In September 2017, 3 friends from Australia, we signed up with Jo Cresswell of France Walks for a 'walking and singing' séjour near Briançon in the French Hautes Alpes. We opted to stay not in the main site, but in an apartment in the separate 'Snowgums' gite hosted by Pippa Curtis and her daughter. What a wonderful surprise! The accommodation was spacious and comfortable in a beautifully restored traditional farmhouse. Pippa also accompanied - guided -several of our walking excursions and provided lively and informative local knowledge - and expertise as an experienced adventure tourism leader.
My comments in the visitor's book, among others were': Thank you for a lovely stay in your charming accommodation. You are a very welcoming host and we really appreciated the little touches you have added to the gite. We felt we were part of the village and of your family, the garden and all. It's a beautiful area and we will certainly be recommending staying with you.'
As well as walking or cycling in the warmer months, Briançon and the surrounding area offer skiing and other winter adventures. The local cuisine is delicious and Briançon is an historique and picturesque town well worth the visit. Italy is just across the border and the area is easily accessible from Oulx via Turin or Milan. Hope to return one day.
'Fabulous stay! Loved the trip to the spa at Monetier. Thanks Pippa for making everything so easy and being so generous with your local knowledge and time! …and what great accom! You have such a flair for decorating – a beautiful blend of traditional French and contemporary zest. Thanks so much for all your hospitality.
We came for just three nights - not nearly long enough to experience the wonders of the area (although we packed in what we could!). THANK YOU for the use of your wonderful house and also for your hospitality, not to mention your advice and tips. We had a lovely time at Pippa's quirky, homely place in the magnificent Hautes Alps. Our host was charm itself and gave us so many helpful tips to fully enjoy the area - it made it feel like a home from home. We loved it here and are already planning our return.
A fantastic area for hiking with a wonderful Spa 10 minutes away. We really enjoyed exploring the area and Pippa the owner is an inspirational woman. Every recommendation was 100% spot on, from the best place for lunch in Italy, to the best Bakers in town. Her knowledge of the mountains is second to none. We look forward to returning, maybe to ski next time. The Apartment has absolutely everything you need as well as being quirky, please take this comment in a positive way as the quirkiness adds to the whole brilliant ambience of Snowgums.
Thank you for hosting us during our one week holiday. We have thoroughly enjoyed learning to ski and coming back home each day to Snowgums - to play in the garden, heat up Nathalie's french cooking, watching videos and having cuddles with Luc, the tabby cat! The kids and we came back exhausted and happy every day!
Thank you Pippa for helping with childcare. Your help was invaluable and the three poppets loved your company.
This was a memorable holiday and importantly, the ESF Ski school catered well for all our needs as did "Outlands" the sports shop. The logistics around skiing was hassle free which is so important with little kids. We would highly recommend "Snowgums". And whilst we holidayed in the winter, I have no doubt the summer months are equally beautiful.
PS - The kids want to stay here, but today we drive home to Switzerland.