After my boyfriend, Chris, pestered me for months because he wanted to go skiing, we finally headed to Morzine for a week of snow earlier this month. We did some skiing, played some Scrabble (yes, we are a very exciting couple), and drank large quantities of mulled wine and hot chocolate. Although we were unlucky with the snow, we had a wonderful time in this little French ski resort. While we were there we particularly enjoyed the local food and we were very pleased to discover a few lovely businesses offering great food and drink.
Of course Chris had to make skiing into a competition (with himself, thanks to an app that tracked his speed), leaving me to trail far behind him! What’s great is that I actually improved my skiing a lot throughout the week despite having to ski on ice and slush. When you spend a whole day skiing, I think it’s inevitable that you will want to treat yourself at lunchtime. The problem with restaurants on the pistes is often the crazy prices – 16€ for mediocre fish and chips? No thanks. Fortunately, after going down our favourite red piste, the Chamois, we discovered Le Rocher, a little chalet that you get to by skiing through a bridge above a river. Even though we were there at lunchtime, I just had to go for the salted caramel crêpe (4€) and the hot wine (2.9€). Yes, this was an indulgent week! We ended up having lunch there again two days later, and on both occasions Chris had a cheeseburger and a hot chocolate topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Indeed, this little snack-shack is a must for bargain hunters.
The indulgence continued when we ended up at La Bonbonnière for lunch in town one day. This patisserie reminded me of Chocolat, the film where Juliette Binoche opens a gorgeous chocolate shop in a French village. La Bonbonnière make the most beautiful chocolates, cakes and little patisseries. I chose to have a vanilla éclair, which was deliciously fresh and creamy, while Chris’s pick was a caramel shortbread cake and a ‘croque monsieur’. The caramel was amazing – rich, chewy and slightly salted. The croque monsieur, which is sometimes nothing more than a ham and cheese toastie, was deliciously creamy in the middle – very moreish. All those treat-seekers out there, this is the stop for you.
The biggest reason why we ended up eating so much during that week is because dinner at the hotel was included in our holiday deal. What we enjoyed the most about that was the platter of yummy local cheeses that was presented to us every night. That’s why I was so excited when we walked into L’Alpage in the center of Morzine. The shop has such a beautiful selection of artisanal cheeses, ham, and jams. The best part is that you can see the cheese being made in the basement through the glass floor. Chris bought a whole round ‘Tomette de Morzine’ cheese for 12€ which has fed cheese-bug since we returned.
Amongst these hotspots other good places to try in Morzine include:
La Sherpa: a small bar packed with young people drinking cheap beer (2 for 5€) and shots served on wooden skis. It is also closest thing you will get to an underground rave by the slopes.
Le Tyrolien: Their lovely thin, crispy pizzas (around 10€) left us so full that we didn’t get a chance to try the delicious-looking salted caramel tiramisu that we spotted on a neighbouring table. A warm and welcoming atmosphere. Worth a visit for your evening meal.
Overall, Morzine is a lovely town full of little chalets and friendly people. In terms of skiing, it’s part of the big ‘Portes du Soleil’ ski area, which means that if you want to try more pistes you can head over to the Avoriaz ski resort for the day. Morzine is not a big nightlife destination (compared to my experience of Val-Thorens), but it does offer a good selection of nice restaurants and lively bars. Whilst the quality snow was missing during our stay, we found lots of hidden gems that will help you should you have ‘snow luck with the weather’.
Are you going skiing this year? What ski resort would you recommend?