open passport with lots of stamps

Working Visa UK Requirements & Application Guide

If you’ve not worked in the UK before, or want to find out if you’re even able to, it can be hard to find the answers. Even if the job you’re applying for is based in a ski resort in the Alps, a palace in the Middle East or a Private Household in Europe, you still may need UK immigration to give you the right to work here because as a UK-based recruitment agency the majority of our clients are also based here and so employ their staff on UK contracts and second them overseas on UK work permits.

sunset view of a city with lights

7 Places You’re About to Add to Your Bucket List

With 195 countries making up this incredible world we live in, there are only so many you can physically visit each year. So, to make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve compiled a list of seven of our favourite and most unique destinations, all with an underlying theme – vivid colour! Enjoy!

zipline val thorens

7 Best Ski Resorts in France

As a recruitment agency that places incredible staff in luxury chalets all over the french alps, we’ve spent our fair share of time enjoying the best ski resorts France has to offer, here are our top 7.

Val d’Isère

heliskiing in val disere

Good for: varied and challenging off-piste skiing.
Best activity: Helicopter tours or heliskiing.
Best place to eat: L’Atelier d’Edmond, a pricey but incredible fine dining restaurant with an outstanding menu.

Courchevel

outdoor pool in courchevel

Good for: Novice skiers, and British speaking kids ski schools.
Best activity: Relaxing in the Aquamotion Spa and Pool while the kids enjoy the fun water play area, indoor surfing or climbing wall.
Best place to eat: Azimut – an incredible fine dining restaurant with a Michelin star, open from Dec-May.

Méribel

folie douce meribel

Good for: Partying and all-round skiing.
Best activity: Après Ski at La Folie Douce then onto the Rond Point (The Ronny) for more dancing.
Best place to eat: Tsaretta, an incredible and affordable Indian restaurant.

Val Thorens

zipline val thorens

Good for: excellent snow conditions all season round.
Best activity: La Tyrolienne, the world’s highest zip line spanning over 1300 m connecting Orelle and Val-Thorens, taking 1min 45 to cross.
Best place to eat: Au Mazot, a quaint, affordable restaurant which serves local dishes in a friendly setting with fantastic vegetarian options.

Les Arcs

fat biking in les arcs

Good for: Boarders and intermediate/advanced skiers.
Best activity: Fat Biking, available to hire from Twinner in Plan Peisey. Hire for a half a day is €35, and a full day is €60.
Best place to eat: L’effet Boeuf – an affordable vegetarian-friendly steakhouse.

La Plagne

ice grotto la plagne

Good for: Lower to intermediate skiers and boarders and families.
Best activity: Visiting The Ice Grotto at the top of the Plagne Bellecote glacier. Filled with beautiful ice sculptures it is a fun and beautiful experience for everyone.
Best place to eat: Le Ti & Yu, a busy little pizzeria is a perfect spot for quick, easy and incredibly tasty food for on the go. A firm favourite amongst locals.

Chamonix

mer de glace train chamonix

Good for: Advanced boarders and skiers.
Best activity: The Montenvers – Mer de Glace train. Enjoy history and glaciology by hopping on board the famous little red railway train which climbs the mountainside running through the forest before arriving at the stunning panorama at the foot of the famous Mer de Glace glacier.
Best place to eat: Le Vert Hotel Restaurant, a gem by the lake serving contemporary dishes, including an incredible Sunday roast with fantastic views of Mont Blanc from the Bar.

We regularly recruit hospitality staff for luxury ski chalets all over Europe, click here to see all our fantastic ski season positions in France.

wavy winter hair smiling woman

Everything you need to pack for a ski season

All of the socks!

They disappear like nobody’s business, and you’ll never figure out where they’ve gone! Trust me, take as many socks as you can fit in your suitcase!

Marmite or peanut butter

The list of English staples that you’ll struggle to find out in the mountains is fairly endless, however among the most missed items are peanut butter, which you can sometimes get your hands on in resort but is normally very expensive! However, Marmite, hate it or love it, is very difficult to source, if you need it to survive (who are we to judge), take a jar with you, just in case.

Sliced bread

The nicest thing since sliced bread is, well, English sliced bread. Europeans do incredible fresh loaves, but if its classic white sandwich bread you’re after, ask a friend to bring you a loaf when they come to visit. European bread always tastes oddly sweet to our British taste buds.

Things to decorate your room

You’ll likely always be provided accommodation for your ski season; however, it will be basic and doesn’t always come with the sense of comfort of home. Take a couple of photos, fairy lights, a poster, and even your favourite teddy (if you can choose one!) to make your room more homely.

fairy lights in bedroom

A laptop

A no-brainer really, but when you’re away for a long time, it’s nice to be able to skype all your family and friends on a big screen and watch films on something bigger than your phone too. Talking about films…

Netflix

You can thank me later for this one! Sometimes you’ll just need to chill with an episode of your favourite series to relax. Netflix is an absolute godsend for seasonaires.

A speaker

Nowadays you can pick up a speaker for as little as £5 from Amazon. Blasting out your favourite bangers will get you and your team through long changeover days like a dream and will keep you all in a great mood!

A travel adapter multi-plug

There are never enough sockets to go around, when on a ski season! If you take a French multi-plug travel adapter you can keep your phone, speaker and laptop all plugged in and charging simultaneously. Click here to buy one for your next season.

french multi plug travel adapter

Berocca

These bad boys will help you get you through the day, and if you’re really hungover…

Alka-Seltzers

The absolute saving grace behind how so many seasonaires have managed to survive the winter. Wake up feeling like death after a long day working, and an even longer night partying? Pop an Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water and down it before heading off to work, within 5 mins your headache will suddenly lift. Lifesaving.

