It’s been an incredible start to the holiday season here in Samoëns and the Grand Massif. A perfectly timed dump of snow just before the holidays commenced has ensured fantastic skiing and boarding right across resort. Plus, we’ve been enjoying endless days of glorious sunshine to boot. With such ideal conditions up there we thought it was high time for our second installment of the ‘Gourmand’s guide to the Grand Massif’. After all, you’ll need to know where to find the best spots to recharge after all the skiing and boarding you’ll be doing!
To tickle your taste buds this week, the Alps Accommodation team has been out and about enjoying the slope-side fare on offer here in Samoëns. There are some great places to choose from, but our all time favourites (in no particular order because they’re all so great!) have got to be Lou Caboëns, L’Aero, La Luge a Teran, La Reposette and the brand new Chez Georges, which opened its doors just this season at Samoëns 1600. So have a read and get the lowdown on these top picks for slope-side snacking in Samoëns.
First off the rank is Cedric and Winnie’s Lou Caboëns situated on the Plateau de Saix. Just a stone’s through from the Grand Massif Express – that’s right, step off the gondola, hang a right and there it is - Lou Caboëns is the ideal place to start your day. In fact if you pop in first thing you might just bump in to your ski or snowboard instructor enjoying their morning coffee before hitting the slopes. Lou Caboëns really has a great local vibe, and not to mention great food! Chef Christophe’s menu has something for everyone. The burger is simple but one of the tastiest on the mountain. Or why not go for a delicious salad, just perfect served out on the sunny terrace with a crisp glass of white. And absolutely not to be missed is the divine ‘pain-perdu’ dessert, the French take on bread and butter pudding and all time favourite of the Alps Accommodation team. If you’re simply after a light snack or drinks then don’t go past Winnie’s hut outside. This is the perfect location to kick back in your deckchair while you wait for the kids to finish ski school. In fact, because of its great location just by the gondola Lou Caboëns is a great place for anyone to kickback, non-skiers included!
All of Samoëns 1600 is easily accessible by skiers and non-skiers alike and another destination not to be missed is the Restaurant L’Aero, run by a lovely French couple who can't do enough to make you feel welcome. Perched on a snowy outcrop overlooking the valley toward the Mole and Pic de Marcelly, Restaurant L’Aero is a hidden gem – literally! If you didn’t know where to look you may not realise it was there, something we think really adds to its charm. This tasty, traditional eatery is tucked away behind the Plateau draglift, an easy ski or walk from the top of the TGD and Vercland gondolas. Like Lou Caboëns, L’Aero has something for everyone. Kick off your boots and enjoy a warm drink by the pot-belly stove. Or sample one of chef Lolo’s many tasty delights. Her three course menu of the day is fantastic and excellent value at around 20 Euros. Or you might prefer to sink your teeth into a mouthwatering steak that’s been grilled to perfection. Lolo also makes what is rumoured to be the best fondue in the valley, but check if it’s available first, as it doesn’t always appear on the menu. With a big indoor dining space and a great outdoor terrace with stunning views, Restaurant L’Aero is yet another top spot for soaking up the mountain atmosphere.
Speaking of mountain atmosphere, for a real slope-side experience you must try La Luge a Teran. This classic alpine chalet, which sits amongst pine forest at the bottom of the Gouilles chairlift, serves up wholesome, Savoyard fare in a truly warm and inviting environment. The cosy interior with fireplace is ideal for a snowy day, and when the sun is out you can’t beat the open terrace. Tuck into your wild mushroom omelet served with fresh salad as you watch the skiers and boarders zoom by. Follow it up with a delicious homemade dessert – we love the crème brulée but the fruit tarts are also excellent. Plenty of simple but delicious offerings are available and you can easily enjoy lunch from between 10 and 15 Euros. Or why not spend a little more and go for the impressive ‘Chamois Plate’? Served on a solid, wooden platter this is a real Savoyard feast - whole baked Vacherin cheese served with salad, steamed potatoes and charcuterie plus a drink and dessert. Thank goodness you’re slope-side as you’ll definitely need a ski after that! And the picturesque ZiziPanPan is the ideal run to head for after a meal at the Luge a Teran. The gentle terrain, which winds its way through the forest just behind the restaurant, is perfect for warming back up into an afternoon of skiing.
While you’re in the mood for skiing be sure to spend some time shredding the awesome slopes of Vercland because if you don’t, you’ll miss out on what awaits at the very bottom. Opposite where the Grand Cret and Vélarge runs end you’ll find yet another fabulous dining and watering hole, La Reposette. From the moment you walk through the doors you’ll feel right at home as you’re always assured a warm welcome from larger than life host Onno and his team. La Reposette could easily be likened to a British Gastro pub, so different is its style and feel from anywhere else you’ll go. It’s certainly still got plenty of mountain charm though with roaring fireplace, cosy corners, and of course great mountain food! Relax in the large indoor dining hall or take a seat outside and enjoy some sun along with your sticky spare ribs, big salad or even bigger burger. But be sure to leave room for dessert – you won’t want to miss out on Onno’s famous Dutch apple cake. Yummy! La Reposette is certainly well worth the ski down and because it’s technically off the piste and also accessible by car, then you can enjoy an evening meal there too. In fact, those Alps Accommodation guests lucky enough to be staying in Chalet Maya just below the restaurant can enjoy meals or and end of day drink at La Reposette all week long if they wish.
Of course before the day ends you’ll want to fit in plenty more skiing and snowboarding but be sure to leave enough time to stop in at Chez Georges, Samoëns 1600’s newest and exciting venture at the top of the TGD and Vercland gondolas. Situated down the stairs about a 30m walk from the TGD and just opposite and to the right of the Vercland gondola, this fun bar and restaurant is a great place for a sundowner to finish your day. The terrace overlooks the whole Samoëns ski resort and at the end of the day it really is a peaceful spot. Though the peace and tranquility of the closing day is far from the colourful, buzzing and flamboyant atmosphere over lunch, so be sure to get back through the week for a meal. George and his vibrant team serve up a varied menu including top pizzas by experienced pizza chef Phil, great salad and burger options as well as some Savoyard classics, all of this at a very reasonable price too!
So there you have it folks, our top picks for some super snacks in Samoëns. There’s plenty of choice to keep your mouth watering all week long. And of course you can enjoy all that holiday food guilt-free too. The skiing and snowboarding is so good here right now that you’ll have burned it all off in no time. So come on all you Grand Massif Gourmands… let the ski-eat tour begin!
Check out our article on Morillon's Mountain Restaurants.