Ski season is in full swing, and so for those heading off to the slopes, here is our pick of where to stay, eat, drink and shop in one of France’s chicest ski resorts, Megève.
Whilst many of Megève’s more affluent addresses can actually be found slightly out of town, M de Megève offers guests five-star luxury right in the heart of the village. Its contemporary chalet style feels fresh, modern, but oh-so-cosy, with a roaring fire in the lounge, fluffy throws in the bar, and every room accessorized with soft woolen blankets and cushions. Guests can also enjoy two fantastic restaurants, cocktails in the bar, or if you prefer, try the new génépi tasting menu (the herb-infused local liqueur), and an underground spa which is just the tonic after a day on the slopes, with a swimming pool, a huge Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and an exotic treatment menu which is perfect for warming up in winter.
If you want to get out of the village centre, then Le Chalet Zannier fulfills all your dreams of a cosy chalet hideaway. Nestled on a sloping snow-covered hill, this intimate hotel (which has just 12 rooms) offers a peaceful retreat from the buzz of the village, where days can be spent lounging by your own crackling fire, being pampered in the low-lit underground spa, or enjoying a complimentary tea-time in the bar with hot chocolate and cakes freshly prepared by the chalet’s pastry chef. If you don’t feel like heading out into the cold you can even stay for dinner; the hotel’s restaurant La Ferme de Mon Père is hugely popular with locals and non-guests thanks to its simple, seasonal dishes prepared with the best French produce.
Whilst this may look like a spot for people watching and posing, and you’d be right in both cases, the food here is actually good. It also offers a well-balanced mix of Savoie classics; think tartiflette, raclette and plates of local cheese. There are also some slightly lighter, more international dishes, salads, burgers, and so on, if you’ve had your fill of French fromage.
For a lighter, and cheaper bite to eat (Megève is notoriously expensive), you can’t go wrong at the quaint and cosy crêperie, Chez Olivia. Sweet crêpes and savoury galettes (the buckwheat pancakes traditionally from Brittany) start at just €4, depending on how many toppings you go for. Pop in for a tasty lunch or an afternoon crêpe for a goûter (the French equivalent of afternoon tea-time).
Even if you’re not staying at Hotel M de Megève, you should definitely dine at one of its two restaurants, perhaps after an apéro at the bar first. Les Grands Crus de Fondues will not only give you your fondue fix whilst in the mountains, but you can also choose your own combination of cheeses to personalize your food to your taste. If you’re not sure where to start then resident fromager Thomas Lecomte will help you compose your perfect fondue, and choose a unique assortment of side dishes including pineapple, raspberry, kiwi, and if you’re feeling adventurous, even snails. My French dining partner declared it “the best fondue I have ever had.”
Whilst many gastronomes set their sights on dining at Flocons de Sel, Emmanuel Renaut’s famed three-star establishment located around a ten-minute drive from Megève, you can sample the chef’s fantastic cuisine in the more relaxed and central setting of his bistro, Flocons Village. You’ll have to make a reservation as it’s unsurprisingly a hugely popular spot, offering guests the chance to experience a taste of Renaut’s style (and desserts by Flocons de Sel’s pastry chef Aurélie Collomb-Clerc ) for just €41 for a three-course menu, or €34 for two.
If you’re looking to sample another famous chef’s cuisine, then foodies should head to Le M restaurant where two-Michelin star chef Edouard Loubet has designed this season’s menu. Expect French classics, including the most beautifully cooked magret de canard, as well as some local dishes such as crozets, a buckwheat pasta from Savoie. The dessert menu is a hard-to-choose-from selection of Loubert’s own comfortingly classic recipes, from a traditional but elegantly presented tarte tatin to a wonderfully creamy pistachio crème brûlée, which has been given a fun and naughty twist with the addition of a bitter chocolate doughnut.
A mug of steaming hot chocolate is one of the most delicious ways to warm up in the mountains, and arguably nobody does it better than Parisian master chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin. Thanks to the new Grand Hôtel du Soleil d’or, which has recently opened with its very own La Chocolaterie, you can now enjoy cups of Hévin’s delectable hot chocolate freshly whisked behind the bar, and accompanied by a tempting selection of homemade cakes.
Along with the Bistrot de Megève, which is also a great spot for a drink if you manage to snag a table on the heated terrace, Le Hibou Blanc is another of the village hotspots to see and be seen thanks to its central location in the heart of the action. Enjoy a glass of wine come apéro time, or stay long in to the night enjoying its cocktail creations and snacking on sharing dishes such as charcuterie boards, foie gras, and oysters.
While the Grand Hôtel du Soleil d’or will tempt you by day with hot chocolate and cakes, by night it will draw you to to enjoy its rooftop bar, the only one in Megève, with its craft cocktails and dressed up chalet décor; think ultra-luxe sheepskin pillows and an impressive glittering chandelier. It’s definitely got more of a party vibe than some of the other bars in town, so head here if you’re in the mood for some late night revelry, or alternatively start your evening here whilst it’s still light to take in the impressive panoramic views of Megève with a drink in hand.
With the likes of Hermès, Eric Bompard, Fusalp and Rossignol, you could just as easily spend your days shopping as you could on the slopes. But as well as being a hotspot for designer labels, Megève is also, and perhaps more interestingly, the perfect spot to sample some of the region’s most famous cuisine in one of its many gourmet épiceries.
L’Épicerie is an excellent spot to know about for picking up local products from the Savoie region, from honey, to cheese, to wine and locally brewed beer, and especially if you pop in on a Saturday when you might be lucky enough to catch a wine or cheese tasting going on. The family-run Épicerie des Fermes also has a great selection of local products (including huge pots of homemade desserts in the fridge) but also a choice of products from around Europe, which are particularly useful if you’re cooking something up in a rented apartment.
Épicerie Noémie is the newest gourmet spot in Megève, stocking products from Edmond de Rothschild Heritage, particularly charcuterie, wine, and huge wheels of truffle-laced cheese. And for something sweeter, it’s hard to walk past La Boutique aux Chocolats Megève and not go inside to pick up a box of chocolates completely handmade by owners Françoise Legon and Caroline Vouillon, whose grandfather founded the shop back in 1962.
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