Hair dye

If you always use the same brand and colour of hair dye, we highly recommend taking a box or three out with you as you will likely not find the same one when in resort.

wavy winter hair smiling woman

An alarm clock

If you lose your charger or accidentally drop your phone when going up a chairlift, you can’t afford to be late to work the next morning. Having a separate alarm clock gives you that added peace of mind each day.

Thermals

Thermals are a must when skiing throughout the whole winter season. You can get fantastic thermals from UNIQLO – they’re stretchy, comfy, warm, and don’t take up much space in your suitcase as they roll up into a sock sized ball. Click here to buy your thermals for next season.

Snowboots

Get a good pair with a proper spikey grip underneath. You don’t want to be that Jerry who’s always falling over in the street in front of guests. You can buy a fantastic pair here.

good quality snow boots

Condoms

Safety first!

An ugly Christmas jumper

If you can’t go home for Christmas, bring the sense of home with you with a classic, terrible Christmas jumper.

Fancy dress

Take a couple of fun fancy dress options out with you that you can mix and match. Fancy dress parties are guaranteed to happen on your season, and if you don’t take something you’ll end up making one from bin bags.

man wearing bin bag

Swimwear

Don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll only be skiing on your season, many resorts have incredible spas and pools, and you don’t want to be caught short when all your coworkers arrange a pool party.

A good rucksack

Equip yourself with a good quality rucksack from the start. That sparkly one from Accessorize is fun, but you’ll be sad when it breaks after only 2 weeks, and you’re charged in-resort prices for a new one. Lowe Alpine, Berghaus, Osprey, and The North Face all have decent, serious kit that will be comfy and will last.

A Caxton Card

Finally, a ‘boring’ suggestion, but the most useful and helpful one we’ve got. Foreign transaction fees are often 1% to 3% of the amount of a purchase or ATM withdrawal, and these fees can add up very fast when using your debit card abroad for 6 months! The Caxton card is just like a cash card which you can top up with money and can use to pay in restaurants and bars… but you won’t get charged to use it each time, like with your normal British debit card. You can order it in advance so you’re all ready to go when you arrive.

caxton currency card being used

If all this is getting you excited to hit the slopes this coming winter, click here to see our current ski roles available. However, if we don’t yet have the perfect role for you, click here to send us your CV. We get in new ski season roles every week, so don’t miss out!

what are the benefits of doing a ski season

5 things a ski season taught us…

The down to earth musings of a seasonaire chalet couple reflecting on doing a ski season last year working in a luxury ski chalet in The Alps…

1) There is SO MUCH time in a day.

On the season you get up, you make full-English for 16 people, you clear up the mess and set for afternoon tea, you bake a cake (although, always double the recipe as cakes freeze delightfully!) you clean a 16 bed chalet, you check the hot tub, you get ready, you ski for at least 6 hours solid, stop for a couple drinks/chill with your mates, back for afternoon tea, start prepping for a three course meal, clear up afternoon tea, set up dinner table, socialise with the guests, cook three-course meal, serve three-course meal, clean kitchen, clear up dinner table, lay breakfast table, get ready to go out and hit up shot night. You then come back, sleep minimal hours and start again. Even if you’re not into skiing or boarding, there are plenty of winter sports to try instead while out in the mountains.

Yes, you’re absolutely shattered, but look at all you’ve done! It’s amazing just how many tasks you can fit into those 24 precious hours when you absolutely have to. Taking it back home can be a real eye-opener. Just how much of your time is sat at a desk? Or even worse, on a sofa, or staring aimlessly at a screen looking at how much better everybody else’s lives are? Everybody has the same time in the day but not everyone has the same moments! Go run, read, bake a cake if you wish, but whatever you want to do, there’s plenty of time to fit it in so stop making excuses!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhMkoEjjp4I/?hl=en&taken-by=silverswanrecruitment

2) You can function on far less sleep than you thought.

What with all the running around, cleaning, cooking, Saturday changeover and snow clearing, it’s safe to say that a ski season can be very physically demanding. Added to the fact you’re then skiing and/or boarding in your own ‘down time’, you’d expect to have to sleep even more than at home just to function. Which isn’t true you’ll be surprised to hear!

Yes, some nights you’ll skip the pub to recover, or you’ll just sleep your whole day off (although, we only ‘needed’ to do this once all season…) but on the whole, you’re functioning on 6 hours or less sleep a night. At home, I wouldn’t be able to walk to the bathroom in the morning on that little sleep but out in the mountains, it just feels…do-able.

You just find an inner enthusiasm and motivation that you perhaps don’t get at home. You’re out there doing what you love and you’re excited to get up and do it. and so in the motto of Nike, you ‘just do it’. And you keep doing it. Again, and again, until the season is over. My biggest advice? Never leave thinking you missed out on something because you were tired. Our best days were always the spontaneous ones with friends.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf59_TXDqCy/?hl=en&taken-by=silverswanrecruitment

3) People, on the whole, are pretty decent human beings.

Doing a ski season taught me to let people in more because it makes you realise that there are some genuinely nice people around. Like the people who brought their karaoke set into the chalet and let us celebrate a birthday with them that night. Absolute legends every one of them and great fun. Or those who gave our tip in the middle of the week so we could enjoy it on our day off. Or the guests who helped us clean the chalet, clear the snow and prepare dinner. The list is endless. Because ultimately, if you are nice to others, and demonstrate your hard work and passion, they’ll be nice back and will want to reward you well. And I’m not just talking tips, I’m talking inviting you to stay in their Oman home with them on holiday some time, or paying for dinner for you, or even just clearing and cleaning the table each evening for you.

