Megeve Ski

Amazing skiing in Megeve with the best places to dine at, and a shopping day trip to Courchevel (14 - 21 Jan 2017)
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Finally after years of wanting to go Megeve, we finally did it this year! It has always been on my hit list after reading so much about this charming and chic ski town in France, close to the Montblanc. This place is definitely laden with old money and best described as discreet luxe as compared to the other ‘moneyed’ ski resorts like Courchevel, famed for its more opulent lifestyle attracting the Russians. This quaint farming village was first discovered by the Baroness Naomie de Rothschild in the 20s who wanted to create a French version of St Moritz. It started with a remodelling of the Hotel du Mont d’Arbois, which she bought. She hired a young architect – Henri-Jacques Le Meme to develop a new style of architecture for Megeve which looked traditional in appearance and style but very modern. This architecture style was repeated for the subsequent some 200 chalets in the area, which has come to pretty much define the village look for Megeve today – so chic!

We are arriving ! 

First glimpses of Megeve town near our chalet.

BEST TIME TO GO

With the rather unpredictable snow weather these days, visiting Megeve in mid January seemed to be more of a sure bet for snow. Well, I do have to disclose we were plagued with some daunting news before our ski trip – Megeve still didn’t have much snow fall, and slopes looked a sad grassy green instead of white luscious snow a week before our trip! Amazingly, 2 days before we arrived, Megeve was blessed with bountiful snowfall, and yes we were spoilt with amazingly groomed and quiet slopes which made our ski runs so enjoyable!

The other plus point about going during mid January is it’s also the most reasonable in price for prime ski season from then to next week of January.  Given we had Chinese New Year in late January that some of us had to rush back for, it was shocking how prices can differ so much through the weeks from late December to late January. In general, you can expect a doubling of prices for most chalets between low season weeks in Jan through March and February peak season – this pattern will be the same wherever you go although the scale of the price differences will vary.

The rule of thumb is it is always best to avoid the European and UK school holidays. February is most expensive during the British school holidays, which fell on the week of 11 February this year and followed by the other European school holidays in the next 2 weeks of February, and then one has to face the French holidays in early March. Only from mid-March do prices start to drop back to lower season rates. Megeve slopes here rarely get terribly crowded unless it’s the holidays which is another super plus point!

Scenic tree lined slopes in Megeve.

Telesiege du Mont Joux.

WHERE TO SKI

Megeve is suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, in particular for beginners and intermediate skiers. I heard that there may be less on piste runs for advanced skiers but there’s a decent amount of off piste for the more adventurous if snow is good. There are 320 km of trails spread across 3 main areas – Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet, which collectively are known as the Evasion Mont Blanc and form a part of Ski Pass Mont Blanc, which gives access to a dozen resorts in the Mont Blanc area, including Chamonix.

The lovely part of skiing in Megeve are many of the runs are cut through the trees but is still safe to ski in these zones even in heavy snow conditions, and our ski instructors told us the groomers (pisteurs) here are one of the best in the world. I witnessed them grooming the slopes around dinner time near our chalet. My favourite areas for skiing among the 3 zones would probably be Rochebrune and Mont d’Arbois area, in terms of the variety, type of slopes as well as restaurants selection. Rochebrune has some really lovely long slopes which can be tiring but it was pretty rewarding, especially when Y conquered her first little black run on this slope!

SKI LESSONS

If you are looking for ski instructors, contact Evolution Ski where Y and her buddies got their instructors from.

Gorgeous groomed slopes at Rochebrune.

Pisteurs grooming the slopes in the evenings.

WHERE TO EAT

Megeve is one of the ski resorts in Europe famed for its good restaurant scene on the mountains as well as in the town village, given its chic French clientele. It’s even got La Folie Douce now, one of the fun apres ski places we loved hanging out in Val D’Isere, although probably the apres ski action here is a little more tame. Nevertheless, for the gourmet lovers like me, Megeve is pretty happening in choices for French food ranging from casual creperie, to traditional Savoyard food and even 3-Michelin Star restaurants.

On The Slopes

Super Megeve Rochebrune, Tel: +33 4 50 21 22 05 (Accessible via cable car)

Located at the top of the Rochebrune cable car with nice panaromic views, Super Megeve is probably best known for its barbeque meats, that you can see once you enter the restaurant, and its burgers and decent selection of cakes. One of my favourites amongst the mountain restaurants.

Restaurant Cote 2000 3461 Route de la Côté 2000, Tel: +33 4 50 21 31 84

Located at the foot of the world cup ski slope at Cote 2000, Y and gang braved a really steep black to get down here, talk about a rewarding lunch after some hard skiing in the morning! I won’t say the food here is amazing but it’s a great pit stop for lunch given it’s location and it’s got a great outdoor terrace.

Alpage De Pre Rosset 5183 Chemin du Tour in Pré Rosset, Tel: +33 4 50 93 58 84

Perfect for a ski break and some hot Irish Coffee! Located at 1893 meters above sea level, this renovated farmhouse dating back to 1853 offers amazing views of the Mont-Blanc and the Aiguilles Croches from its open terrace.

Super Megeve at Rochebrune.

Yummy grilled meats on the BBQ.

Burgers are the best comfort food!

Black slope Y conquered in front of Cote 2000.

Lovely terrace at Cote 2000.

Gorgeous views spotted outside Cote 2000.

Approaching Alpage De Pre Rosset.

Views from one of our rest breaks! Gorgeous!

WHERE TO EAT – IN TOWN

Off the slopes in Megeve, one is also spoilt for choice. My favourite in the town area is a simple creperie – Les Marronniers (18 Impasse du Chamois, Tel: +33 4 50 21 22 01), at the foot of the Chamois cable car. It’s a cute little casual restaurant – the owners love teapots and have a huge selection of teapots on display, perfect for families to hang out at, and offers a fantastic selection of buckwheat and wheat based crepes – both sweet and savoury. I don’t mind this sometimes instead of the fancier restaurants for a ski lunch – it’s more comfort food to me for sure! Reservations here are a must as it gets really crowded.

Le Torrent 18 Rue Ambroise Martin, 74120 Megève, France, Tel: +33 4 50 58 92 21. Reservations a must.

This is another cosy restaurant located in the church square in the midst of the shopping streets. You can look forward to digging into their famous Truffle fondue Savoyarde, as well as veal sweetbreads, veal chop and more. Think hearty food great to warming up your tummy in winter! Just take note that they tend to overheat the restaurant and it gets stuffy, so dress light for your base, so you can peel off those layers once you are nicely seated inside.

Indulging in some yummy French crepes at Les Marronniers.

Truffle fondue at Le Torrent! 

WHERE TO EAT – FINE DINING

We had the opportunity to try two fine dining options in Megeve  – Restaurant Le 1920 and Le Flocons De Sel. Bear in mind these restaurants are rather long dinners as well due to the tasting menus, so it might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a try if you are a foodie, as it’s not common to find restaurants of this calibre in ski resorts.

Restaurant Le 1920 447 Chemin de la Rocaille, Tel: +33 4 50 21 25 03 (Reservations a must)

Located in the Chalet du Mont d’Arbois, owned by the Rothschild Family, this restaurant is helmed by Chef Julien Gatillon. Much of the produce from the game to butter and cheese all come from the Ferme des 30 Arpents, owned by the Rothschild family. I would say overall the dishes were well executed without being over fussy which is something I hate sometimes about French degustation dinners. Their poulet (chicken) is also famous, so greedy us had that as an extra order for the table on top of our tasting menu. The plus point according to our avid wine drinker friends is the wine menu, which has an amazing selection of vintages and price point is fair, so we all got to enjoy a special treat from our 2 friends – AL and LC who bought us a 1950 Magnum Chateau Lafite Rothschild!

Le Flocons De Sel 1775 Route du Leutaz, 74120 Megève, France, Tel: +33 4 50 21 49 99, Reservations a must.

A Relais & Châteaux hotel and fine dining establisment, Flocons De Sel’s chef Emmanuel Renaut, offers his own interpretation of regional French cuisine in this 3 Michelin star gastronomic restaurant. From the dishes we had here starting from the amuse bouche all the way to the round up of the desserts, presentation of the dishes was always interesting, refreshing and refined, and I have to say my favourite were the way the desserts were displayed at the end. A sharing concept, different desserts were showcased for our table of 12 persons, really quite outstanding and a lovely surprise. We were so stuffed at the end, we couldn’t indulge in the amazing cheese on display, that I highly encourage you to leave some space for.

