The Three Valleys Bars and Restaurants Guide plus Restaurant Review
In and around La Tania and The Three Valleys
Check out our Value For Money in The Three Valleys page
The La Tania pub crawl - quick guide
This will involve starting at the top of the Lanches 4-man chair at Roc La Tania, ski (and a short climb) to Chenus, then ski to La Soucoupe, traverse around and down to Le Bouc Blanc.
Then down to the resort and ski through the trees to Hotel Telemark and then downacross the piste in time for Happy Hours at Pub Le Ski Lodge and next door to the La Saucisse Savoyarde for a bottle of Genepi.
Down to the Sherpa Supermarket for some cans, a bottle from The Bakery, a quickie in La Ferme and a can of beer from Snow Food and then a quickie in Chrome Bar followed by a relaxing quiet beer in The Piano Bar in The Montana Hotel.
Then down the lift and across the road for cocktails in La Taiga - then obviously hitch to Dicks T-Bar (stopping at Lodge du Village) and get stranded there at 4 in the morning.
Well that's 14 for starters - before you even get to Méribel....
Bars in La Tania:
Pub Le Ski Lodge is the main bar and social centre of life in La Tania. Drinks include Tarentaise Bitter (or somkething along those lines), Murphys, Mutzig, Heineken and Amstel. Try the evil Absenthe, Genepi and Chartreuse for a quick hit and don't forget the infamous Ski Lodge Cocktail (ask the staff for details). Magners on draft plus Smirnoff Ice, Budweiser, Corona etc also available - Of course it's Jaegar Bomb Heaven and Flavoured Vodkas (not just toffee) too.
Decent prices, good food and big party nights make this a place you'll spend a lot of time in. Be there on a Tuesday for the biggest night of the week (it's chalet girls day off tomorrow) when bands such as Ska Wars, The Load Hailers, The Cheerleaders, Les Trois Tetes, Live Wire, Four Play or Bring Your Sisters perform to a rowdy crowd from 10:30pm. Happy Hour every day from 4pm to 6pm and Aprés bands from 5pm some nights too.
All the live sports events are on satellite TV including all Sky Premiership games plus ESPN / Pay Per View stuff & some live 3pm Saturday kick offs too - but beware the clashes with the rugby! The SSSC (Sad Saturday Soccer Club) meet there every Saturday tea time to watch the football results coming in on the videprinter.... Add in the Theme nights, drinks promos and don't forget Cash or Breast too!
La Taiga (referred to as The Tiger) the upmarket lounge bar for the older more sophisticated crowd in La Tania - nice cocktails in a chill out place with leather sofas, glass tables and a warm fire. Still can be a very lively night on band and party nights though. Top food upstairs too.
Hotel Montana has a piano bar, a good place to get away from the crowd and chill. Occasional live jazz acts add to the atmosphere. More pool downstairs. Now run by Eurogroup and more Saisonnaire friendly.
Hotel Telemark - The Bar is open from 3pm every day and The Bistro Restaurant from 7pm. Very handy for an Apres Ski or Apres Dinner drink if you're staying in the main Chalet area. Great cocktails and Happy Hour plus Bar Snacks. All the live sport on TV plus occasional chilled out acoustic music sets and open mic nights.
Chrome Bar - Situated in the original Crèche (Maison des Enfants) and opened in December 2007, this is the replacement for Le Farçon (Pub L'Arbatt) whose restaurant has now been extended with no bar area for non-diners. When it's busy it's quite cozy with a good atmosphere and there's usually live music here a couple of times a week.
Bars and Clubs further afield:
Trips to Dicks T-Bar night club in Méribel at 1am (they're open 'til 4) are quite popular - not so the getting back however, it's easy to get stranded. This can be preceded with a quick Méribel pub crawl taking in Jacks, The Tav, Fifty 50, Evolution, Barometer, The Pub, The Ice Café, Le Poste or whatever's opened, shut or renamed since your last visit....
The Rond Point above Méribel is of course a compulsory stop on any proper Aprés Ski itinerary. Watching the live bands at 5pm every day then skiing down in the dark in December, in marginal conditions with the snow cannons blowing hard after too many toffee vodkas is all part of the Ronnie Experience..... Usually easy to get a taxi back to La Tania at 7pm from the square near the Tav - around €24 for 4 people in 2007/8.
Lodge Du Village in Méribel Village (from the same team as The Ski Lodge) means an almost compulsory stop on the way to / from Méribel. Great place for a lunch on the sunniest balcony in The Three Valleys too.
The Jump in Courchevel 1850 is a popular spot (especially at lunchtimes) with La Tania locals - although new management and the rumoured non return of young Jim may mean a change, as are Le Bubble, Rockies (or the newly re-furbished Signal for the evil Mutzig lager) in 1650, Chanrossa in 1550 and Le Darbello in 1300 (Le Praz). The Drop-Inn and The Wine Bar also in Le Praz have been compulsory refreshment stops since 2010.
