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Our little black book of enchanting places


Snow fun for non-skiers

Posted in SPORTS & ACTIVITIES By Maggie O' Sullivan

Meditating on the ice in Swedish LaplandLove snow but don’t/won’t/can’t ski? Here are six ways to enjoy it this winter without risking life and limb.

Meditation and yoga in Swedish Lapland

Aurora Safari Camp by Degerselet Lake is holding two four-day retreats next year which will encompasses daily outdoor yoga and mediation sessions on the frozen lake, reflective periods of silence such as the group silent walk and a silent lunch, warm up sessions in the wood fired sauna and hot tub plus guidance on how to unwind, find an inner peace and focus on the inner self. 23-26 February and 23-26 March 2017. From £1,324 per person, including full-board accommodation at Aurora Safari Camp in authentic Sami lavvu rooms, yoga classes and equipment, mindfulness lectures and sauna and hot tub use. Yoga sleep retreatYoga sleep retreat in Gstaad, Switzerland

You don't even have to go outside to enjoy this sleep-enducing retreat: you’ll be in the Six Senses Spa at the Alpina Gstaad learning how to achieve a deep state of relaxation by combining yoga nidra, which unwinds the nervous system with gentle stretching yoga poses, and pranayama (breath regulation). After a selection of relaxing and energy balancing treatments, you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep. 8 December to 19 March 2017. Three nights’ accommodation from CHF3,350, including treatments.Chocolate at the Rosa AlpinaGorge on Criollo chocolate at Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, San Cassiano, Italian Dolomites

Criollo is the rarest and finest type of cocoa bean and on this three-night Chocolat! package you will discover what Rosa Alpina calls ‘the pure elegance of the finest chocolate’. There’s an afternoon chocolate cooking class with the hotel’s Pastry Chef Andrea Tortora and chocolate treatment in the spa which includes a scrub with sugar-cocoa and orange peel and a chocolate massage. It’s not all chocolate: included in the price is dinner for two in the hotel’s two-Michelin star St Hubertus restaurant. Until 17 December. From €1,145 based on two sharing. Top of the Mountain concert in IshglRock out in Ishgl, Austria

The Tirolean resort of Ishgl is known not just for its skiing but for the A-list performers and bands who play its Top of the Mountain concerts held at the start of the season, at Easter and at the end of the season. Elton John, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pink and Robbie Williams have all played Ishgl in the past. This year German band PUR will open the season on 26 November; the line up for the end-of-season concert will be announced shortly. Free to all with a valid ski pass (from €65).Snow Sculpture Festival, BreckenridgeIce-carving in Breckenridge, Colorado, US

Never really mastered carve turns? A different sort of carving altogether is on offer at Breckenridge’s legendary annual Snow Sculpture Festival, though note that making a snowman will never be quite the same again. The best time to go is the week before the festival opens as that’s when you can watch the teams from all over the world carving their sculptures out of massive blocks of ice. Sculpting Week is 24-28 January 2017; Viewing Week, 28 January-5 February, with an awards ceremony on 29 January 2017.Apres-Ski cocktail Classic, AspenCocktails in Aspen, Colorado, US

Still in Colorado, this four-day Après-Ski Cocktail Classic features a slopeside Grand Tasting Village, pop-up bars, cocktail demonstrations by award winning mixologists, cocktail-paired dinners and special on-mountain events, ending with The Great Après-ski Pub Crawl round 13 of Aspen’s favorite watering holes. March 9-12 2017. Some events are ticketed (see website for details)


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