Lech, Austria – Ski fun mini break!

DAY 1

What’s worse than a 4am start? The car breaking down ten minutes after you leave for the airport, meaning you have to catch a lift and arrive just in time for your flight, whilst missing out on shopping for last minute extras!

Mercifully, Pret put a smile back on our faces with what has rapidly become our favourite travel breakfast of porridge and a delicious turmeric latte.

With nerves soothed, easyJet lived up to their name, giving my travelling companion Sal and me a smooth flight all the way into Tyrol’s cute, sun-drenched Innsbruck Airport.

We opted to hire a car for the hour-and-a-half drive to Lech. It was really cost effective and gave us a chance to take in the picturesque mountains surrounding us. Don’t worry, there are no nasty hairpin bends and the roads are brilliantly prepared for weekend visitors – even those in a humble Ford Focus, like us.

Our hotel  – the Brunnenhof – got off to a good start by emailing about our flight details and to ask if we had any dietary requirements. Checking in early was no problem and owner Christine filled us in with fab local knowledge. The hotel has belonged to her family for many years and they are hugely environmentally conscious whilst their menu promotes organic, homemade and locally sourced produce.

That evening we walked through fairy-tale snow into townto check out Schneggarei, a cool venue at the foot of the slopes with great music and not too ‘in your face’ après-ski vibes. Think cosy 80s ski-lodge with a minimalistic twist. Their mocktails hit the spot before the venue switched down a gear for dinnertime. And what a dinner we had! Epic pizza creations were readily modified by the chefs to become vegan-friendly masterpieces so delicious that we had to take home what we couldn’t finish.

For anyone after a livelier night out, check out the uber-classy and stylish Hotel Krone. It’s home to a stunning après-ski ice bar as well as the K Club – where you can throw shapes as freely as if you were on the slopes!

Day 2:

So the early start we’d planned didn’t happen, thanks to sleeping in until 9am. The comfy beds and peaceful location of the hotel demanded that long lie-in.

It was difficult to believe that we were a mere ten-minute walk into the bustling town centre. The Brunnenhof really is a perfect location if you’re looking to ski and chill a little too.

And they rustled up quite possibly the tastiest vegan-friendly breakfast either of us have ever had (from a non-vegan place). Their homemade almond milk and heavenly coffee was the stuff of dreams and Christine’s interest in our dietary needs from the previous day really showed.

We enjoyed huge bowls of almond milk porridge, topped with bananas, nuts, chia seeds and dried fruits. This simple but exquisite meal was undeniably one of the highlights of the trip. Also on offer was a massive selection of fruits, both fresh and dried, seeds, cereals, cooked breakfasts, delish almond milk or soya porridge, gluten free and vegan bread, home-made jams and fresh green smoothies. Honestly, I could talk about breakfast all day.

One bus stop from the hotel we found Intersport ski hire, who were super helpful and kept our shoes all day so we could get straight to the slopes. As well as skis, they have boards and helmets for all levels available.

Just up the road there’s a chair lift up to the pistes, but it’s well worth taking the free busses to the surrounding slopes, which all join up to form the White Ring – the world’s longest ski race.

We skied until mid afternoon, when the call of Brunnenhof’s sauna was too strong and we headed back for a spot of relaxation at their spa.

An evening stroll along the river revealed loads of lively bars and, set back from the road, numerous quieter places for a drink.

It has to be said the vegan options were few and far between at most of the restaurants, so it was back to Schneggarei for more mocktails and another pizza fest. This time we finished it off with a delicious vegan-friendly sorbet for dessert.

Day 3:

Um, well we slept late again…and had an incredible vegan breakfast…again!

To be sure of a dinner to look forward to, we booked a table at the Brunnenhof as their award-winning chef promotes “premium dishes that do the body, spirit and soul good.”

With reservations made, it was time for more skiing. The previous night’s snowfall had left amazing fresh powder on the slopes and we didn’t stop until the afternoon.

Lunch was a sun-soaked affair on the terrace at Hotel Montana, overlooking Lech. Vegans are welcome and there are limited, but tasty options. We enjoyed smoked tofu in a yummy tomatoey sauce with huge bowls of badass French fries as we drank in the stunning views.

Back home at Hotel Brunnenhof – and with one more sauna under our belts – it was time for dinner.

The meal was point blank amazing.

We started with delicious vegan bread, pepper dip and oils and then, from a choice of three vegan dishes, we went for a fig and sweet potato main that was out of this world. The chef knows how to cater for vegans and did us so proud we didn’t have room for dessert.

It’s safe to say we didn’t want to leave the next morning, but a hassle free drive to the airport and easyJet’s flawless service made it all as pain free as possible.

We loved:

The friendly, homely peaceful vibes at Hotel Brunnenhof, that enabled us to recharge whilst away.

The consideration to the environment from Hotel Brunnenhof

Hotel Brunnenhof’s amazing chef and incredible vegan breakfasts

The mid afternoon late lunch stop with perfect sunny vibes and delicious smoked tofu at Hotel Montana

The heated chair lifts with pull down visors to keep you warm up the mountains!

The awesome range of pistes and easily accessible neighbouring slopes

Point to note: If you haven’t been before, it’s hard to escape the fur throws and animal decor in most of the venues we visited.