Planning our winter holidays conjured up images of rustic hideaways in the heart of the mountain, snowy evenings spent around the fireplace and breathtaking views. And as we made our ascension to the sleepy village of Ville-sur-Sarre, with a delicate snowfall greeting us along the way, I grinned happily at the realisation that this place would far exceed my expectations.

Ville-sur-Sarre is best described as a picturesque cluster of about ten houses (give or take a couple of barns and donkeys), perched at 1210 metres above Aosta. If it's a quiet crowd free retreat you're after, look no further than this side of the Aosta Valley. With spectacular views across the way and only a short 20 minute drive up from the valley, it is traditional mountain living at its best.

And within this small hamlet, our chalet was nothing less than pure alpine bliss. Complete with views that make you reconsider ever leaving, it is the gateway to hygge. The kind of place where relentless snow comes as the most welcome excuse to stay in and enjoy hearty meals and hot chocolate by the fire. Not that you really need an excuse. After all, winter's greatest indulgence is eating copious amounts of food whilst enjoying doing nothing at all.