Shaded by wind-rushed birches is this upstairs-downstairs little chalet, built by Colleen’s husband, Jean-Marie, a well-known mountain guide. She runs her own ski company and they live across the garden. It is light and bright and stylish in country furniture and modern checks. Downstairs is open plan with a roundly rustic dining table, a snug shower room with bathrobes, a washing machine and a kitchen with pottery and timeless pine. The cosily charming living area is graced with colourful textiles, prints hang on the timber walls, there’s a perfect red sofa and a stereo. A floor-to-ceiling window looks onto the garden, filling the space with light. Kids love the mezzanine with its ladder to two single mattresses. Up the wooden spiral staircase is the main bedroom with its balcony and magnificent mountain views. Outside stairs leads down to the garden where roses clamber up wooden walls, geraniums fill window boxes, creepers weave through a pile of stacked slates. You are on the edge of pretty Les Tines and a bus brings you to even prettier Chamonix. Well above normal chalet standards.