FEATURE GLITTERATTI Charles and Diana gave skiing its biggest publicity boost in the 70s and 80s with their annual forays to Klosters, Switzerland, and later Lech in Austria. Klosters adjoins the mountain city of Davos which stages the world’s financial summit in January and surprise surprise, many of the world leaders including our own Chancellor Osborne and Mayor Boris Johnson sloped off to do the black Weissfluhjoch run, as steep and deep as their cuts! Switzerland still attracts Porsche and fur coat A-listers and if you ever wondered, there is a Prada store here. Switzerland’s most famous party resort Verbier has always reeked wealth, mainly because of London and Frankfurt bankers invading for bonus-burning weekends. Now the Russians have taken over and the famous Brit-owned Farm Club charges 50 Swiss Francs for a glass of champagne. Hordes of minor European royals and motor racing drivers such as the late great James
Hunt, Gerhard Berger, David Coulthard and others, whizz down the steep and deep slopes of Mont Fort. David Bowie once partied here and lately Prince Harry added to the hotspot’s Hall of Fame after rubbing shoulders with the Made in Chelsea crew and chanteuse Pixie Lott. France also boasts incredibly glitzy resorts and après ski, none ritzier than Courchevel, which has more 5 star hotels than the Riviera’s biggest resorts. In the famous Le Chabichou resort hotel in Courchevel, France’s most famous chef, Michel Rochedy played down his celebrity guests saying the most important people who stayed there were President Giscard and our own Margaret Thatcher. That said there’s a 20 yard walk down the hall to Chabichou’s €500-a-head restaurant and all lined with photos of the famous stars who’ve dined there, including Brigitte Bardot, Billie Holiday and Elton John. The list could fill a celebrity who’s who.
Austria too has its fair share of celeb hideaways, such as the tiny hamlet of Zürs, high in the Arlberg where all hotels are 5 or 4 star. I remember asking at the delightful Alpenhof hotel for the most important person who stayed there and was told: “After the Queen of England it was Chancellor Kohl.” Another Zürs regular is the ski world’s famous couturier Willy Bogner, the world’s best action film photographer, having shot all the action scenes in the James Bond movies.
BELOW PHOTOS: (Row 1) Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart go to Jackson Hole; Aspen regulars Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn; Terminator Arnie in Sun Valley... before breaking his leg; (Row 2) Help! It’s The Beatles in Obertauern, Austria @thebeatles; Made In Chelsea in Verbier @E4Chelsea; Victoria Beckham in Courchevel (Row 3) Boris slopes off from work for a beer in Davos; President Putin - built Sochi for himself!
Glitz and Glam
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