One of the joys of skiing in Europe is, I’m told, the excellent food and the après-ski. The amount of time skiing versus the time scoffing and quaffing can be quite telling. I thought maybe the food in Winter Park ski village might be more fuel than fine dining: would it be fries with everything?
From our short visit I can report that there is a definite move towards more variety and improved quality of catering. I couldn’t try all the eateries for you but the provision in the village and on the mountain is good and, of course, the town of Winter Park is only a few minutes away where you can have the pick of a number of restaurants including a sushi bar.
We began each morning with a bit of a fry-up, I have to admit, but the offerings at the Coffee & Tea Market were far more enticing than its name suggests. A breakfast sandwich of scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese was encased in a heavenly croissant and we supped our lattes whilst drooling over a counter of dreamy pastries and cakes. On our final morning we tried Goody’s, which provides an American twist on an alpine creperie. It’s a great choice for a morning feed: plenty of savoury crepes, French toast and good coffee.
Our lunchtimes were always spent on the mountain as we were receiving full-day lessons from the Ski & Ride School. Nestled in the Discovery Park, Snoasis was functional but with plenty of counters serving soup, salads, pizzas and fried chicken, it made for a quick pit-stop and the perfect sunny place to watch other more advanced skiers tackle nearby runs.
Après-ski options are ubiquitous on and off the mountain; several establishments providing that well-earned winter warmer. Keep an eye out for ‘Onesie Wednesday’ at the Coffee & Tea Market: half price alcohol for anyone wearing a retro all-in-one ski suit.
Evenings were quiet in the village but we were visiting mid-week and out of holiday season. Nevertheless we soon had a favourite place to eat, courtesy of newly-opened Vertical. Sharing plates of carpaccio, meatballs or baked brie, mains of 12oz New York Strip steak and Colorado lamb, and desserts including the pyramid of chocolate (see photo above) and churros – it was all top quality with excellent service too. Dougie was beside himself as we happened to be there on Whisky Wednesday (it all happens on Wednesdays in Winter Park, apparently)
Another great find was Lime, an American Cantina, where we had a super Mexican meal in a relaxed, lively atmosphere. They have a large Margarita menu and, being thirsty but unsure which of those on offer would be served in a small cocktail glass, I asked the server for a large one. He suggested the Mighty Margarita and Dougie shook his head once he realised what I had ordered.
“You do know you’re going to get a pint of it?” he asked. He was right. My 21oz margarita was swiftly served and slowly consumed – before I had to negotiate getting off a bar stool gracefully and heading home.
It’s difficult to appreciate the scale but this was indeed a
mighty margarita: that was a big plate of tortilla chips alongside.
Other posts about our trip to Colorado: