By Barbara Allan
No skiing holiday is complete unless you’ve enjoyed some of the mountain fare. Nothing beats a wholesome lunch on a sunny terrace overlooking snowy pistes. Although, sipping on a hot chocolate or mulled wine while tucked up in a cosy, slope-side chalet probably comes pretty close. Whatever your treat, you’re sure to find it here in the Grand Massif. There are some great mountain restaurants in our resort; so many in fact it’s almost impossible to know where to begin! So here at Alps Accommodation we’ve decided to make your gastronomic ski and snowboarding adventure a little easier. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sending you on a gourmand’s tour of the Grand Massif, starting in Morillon, gateway to the Giffre valley.
It’s 8.45am and you’re already making your way up to Morillon Les Esserts – first lifts for you! But before you hit the slopes be sure to grab yourself a light breakfast from local bakery/teahouse Tea-4-2. Enjoy a hot drink, juice and a freshly baked pastry of your choice for just 5.50; it’s the perfect kick start to your morning in the snow. Tea-4-2 also serves sandwiches, paninis and quiches throughout the day, as well as delicious pizzas from 5-9pm (dine-in or take away). In fact a certain Alps Accommodation team member was spotted recently, boxed up Tea-4-2 takeout pizza in hand, as she descended the Morillon telecabine after a long day’s riding! Situated at Morillon 1100, just down the steps behind the Sairon chairlift, Tea-4-2 is open daily.
Now that you’re energised from your morning snack it’s time to hit the slopes! We love Morillon, especially its long, meandering Marvel and Sairon runs. These green and blue runs are perfect for beginners but also great fun for intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders. With many natural features and hits to play on, after a few rotations on these two slopes you’ll be more than ready for a break. And one of the best pick-me-ups in Morillon (some would argue in the whole Grand Massif) is a hot chocolate from Chalet Clair at the top of the Sairon chairlift. It’s not cheap at 5.50 but boy is it worth every penny. Served in a giant mug with lashings of Chantilly cream and your choice of marshmallows or caramelised peanuts, this is one hot beverage to die for! Chalet Clair’s lunch menu is also impressive and includes daily specials, big burgers, and delicious pasta or salad dishes, not to mention homemade desserts. If you’re after something fast, try a tasty panini from their snack bar. Whatever you fancy, you won’t be disappointed by Chalet Clair’s offerings.
An all time favourite lunch spot with the Alps Accommodation team is the Igloo, situated at the top of the Bergin chairlift. Tucked away from the main slopes but accessible to all, the Igloo is the ultimate stop for great mountain food and service. Simple, but exceptional Savoyard fares like ‘Tete de veau avec sauce gribiche’ or ‘Croute au fromage’, the Igloo really know how to cater to the hungry skier and snowboarder. There are of course lighter options to choose from too, which is just as well, because it means you’ll save room for a slice of one of the Igloo’s famous homemade fruit tarts! Dine by the log fire inside or enjoy the natural surrounds of pine forest out on the sunny terrace. Open daily, subject to booking requirements the Igloo can also cater evening meals, after which you make a night-time descent back to Morillon! For more information call 0033 (0) 450 90 14 31.
Another mountain restaurant not to be missed when shredding the slopes of Morillon all day is L’Beu, which is also renowned for its great food and even greater ambience. This charming, little chalet sits right on the side of the Sairon piste, just before the final descent into Les Esserts and the Sairon chairlift. Crepes are a specialty here as is the fondue and local digestif genépi. Or if you just fancy a coffee or vin chaud to warm yourself up, then the terrace of L’Beu is the perfect place to sit and watch the world ski by. There’s only a handful of tables at this rustic, little chalet so be sure to get in quick or book ahead, as trust us - it’s popular! To make a booking call 0033 (0) 450 90 17 89.
When lunch is all skied or boarded off again remember to make one final stop before calling it a day. The Oak Barrel Pub at Morillon Les Esserts is the ideal ‘apres-ski’ stop. Opposite Tea-4-2, The Oak Barrel has a great selection of beers, whiskeys and cocktails, not to mention a restaurant. That’s right, more food! In fact, after all this eating you may not feel much like skiing or boarding by this stage in the day, but don’t worry – gravity is on your side! And with snow canons now installed all the way down to village level the piste ‘Retour Morillon Village’ is sure to be a comfortable ride. Just as comfortable of course is the telecabine. Either way, as you start making your way back to your Alps Accommodation chalet or apartment, you’re sure to have passed an incredible (and tasty!) day exploring the slopes of Morillon. And you can start planning what’s on the menu for tomorrow!
Check out our article on Samoens Mountain Restaurants.