The very first time I saw snow was in Courchevel. I was six years old, and we drove from London. As we were driving, we pulled over as soon as we saw snow on the ground, and Ming and I dove out of the car and hands-first into the snow. From comic books, we thought it’d feel like a cloud, airy and smooshy.
Instead, it was like shaved ice (which was still cool, but just so weird). We also learnt to ski that year (pizza plough for days), build snowmen (which looked nowhere near as good as we thought it would – just like when you try to replicate a Pinterest cake) and drink copious amounts of hot chocolate with whipped cream. That was also when Ming, my cousin Hamish and I decided to invent our own language, and our parents definitely thought there was something wrong with us.
Since then, we’ve been coming back to Courchevel most years. We’re big on skiing (except Mama Bridges, who’s not so keen on the slopes), and we’ll usually get an instructor for the group for the first few days, which is nice so we don’t have to think of where to go – they’ll take us to the best runs of the day with the best snow.
The only thing we have to think about is where we want to eat that day. Some places we’ve been to for years, and others are new spots that have opened up this year. Instead of a post on each individual place, I’ve rounded up a guide of where we’ve eaten our mountain lunches this trip (by no means is this all the places around!) for you. I hope this helps anyone who’s planning a ski trip in Courchevel – also if there’s any of your favourite places that I’ve missed off, I’d love to hear about them!
La Soucoupe has always been one my favourite places to eat. I remember the first time I tried their Pain Perdu, and I thought it was the most delicious thing on the planet (alongside my scrambled eggs with truffles). There’s loads of natural light flooding in the restaurant, an open charcoal grill, and has a cosy vibe even though it’s a big place.
Vegan Vibe: Nothing on the menu. I ordered a pasta with tomato sauce from the kid’s menu with a side of chips. When better to carb-load?
LA CAVE DES CREUX
As soon as you walk in, you’ll be swooning over that dessert buffet that greets you at La Cave Des Creux. The place has some quirky decor (as quirky as Courchevel gets), with a ski bubble inside. We’ve been twice this trip, and I’d say it’s also one of our family’s favourites.
Vegan Vibe: There was an Asian stir-fry thing, but I wasn’t sure how much I trusted a good Asian meal here. I went for the tomato pasta (again) and a side of chips (of course). Pasta needed lots of salt and pepper added for flavour.
We wanted to go to La Folie Douce (the Meribel-Courchevel one), and La Fruitiere is the restaurant connected to it, separated only by the stage, which has performances throughout the afternoon. If you’re planning to party, I’d have lunch here – the restaurant side is just as much fun (although more family friendly), with people (us) climbing up on the tables dancing.
Just remember not to get carried away as the ski lifts close at 4:30pm, and you might have to climb up to the ski lift above, which will make you want to throw up whether you’ve had a bottle of rosé or not.
Vegan Vibe: AVOID. Not even the charity tomato pasta option this time. I ordered a Vegetable Stew, and told the guy I don’t eat dairy and eggs etc., and he said it was fine even though his face told me he didn’t really give two shits. The vegetable ‘stew’ was half-boiled vegetables in a salted water, with a side of parmesan in a glass, pesto and pine nuts. I ate the glass of pine nuts, the table bread and side of chips. (I even had to ask for olive oil and vinegar as there was only butter on the table, and when they brought it over, I still didn’t have a plate to pour it on).
Nammos is the new kid on the block, which opened up this year. There’s a Nammos in Mykonos, which is well-known, and this is their new restaurant in the mountains (the staff go here for ski season now, then to Greece for the summer). The guy at a ski shop in London told me about it, saying it was the “new place to go, and that no one goes to La Folie Douce anymore because they’re all coming here”.
Probably a bit of an exaggeration. La Folie Douce is still definitely the place for après ski, whereas I never saw Nammos completely full up, and although there was great music, it never really had the same dancing-on-the-tables vibe. Maybe next year?
It’s expensive as hell (our Instructor said he didn’t think it was value for money), however we thought it was the best food so far! We’ve come twice this trip because the food is so yum yum.
Vegan Vibe: FINALLY! There were actual options for me to choose from, and the waiter actually did give a shit about what I couldn’t eat. The first time I came I had a Kale Salad with Avocado and Tahini Vinaigrette, as well as Hummus with Crispy Pitta, and a side of Chips (the smallest side of chips you’ll see, but so good).
The second time, I just had a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Mint and Chilli. It’s a small portion and looks very much like a side dish, so definitely get it with something else.
LE CAP HORN
Le Cap Horn was the last restaurant we visited this trip. Since Courchevel is pretty much closed up this weekend, they were out of a lot of menu options, and it was pretty empty. However, they’ve got a pretty dazzling dessert bar where they make fresh waffles, which smells so good!
Vegan Vibe: Meh. The dessert bar had some sliced pineapple and mango which looked good, and on the menu there was a salad which sounded vegan. However I’m not that big of a salad girl (it has to be REALLY good), so I had the most expensive tomato & basil pasta ever (32 Euros). It was good though (as you’d hope it’d be for that price).
I didn’t order chips this time to be good, but my cousin Bella got chips with her burger which she didn’t want (she was sharing a truffle mashed potato for 2 out of a copper pot), so OF COURSE I ate most of them. The chips were so good, I love when they’re soft instead of crispy.
TIP: ‘Vegan’ isn’t really a word here, so every time I had to order at a restaurant, I showed them my iPhone Notes, where I’d written ‘Je ne mange pas de viande. No laitier. No œufs’, which is the simplest Google translation to let them know I don’t eat meat, dairy or eggs! Note that some people give a shit more than others (ahem, La Fruitiere).
For dinner, Genépi was the nicest place, just because of the staff. It’s known for fondue, so there was nothing vegan on the menu, but after showing the waiter and chef my little vegan note, the chef specially made something for me. Caring and kindness is enough to have me recommending this place to anyone!
Also, the Carrefour in town stocks loads of options, such as vegan patties and nuggets, falafel, hummus, cookies, bars, chocolate, nuts, snacks – even my FAVOURITE Coconut Collaborative Little Choc Pots! The DREAM.
Photos taken at Nammos
Ski Top Sweaty Betty
Ski Trousers Kelly By Sissy