in the main strip where we hired our skis – a seamless and super quick service with top notch equipment. You can swap the skis as many times during the hire period to take advantage of changing snow conditions.

For our friends who were total beginners, the trip back to Méribel village on skis, on a gentle green and blue run was perfectly taxing.

My daughter took lessons with ESF in the morning aiming to perfect her parallel turns to secure her troisième étoile.

With branches in all French resorts, there’s consistency here, and teaching is superb. Although she speaks French, her instructor spoke perfect English, and she was happy to be with other kids of her age.

The swimming pool in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) The swimming pool in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

Meanwhile my sons and I explored the extensive Méribel area. It would have been a waste of money for us to get the Three

Valleys pass, as we didn’t even make it to the furthermost reaches of the Mont de la Chambre during our seven day stint.

A week with Fish and Pips takes the hassle out of self-catering, and their attentive hosts in resort make sure you’re looked after every step of the way.

Ines with her ESF ski instructor Ines with her ESF ski instructor

A week with Fish and Pips in Chalet La Ferme for 10 people costs £2,450 at Easter on April 8 – a reduction of £350.

See fishandpips.co.uk.

Ski hire at Intersport costs from 8€ a day on average for adults and 5€ for children. You can save up to half by booking ahead online. See intersport-rent.fr/en/.

Intersport bi-weekly discount codes are released via facebook.com/intersportskifrance.

The loft mezzanine in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts) The loft mezzanine in La Ferme, Meribel. (Photo: Rich Roberts)

Ski lift passes start at 294€ for an adult for six days, 231€ for a child, and 231€ each for a family of four.

Children’s lessons with l’Ecole de Ski Français (ESF) cost 193€ for six half-day 2.5 hour lessons. See esf-meribel.com/.

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