Mountains aren’t just funny, they are hill areas… get it? Anyway. Barely breathe the words ‘French Alps’ and you’ll have us falling over ourselves to reach for our skis, snow shoes and best aprés-outfits, but these mountains ain’t just for skiing or getting piste.
Before it became an internationally renowned luxury ski resort, Megève was a quaint medieval market town. Times may have changed, but in the summer months without the hordes of skiers, you can really enjoy what life here used to be like, with the addition of some decadent luxury extras.
Megève attracts a long list of A-List guests including none other than the President of France himself. If you were looking for a stamp of approval, that was it. However, it’s thanks not to the celebrity clientele for the town’s Michelin-star gastronomy scene, but thanks to the forty-odd farms that surround the village, and provide its ninety restaurants with some of the best quality produce you can find.
One such restaurant is at the hotel Les Fermes de Marie, which is celebrated for its traditional yet tasteful Alpine-chic lodgings, world-class service, and luxurious spa. The Traditionnel restaurant is pure mountain realness – a wooden lodge style with a huge vaulted ceiling and based around an enormous fireplace, which in the colder months is exactly what you need after a long day on the slopes. Even if you closed your eyes here you’d know you were in the mountains with the familiar smell of rich melted cheese and fine wines hanging in the air, something which we’re thankful isn’t reserved only for the winter.
We try and savour the use of the word ‘luxurious’ to describe only the best of the best places, but we’re confident it’s appropriate here. Despite there being no snow outside, the rustic and cosy bedrooms at the Hotel Le M de Megève are anything but wasted, and from the outside, the Alpine chalet appeal is picture perfect.
The hotel is a stones throw from the centre of the town – the cobbled medieval square with its old districts, narrow streets and architecture that could be fresh from a fairytale. Fridays are market days, and this is when the village really comes to life. Remember all those local farms we told you about? This is where you can get yourself a raw slice of the action, and we mean that literally, as some of the best meat in France is reared up in the mountains. Farmers rub shoulders with local bakers and makers, who have been serving the town for generations. If you want to have a real throwback moment, you can enjoy the market in old-school horse and carriage style.
We all love a horse and carriage, but it’s no secret that #TeamCoco prefer a little more by the way of speed when it comes to horse power. In this case, we mean the propellor engines of the light four seater aircrafts which pilots have been flying around from Megève’s private airport for years to take mountain holidayers up for a closer view at the spectacular Mont Blanc.
Back with feet firmly on land, the exhilaration continues. In lieu of throttling down the slopes, the summer months have their own dedicated sports programme. Hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, horse riding and golfing are all readily available, and each one that little bit more enjoyable with a fresh breath of mountain air that seem to make everything make sense again.
For more information about Megève call +33 45021 2728 or visit https://megeve.com
For more information about Swiss call +41 44564 4414 or visit https://swiss.com
For more information about M de Megeve Hotel call +33 45021 4109 or visit https://www.mdemegeve.com/
Seven nights’ accommodation staying at M de Megève room only is priced from £815 pp based on two people sharing a premiere double room.
Return flights to Geneva are available from London Heathrow with Swiss priced from £85 pp.
Return transfers from Geneva Airport to Megève cost from £90 pp based on two people sharing a vehicle. Visit http://www.megevecab.com/ or call +33 (0)6 46 23 71 52
Meals provided by Megève Tourism. https://megeve.com
Le restaurant traditionnel at Les Fermes de Marie +33 45093 0310
The Club du Mont d’Arbois +33 45093 0343
Le Refuge de Megève +33 45021 2304
Light Aircraft Flight over Mont Blanc cost from £144 pp. Visit https://www.aerocime.com or call +33 45021 0321