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Streatham Twinned With Meribel

Streatham Twinned With Meribel

Now at first glance this may seem an odd choice! If you have to choose a Londonish location, why not choose some where like Hemel Hempstead, at least they have a ski slope. Well that is where you are wrong. Google Streatham piste map and you will find that they too have a ski area. It can be found on the famous Streatham Common. The nearest station is Streatham Common, where trains pass through to Gatwick. So almost like going to catch a plane!

Unlike Meribel the Streatham ski area is probably only open once or twice a year. You can tell when it is open as the rest of London will come to a standstill. Streatham boasts about 2km of trails compared to the 600km of piste that the Three Valleys boasts. The full area of Courchevel, Val Thorens and Meribel have a combined total of 180 lifts, Streatham has none. Unless you count the 249 and the 417 bus routes that runs up the side of the common.

streatham-common-pistemap

If you are a regular visitor to Meribel then you will have enjoyed the wonderful mountain restaurants that the area has to offer, just check out this guide to gourmet food in the Trois Vallee. The Streatham ski area also has one mountain side restaurant. It is called the Rookery café and if you are a fan of budget all-day breakfasts, instant coffee, and tuna sandwiches then this is a great place for you to visit after a hard day putting in several turns then waiting for a bus. They will probably even microwave you a bottle of Blossom Hill.

When Albertville hosted the Winter Olympics back in the 90’s, Meribel played its part by hosting the Ice Hockey tournament. Team GB didn’t enter a team for this event but if it did you can bet your left ski boot innersole that they would have trained in Streatham. It has one of the UK’s most iconic rinks and other than crime, is the second thing that people associate with Streatham.

Nightlife is a huge part of Meribel’s culture, from Après at the Ronnie, meeting up in Jacks and late nights in Dicks. Streatham also has an exciting array of nightlife. At the bottom of the slopes you will find a selection of pubs to Après in and it has a great late nightclub called the Hideaway. Sadly none of these have had the foresight to install ski racks and leaving your beloved snowboard outside is not something we would recommend.

 

 


Final Five – Meribel

The Final five!

It seems as though we have been agonising over the short list for places in the UK that we should try and get twinned with Meribel, for what seems like months! Finally we have done it! We have managed to choose between all your suggestions, so hopefully in years to come, when you are driving into Meribel, you will see the sign, Meribel twinned with …………, but in the French Language obviously.  And when you see that sign you will think, I suggested that, or I voted for that, or I suggested a different town that no one voted for, or my suggestion wasn’t even short listed. At the very least you will think that is a good Idea, good to see Meribel twinned with ………… .

So which UK places will be going to the public vote for that chance of us contacting their local authority about the prospect of Meribel being twinned with them? The finalists are, (long pause), in no particular order, (long pause), decided by our panel, the UK locations are: (even longer pause)  Windermere in Cumbria, suggested by Ange Jeffery. The second UK location through the final is, (really long pause), Streatham in South London, suggested by Alex Smith. The third finalist facing the public vote will be, (you get the idea), Shoreham-by-Sea, suggested by Alpine Action, (“Fix, Fix Fix”). The last two places will be Aviemore, suggested by Keith Stevenson and the birth place of Peter Lindsay founder of Meribel, (no one knows where this is), suggested by Colin Mathews.

Well that was tense. Some surprising choices, one of our Facebook fans suggested that there would be no representation from places in the North. However it seems our panel have opted for a fifty/ fifty split, that is until we discover where Peter Lindsay was born, we suspect Scotland. In the next few paragraphs we will give each nomination a short introduction. Over the coming weeks we will get a bigger profile and reaction from each of the nominated towns..

Windermere, nominated by Ange Jeffery.

Windermere is already twinned with a town in Germany called Dießen am Ammersee.  Much like Windermere, Dießen am Ammersee is next to a lake and in a quite hilly region, Bavaria. But there are many towns with duel twinning, oddly not called triplets, so let us not be put off by that. Like Meribel, Windermere attracts adventure nuts all year round and is the gateway to some amazing terrain and ski fields.

Streatham, suggested by Alex Smith

A few years ago, it wasn’t cool or hip with the affluent city types, much the same as Meribel. It has only been in recent times that the light has been seen and more and more people are flocking to the areas. Both have a vibrant and diverse night life and a great amount of restaurants that cater for people looking for a variety of culinary experiences. The Streatham ski area is limited and only available to skiers once or twice a year. However it does have an excellent mountain restaurant, and bars at the bottom of the runs.

Shoreham-by-Sea, suggested by Alpine Action

Our head office is situated in  Shorham-by-Sea, and as we are Meribel experts we kind of thought that it would be a good reason to start a link with the resort of Meribel. As previously noted, like Meribel, Shorham-by-sea has a small airport. Over the next few weeks we will reveal other parallels to Meribel. We also hope that out ties to both will mean something to the Mayor of each location.

The birth place of Peter Lindsay founder of Meribel, suggested by Colin Mathews.

An excellent suggestion, only confounded by the lack of information surrounding the actual location. We know that he was a Scott, and Lindsey was his clan. So we can assume that it will be a location in Scotland. Which is good, as it will be, if nothing else a snowy place that we will be potentially twinning with Meribel. Based on the confusing family tree of most Scottish families we are in for some degree level research.

Aviemore, suggested by Keith Stevenson

This final suggestion is possibly the most sensible of all the nominations, other than the selection of other ski areas in the UK that were nominated. But we couldn’t choose all ski resorts so we have chosen Aviemore to represent. It has a good ski area and a developed infrastructure. Both resorts have a funicular, but unless you are a funicular geek like me you wouldn’t know about the one in the Meribel Valley. Aviemore is a small version of a ski resort and as such could easily be twinned with Meribel. There could even be mutual benefit to come from it.


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