The dining room is bright and quiet, the gray-uniformed servers moving with cultured efficiency among us. It is lunchtime at Le Chabichou, in the French Alps. I am supposed to be skiing the slopes of Courchevel, but fate has placed me here instead, to my resonant satisfaction.
The heavy snowfall has lifted, revealing perfect, sheet-white slopes, the vista crowned by Mont Blanc, in the far distance. With my American wife, German-American son and two British cousins, I have come at just the right moment to Courchevel, which, together with the rest of the Three Valleys, is the largest ski area