All simple gestures but proved to me that people are good and have good hearts. They may have paid a lot of money for your services, but most people don’t want you to wait on them hand and foot and many will cut you some slack. So, embrace it, make friends and network. We were offered jobs, holidays and some single colleagues almost found girlfriends, so put yourself out there and you never know what the world will give you back.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf1dBtrDYu4/?hl=en&taken-by=silverswanrecruitment

4) We will never take a two-day weekend for granted again. Ever.

One day off just never seems enough. Do you rest all day, or do you go hard all day fitting in as much as you can? That’s the question you’re posed with given that once that prized day is over, it’s back to work. It also means you’re then plagued with the question of going hard or not on the night before your day off (thus, eating into a considerable chunk of the day the next morning) or the night of your day off (meaning breakfast service could be a struggle!). Ah, first world (ski season) problems, eh?

But back home, wow, 48 whole hours to do whatever I want!? Bring it on! It means you can properly plan for things, look forward to bigger events and alongside point number 1 above, you have so much room for activities!! I will never, ever, complain that a weekend is too short again!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfx90XSjCNu/?hl=en&taken-by=silverswanrecruitment

5) Sometimes you just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Six months doing a ski season in the mountains, skiing every day in some of the biggest and best skiable domains in the world sounds like an absolute dream. What comforts are we pushing there? But for some, meeting new people every week strikes them down with fear. Living away from home seems an impossible task. Leaving your ‘safe’ job behind to pursue what you really love can seem daunting. You’re leaving your friends, your family, your jobs and your belongings behind and you’re starting afresh! But just remember why you wanted to go out in the first place, to get away from what society tells you to do. You don’t have to be ruled by society’s watch, you can go at your own pace. The memories we made on our season easily surpass that money and the plans we could/would have made if we stayed at home.

All of these (irrational) fears fade away the moment you step foot in that chalet. Your interpersonal skills skyrocket from being confronted with new faces each and every week, you manage your time superbly to ensure maximum time on the slopes, and you have an incredible time meeting awesome people and forgetting about any worries you previously had. Have a look at our top tips to find a ski chalet job to push yourself to #livetheextraordinary.

This time of year the applications are open so go, go, go!! We literally can’t help but recommend it to every single person we meet, so now is the time to apply!

Check out our current ski season roles.

This blog post originally appeared on www.chaletcouple.com and was reprinted with permission.

28 Snow Sports to try instead of Skiing or Snowboarding

Think winter resorts are only good for skiing? Think again! Below is our list of snow sports for you to try when you’re next in a winter resort, whether you want to do a season in a ski resort, can’t yet ski, or would prefer to do something different with your time off.

Dog Sledding

What could be better? Snow, beautiful landscapes, and dogs! Dog sledding is a fantastic way of seeing the gorgeous landscapes around you on a personal tour across snow and ice. Sliding along in a sleigh is a dreamlike experience where you can experience nature and all the wonders it has to offer up close and personal.

dog sledding ideas

Snow Shoeing

Snowshoeing is the fasted growing winter sport in the world, primarily because it is simple to get to grips with, inexpensive (compared to other spow sports!), and is a great way to burn off all the vin chaud and tartiflette you just had! There are many levels of snowshoeing, whether you want to hike for pleasure, trek through the backcountry, or competitively race. Snowshoeing is a fantastic alternative for skiing, especially if you like running!

 sports for winter

Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is pretty much what it says on the tin – climbing ice. Ice climbing is very similar to rock climbing and uses ropes and crampons to ascend beautiful icefalls, frozen waterfalls, cliffs and frozen rock faces. In most resorts, you can take guided climbing lessons, which everyone can do providing you’ve got a good level of fitness. 

Snowcat Tours

If you fancy an afternoon off from snow sports and exercise, jumping aboard a Snowcat is a fantastic way to see the incredible sights your resort has to offer, all while not lifting a finger! Often these tours will include regular stops for photo opportunities, so jump on in and unleash your inner travel photographer.

snow cat tours

Ski Biking

This is an awesome sport to try if you’re a skier or snowboarder and fancy trying your hand at something a little different. If you’re a big fan of mountain biking, you are sure to love ski biking too! It’s similar to mountain biking, except on snow, with mini-skis instead of wheels, and you break and slow down by digging your feet into the snow! When on the nursery slopes, ski biking is really easy, it only starts to get more difficult when on steeper routes (make sure you pack some bravery in that rucksack of yours!).

 ski biking winter sports

Helicopter flights

This is the perfect way to see the sights and take in the whole stunning landscapes from above. Great for those who want a rest from snow sports, fancy trying their hand at aerial photography, or if you’re a couple looking for a romantic afternoon activity.

Ice Skating

A fun activity with the kids, a silly activity to try after a few drinks, or a fantastic innovative date idea, ice skating is great fun for children and adults alike. However, if you’re a bit unsteady on your feet, just make sure you take a good friend you can desperately cling to!

things to do in france

Swimming

Need to rest your tired and wobbly ski legs, but also want to work off some of yesterday’s raclette? Swimming may be the perfect solution…

things to do in val disere

Mountaineering

Mountaineering (otherwise known as alpinism) includes a whole host of activities, including climbing, trekking, scrambling, and even crossing glaciers. Each resort comes with its own unique terrain ready to be explored and discovered, just make sure you do your research before setting out. You can head out with someone experienced, or join a local tour group, either way, don’t go out alone if you’re a novice mountaineer.

mountaineering in the alps

Paragliding

All the lovely floaty fun of skydiving, without the terrifying free falling first. Most resorts have a selection of experienced paragliders that can take you out on tandem flights lasting hours and traversing tens or even hundreds of kilometres! Paragliding isn’t a cheap activity, however, it is an incredible experience, and worth every penny!

