You know the ski season has officially started when La Folie Douce opens its doors, the music starts pumping, the champagne corks start popping and crowds of people jump up to dance on tables in their ski boots.
We arrived at around midday and the terrace was already pretty full with groups of families and friends enjoying the views with a glass of Folie rosé, champagne and the occasional game of beer pong.
Chilled house tunes were emanating from the sound system, as people started to settle into their seats, enjoying food from La Petite Kitchen, the self service restaurant. The main restaurant La Fruitiere won't be open until the Christmas holidays but you could still sit out on the huge terrace with your food, which included tasty chicken, burgers, lasagne and some of the largest poached pears I've ever seen.
As the afternoon went on more and more people started to arrive and slowly but surely the infamous Folie Douce entertainers started to appear, subtly at first, with a saxophonist playing along with the DJ mix next to the VIP area and then more obviously with a violinist, who popped up on the bar in the centre of the terrace. Two singers also joined in to add another dimension to the music.
By the time it got to 2pm the party was well and truly in full swing. The music had been cranked up, the bass started pumping and lots of people had moved from sitting to standing, dancing on tables and stools. The singers where whooping everyone up into a frenzy, singing along with some club classics and pop tunes and glitter bombs started popping off from the VIP area.
One of the DJ's came down from his booth and joined some of the entertainers to set off coloured smoke flares, which enveloped the crowd. At one point we were even dive-bombed by a parapenter and his client, which brought cheers from the crowd and caused me to have a minor panic, as he soared down low, heading straight for the corner of the VIP terrace and our new webcam...
Thankfully the pilot had incredible skills, just managing to turn at the last minute, his wing cables swooshing past the corner of the terrace as they disappeared out of view. Phew.
We were lucky enough to have access all areas, which meant that we could get up into the DJ booth and see the party from the DJ's perspective, which was, it has to be said, pretty cool. By this point the party was getting really rowdy, with ice from champagne buckets flying through the air and pretty much everyone on the terrace had migrated to tables, dance platforms and stools. Beer, champagne and rosé were flowing freely and as one of the Folie managers told us, 'Tout les monde avoir les mains dans le pate' - it was 'all hands on deck' to keep everyone happy and keeping the drinks coming.
The DJ with the smoke flares headed back up onto the terrace above us and pulled out something that looked like a giant, gold, fire extinguisher.. and then proceed to douse us all with its contents. We weren't really sure if it was wine, water or champagne (which he'd already sprayed us with from two magnums a short time before) but it didn't really matter. The crowd (literally) lapped it up.
La Folie Douce is now open for the whole season, with apres ski sessions on from 2-5pm every day right through until the 22nd April 2017.
If you're looking for a quiet coffee and a waffle stop by. If you're looking for a smart place to eat stop by. If you're looking for a crazy apres ski party, La Folie Douce is definitely the place to come!