Sports

We were introduced to Louise Waldron, the founder of Snow Finel Ski Wear and couldn’t help but be impressed not only with her, but with her range of ski wear.   She certainly has spotted a gap in the market for quality thermals, layers and accessories but without the very high price tags of those up-market brands which we aspired to but somehow couldn’t quite justify.

Made from the finest Merino wool and styled with an understated good taste and stamped with her own unique detail, we’re sure that Snow Finel Ski Wear will  be recognised in the same way that a flash of red on the sole of a shoe is unmistakably, Christian Louboutin.

Now is an excellent time to visit the Snow Finel website as there are some timely offers for this season! (Just click on the photos or logo to go to the site and view  the  whole fabulous collection)

We asked Louise to tell us her story which we are delighted to share:-

Snow Finel Ski Wear

 

I started Snow Finel quite simply because I couldn’t fine anything I wanted to wear!   I was lucky enough to own lots of lovely ski jackets and ski pants but when I stopped for those long lunches or apres ski drinks I was rather embarrassed about the scruffy old fleece and T-shirt combos.

After visiting lots of factories in the Uk and persuading three of them to work with me, I started in 2013 with a small range of ladies jumpers and hats. I launched at the Spirit of Christmas Fair and attended a small number of small fairs.

Having been well received I realised that stylish thermals and mid layers were lacking in the marketplace.  My aim was to create  stylish, coordinating layers which looked fantastic on and off the slopes.

Snow Finel Ski Wear mid layer tops

The range has grown to include base layers, mid layers, gilets, leggings and a range of accessories for men and ladies.

Snow Finel Ski Wear Mid Layer Top

Merino Wool Mid Layer with Contrasting Zip and matching Cashmere Hat 

 

I design all the garments myself and have everything manufactured in the UK. I felt very strongly about this as I want to support British industry.

All the garments are made from high quality merino wool.  Merino has fantastic qualities as a fibre to wear for sport.

  • It naturally regulates the wearer’s body temperature.
  • It wicks moisture but doesn’t cool the wearer.
  • It retains heat but you won’t ever overheat in it!
  • An added bonus is it never smells.

The business is growing organically, I am proud of the products that are designed for skiing but are worn by anyone who enjoys sport. The quest for new products and colour ways makes the design process exciting, as does trying out all the samples on the slopes to ensure they perform well.

Snow Finel Ski Wear Mens Top Layer

Men’s Top Layer in Merino Wool

 

Snow Finel Ski Wear Made in UK

Life on a Chalk Stream Header

It is always exciting to have new beats as you never quite know how they will turn out; over the years I have had unexpected hits and head scratching duds. Rivers can sometimes be as confounding as the fish that swim in them.

At the Craven Fishery on the River Kennet it is good to be working with Josh Purton who spent many summers weed cutting with us and is now installed as the river keeper. Josh is one of a new breed of keepers coming through who are in their 20’s, with fishery management degrees from Sparsholt College. Along with our own Simon Fields this cohort, including Michael Taplin at Wherwell Priory and Rob Rees at East Lodge, seem to have a good way of blending progressive thinking with traditional practices. You will see plenty of this at Craven.

Craven Fishery on the River Kennet

Craven Fishery

Many of you will be familiar with Kanara on the River Itchen, which is probably one of the longest established day ticket chalkstream fisheries, dating way back to the 1960’s when it was under the care of ‘Scrappy’ Hay of the Rod Box in Winchester.

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Producer George Browne brings us news from the editing suite of CHALK The Movie:

It was with almost audible sighs of relief that filmmakers Chris Cooper and Leo Cincolo replaced the lens caps on their cameras, packed away the drone and switched off the radio mics for the last time in the filming of CHALK. After 20 days of shooting, some blissful and others gruellingly hard work, we’ve finally got everything ‘in the can’, as they say in the trade.

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Pure Powder Logo

Pure Powder Heli Skiing Presentations

 

With winter creeping up on us it’s nearly snow-time and (in our humble opinion) there’s nothing better to get you in the mood for the winter than coming along to one of our Heli Skiing presentations which start next week.  We’ll be discussing all things Heli Skiing in Canada with experienced Canadian ski guides Craig McGee and Lindsay Andersen.