Ski Joëring

Also known as ski joring, is an activity where you’re on skis and then pulled along by a horse, dogs or a vehicle. When pulled by a horse or vehicle all you need is a tow rope, and it works very similar to water skiing, however, when pulled by dogs, a little more effort is required by the skier by providing power by cross-country skiing and using poles.

do cats like snow

Speed Skating

So, you’ve nailed the ice rink without falling over too much, and think you’re ready to play with the big kids now? Try your hand at speedskating! This is an Olympic sport which combines running and ice skating in a race against the clock around an oval ice rink.

how to keep fit this winter

Ice driving

Imagine a race track…made from ice! Many resorts have this incredible experience on offer, where you can jump in a selection of luxury cars, each fitted with studded tyres to traverse the icy surroundings at breakneck speed. This is not the sport for the timid, so pack your big boy boots and try your hand at one of the most fun driving experiences the world has to offer.

 can you drive on snow

Ski Touring

Are you physically fit and keen for an adventure traversing untouched snow? Give ski touring a go! Ski touring is similar to backcountry skiing and is normally done off-piste and away from ski resorts. It has links to hiking and wilderness backpacking and often lasts more than one day. Ski touring involves sliding up a mountain wearing skins over your skis. When you reach the top you can enjoy a brief moment to take in the beauty of the world, and then have an awesome off-piste adventure skiing down again. If you’ve never done ski touring before, make sure you head out with an experienced team as it’s important to have good navigation skills, an awareness of the risks of the mountain, and you must be able to assess the snow conditions to reduce the risk of avalanches.

Snow Tubing

Snow tubes are large inflatable rings that you can sit in and lay across and slide down the mountain at high speeds. An adrenaline filled, (usually!) safe activity suitable for all ages! Simply walk up the slope with your tube, climb on in and have the ride of your life!

best snow sports ideas

Under Ice Diving

Ice diving is a potentially dangerous activity and must only be done by or with experienced divers. Ice diving involves diving in freezing waters under a solid sheet of ice, using only a single entry and exit point, as such often divers are tethered so they can avoid getting disorientated under the ice and losing their way back. This sport isn’t for the faint of heart but is an incredible way to push the limits of your body and see parts of the world previously unseen.

ice diving ideas

Sledging

Also known as sledding or tobogganing, sledging involves sliding down a snowy mountain while sat on a whole host of things, including traditional wooden sledges, plastic trays, and can be done solo, or on longer sleds (sledges) that can accommodate many people sat in front of each other. This is a fantastic snow sports activity to do with your family, children, or after a vin chaud or three…

what to do this winter

Snowmobiling

This is a motorised vehicle akin to a quad bike except with tracks at the back, and skis at the front instead of wheels. You can hire these by the hour and drive them around open terrain or trails for an awesome wintery adventure. Also known as a motor sled, motor sledge, or snowmachine, snowmobiles can sometimes accommodate more than one rider, however, it’s more common to have one each, and go out as a group.

 fun things to try in the alps

Yoonering

A yooner is a mix between a go-cart and skis, it’s a seat 20cm off the ground with one fat ski attached underneath and a big handle in between your legs which you can pull to break. It’s a simple way to glide down the piste with very little training or experience and unlike many snow sports, this one is suitable for all ages.

Relaxing in the Spa

A personal favourite activity within resorts is a cheeky visit to the local spa. After a long day doing snow sports (or a long night’s partying!), why not treat yourself to a visit to a luxury spa? Check yourself in for a sauna, massage, and manicure all under one roof – you deserve it!

what to do in a ski resort

Winter Segway Rides

Learning to ride a Segway is relatively quick and easy, and whizzing around on a Segway is a fantastic way to explore the resort at speed with minimal effort. Not to mention…it’s really, really fun!

things to do in a ski resort

Luge/Wok Racing

A luge is a small one or two-person sledge on which you lie down face up and feet down, and speed down a thin icy track. This is an Olympic sport, however, a fun alternative that has been developed is racing down an Olympic bobsled track on a Chinese cooking wok. They reinforce the base with epoxy and coat the insides with foam to reduce bruising, and to reduce friction the racers wear ladles under their feet. This strange version of snow sports sounds a silly amount of fun, but is also incredibly dangerous, and as such the participants wear large protective clothing, similar to ice hockey equipment.

wok racing winter sports

Champagne in the hot tub

Skiing isn’t for all, but this is one of those snow sports that everyone can get behind. A bubbling hot tub, surrounded by snow, enjoying a tall flute bubbling with delicious champagne, all while taking in the gorgeous mountain scenery surrounding you. Idyllic.