La Boulotte owned by the infamous Katie is now the compulsory stop in 1650 - great crack, good food at reasonable prices and occasional bands at Aprés Ski too - famously rammed on a Thursday evening for Bring Your Sisters. A fire above the bar in March 2011 caused this place to close down for almost a year. BACK OPEN ON 13 FEB 2011 and Bring Your Sisters Thursday après continues...
La Marmotte Rouge down the valley in the village of Bozel is Rick and Amanda's place serving up delicious food including Thai, Indian, Tex Mex, their LMR Burgers and an excellent Sunday Lunch. Live Music, Quiz Nights, WiFi and a Large Terrace with children's play area too. The free Ski Bus goes all the way down to Bozel and they can arrange transport if required as well.
The Frog and Roastbeef is the British pub in Val Thorens and claims to be the highest pub in Europe. Good place to refuel on a quick pint and something with chips when you're doing the full Three Valleys tour - or do the yard of ale and get stranded there. Always a lively aprés scene here.
TC's Bar in Tignes, Lavachet is another haunt as former La Tania resident and legend TC opened up his own drinking den in December 2000 - now featured in the ski brochures!
Brewskis in St Martin de Belleville was a great place to stop for lunch when heading over to the third valley but unfortunately it is now no more.... Memories of the fun (& gorgeous) staff, a great terrace, draught Stella and Hoegaarden (that cloudy stuff), their famous curry pies and that night in the jacuzzi with the toffee vodka will last forever....
Check out our Value For Money in The Three Valleys page
Eating out in La Tania:
The Ski Lodge is excellent value for money with big helpings and tasty pub food. See the Restaurant Review below. Menu here
Le Farçon has gone well upmarket now with some really fancy dishes and was awarded a Michelin Star in 2006 - well worth a splurge. See review below.
La Taiga is now owned by The Ski Lodge / Lodge du Village team. Great bar downstairs and great food upstairs. See review below. Menu here
La Ferme offers great local specialties including Fondue Savoyarde (with cheese), Raclette (toasted cheese with potato and ham), Tartiflette (bacon potato and cream) and Fondue Bourguignonne (with beef). Menu here
Hotel Telemark serves good value traditional evening meals in their Bistro Restaurant which opens from 7pm every night, takeaway pizzas and bar snacks too - book a table on 0479 226471.
Les Chantarelles which is part of La Ferme specialises in Crepes both savoury and sweet.
Les Marmottons has a cozy atmosphere with varied Savoyarde fare plus pizza.
Le Chrome Bar has a small menu with burgers, chips etc at lunch time - decent prices
Hotel Montana has a varied local and international type of menu and non-residents can dine there too. Great value buffet at lunch for around €15.
Lodge du Village is our favourite place to get stranded after a days skiing. It's in Méribel Village and is a great Italian restaurant & bar (see review below). Menu here
Snow Food has sandwiches and pizza to eat on the terrace or takeaway.
The Bakery has pizza slices, croissants and cakes to grab on the run.
The Sherpa Supermarket is also handy for quick snacks (closed from noon until 3pm).
La Saucisse Savoyarde now run by La Tania locals Kirsty & Bruno is the shop / deli next to Le Farçon restaurant. It's the place to go for picnic lunches, hot bacon sarnies, homemade meals to go such as the great lasagne plus cheeses, charcuterie, wine, English bacon, sausages and tea.
And finally don't forget Extreme Cuisine for real delivery curries - always delicious!
Check out our Value For Money in The Three Valleys page
Nic the Greek's (completely unbiased) Three Valleys Restaurant Review
Some more please Nic (or send your own to email@example.com)
1. Pub Le Ski Lodge - La Tania
No better value in the Three Valleys. Big, big helpings of speciality burgers, ribs, chili, tandoori, steaks, pasta and vegetarian dishes. There's always a daily special dish and the soup at lunchtime on cold days is fantastic. They'll do a group of you a hot rock or fondue with as much salad, chips and wine as you can manage for a decent price. Check out their web site at www.publeskilodge.com for the full menu.
2. Le Brasero - Tignes, Lavachet
Outstanding, can't say any more! Le Brasero for more details. NOW UNDER DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT
3. La Chrismamara - Mottaret
Situated at the foot of the slopes next to the "Down Town Bar". Open all day serving paninis, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, chips, omelets, beers etc. Good value fast service to be found here but with the usual lack of charm that only the French so superbly deliver! However if your looking for a fast eat and a sunny south facing terrace (yes I have a burnt nose) then La Chrismamara is quite possibly the place for you. €5 pints here too.
