Stéphanie is a ski and snowboard instructor with ES in Verbier in the winters, and here she tells us about her summers, growing, cooking and surfing between Verbier and Moliets.
This summer I was based both in Verbier in Switzerland and Les Landes, Moliets, which is a surf spot on the Atlantic coast in France.
Les Landes, Moliets
Moliets is located in the Bay of Biscay, north of the border with Spain and the natural barrier between the 2 countries created by the Pyrénées. To the south you have Biarritz and Hossegor, which are also famous for their surf. To the north, it is about 2 hours drive to Bordeaux.
I love coming to Moliets as I have my home here and have spent the last few years renovating, including putting in a new kitchen, and also completely changing the garden. We had to change the layout and the landscaping completely, and added a wooden deck. We planted lots of shrubs and flowers and now, a couple of years later, the deck and garden are a beautiful space for relaxing. It was a huge amount of work but we have created a very special and peaceful place.
Here are some photos of the garden;
My home is about 20 minutes from the beach, which is a long golden sand beach, with pine forests behind it. The area isn’t as built up or touristic as Biarritz and Hossegor, but it has the same north west swell that makes it great for surfing.
The area is good for beginner and intermediate surfers, as well as experts. However, because the beaches are quite hard to get to (often just on small tracks), the area has remained a bit of a secret. So it doesn’t get too busy even in the holiday weeks of the summer.
As well, there are great hiking and biking trails that take you through to the beach.
When not in Moliets, I am also based in Verbier in the summer. I have been in my apartment in Verbier for many years and it is really home now. This summer I made lots of tarts and jams with local fruits.
With lots of fruit farms in the Rhone valley, I love visiting where things are being grown. In the summer, I try as much as I can to get my produce direct from the farm, including picking the fruit from the trees.
When I am hiking, I also love picking berries and this summer I made lots of jams from wild fruit that I picked myself.
I work as a private chef in Verbier, sometimes for families or groups of people who are in Verbier for a while, and sometimes for one-off events. I have been working as a private chef for a long time and over time I have moved to specialise in healthy food from local ingredients.
For me, cooking is a bit like creating my garden. Preparing and presenting food stays interesting when I am always thinking of ways to use colours and textures to create food that is beautiful as well as tasting great.
Hiking, biking and swimming
In my spare time in Verbier, I love hiking and biking. The summers are fantastic for exploring the mountain and forests, and Verbier has some great trails that take you to spectacular views and vantage points. When I am biking and hiking, I am always looking out for flowers and pockets of nature that I can photograph. My other favourite thing to do is swim in the alpine lakes, it is very very cold, but so refreshing!
When the winter comes, I can’t wait to put my skis or snowboard on and get back on the snow!
I miss skiing and snowboarding in the summer. However I really like the balance that my life has between growing and creating in the summer, and passing on my love of nature and being in the mountains in the winter.
Stéphanie was born in the Alps and has always been skiing and snowboarding. She is dynamic, optimistic and fun. Stéphanie is fully qualified to the top Swiss level of Brevet Féderale, which means she can teach both on piste and off piste. She teaches both skiing and snowboarding, and also Nordic skiing.
Stephanie’s clients say ‘Stephanie has been an amazing instructor and it was a pleasure to learn … with her. She’s incredibly patient and always comes up with new ways of improving the technique and breaking down any barriers of fear. I can’t thank her enough. I truly had a fantastic time.’