Ski Holidays

Ski Life Stories: Alpine365, La Plagne, France

Continuing with our Ski life Stories series, which brings you the faces behind the places. Get to know the people who decided to risk it all and head for the mountains! This week we're in the Paradiski region of France, home to Alpine 365, the dream of Duncan and Toorna Salmon. Back in 2007, Toorna was an absolute beginner and had never skied! Fast forward fourteen years, with two daughters born and bred in the Savoie, the mountains are definitely the family home.

Duncan & Toorna Salmon, Alpine365

When I first had a conversation with my boyfriend, Duncan about ‘our dream jobs,’ little did I know that in 2 years’ time, we’d be married, giving up our marketing and advertising jobs in the UK and running a ski chalet in La Plagne! Although Duncan had skied since he was 8 and absolutely loved it, I’d never even been on a winter holiday in the mountains, let alone skied. My (Indian) mum was bewildered as to why anyone would want to go on holiday somewhere so cold! But I had always wanted to live in a different country, run my own business such as a B&B, and what better, than combining two passions and running a ski chalet?

We went on a chalet holiday in Les Arcs in 2007 to check that I enjoyed skiing in the first place! Luckily for us (and our relationship!), I fell in love with it – the skiing, the mountains, the views and the lifestyle. On the last day of the holiday, Duncan proposed on the Grizzli chairlift in Vallandry (thankfully not with the real ring!) and Alpine365 soon became a reality.

Montchavin and Les Coches in La Plagne are wonderful resorts – beautiful tree-lined skiing, really friendly, family-oriented and simply the best place to be located to ski both La Plagne and Les Arcs.

Blog1aWe were delighted when we found our first chalet in Les Coches, and after a hectic 6 months where we got married; spent our honeymoon on a ‘gourmet cooking course for chalets’ in glamorous Milton Keynes and set up a website and business in France, we finally moved to France in 2008.

The first year was tough – the financial crisis of 2008 hit, destroying the sterling-euro rate. Neither of us came from a cheffing background but we wanted to have first-hand experience in running the chalet ourselves. We were keen to serve the nicest food we possibly could, so we spent a lot of time stuck in the kitchen! In between guests, we were trying desperately to get bookings (many hours spent on Chalets Direct Solution Room!), our French was rudimentary – and of course, we didn’t get that much time on the slopes.

We quickly made the decision to get out of the kitchen ourselves and employ professional chefs with restaurant experience to look after our guests, and over the years we’ve had the pleasure of working with chefs that have worked under Michelin starred chefs or in prestigious hotels – one of them was even on Masterchef the Professionals!

13 years later, we live all year round in nearby Bourg St Maurice, with our 2 daughters, Tia and Lyra, both born and bred in France – true Savoyards! We have 6 chalets in Montchavin Les Coches and we have purposefully kept the number of chalets manageable so that Duncan and I can still pop in and visit our guests during the week, some of whom have been staying with us since we first started.

Covid has obviously been disastrous for the ski industry but bookings for next season are looking extremely promising. We’ll be ready to welcome guests again as soon as we can!


Keen to find out more? Check out Alpine 365 here!


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