4. La Taiga - La Tania
Situated across the main road in La Tania. Relaxed cocktail bar downstairs with restaurant upstairs, modern Savoie fare plus generous inventive salads. Delicious onion jam with the Fois Gras and really tasty Venison. Home made deserts are definitely worth leaving some room for. Traditional Fondue, Raclette and Hot Rock options too. The menu is at www.easytaiga.com
5. Lodge du Village - Méribel Village
Excellent Italian Cuisine, choose from fresh Pastas, Pizzas, Salads and authentic Italian dishes. The Lamb shank is to die for and the steaks are superb. Try the pizza with raw spinach sprinkled on top - different but very tasty. A lively lounge bar on the first floor has a happy hour every day and regular live music. See their web site at www.lodgeduvillage.com for details.
6. La Tsaretta - Les Allues
Nice menu including pizzas, steaks and local specialties. Theme nights (usually on a Friday) include Fish & Chips, Curry, Chinese etc. Good atmosphere, occasional live music, friendly English staff and they can even organise free transport for you too. NOW UNDER DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT (reportedly still good though)
7. The Jump Bar - Courchevel 1850
A favourite spot for lunch in the centre of 1850 below the Hotel de la Croisette. Large salads, sandwiches and chips for lunch are good value (especially for 1850) and they always have the latest English newspapers. I particularly enjoyed the Lasagne and they do some great thick soups too. NOW UNDER DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT (no Jim).
8. Le Farçon - La Tania
The food here has gone very upmarket in recent years and with a refurb and extended restaurant area for 2007/8 there's plenty more tables. There's a tasting menu for around €60 which goes on and on and on. This includes lots of small, delicate portions with some unbelievable flavours. Some of the dishes we've enjoyed are king prawns with scrambled egg, lamb medallions on a bed of creamed carrots, local fresh water fish in cream and snails with very strong garlic ice cream! Awarded a Michelin Star in November 2005 - well worth a splurge if you like your food French, rather fancy and don't mind spending a bit.
9. Chateau de Feissons - 12km from Moûtiers
You can see the Chateau from the main dual carriageway up on the left hand side as you drive from Albertville to Moûtiers. The not very classy red neon sign of a plate with knife & fork can be seen on top of one of the turrets! It is a fantastic setting and the restaurant is in a large hall with uniformed staff - but not too stuffy and they're helpful if you're struggling with your French. The food is wonderfully French and not as expensive as the setting would make you think. Imaginative soups and several fish dishes on the menu. A great place to impress someone. NOW UNDER DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT
10. Le Coq Rouge - Moûtiers
One of the best kept secrets of The Three Valleys. Situated near the cathedral, look for the sign down the alley way, This restaurant is superb value for money with top notch food. Excellent value set menu at lunch or dinner and try the bargain quality house wine.
11. The Zig Zag - Méribel Mottaret, near Plattieres bottom gondola station
Great value 3 course lunch here for €15. Well worth finding this place, must try it in the evening some time too. Plat du Jour's always look very tasty and staff are welcoming and friendly.
12. Le Plantin - En route to Méribel Village
The whole place was re-built and re-opened in December 2006, the table top cooking of your steaks and the party atmosphere with Chalet Girls dancing on the tables has not returned - it's a lot more up market now. Great food, not cheap - excellent steaks though and service can be a bit hit and miss.
13. The Frog and Roastbeef - Val Thorens, on the top road, high up
The highest pub in Europe with good value English style pub food. Small terrace outside for sunny days and plenty of room inside for bad weather days when the soup, burgers and steaks really come in to their own. NOW UNDER DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT (but still good).
14. Pizza Express - Méribel
Situated above the famous Dick's T Bar night club with regular live music. Pizzas and most menu items similar to the UK but always seems a smaller portion and more expensive - or is it the drinks bill that causes that? Can be fairly wild with table dancing when there's a Beatles tribute band on or a real chill out experience when a laid back pianist is providing background music. CLOSED - NOW "THE DEN"
15. Brewskis - St Martin de Belleville - Run by Kangaroo Simon 2008/9
Another sad loss for lunch from the Three Valleys as now only open in the evenings but with live music and events on many nights can be a great night out.
From past trips: A warm welcome and Chicken Curry Pie after the lovely ski down - what better! Also daily specials, more pies, great burgers, Stella beer, a pool table and a sunny terrace. It's easy to get stuck down here and miss the last lifts back!!! The new 8 seater gondola makes getting back so much quicker now - check out www.brewskis.fr for more details. NOW CLOSED
17 La Ferme - La Tania
We always seem to end up having meat and cheese fondues here. Not sure why, maybe it's because there's always someone who hasn't had one and you've got to experience it on a ski holiday at least once! They are good though with large helpings, great bags of spuds and value for money. Tasty salads and decent wine prices too. Website here
18 Le Bouc Blanc - Above La Tania
Just above La Tania and handy for non-skiers who can gain access via the gondola and enjoy lunch up there on the sunny terrace with great views. Excellent value, tasty set menus and the Plat du Jour changes daily - usually excellent especially with the Dauphinoise Potatoes. The omelets are big with lots of eggs and a good buy too.