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In music it is often said that the second album is the hardest; likewise the second book. I can’t say I found this to be true. But my first film script? Well, that is a whole different story.

Aerial shot of Chalk StreamNow by my way of thinking a book is easy. You pitch the idea. A kind publisher shows some interest. You work it up into synopsis. In my case about two sides of A4 with thirty or forty words for each chapter heading.  The contract is signed. You are given a word count and deadline. And that is it. Over to you. For nine months nobody takes a blind bit of interest in your scribbling. The occasional email might appear checking you are still alive (the first clue is that you have cashed the advance cheque) but that is about it. The only boundaries are your imagination. The structure, the story, the beginning, middle and end are all of your choosing. Essentially you can do what you like. Of course the whole literary edifice may well coming crashing down upon your head when the manuscript is submitted for the red pen of the editor but you are a least given that freedom to roam. However a film script is a whole different beast.

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Heli Skiing with Pure Powder in Chile

Southern Skiing, Staying Fit & Dreaming of Pow

 

It’s that time of year again that I start pining for my skis; it’s the midway stage between the last turns of the late season and the start of another winter. What to do? If the urge to ski some powder is overwhelming, why not head south to chase the snow in the Chilean Andes where big mountains and heavy snowfalls combine with warm Chilean hospitality for an unforgettable skiing experience.

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As you may have heard I was a guest on the Radio 4 Saturday Live show hosted by the Rev. Richard Coles. Frankly, as my first time live on national radio, I was fully expecting to be scared out of my wits but it is a huge tribute to the production team at Broadcasting House that I felt nothing of the sort.

Simon Cooper of Fishing Breaks with presenters Laura and Richard Guests Lady Carnarvon Daniel O'Donnel me and Samantha Renke

Presenters: Laura & Richard. Guests: Lady Carnarvon, Daniel O’Donnell, me & Samantha Renke.

 

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On my various perambulations in the writing The Otters’ Tale I came across some unexpected reactions. For the most part people were incredibly supportive, helpful and encouraging. After all the otter is regularly polled as one of Britain’s favourite animals. It even has a world-encompassing cheerleader in J K Rowling.  She featured our native otter in the Harry Potter series, plus I think I read somewhere that she said that if she has to come back in another life it would be as an otter.  But not everyone is quite as enthusiastic about these lithe and secretive creatures.

Simon Cooper of Fishing Breaks with Topaz the Otter

Simon Cooper with Topaz

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Simon Cooper of Fishing Breaks Newsletter Heading

 

Someone asked me an interesting question last week: what would you do if given precisely 5 years to live, assuming your death was to be neither traumatic or fearful (a big ask I know). My immediate answer was to do more fishing. Then I considered the question again – family, travel, money – well, they all crowded in but in the end I circled back to fishing. As former Liverpool football manager Bill Shankley replied when asked whether football was life and death, “No, it’s more important than that.”

Well, I’m not intending to die just yet (make that my epitaph) but I’m beginning to think Bill may have had a point. Let’s face it you’ll never be able to re-live the year again. Once the days are gone, they are gone. The cadence of the summer months can’t be jammed into single day or week. So, having decided on the principle of more fishing I think I better set a few parameters.

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Chalet St Peres in St Martin de Belleville

The Vintage Magazine, that is the editor and his wife, two daughters with accompanying husbands and their respective two children apiece recently spent a fabulous week skiing at St. Martin de Belleville, actually that is not technically correct, we stayed in St. Martin but skiied in the vast area of the Three Valleys (aka Les Trois Vallées if you are French) which incorporates,  Courcheval, Val Thorens, Méribel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin De Belleville, La Tania, Orelle and Brides les Bains; that makes 600 kilometres of slopes to explore and a resort to suit every taste and budget and every level of skiing ability from wonderfully groomed blue pistes to vertiginous couloirs.  There are in fact 321 Alpine ski runs made up of 51 green, 132 blue, 106 red and 32 black making this area perfect for families.

We chose St. Martin de Belleville as we had stayed here about 12 years ago and had fallen in love with the authentic charm of this Savoie region village but also because of the high speed gondolas and chairlifts which whisked us off and up into all the other ski areas.

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