‘The luxurious snugness of Consensio Chalets’ Chalet Blackcomb in the French resort of Val d’Isere is like a tractor beam,’ says Ted Thornhill There should be a word for it. That feeling you have in the mornings on a ski holiday when you’re desperate to hit the slopes, but are being held back by the cosiness of your accommodation. The luxurious snugness of Consensio Chalets’ five-bedroom Chalet Blackcomb in the world-class French resort of Val d’Isere is like a tractor beam. My room is a heavenly cocoon, with a divine king-sized bed, beautifully soft pillows, mini banquette, en suite with a walk-in rain shower augmented by classy black fittings and views of dramatic peaks. Escape this and there’s the lure of the 3,659-sq-ft property’s breath-taking living areas to overcome. Behold the ginormous open kitchen where guests can watch/chat with the hosts as they prepare meals either on stools at the kitchen island or from adjacent sofas. Then feel your limbs become heavier and heavier as they struggle to transport you away from the main living room, with its epic horseshoe-shaped sofa, beautiful cushions, fireplace and fairy-tale corner ‘book nook’, which has an armchair, rug and pillows. The spellbinding properties of the utterly gorgeous wooden panelling and vast beams, made from reclaimed old pine and spruce wood, generously smothered all over the chalet also play their part in slowing one’s exit, not to mention the stunning indoor pool. But exit one absolutely must, because Val d’Isere, which sits at an altitude of 1,850m and is linked to Tignes, is a ski station of eye-opening calibre and during my two-night January stay the snow is in tip-top condition. My very good Burton snowboard and boots are supplied by the Val d’Isere branch of the Oxygene Ski & Snowboard School, which comes to the Chalet Blackcomb boot room for the fitting. We’re chauffeured by the chalet in a VW van to the main junction, around a five-minute drive away and guided hither and thither by tremendous Oxygene ski guide Antoine Prieur, who’s fun, friendly and knows the slopes like the back of his hand. And those slopes are testing. ‘If you can ski in Val d’Isere you can ski anywhere,’ says Antoine, who explains that even the greens have steepish sections – and the blues are ‘dark blue’. There’s even a thrilling chairlift – Leissieres – which goes up and over a ridgeline in spectacular stomach-churning style. It’s a resort that gets the adrenalin pumping and for this reason Antoine loves it – and is keen to clock up some miles with our group over the two mornings he’s booked with us to show us what it has to offer. We’re of varying abilities, from confident beginners to veteran, so we stick to the greens and blues, with a couple of the more experienced skiers and I tackling what Antoine describes as a ‘very challenging red’ down to the resort, called ‘Plan’. We’re treated to magnificent views as we negotiate the cambered, twisty route. The ‘Leissieres’ chairlift isn’t far off for heart-thumping excitement, though. On day two we’re out in a snowfall that hampers visibility on bare terrain, so we make our acquaintance with the eye-catching tree-lined runs around the Daille gondola a couple of kilometres from the main village. And stop off at a welcoming restaurant for a coffee that has little baskets on the walls for gloves and helmets. Cunning. La Folie Douce Val d’Isère, located at the top of the Daille gondola, is an even more memorable pit-stop. What started off as a small self-service restaurant is now practically a mini resort, with gourmet restaurants indoors and out, jaw-dropping acrobatic displays and an outdoor bar where skiers and boarders dance on the tables to thumping dance music – and vocals from a man dressed in a silver cowboy outfit. It’s a few degrees below zero during our al fresco Folie Douce lunch, but the restaurant keeps the shivering to a minimum by giving us a set of amazing garments to cocoon ourselves in that are like sleeping bags with arms. Climbing inside them is a tad awkward, but warmth trumps dignity in this frigidity. Our other lunch stop is at La Grande Ourse restaurant by the main lift area where, unexpectedly, an impressive cover band wanders from table to table taking requests, their heavy French accents disappearing completely as they knock out songs by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.Foodwise, the tartiflette I have is as wonderfully comforting as the olde-worlde dark-wood décor. There are gourmet treats at the chalet, too, courtesy of charming hosts Henry Eldon and Mikkaila Mckeever-Willis, both professional chefs and both capable of elevated, inventive cooking. Their charcuterie sausage rolls are divine, their rabbit with wild mushrooms is heavenly and their charred pineapple with rum caramel inspired. We’re also offered smashed peas and concasse tomato on toast for breakfast, a refreshing creation that gets me out of my comfort zone as a pain au chocolat devotee in the mornings in France. One’s taste buds are also treated to some delicious drinks – Henry makes a mean espresso martini, the wines are very decent and the house Perrier-Jouet Champagne is ‘bottomless’ and readily available. Jump in the hot tub and it’s delivered to you ‘as a matter of course’. Maybe there should be a word for it – that feeling you get when you’re out on the mountain and don’t want to leave, but can’t resist the pull of a luxury lair, great food and Champagne.