Dining in the mountains — eating out or in on family ski vacation?

The Warming Hut in Breckenridge CO
The Warming Hut in Breckenridge CO

BRECKENRIDGE, CO — Hot dog or Tapas?

In Vail you can take your pick.  On the Mountain at the famous Blue Sky Basin, you can get a grilled dog and eat it outside in the sunshine (hopefully) overlooking the slopes. You can take off your ski boats at Vail’s new “The Tenth” at mid Vail—several of Vail’s founders w.ere veterans of the World War II Tenth Mountain Division.  The dining room features views of the Gore Range. The place is so popular you need a lunch reservation

We’ve enjoyed dinner at Sweet Basil, in the heart of Vail village and Tavern on the Square in The Arrabelle at Vail Square, (I especially loved the veal schnitzel.  I wish the Vail Chophouse didn’t charge extra for children to substitute fruit for fries, though.

We loved the year-old Warming Hut in Breckenridge that is celebrating its first year anniversary—comfort food like meat loaf and roast chicken, bison and chorizo chili, roasted root vegetable salad,  elk medallions  made with Colorado-sourced meats, produce, dairy, microbrews and spirits.  The restaurant’s ambiance couldn’t be nicer—in the renovated Gaymon building that once was the home of newspaper man Oren K. Gaymon. The building is now eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.  I love that kids can get a kid-sized portion any soup or side dish for $4—I wish more restaurants did that!

But we’ve also enjoyed my husband’s chili that he’s brought frozen from home and my British-born sister-in-law’s homemade shepherd’s pie (lamb  not beef – which is “cottage pie”) whipped up in our Blue Sky Condo’s kitchen in ski country.

And there is no reason to feel guilty—not when you skied miles and miles on Vail or Breckenridge mountains.

But then again when you are staying in a roomy condo, like The Montaneros at Vail or where we have just checked in at Blue Sky at Breckenridge, with fully equipped kitchens, it is nice to cook with the family, put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine, a martini or two.

Blue Sky Condos in Breckenridge CO
Blue Sky Condos in Breckenridge CO

Blue Sky Breckenridge, like Montaneros, is a Wyndham Vacation Rental, which happens to be the world’s largest professionally managed vacation rentals business—everything from castles in Britain  to  North Carolina beach houses to Tuscany villas to city apartments and even houseboats in England.—more than 100,000 vacation properties in over 500 destinations.

Wyndham likes to remind vacationers that theirs is the only vacation rental business that offers quality assurance from a global hospitality company.

There’s also no haggling with an owner about the price—or whether the place lives up to expectations.  Blue Sky Breckenridge is one of the nicest ski country condos I’ve ever hung up my ski boots in—and I’ve stayed in a lot of them.

There’s the expansive kitchen with granite counter-tops and top of the line appliances and every thing we need—even a crock pot (though my husband and brother in law were disappointed there were no martini glasses).  The huge bathtub is perfect to soak away aches and pains after a day of skiing, as well as the outdoor pool and hot tub, even a spa.  Did I mention that this is ski-in, ski out?  In fact,  there are the views of the Snowflake chairlift right from our window.  The extra den that can double as a bedroom with its pull out sofa.  “Why would you want to leave to go out,” my sister in law jokes.

I’m glad she feels that way because as the non-skier in the bunch, she’s planning to cook us dinner while we are out on the slopes.

Thanks, Anne.

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