STAY IN MEGEVE

This pretty town in the French alps naturally offers pretty decent to super luxury hotels and chalets for the small to large groups. We stayed at Chalet Tina a beautiful 7 bedroom house, booked through Alpine Guru. Coincidentally, this chalet is also managed chalet rental operator – Eden Luxury Homes which has a good selection of apartments and chalets in Megeve to rent, so it’s worth checking out their website too! For my favourite hotels that I sussed out on the net, as I was contemplating doing an extension of few nights here – the nice ones are Les Ferme Des Marie, Alpaga and Chalet Zannier. Happy browsing! For Chalet Tina, we paid a total of 23153.59 euros for 7 nights from 14 – 21 Jan 2017. Check out some of my shots in the chalet grounds below!

Outside our house, with the jacuzzi tub in the backdrop. 

Chilling out in my bedroom – with doors opening to the verandah.

The living room – one of the best parts of the house.

My favourite – soaking in the jacuzzi.

Getting ready for meal time!

SHOPPING IN MEGEVE

No surprise, given this quaint French town was made popular by the Rothschild, you can be sure the shopping here is also pretty classy and you can be spoilt with enough choices to keep you busy if you wish to take a day off from skiing. Even high end brands like Hermes and Moncler are here. You can walk on foot from one end of the town to the other easily. Let me give you a run down of my favourite shops to visit here.

Blu & Berry (Rue Charles Feige) A great multi-label store with a bigger flagship location in Courchevel, stocking brands from Isabel Marant, Celine to cool ski wear brands like Frauenschuh and Mover.

Fusalp (12 Rue d’Arly) French sporty chic best describes this cool skiwear brand which marries perfect functionality with design, great for the ski slopes and apres ski chic.

Yves Salomon (Next to Moncler, 12 rue Monseigneur Conseil, Galerie Le Chamois) Super luxe fur house known for their parkas and full fur coats. A must for fur lovers 🙂

Mizensir (91 Rue Ambroise Martin) This boutique perfumery carries a fantastic selection of perfumes, home sprays, diffusers and candles. A must to visit for those always looking for something special for their home, makes great gifts too!

In the church square, with Hermes in the background!

With the church in the background.

This dude photobombed me!

Inside Mizensir’s beautiful store that smells so good. 

So pretty – Megeve town at night! 

DAY TRIP TO COURCHEVEL

We took a day off ski to drive to Courchevel (2 hours each way) – very chic resort town in the French alps that’s known for their well groomed pistes, million dollar chalets and fabulous apres ski and ‘break the bank’ kind of shopping. It’s probably the only ski resort to have a Moncler ski-in-ski-out, previous years included even Chanel as well! One of the best places for lunch has got to be Le Chalet De Pierres (ski in ski out location, on the Verdons slope – Rue du Jardin Alpin, 73120 Saint-Bon-Tarentaise, Tel:+33 4 79 08 18 61. Reservations a must), with pretty solid food – yes we went all the way here with champagne and seafood platters – why not? And a yummy dessert selection to choose from to end this decadent lunch. The shopping here is also to die for- you could start at Chanel (at Place du Rocher) and walk your way up along Rue Du Rocher with boutiques like Hermes, Cartier and our favourite Blu & Berry. Takes a lot of resistance to not buy anything here! It’s definitely a resort worth staying here for a full week or just a couple of days extension after doing a week in nearby Chamonix or Megeve.

Chilling alfresco at Chalet De Pierres.

Chanel in Courchevel.

Enjoying the ski scene at Courchevel.

Megeve by far, is my favourite ski resort in Europe out of the few I have been to – Zermatt, Val D’Isere and Chamonix. It is really a place not to be missed if you are looking at visiting a ski resort in Europe in the future. It’s got a perfect balance of ski slopes with those amazing views, good restaurants, shopping and classy accommodation. I would definitely want to visit it again sometime in the future with Y and her pals!

Gonna miss these trees and ski slopes in Megeve! 

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