So, we've had the excitement of the first ski day of the 2015-16 season, but what does this winter have in store for apres-ski?
La Terrasse - new season, new management, new staff, new menu - there is a new buzz about La Terrasse this winter with more emphasis on good food and tasty tapas than on apres-ski boozing. The new menu starts with cooked and continental breakfasts including a full English served from 9:30am, moving on to Mediterranean style tapas later in the day, and a full dinner menu with a daily plat du jour. Upstairs will be the place to head for chilled out cocktails in a sophisticated lounge bar with one of the best views in town and live music later in the night.
Hibou - we were distraught to announce the closure of Papillon (distraught is no exaggeration, we LOVED Papillon) back in September… but delighted when we found out that our favourite gourmet takeaway would be reopening under new management as Hibou, a similar concept but with a variety of delicious new dishes on the menu and a snazzy refurb that has squeezed in some seating. They had their grand opening this week and we’ve already sampled a few of their tasty morsels, so we can recommend that you head their way to do the same. Keep an eye on our Restaurant Reviews page for a more detailed verdict coming soon!
Le Chamonix Social Club - this funky little wine bar on Rue des Moulins, formerly known as Le Saumon Ivre and even more formerly as Mix Bar, will have yet another incarnation this winter as Le Chamonix Social Club. With the lovely Leila, formerly of Les Caves, at the helm it looks set to be a fun and funky cocktail bar with a disco vibe - it had been undergoing a bit of a facelift but it's now open, so go and check it out!
Jekyll & Hyde - we bid a sad goodbye to Chris this autumn, who has been at the helm of the Jekyll for a fair few years and has hosted more après-ski parties, live music, excellent dinners, and legendary comedy nights that we care (or are able) to remember. However, the Jekyll lives on in the new hands of Julien and his team. Formerly the chef at Le Caveau he proposes a slightly different but still tasty menu, craft beers, and good times to come! Call in and give them a warm welcome to their first winter season.
Elevation 1904 - possibly the most long-overdue facelift in the valley, Elevation is a Chamonix institution that has been much the same since it opened many moons ago. Diggers have been excavating the foundations to create more space in the bar area - apparently the kitchen and storage areas will be moved underground, the bar is to be shifted to one side and the interior will have loads more seating. It's one of our favourite hang-outs and we are dying to see what the refurb will bring; as long as they still have the same crazy bar staff, we’ll be happy spending many an après-session there this winter. Due to reopen soon!
La Petite Kitchen - one of our favourite little bistros sadly closed its doors some months ago after dishing up many delicious meals to hungry locals. However, the phoenix has risen and it is due to reopen as a delicatessen where you’ll be able to pick up delicious morsels to take up the hill.
La Maison des Artistes - this hip hangout opened during the Cosmojazz festival back in June, making this their first winter season. We’re looking forward to more great performances from incredibly talented singers and musicians in this beautifully restored historic house behind the casino in the centre of Chamonix.
Bighorn Bistro - another of our new favourite hangouts, this restaurant in Chamonix Sud has had the summer to settle in and is looking forward to its first winter season. We’re looking forward to seeing what hearty home cooked American cuisine they’ll be dishing up to keep us warm and well-fed. They’re open daily from 7am for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving up Stateside specialities such as buttermilk pancakes, biscuits and gravy, poutine and even the occasional elk burger! Makes a change from fondue...