A week of bluebird skies in Alpe d’Huez allowed for lots of outdoor lunches, plenty rosé and a fair amount of après ski. Here’s five of the best places to eat and drink on, and off, the slopes.
Le Spot is a tiny, little shack half way up the mountain. Just one red run down from the top of the Marmotte 1 lift, lunch here is basic, but tasty. Grab a take-out box of nasi goreng and kick back in a deck chair to watch the world ski by. If you’re not in a hurry, grab a crêpe for dessert.
From the restaurant belonging on to the eponymous Folie Douce, I was expecting good things, and they delivered. Like most mountain eateries, the portions were enormous. The chicken caesar salad was less of a salad and more of a fried feast, with hearty chicken breasts, deep dried in a crispy batter. The stews also come in family sized pots. Don’t worry, you can dance it all off on the decking, overlooking the whole of Alpe d’Huez. Rosé wine and/or champagne along with and dancing on the tables is mandatory.
Also on the way down from Marmotte 1, La Cabane is the perfect place to stop for a mid-morning hot chocolate, for at lunchtime it’s absolutely packed and you’ll have to wait quite a while for a table. Another perfect opportunity to kick back in a deck chair and take in the outrageous alpine views.
For authentic French fondue, head to Le 37 in Alpe d’Huez village. This was my first, proper alpine fondue experience, and as a huge cheese fan, I was incredibly excited by the range of fondue options on offer. I could take or leave the original fondue, but the one with mushrooms mixed through it was delicious. The star of the show, however, was the raclette. Served with generous plates full of salad leaves, charcuterie and boiled potatoes, it was totally addictive.
Auberge de la Combe Haute
Last but by no means least, if like me, you make it all the way down La Sarenne for the first time, you deserve an epic hot chocolate or a vin chaud to celebrate, and Auberge de la Combe Haute does the job perfectly. With an incredible amount of whipped cream on top, the hot chocolates here could masquerade as desserts, and will definitely give you the energy you need to tackle the scare chair, which was next on our list.