Mountain Restaurants for Non-Skiers
Often our chalets or apartments are taken by grandparents, parents and kids all with their own idea of the perfect mountain holiday. The mountains around Morzine have a lot more to offer than just skiing and snowboarding. So what happens when non-skiers want to have a nice mountain lunch with their skiing friends?
Lindarets is a great meeting point as it is a large bowl with lots of chairlifts providing access to Avoriaz, Chatel and Switzerland. It is also home to a number of great restaurants to choose from for lunch. Many have deck chairs in the sun, table service and a great atmosphere.
Of course skiers and snowboarders will find it easy to get there from the slopes, but it is easy for non-skiers too. All they need to do is catch the M bus from Morzine to Ardent. Once at the lift station they need to buy a pedestrian lift pass.
From the top of the Ardent lift, the restaurants are just a short walk across the snow (just watch out for skiers and snowboarders!).
If you can manage it, head for Les Marmottes (the one with the yellow awnings) for all you can eat roast ham on Sundays. For something a bit more "fast food like" Les Alpages is ideal, under the Chaux Fleurie chair lift. This is usually lively with a bar made from snow.
Happy Hours is a great bar at the bottom of the Ardent lift and one of our favourites. It is always lively and has great food. This is the easiest bar to get to in the Linderets area. The M bus stops right next to it so pedestrians don't even need to get on the lift.
It is at the foot of a great blue run called Les Linderets, or as it is more commonly known "Star Wars" (it is one of those "last one to the bottom buys the beers!" kind of runs).
Wednesday afternoons at Happy Hours are extremely busy, as it is when most of the workers have their day off. Expect to experience very loud music from top DJs, cocktails and shots all afternoon. Remember to wrap up warm though, as it doesn't get any sun until later in the winter.
The Pleney side of the valley also has few options for everyone to meet for lunch. Those not skiing can just walk to the restaurant or head up the Pleney lift. Skiers and snowboarders can ride to the front door of some of these places (try not to fall over in front of the crowds when you arrive!)
At the foot of the Pleney télécabine Le Tremplin is a great choice for lunch. Their meals include burgers, crepes, salads, savoyarde specialities and daily specials. The food here is excellent, as are the cocktails (I like the Mojito Royale). The outdoor bar has a lively atmosphere for après time too, with live DJs and bands under the outdoor heaters.
Turning right when you get off the Pleney lift at the top, you will see a restaurant with a large terrace. This is Restaurant Les Portes du Soleil and is quite a typical French mountain establishment with a panoramic dining room with great views over Morzine (especially from the toilet). It also has a self service restaurant, a creperie and a bar. The bar has the obligatory DJ on the wheels of steel for apres too!
Located at the top of the Pleney ski area, Le Vaffieu is an excellent restaurant in our experience. Skiers will see it from the top of the Belvedere chairlift, it will be the one playing music outside.
Pedestrians can get there by walking along the side of the piste from the top of the Pleney télécabine. You can expect high quality local savoyarde food (lots of meat and cheese) with a few pasta and salad options too. Make sure you book, as this can get very busy.
Avoriaz has lots of places to meet for lunch, but the ones ideal for pedestrians and skiers to meet at are just a short walk across the snow from the top of the Prodains lift.
The first restaurant you come to when you get out of the Prodains lift is Les Trappeurs. It has a huge decked area to enjoy your lunch in the sun. The food is great, with a lot to choose from to suit all tastes (the french onion soup is especially good).
Next door to Les Trappeurs, a bit further down the hill is Chez Flo. It has a large sunny terrace, where you can enjoy local specialities, salads, pasta, meat and fish. Chez Flo also has a great outdoor bar open for après in a conservatory called the Round Bar.
There are lots of places to meet up, so non-skiers can take in the views they wouldn't normally see over lunch. Just check what your chalet hosts are cooking for you that night, so you don't overload on cheese!