Spring skiing brings longer, sunnier days – perfect for planting yourself in a deckchair and luxuriating in an extended lunch. With the season drawing to a close there’s a lovely laidback atmosphere in lots of resorts around this time of year. With everyone content to enjoy the sunshine and snow, and savour the last few turns before summer.
From the best suntrap restaurant terraces to catching early afternoon rays with a glass of rosé in hand, we’ve asked those in the know to share their personal favourite seats in the sunshine.
St Martin de Belleville, France
St Martin de Belleville is a beautiful place to enjoy a sunny spring ski, not least because as an award-winning gastronomic resort, there are plentiful options for enjoying foodie treats and a glass (or two) of rosé…
La Voute – opposite the village’s baroque church – is in an ideal spot for a good value lunch in the sunshine. Try the mussels and homemade chips or the fab pizzas. A little off the beaten track is Chez Pepe Nicholas,
where you can sample cheeses made by the cows and goats that graze in the surrounding grassy meadows in summer. Settle down for a lazy lunch wearing one of their sun hats – all part of the excellent service! Easily accessible for walkers and skiers via St Martin 1 is the lovely Corbeleys, which has a gorgeous terrace and friendly service – a perfect spot for an après-ski beer before skiing back to your chalet.
Director at Ski Talini
Sainte Foy, France
After trekking out with a guide into the Sainte Foy backcountry and skiing down the off piste north face of Fogliettaz, there is only one place to celebrate your achievement; Le Monal, in the centre of Sainte Foy, Tarentaise.
There is nowhere better to recount your stories of adventure than this former coaching inn – first opened in 1888. Five generations later, the Hotel Le Monal is still in the same family and is managed today by its owner, Yves Marmottan, and his daughter, Hélène.
The ambiance is always buzzing with a magical blend of locals and holidaymakers celebrating their love of the mountains over delicious food and excellent wines from the extensive cellar – all outside in the spring sunshine.
Le Monal source their products from the best local artisan producers and have kept their menu up to date by adding a modern twist to some of the traditional meals, so there’s something for everyone.
From Hu.ski ski – a food delivery company based in the Tarentaise Valley (if you can’t make it to Le Monal, they can deliver the food to you!)
Morzine & Avoriaz
Le Petit Lindaret, located in the Village des Chèvres (goat village), also called Les Lindarets, is the perfect restaurant for a long lunch stop. It’s easily accessible from anywhere in Avoriaz (great for spring skiing) and an easy hop from Morzine.
The large ‘terrasse’ gets sun all afternoon, so it’s a great place to sit and soak up the rays. The restaurant does amazing local specialities, including croûtes, great salads and a large variety of other dishes. Lionel,
the owner, is always welcoming and comes out to offer you his homemade ‘digestifs’, génépi or poire, to help you digest your meal.
And if you’re driving you can park at the Ardent cable-car, and you’ll only have one slope to ski down at the end of the day.
At Alpine French School in Morzine
St Moritz, Switzerland
Corvatsch is the second largest ski area in St Moritz – it’s open until May 7 (more than a month after the largest ski area of Corviglia, which closes on April 2), making is perfect for spring skiing.
The ski hut Ustaria Rabgiusa, idyllically located between the slopes of Furtschellas and Corvatsch, is the perfect spot for a long lunch in spring as it has a spacious sun terrace that is protected from the wind.
Guests can enjoy the tranquil setting, while the kitchen serves up tasty Italian specialities, such as pizza,
pasta and, most famously, piadine (thin Italian unleavened bread, with various delicious toppings). All of this makes it hard for guests to drag themselves back to the slopes!
When Spring hits the mountains of Les Arcs there is only one place I head to for a lazy lunch or a sunny drink and a deck chair daydream. The Bulle Café is easily recognised by its dome shape just above the bottom of the Arcabulle chairlift above Arc 1950. It has a fun vibe with some laid back tunes (trip hop, electro swing etc) and a huge south-facing terrace and deck chair zone.
The food is good and very reasonably priced with giant pizzas that easily feed two starting at 10 euros. They also do various seafood platters and have a good selection of wines. When you’re sinking into your deck chair and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere just don’t forget that you came here to ski (at least a little!).
Erna Low’s in resort right hand man for all things Arc 1950 and Les Arcs
Val Gardena, Italian Dolomites
Gourmet views and spectacular food – or was it the other way round? Either way, Sofie Hut above Ortisei in the Dolomites provides a feast for all senses – from the white asparagus and Parma ham and delicious pasta carbonara to the home-distilled limoncello. Even at 6,500ft you might be offered oysters delivered fresh that day from Venice, wonderful with Prosecco.
If it’s warm enough (and it often is, with Sofie Hut in a fabulous sunny spot near the top of the Seceda lift), nothing is nicer than a table outside with a mouth-watering view of Sassolungo. If it’s chilly and the snow is blowing, nothing is cosier than inside by the fire.
The menu combines simplicity and sophistication, portions are generous, the atmosphere is beguiling – no wonder many say that Sofie Hut is one of the very best mountain restaurants in a ski area rich with fabulous high altitude culinary gems.
Ski Journalist extraordinaire
One of my favourite places has got to be Café del Mott in Méribel-Mottaret, the French Alps. It’s located just off the Perdrix piste (right next to the beginners magic carpet) and a few metres above the main village of Mottaret. Here, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy a warming, affordable lunch (think barbeque) accompanied by live music overlooking the mountains. I’ve spent many hours on the sunny terrace with family and friends over the years.
Group Commercial Director at Ski France