There's no more cheerful, warming way to end a day of skiing than with a hearty feast and glass (or two) of mulled wine. You can find both — and plenty more culinary adventures — at Thredbo's many restaurants, cafes and bars. Whether you're looking to linger over hot chocolate while surrounded by snow-covered peaks at Australia's highest eatery, tuck into Austrian goulash with a stein of German beer, sit down to a multi-course dinner accompanied by fine wines or sip Champagne in a hot pool, you can. Here are five spots that should be on every après-skier's list.
MERRITTS MOUNTAIN HOUSE
Take a quick trip to Europe, without leaving the slopes, at Merritts Mountain House, located at the lower end of the Cruiser Chair. On a clear day, claim a table on the spacious outdoor deck and soak up some sunshine. Otherwise, get cosy indoors. Either way, you'll be tucking into comfort food — from Austrian goulash and German bratwurst to lamb shanks and soups served in bread bowls. Yep, it's exactly the big fuel up you need after hours conquering the mountain, whether that was on the Crackenback Supertrail (the longest run in Australia) or on Friday Flat mastering your snowplough. Match your feast with a gluhwein (mulled wine), stein of beer or schnapps. Should you happen to be passing by on a Saturday between July 1 and September 16, you'll have a chance to kick back to DJs at Corona Sunsets' Merritts Midday Sessions.
Prepare for extraordinary views of Australia's mightiest summits at Eagles Nest, the highest restaurant in the nation. To get there, catch the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift as far as you can, then settle in for 270-degree panoramas of The Snowies. It gets pretty cold up here, but there's a crackling log fire to keep you company. The menu covers moreish snacks, such as brie melts and hot chips, as well as mains made to warm your cockles, including burgers, soups and roast pumpkin salad. If you're dropping by for afternoon tea, then be sure to go for the homemade scones with hot chocolate. The drinks list takes its inspiration from Europe, covering gluhwein, German beer and an extensive collection of schnapps.
Kareela Hutte takes on-mountain dining and drinking to a whole new level. Think fresh produce, premium-quality meats, beautifully composed plates and lush desserts. It's more like an inner-city restaurant than the average ski resort offering — and definitely the spot where skiing foodies prefer to stop. If you're travelling with a mate or two and keen to share, then order a platter loaded with cheese, olives, antipasto, meats and bread. If your roaring appetite is not up for sharing, among the mains you'll find excellent steaks, tender roasts and fancy burgers. There's also an impressive wine list featuring numerous European and Australian drops. Special events, like wine maker's lunches and Champagne breakfasts, take place every season. They tend to book out well in advance though, so get your mitts on tickets as soon as you can.
THREDBO ALPINE HOTEL POOLSIDE BAR
Feel like a dip after your ski session? Make tracks for Thredbo Alpine Hotel, where a piping hot pool and, most importantly, an accompanying bar await. Don your cossies, grab a flute of Champagne and settle in for a muscle-relaxing soak, canopied by stars. Themed parties and live music happen throughout winter; take a peek at the calendar to find out who's playing when. This is another haunt for Corona Sunsets' gigs. This year, you can expect Melbourne's North East Party House on Saturday, July 21 and DJ Running Touch on Saturday, August 18. Before that, on Saturday, July 14, Kosciuszko Pale Ale will host a Poolside Après Party, featuring DJ Jamie Allen and old-school bluesy rockers 19-Twenty.
The only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Thredbo is River Inn, located just 50 metres from Thredbo's legendary beginner's slope, Friday Flat. And the good news is you don't have to sleep over to enjoy one of its après-ski sessions. All you have to do is slip out of your skis or board, and head into the Inn's onsite Bavarian Bar and Restaurant. As the name suggests, this spot is dedicated to all things from Bavaria, the German state famous for its fairytale-like villages and for founding a little thing called Oktoberfest. There's a stack of Bavarian beers on tap and a Bavarian-inspired menu to boot that's big on schnitzels, burgers and sausages. Keep an ear out for live music, too.
Check out all your dining options for a post-ski feed and bev here.