Cycling to Samoëns in the French Alps, through the valley I was afforded some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside with mountains looming above. On arrival in Samoëns the market was in full swing offering local produce and crafts, this happens every Wednesday.
A morning coffee stop provided a real treat, the boulangerie La Jaÿsinia has a house speciality La Galette Septimontaine – A brioche with butter, blueberries (myrtille) and creme fraiche and it is delicious! I learned during the day that a ‘Septimontaine’ is the name giving to a person who comes from Samoëns.
After wandering around the lively and friendly market, it was lunchtime! and luckily for us there was room on the terrace at
Le 8M des Monts – this was a play on words referring to the ‘Septimontaines’ implying that this is the 8th mountain! the restaurant terrace looks out onto the square, a great place to watch the world go by! What a great find, with a wonderful menu offering a delightful selection of dishes with some innovative ideas and flavour combinations. It is a husband and wife team and the food was excellent and well presented and the service very good and friendly. Well worth trying on a visit to Samoëns, but advisable to book in busy seasons.
If you continue on past Samoëns for 6 kms another great place to visit is the village of Sixt Fer a Cheval one of Les Plus Beau Villages de France with it’s famous nature reserve the Cirque du Fer a Cheval, shaped like an amphitheatre and looks like a giant horseshoe shape from the sky. There are many hikes to do around this area with gorges and mountain pastures and peaks and Sixt also boasts a magnificent waterfall called La Cascade de Rouget sometimes known as the Queen of The Alps.
The following day in Les Gets is market day! Always on a Thursday and a perfect place to stock up on the local Savoyard charcuterie and cheeses, honey, confitures, a freshly cooked chicken, pizzas cooked in a wood oven and great looking fruit and vegetables. Naturally followed by Lunch which was at one of our local Savoyard favourites La Taniere in Les Gets, sitting on the terrace looking out over the green mountain pastures with mountain bikers happily cycling down! This restaurant serves hearty local cuisine and really great wood-fired pizzas. The selection of salads are good and the St. Marcellin salad is simply divine! In the winter, this is a very popular restaurant as after a morning skiing you will find exactly what you need to replace all that energy used whizzing down the slopes! Les Croutes aux Fromages just have to be tried but best eaten after a good mornings exercise!
A very happy new discovery for me in the area is Alt. 1490 Exlusif at La Côte d’Abroz, then follow the Col de L’Encrenaz and it is a ten-minute uphill walk from the parking area. If you are unable to walk up it is worth calling in advance as they have a horse and cart that can bring you to the restaurant.
This restaurant certainly has the ‘wow-factor’ apart from the 360-degree panorama of amazing mountain views, the place itself has been recently renovated and is absolutely gorgeous!
Wonderful separate little outside areas to eat, a boules pitch and a large table for groups. An inside/covered terrace area offering relaxed seating areas. The menu offers many Savoyard specialities and braserades (cooking on hot stones). The Burger Maison is delicious as are the potatoes prepared ‘Grandma’s way’!
They are open daily from 12noon – 6pm although this is weather dependent and worth checking on their website or Facebook page before going up and in the evenings purely by reservation on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In the winter the restaurant is accessible to skiers via the choice of two black runs, The Chevreuil and The Mouflon or a red run, The Marmottes from the back of Mont Chery, part of the Les Gets ski resort is then a short walk up! I can’t wait to go back!
all photos are copyright ©Caro Blackwell