Skiing and good food go hand in hand. After shredding the mountain all day, some hearty grub to top up the energy levels is essential. As such, most ski resorts offer a brilliant range of eateries, but some stand peaks and summits above the rest. Here are some of Heidi's favourite ski resorts for foodies and self-confessed restaurant connoisseurs.
For gourmet food by the mountain load, Courchevel is renowned for its culinary excellence. With no less than seven Michelin-starred restaurants, fine dining is firmly on the menu in this glitzy French ski resort. Le 1947 à Cheval Blanc tops the charts with three stars, offering edible treasures from the Savoie region. And if you have a sweet tooth, Le Sarkara's unusual fruit and vegetable creations will blow your mind. Bon appetite! During the day, there are countless mountain huts for a boozy lunch - Cave Des Creux is a popular choice for Savoyard specialities washed down with a glass of chilled rosé.
Nestled amongst traditional wooden chalets and picture-perfect snowy meadows, the popular Swiss ski resort of Zermatt boasts four Michelin-starred restaurants. Savour the 'surprise' multi-course tasting menu at Brasserie Uno, which has a laidback vibe and an open kitchen. Or, for a more sophisticated dining experience, enjoy swanky Italian food at Capri. But it's about more than just high-end fare in Zermatt. Look out for trendy delis offering homemade Swiss-French delights. And don't miss a steaming pot of cheese fondue on the sun terrace at Iglu-Dorf.
Val Thorens is not only the highest ski resort in Europe, but it has a top-notch foodie scene, too. Self-proclaimed as the home of 'snow bistronomy', the choice of cafes, bars and restaurants is off the scale. Take your pick from eleven mountain restaurants close to the resort for lunch before stopping at a bar for vin chaud in the afternoon. Finish the day with fine dining in town. Chalet de la Marine serves up caviar and top-quality beef if you want traditional French food. Or stop by Chez Pepe Nicholas for a deliciously creamy Swiss raclette.
Tremblant is known for its vibrant food scene, offering a plethora of options to cater to all budgets and preferences. Delve into sizzling cauldrons of creamy French fondue or indulge in stacks of waffles generously drenched in authentic Canadian maple syrup. Head to the Pedestrian Village situated at the base of the mountain, where an abundant assortment of restaurants and bars beckons. For the cheese lovers out there, indulging in La Savoie's raclette is a culinary essential! And a trip to Canada would be incomplete without trying Poutine. For the ultimate experience, Smoke's Poutinerie is your destination of choice.
Famed for its charming chocolate-box village, luxury hotels, and world-cup ski runs, Kitzbühel is one of Austria's best-known resorts. But that's not all. It is also home to mighty-fine restaurants serving everything from traditional Tyrolean dishes to gourmet specialities. After a big day on the slopes, you can look forward to tucking into some seriously good comfort food. We're talking cheesy dumplings, Wiener schnitzel, and, of course, Tiroler gröstl (aka potato and bacon hash with an egg on top). Fancy something more refined? Head to Tennerhof, a five-star restaurant serving regional specialities and creative international cooking.
Set beneath the mighty snow-capped peaks of Mont Blanc, the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur is a charming hidden gem that is as big on food as it is on skiing. Cruise down pristine pistes, through alpine forests and across open bowls before stopping for lunch on the slopes. But don't rush it. Embrace the Italian way and enjoy a leisurely feast of fresh pasta and pizza with all the trimmings. Squisito! Or, for a quick bite, savour tasty antipasti on a sun terrace washed down with a strong espresso. Be sure to check out the events calendar for foodie festivals and competitions, too, including Heston Blumenthal's Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience in March.
Snow-dusted cobbled streets, a medieval church and charming alpine architecture provide the perfect backdrop for heavenly gourmet food in Megeve. There are three Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from here. Splash out on dinner at Flocons de Sel for exquisite high-altitude dining. Or sample impeccable food and cocktail pairings at La Table de l'Alpaga. Mouthwatering delicious! The Farmer's Market on Friday is well worth exploring, too. Pick up colourful fresh veg and sample local cheeses and homemade chutneys. Yum!
Selva di Val Gardena, Italy
Mile-munchers flock to Italy'sSelva Val Gardena (aka Wolkenstein) to take on the legendary 40km Sellaronda circuit through the picturesque Dolomiti Superski area. And this means there's no shortage of places for hungry skiers, with mountain restaurants around every peak. Nice one! Whether you want to fuel up on generous portions of fresh pasta and pizza or steaming cheese dumplings and hearty goulash, foodies can enjoy tasty meals from both sides of the Italy/Austria border. Bellissimo! Or should that be Spettacolare!?
A superb mix of restaurants, excellent local cuisine, and spectacular mountain views make Chamonix a foodie paradise. Albert 1er is the star of the show with its Michelin stamp of approval. Indulge in traditional Savoie dishes using seasonal local produce. Or for the best mountain vistas, Auberge du Bois Prin overlooks Mont Blanc and serves a menu teeming with tasty treats. Cham's Saturday morning market is worth a mention, too. Pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheeses, and homemade saucisson. And if you need a quick pick-me-up, Moody Coffee Roasters, close to the Aiguille du Midi lift station, serves fresh coffee and homemade cakes to go.
Foodies love Corvara. Exceptional Italian and Ladin cuisine in luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants will tantalise your tastebuds. The romantic setting of La Stua de Michil is perfect for love birds. Or Take the Boè bubble lift from town for hearty alpine dishes at Piz Boè Alpine Lounge. The mountain views are out of this world! Corvara and neighbouring Alta Badia resorts are also famed for the 'A Taste for Skiing' initiative; well-known chefs cook up a storm and create signature dishes for mountain huts across the region. And for a Ladin-themed dessert buffet with cocktails, take a pew at the sophisticated Iceberg Lounge.
Ischgl is renowned throughout the Alps for its lively apres antics, and its foodie scene is no less exciting. Heaps of atmospheric independent restaurants serve traditional Austrian and Tyrolean delicacies from creative chefs. And local ingredients take centre stage everywhere you go. Super fresh! Blow the budget on edible works of art at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Miranda Gourmet Stübli. Or don your glad rags for an extra special meal at the award-winning Schlossherrenstube restaurant. It will be an evening to remember.
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