Ice Fishing

For a more relaxed activity, you could try your hand at ice fishing. Ice fishing is where you fish with a line and hook through a hole in the ice. This can either be done out in the open or in a heated enclosure, some of which have beds and amenities inside for when fishing for long periods.

 things to do in resort

Try an Olympic Sport

There are plenty of winter Olympic sports that you can have a go at, including bobsleigh and curling. Different resorts have different options available, so have a look online to see what snow sports your local resort has on offer!

ideas for snow sports

Enjoy the local food

Ski resort food is usually bad for your waistline, but good for your soul – and if you’ve been skiing all day you’ll need the extra calories. Meals vary from the typical carb heavy and dripping in cheese options, such as tartiflette, raclette, or a dirty cheeseburger which can be found at most resort restaurants. Alternatively, you could opt for the slightly healthier, spicy beef stew or French onion soup (a speciality at the Folie Douce in Val D’Isere). If, however you relish the chance to try out the delicacies from exciting new chefs, many resorts have Michelin starred restaurants, including L’Atelier d’Edmond in Le Fornet, France, St Hubertus in the Rosa Alpina hotel in South Tyrol, Italy, or the Engadin valley in Switzerland which boasts 5 Michelin starred restaurants.

Après-ski

Whether you’ve been skiing all day or not, everyone deserves a fantastic après-ski! Après is the socialising, drinking, and partying that usually starts in the afternoon within ski resorts, once you’re finished with your morning of snow sports. Whether you prefer a mulled wine or a cheeky Jägerbomb (or 5!), there is space on the dance floor for everyone! Just make sure you get a good night’s sleep ready for an early morning and full day of activities the next day!

 apres ski seasonaire

Go out and play in the snow!

It doesn’t matter if you’re 1 or 101, everyone can have an awesome time playing with and in the wonder that is snow! Creating snow angels, having snowball fights, making snowmen, or building a snow fort…the possibilities are endless. Get out there and have fun! Snow sports don’t always have to include exercise.

playing with dog in the snow

 

And if all this is making you want to head out to the mountains, click here to see our top tips on how to get a ski chalet job, and then have a look at our ski chalet jobs for this winter!

 

what to do after a ski season

Finishing your ski season? So, what’s next…

Are you fed up of the cold and ready for some sunshine? Or you just want to try something new?

As we come to the end of the ski season, it’s good to think about what to do next and how to progress your career during the summer season.

Below are 7 options to help you decide – but first:

what can i do after a ski season

1 – Stay in Europe & work in a summer villa

Work in a summer villa is very comparable to chalet work – the tasks are similar to ski season positions and your skills are easily transferable, unlike in a private household. The wages are slightly higher too, on average £100 more a week, as this is usually to account for a lift pass not being part of the offer. Working in a villa is the perfect way to fill your summer, save up some money and progress your career so you’re ready for when you can hit the slopes again.

We get new summer vacancies in every week for all sorts of roles! Check them out here: silverswanrecruitment.com/villa-jobs

how can i ski all day

2 – Stay in the alps & work in a summer chalet

You’ve fallen in love with the mountains over your ski season and couldn’t think of living or working anywhere else – who could blame you? There certainly are jobs available for chalet staff over the summer period, although they’re a lot rarer than ski season roles, however they are out there! Morzine, Les Gets and Chamonix are just as busy during the summer as the winter, and with a whole range of summer sports to get involved with, whether it is hiking, cycling, climbing or photography, there will always be an adventure waiting for you.

We currently have a selection of roles in the alps and get more requests for staff every single week. See what we have available now: silverswanrecruitment.com/ski-chalet-jobs

jobs travelling the world

3 – Leave the Alps & work in a private household in the UK

If you’d like to continue a hospitality role but be back working in the UK then we’d recommend starting your career in a private household. The roles are fairly similar to chalet jobs, yet the salaries are considerably more! It’s important for private household applicants to already have a lot of 5* hospitality experience.

The easiest way to start a career in a private household is to start at the bottom and work your way up. Very few private households will recruit a medium or high-level staff member without previous experience within a private residence performing a simpler or similar role. The normal progression is from a Housekeeper, Nanny and Cook, to Head Housekeeper and Chef, to House Manager, Butler, PA and even Estate Manager. If, however, you have lots of experience doing a ski season as a Chalet or Resort Manager, you may be eligible for an entry level House Manager role within the private industry. To give you a little more insight into the working world of Private Households, we have interviewed an extremely experienced Estate Manager to explain what it’s like to work in such a prestigious role.

The salaries possible within a private household are definitely worth the long days, and hard work climbing the ladder, and the experience gained will catapult your career onto a whole new playing field. Private household roles are generally all permanent positions and can be either live-in or live-out, depending on the family, so you have the freedom to select a role which suits your lifestyle and needs. This is also a good opportunity for couples who would like to continue working together, there are many homes who like to employ a couple to manage the household.

We have a large selection of jobs available within Private households. You can see them all here: silverswanrecruitment.com/private-household-jobs

mansion in the distance

4 – Sail around the world on a yacht

If you enjoy hospitality and travel, then working on a yacht could be the perfect job for you. It can be difficult to get into the yachting world, but once you’re in the benefits are endless. Working with a fantastic team, who become like family, travelling through, and staying, in some of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world, not to mention the incredible pay, make this a great option following a ski season. This option takes a little bit of forward planning, as you need to be certified before you can work aboard a yacht, so have a look at our tips on How To Get a Job on a Super Yacht and all our latest vacancies here: www.silverswanrecruitment.com/yacht-crew-jobs

5 – Leave the Alps & gain further experience

Another great option if you’re a  seasonaire returning to the UK is to develop your CV working in hotels and restaurants. The majority of luxury, high end winter chalets require a few years of 5* hospitality experience. If you’re looking to work your way up the ladder in the hospitality industry, we recommend spending the summer gaining further experience to really help you get those top end, well-paid jobs within the industry.

