High-altitude restaurants where the cuisine is as good as the skiing.
Ski resorts across Europe tend to be awash with restaurants of all standards. Although rustic mountain dishes are often enough to keep hunger at bay mid-ski, sometimes a dining experience has to be more than filling up and skiing off. Here is just a taster of some of the popular high-altitude restaurants where you don’t have to sacrifice gastronomic quality to enjoy the breathtaking views.
Located at the top of the Aiguille du Midi overlooking Chamonix. the warm and cosy Le 3842 is one of the highest restaurants in Europe at 3,842m above sea level. Only accessible by cable car, a memorable experience in itself, once you get to the restaurant, the 360 degree views are truly magnificent. The chef offers traditional cuisine based on local sourced and grown produce, with daily specials and set menus. Think Savoie rump steak, white Fera fish from Lake Geneva, cured meats and glorious cheeses. The restaurant has a capacity of just 30 for lunch so reservation for this unique place is highly recommended. STAY: Where else but in Chamonix? Set in a valley that stretches 20 kilometres from Les Houches to Le Tour, Chamonix provides one of the most stunning settings for luxury winter holidays in the Alps. Chalet Baby Bear is a romantic retreat just a short drive from the centre or for larger groups Chalet Le Moulin, a brand new property in the quaint village of Les Tines with an unbeatable view of Mt. Blanc from the sun terrace.
This is Switzerland’s highest restaurant, and the world’s highest revolving restaurant, located high on a plateau 3,500m above sea level. The cuisine served is exquisite, focusing on local and international dishes, with an excellent choice of wines as accompaniment. The restaurant rotates a full 360 degrees in an hour, offering diners spectacular, ever-changing views. Information panels at the window frames, which do not rotate, provide details on the seemingly never-ending vista of mountain peaks across the Saas Mischabel range, including the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch, all the way to Milan and the Po Valley. STAY: Saas Fee is the obvious choice, a traditional Swiss mountain village, and every winter sports lovers’ dream retreat. Sitting at an altitude ranging from between 1800m and 3500m, you can rest assured that fantastic snow quality is guaranteed. Chalet Annapurna is a stunning property with spacious living and a fantastic outdoor area with Jacuzzi overlooking the surrounding peaks and Capra Chalet is situated right next to the slopes, offering a private family-friendly retreat with exquisite hotel facilities.
Overlooking the magnificent Matterhorn, with stunning views from its terrace, Chez Vrony is a warm and welcoming farmhouse restaurant just a quick ski or a short walk from the top of the Sunnega funicular, at an altitude of 2,100m above sea level. Run by the Zermatt Julen family for over 100 years, Chez Vrony offers authentic dishes using fresh organic ingredients, based on traditional local recipes enhanced with international influences. The alpine cheeses, air-dried beef and homemade sausages are from family recipes handed down through the generations and are divine. STAY: Zermatt is a perfect combination of excellent skiing, reliable snow, magnificent scenery, superb mountain restaurants and luxury ski chalets. Sprawling along both sides of the river, the attractive car-free village retains its traditional charm whilst making way for more modern buildings and facilities. Backstage Chalet is a one-of-a-kind contemporary chalet, designed by renowned architect Heinz Julen, with 360-degree panoramic views over the village, whereas Chalet Zen is a traditional Swiss chalet, tucked away on the edge of the village, with all the modern conveniences required for a relaxing holiday.