So you’ve booked your luxury accommodation in Courchevel’s exclusive 1850, you’ve sorted out your skiing travel insurance and you’ve packed your ski gear and equipment. You’re all ready for the slopes, but are you prepared for the cheesy delicacies of the local cuisine?
Of course, there is elegant fine dining at many of the excellent resort restaurants and five-star hotels, but a trip to Courchevel would not be complete without indulging in the local Savoyard cuisine. This wonderful Alpine fare is the ultimate in warming comfort food consisting of lots of cheese and cream, sourced locally from milk taken from cows which have spent their lives grazing the fresh mountain pastures.
The world famous Beaufort and Abondance cheeses are both local to Courchevel and feature in one of the resort’s most popular dishes, the cheesy scrumptiousness that is a fondue.
The Art of Fondue Eating
What’s so hard about eating a fondue, I hear you cry! Well nothing, but this is Courchevel and a certain etiquette for fondue eating is expected here (yes, really). Apparently, it is impolite to stir the fondue cheese counter-clockwise. Instead, make sure you stir either in a clockwise or figure of eight to avoid disapproving stares from other diners. Another thing that is frowned upon in fondue circles is allowing melted cheese to drip on the tablecloth, your clothing or even down your chin! So make sure that you twirl your fork as it leaves the molten goo to make sure you leave no mess behind.
According to French tradition a fondue should be accompanied by white wine (French, of course) or kirsch. If you don’t drink alcohol then a tisane tea is also traditional.
The Best Fondues in Courchevel
Okay, so now you know how to eat it, the next question is where to eat it. There are no shortage of restaurants offering the local speciality in Courchevel, either in the village or out on the mountain. But if you’re looking for the very best, here are my recommendations for the best fondues in and around the resort.
· Le Petit Savoyard, Courchevel 1650
You know that the quality of food here is good because it is always full, usually with a mixture of local and tourist diners. This traditional chalet-style restaurant will serve your cheese feast amongst pine panelling, old wooden skis and cosy lighting, creating an authentic Savoyard atmosphere.
· La Table de Mon Grand Pere, Le Praz
For the ultimate fondue experience you’ll have to ski down to Le Praz, but you’ll be well rewarded for your fantastic morning’s ski. As the name suggests (My Grandfather’s Table), this is traditional local cuisine, but taken to a higher level. Here you can choose between regular fondue or have the cheese dish infused with earthy truffle oil, making it a rich, indulgent treat. The atmosphere is cosy and warm, the staff welcoming, but it is the food which will bring you back again and again.
Local folklore says that if you drink beer with fondue you run the risk of the cheese hardening in your stomach, leaving you with indigestion. To protect yourself from needing treatment for this – or any other medical costs you may incur from accidents out on the slopes – make sure you take out skiing travel insurance.
Specifically designed skiing travel insurance will not only cover melted cheese incidents but ensure that your wallet is protected from any unforeseen accidents, cancelations or thefts while you’re away.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, annual, family, business and skiing travel insurance. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.