19 Chalet de Caron - Val Thorens
A big self service place towards the bottom of the big main piste below VT. Huge terrace with a room through the back of the main restaurant area where you can often find a spare table. Often very busy and quite a queue but generous portions (although not cheap) with the Lasagne particularly good (but €14). Full menu on their website
20. Le Bel Air - Above 1650, top of gondola
Fantastic stepped, sunny terrace, always busy and booking recommended. Fairly pricey Plat du Jour and house plonk. Savoie menu - not your burgers and chips place but always something tasty on the menu. Worth it for the terrace anyway and access via the gondola for non-skiers too. Loaded Hot Chocolate with Cognac a fairly reasonable €6.60 in Jan 2012 (often €10 or more around 1850).
21. La Casserole - Above 1650, bottom of Signal Chair
Large sunny terrace, good pasta dishes and omelets. Savoie fayre in the main and not too madly expensive even when sitting down inside the old building - some fascinating pics on the walls.
22. Le Saint Roch - Bozel
With quite an ex-pat community living down in Bozel this is becoming a popular meeting, drinking and eating place. Great terrace in the Summer and good atmosphere with some delicious pizzas - just get extra hot sauce on them!
23. Hotel Telemark - La Tania
The Bar is now back open from 3pm every day and the Bistro from 7pm serving good value traditional meals. They also do pizzas for eat in or takeaway and serve bar snacks too. Book a table on 0479 226471.
24. FaceWest - Val Thorens
The Club Sandwich and chips is good quality, a big portion and decent value for money. The rest of the menu is a bit overpriced to be honest. Very central situation at piste side in VT though.
25. La Marmotte Rouge - Bozel
Rick and Amanda invite you down the valley to enjoy a delicious eclectic food range including Thai, Indian, Tex Mex and their LMR Burgers. Establishing a good reputation for their excellent Sunday Lunches too.
25. Courcheneige Hotel - On Piste above 1850 near Pralong Chair / Top of Bellecote Drag
Famous for its €5 pints of Stella (and €50 bottles of Veuve Cliquot Champagne for Winter 2012). The €27 Skiers Menu includes the €15 buffet plus soup, main course and dessert trolley - well worth a splurge...
Other favourites out of resort to be added
Reports to follow...or email your own in:
Le Refuge, La Taverne, Le Cro Magnon, Le Darbello, Scott's, Le Yaca, Le Boa A Mil, Le Blanchot, Les Allobroges etc etc...
Other Mountain Restaurants
On the mountain, Le Soucoupe, Roc Tania, Chenus and Le Bouc Blanc above & around La Tania plus Le Bel Air and La Casserole above 1650 tend to be quite a bit cheaper than those on the 1850 & Méribel sides of the ski area. Don't be surprised at paying more than £12 for a gin & tonic in a smart chalet type restaurant above 1850 towards the Altiport... Check out our Value For Money in The Three Valleys page.
For cheaper options when out skiing shoot down to Le Jump or the baguette shop in Courchevel 1850, Le Bubble in 1650, Le Rond Point in Méribel, Fast Food in Mottaret (and similar in Val Thorens) and Dahlia in St Martin de Belleville for a reasonably priced sandwich/burger/pasta/chips and beer. The Ski Lodge in La Tania and Lodge du Village in Méribel Village are great places for lunch on a sunny day with South facing sheltered terrace and balcony.
After a season out here - it's strange what you miss sometimes....
En route to Tignes: At Bourg St Maurice - almost exactly half way around 40 minutes from La Tania.
En route to Geneva: In Albertville at junction 30, again around 40 minutes on the turn off to Annecy and also about 8km south of Annecy near the lake. There is a further one in Annecy on the Bourg en Brasse road near a big Decathlon and Intersport - well worth a look for cheap gear.
En route to Chambery: You'll pass the 2 in Albertville (J30 and J26) and there's one in Chambery too.
En route to Lyon: As Chambéry above - plus there's one between the airport turn off and the Lyon ring road Autoroute. There's a big retail park here with an IKEA (often 30% cheaper than the UK - but note it's closed on Sundays).
En route to St Ettienne: As Lyon above plus the one at the entrance to the airport - there's nothing much at all inside the terminal building, so it's quite handy.
Finally, I can just remember there's a drive thru on the way to Chamonix when you pass through Morzine.