We don’t usually recruit for hotels or restaurants, but if you are interested then it is always worth sending your CV expressing an interest in this kind of role and we can notify you when new roles come in: enquiries@silverswanrecruitment.com

luxury barge

6 – Find a great office-based role in the UK

So, you love the ski industry and now have experience working within it, but after working all those odd hours on your feet you’re ready to settle down with a permanent position in an awesome office.

There are a lot of companies in the UK that specialise in the ski industry, and they need staff with first-hand experience of working a ski season to sell holidays, find future staff or promote chalets out in the Alps.

These jobs get snapped up quickly, so keep an eye on our Facebook page as we post new roles every single day!

Follow us to be the first to hear about all our new positions as soon as they become available:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

rooftop swing seats london

7 – Go travelling

You’ve worked hard for a season, why not go explore the world, tick off some of that bucket list and visit places you’ve only ever seen in photos! And, if you send us your CV before you leave then we can find you a job to come home to next ski season. Check out all your future job options while on the road at: silverswanrecruitment.com/ski-chalet-jobs

seasonaire travel ideas

 

chef chopping vegetables

How to Write the Perfect Chalet Menu Plan

For all you Chalet Hosts and Chefs heading out on a Ski Season shortly, it must be that time of year, when you are trying to perfect your weekly menu plan. Knowing that it needs to WOW your guests as well as staying within (what can sometimes be a fairly tight) budget. But don’t worry. This guide will help you to create the perfect plan for the whole week, ensuring your guests get what they want and need. While also being stunned by your culinary genius.

Breakfast

Breakfast needs to be quick, simple, impressive and varied. Remember, a lot of your guests will be wanting to catch first lifts which means early risers and big appetites. Every day the table will be laid with continental options but it is down to you to fuel their day with a hot option.

Most chalets hosts/chefs get 1 day off per week (usually mid-week)so you only need to think of 6 days’ worth of food.Something that looks really impressive, doesn’t always need to be time-consuming. A stack of American pancakes for example. The batter will be quick and simple, plus it’s really easy to batch cook the pancakes and hot hold them in the oven until needed. Giving you more time to prep for your other meals. Alternative ideas include eggs benedict or sausage beans and home-made hash browns.

For transfer day your guests could be leaving very early in the morning so why not opt for big bacon baguettes? A quick fix on a busy morning!

Afternoon Tea

After a big day on the mountain, your guests are going to be starving. Part of your job will be presenting a daily cake (or biscuits). But don’t panic, there’s no need to scour your cookbooks, the well-known yogurt cake is a firm favorite for all chalet staff. Altitude means normal cakes don’t rise properly, but this recipe will never fail you. One day you can add carrot, raisins and spices for a delicious carrot cake, the next you can simply fill it with jam and cream for the perfect Victoria sponge. Simple.

Of course, you can mix this up a bit, mince pies at Christmas, flapjacks on a Friday, but make sure you always make enough. How gutted would you be if you came in last from the mountain and someone had eaten the last slice?!

This is something you need to consider throughout your whole menu plan. You don’t want to waste food but nor do you want your guests to go hungry. Spend some time write out exact ingredients and quantities, this will also help you keep within your budget. Over-ordering can be a nightmare not

just for the purse strings but also for your storage! Make sure you consider where things are going to fit (think about freezer, fridge, and cupboards)

 

                                                 

Dinner

In chalets, dinner is usually 3-5 courses. When planning your main meals, you need to think about the kind of meal this is going to be. Is it a fine dining menu or a homely family style meal? Either way, you want your food to impress everyone, which also means taking into account dietary requirements. You will usually be warned in advance if any of your guests have any specific requirements, but it’s always worth checking in person when they get there. How embarrassing would it be if you served up a steak to a vegetarian because you hadn’t got the memo! Make sure there are always some back up ingredients in the cupboards for any surprise vegetarians, vegans or gluten frees.

 

Canapés

A canapé is a small savoury bite usually served with drinks. Note the word small, this should be something they can eat in one bite, they have a big meal ahead and you don’t want your guests full before they’ve even started. You can make something very simple look elaborate without having to use many ingredients at all. Smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis take minutes to make yet when delicately placed on a slate board and topped with a small bit of fresh dill-they suddenly look far more glamorous.

Other ideas include Sticky Pigs in Blankets (particularly suitable around Christmas time) and Mini Croque Monsieurs. As with all of the items on your meal plan, this is a great one to practice at home for friends and family.

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Starter

It is often a misconception that your starter should be vegetarian, however, to make it easier for yourself, you should make it so that the meat element of the meal is easily substitutable for any dislikes/dietary requirements.

Another factor to think about is the variety of ingredients. You wouldn’t want to serve Tomato and basil soup, followed by chicken tagine and an apple crumble with custard.

  • HOT HOT HOT, you should include at least one cold element in each meal.
  • Two tomatoes-both your started and main are made with a tomato based.
  • All 3 courses contain a fair bit of liquid, mix the textures up a bit.

Suitable starters would be carrot and ginger soup, goats cheese and caramelised onion bruschetta or asparagus, Parma ham with a poached egg.

Main Course

This course needs to be filling and hearty, yet also presentable on a plate. When you are designing your meals, its sometimes useful to draw out how you would present each element on the plate. Choose your meat, carb, veg and sauce, then go from there. You will be plating up for quite a few people in one go so nothing too complicated.

Usually in chalets you will be serving each person an individual plate but occasionally its quite nice to ‘family serve’. I used to make a Tartiflette once a week, a totally delicious, traditional French meal that when whole looks amazing, but not so great when it’s been served up. Pop the whole thing on the table with a charcuterie board and a big leafy salad – your guests will be impressed for sure.

Desserts

Desserts are simple, there are so many to choose from, most can be prepped in the morning which is a stress saver in the evening (this will help maximise your time on the mountain too).

Again, avoid repetition. You must consider what you have done for afternoon tea, if you have made Chocolate Cake that day, don’t have a Chocolate Brownie for dessert too. Maybe chose a Lemon Cheesecake for dessert. Similarly, a Tarte Tatin on Monday followed by an Apple Crumble on Tuesday = Apple overload! Mix it up.  Just like the canapés, desserts are easy to dress up, add a coulis or petit four on the side to amaze your guests. Something very simple can then become a showpiece.

 

Cheese Board

There is not much to say about the cheese board, just make sure you get a variety. 3 different cheeses should be enough, remember they’ve had a big meal. They don’t want to be overwhelmed. Accompany this will some grapes or sliced apple, a small selection of bread and crackers – winner! This can often be left out for a while as people may want to pick throughout the evening with their glass of red wine.

 

So that is my advice to you!

Organisation is key, make sure you fully understand your own menu,

write a shopping shopping list, you can amend the quantities weekly to avoid over ordering.

Enjoy your season!

Still looking for the perfect role? – CLICK HERE to view our full listing of chalet vacancies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef

An Interview with a Chalet Chef

Have you ever wanted to do a ski season as a Chalet Chef, but aren’t really sure what to expect? It’s easy to look through stuffy job descriptions or look online for advice and information about what your day-to-day life will be like out in resort, but we’ve gone one step further and have spoken to one of our Chalet Chefs to give you a real-life account of what it’s actually like!

Our chef, Louis, has been doing ski seasons as a Chalet Chef for the past few years, and is just getting ready to start his third winter out in the Alps. He has worked for some of our favourite clients and by this point, has seen it all when it comes to awkward guests, kitchen disasters and housekeeping duties.

We asked Louis what made him want to do his first ski season?

“Truthfully, I had never been skiing or snowboarding before, but I knew I wanted to go travelling, to explore new places, but I didn’t have the funds for the trip I wanted. I’d been a chef for my whole career, so thought I would look at a way to combine travelling with some work to keep me going. Being flown out to France and looked after for 5/6 months seemed too good to be true! [Most roles include accommodation, transport to resort, food, insurance and your lift pass as part of your salary package] I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and three years later, here I am!”

What does a typical day look like for a Chalet Chef?

“So you usually get up at around 7am, and head to the chalet to start breakfast; sometimes eggs benedict, maybe pancakes, etc. and always a full continental spread. Meanwhile, you’re making up your afternoon tea, and getting some prep done for that evening’s meal (if you haven’t already started it the day before). I always try and get as much done in the morning as you can. Between you and your host, you need to turn the chalet over so it looks brand new, which involves making the beds, hoovering, general cleaning and tidying, and then I’d say you’re usually out the door for 11 am. This means you can be on the mountain, suited up for 12pm! I’m a snowboarder, so me and my boys go off to shred some pow for a couple of hours, then head back home for a napres (nap + après!). Around 5pm it’s time to head back to the chalet to finish preparing dinner, then it’s time to serve your 4/5-course meal. Afterwards, it’s important to clean down, before you go home, (either to party or sleep) and start the whole day again tomorrow!”

What is the one dish that all guests love in your chalet?  

“I have a lamb dish that always hits the spot. It is lamb, braised in red wine, rolled into rich lean ballotines. The braising liquid is then stained and turned into a spicy, Moroccan-style tomato and mustard sauce to drizzle over the lamb, and it is accompanied by crispy kale, sautéed kohlrabi and a Harissa yogurt. It’s a warming, filling and tasty dish that everyone likes (except the vegetarians of course).

Why did you use Silver Swan to help you find your roles?

“I’ve worked for agencies in the past – for almost 6 years now. I like to let them look for my work as they often find things that are a bit different. My first conversation with Philippa was back in 2015. She told me some very exiting things about what chalet cheffing is about, how it differs from standard cooking roles, and what is on offer in terms of progression. I was sold immediately. I’m now using Silver Swan for the 3rd year running and I’ve definitely progressed every year, in style, level, responsibility and wage.”

What other opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your ski seasons?

“ I would say that employers now take me on simply based on the fact that I’ve worked in some luxury chalets alone. I have a chef friend who wanted to see the type of work I get up to on my seasons, and so he hired me several times to do private functions for him in Cornwall. It also means when I feel I’m ready to move onto Yachts, my experience in the Alps will be invaluable, as they usually need previous fine dining and private cheffing experience. To be honest, it’s probably opened more doors then I’m even fully aware of over the summers and into the future.”

So there you have it! What to expect from a winter season, straight from a Chalet Chef himself. We couldn’t recommend a ski season enough to give you a great experience, meet new friends and, as Louis says, to open up doors for future career moves that you may never have thought of before. We recruit chefs (and many other positions!) for a range of properties in the Alps, from private chalets to luxury tour operators…and even entry-level positions for new chefs and cook/hosts. If you are interested in working in a chalet for the winter, then now is a great time to get in touch with your CV and a bit of information about what you are looking for. You can browse our vacancies here, or simply send us over your details to enquiries@silverswanrecruitment.com. We can then help you start your career in the ski industry!

throwing snow in air

Top Tips to Finding A Ski Chalet Job

You want to do a ski season but you have no idea where to start – sound familiar? I can guarantee that you are not alone. There are thousands of jobs available each and every winter, across a huge number of different ski resorts, all sounding very similar. So, where you do you even start……?

 

Choosing a Resort

Start talking to people – friends and family who have been skiing or done ski seasons to get a feel for where you might want to go. Different resorts each has its own charm and offers something different. If you want a party scene you may choose Val d’Isere, St Anton or Saalbach. If you want to be not too far from an airport for friends and family to visit you may choose Morzine or Chamonix. If you want a huge ski area you may choose one of the 3 Valleys in France. Everyone has a favourite resort so start collecting some recommendations!

If you have absolutely no preference at all then you can instead start thinking about what you might what to do for work during your ski season.

 

Choosing a Role

There really is something for everyone out there. The most popular route is chalet work, seeing as the volume of chalet companies recruiting each year is huge, meaning there is plenty of choice. Within a chalet, the choice of roles are generally as follows:

  • Chalet Chef/Cook
  • Chalet Manager
  • Chalet Host
  • Chauffeur

Within a chalet company you will also find roles outside of the chalet such as Resort Management, Senior Chalet Management (overseeing a number of chalets), Massage/Spa roles, HR Management, Ops Management and some office based roles. Outside of chalet based work you will find opportunities such as transfer drivers, childcare, accountancy, ski instructing and more.

Be sure to think sensibly about your skill set and read job descriptions carefully to make sure you are applying to roles which you can actually do and which you have the relevant experience for. You will not be doing yourselves any favours when choosing roles which you’ll struggle to perform well in.

 

Choosing a Company

It may be too soon to actually choose a particular company at this stage but you can definitely start to think about the type of company you would like to work for and the level of service you wish to be offering. Silver Swan Recruitment mainly works at the luxury end of the market so majority of our positions are with 5* ski operators and privately owned chalets – all of which require a good level of previous service or catering experience. However, there are also a large number of companies who have a much more relaxed, ‘home from home’ feel where 5* service levels are not required.

If your career is hospitality focused and you are looking for a role to further your career, to earn you a decent salary and to gain some valuable experience then you want to be aiming at the higher end chalets. However, if your season is more to have fun, meet some new people and do something a bit different then you may choose to avoid the high-end companies and focus your job search on companies who can guarantee you ski time every day, who don’t mind if you let your hair down on an evening and who don’t require a huge amount of previous hospitality experience.

 

Private Chalets vs Ski Operators

 

Don’t be fooled in thinking going to work in a Privately-Owned Chalet is the only place you’ll be paid a higher way. More and more people are looking for private work thinking it’ll earn them better salaries – this is no longer the case. We actually have a number of ski operators who offer higher salaries than some of the private chalets we work with.

So, what’s the difference? Working privately means you are employed directly by the chalet owner, they themselves (or their PA/Chalet Manager) will interview you and will decide whether you are right or not. Some owners will be the only ones to use their chalet so you will be looking after them and only them throughout the winter – not usually all the time but for a large number of weeks. Other private chalets will still sell their chalet to paying guests but will use it regularly themselves with paying guests coming to stay when they are not there. You will be part of a much smaller team, you are often treated like family and you often get a few empty weeks. The level of service is often very high in privately owned chalets so you do generally need some good 5* experience.

A ski operator will rent a number of chalets from the chalet owners and manage them for the season. You will therefore have no involvement with the chalet owner and instead the ski company will be your employer. You will be part of a much larger team so often works well with the more social people, there will be a formal training course at the start of the season to ensure consistency across the chalets, you will rarely have empty weeks but will mean you’ll have a bigger tip potential. There is a huge range of ski companies from the lower level, requiring little experience to the top level requiring a very high level of 5* experience. Some people prefer the smaller operators, some prefer the larger operators. There really is something for everyone!

 

Applying

When you have a clear idea of what you want to do and where you want to go it’s then time to get the ball rolling.

  • Write a good CV
    • Keep it to 2 pages
    • Include a photo
    • Clearly outline your previous employment and your key responsibilities
    • If your relevant hospitality experience is not your most recent role/s then have a section above your Employment History called ‘Relevant Experience’ – then underneath you can have ‘Other Experience’
    • Include references (and give your referees heads up that they will be contacted, it often prompts quicker responses)
  • Use specialised recruitment agencies to help guide you through the process
    • We spend time during your registration to really understand what you are looking for and what you hope to achieve during your season
    • We match your skills and personality to suitable roles. We offer lengthy probationary periods to our clients so it’s in our best interest to get the match right first time – so we really do do all that we can to ensure you are put forward to the right companies who you’ll have a great season with
    • We offer you a small selection of well match companies and then arrange interviews on your behalf with you preferred position
    • By using a recruitment agency to help secure your chalet role means you have a relationship built ready for your next step as we can then help you secure a villa or a yacht role for the following summer season. We can also help you find a permanent position – resort based or office based or in a Private Household once your seasonal days are over
  • Use specialised job boards. There are a number of job boards available which are specific to the ski industry and so can be a one stop shop for you to view a huge range of different roles with different companies. We can recommend:
  • Once you have found a company you are interested in – whether that be through recommendation of an agency or by seeing a role advertised on a job board then definitely visit that company’s website to familiarise yourself with their product and services BEFORE you apply and definitely BEFORE you have your interview

Once you have been offered your dream role and you have signed your contract, please stay in regular contact with your new employer. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and be as responsive as you can with any paperwork or questions they send your way.

 

READY TO GET STARTED?

Have a browse of OUR CURRENT VACANCIES HERE.

For any questions regarding finding a chalet job or if you would like Silver Swan to help you secure that dream role then please just GET IN TOUCH HERE.

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