Splendor in the Snow-Magical Megève

Rising 4,800 meters in the distance Mt Blanc looks down on the elegant 5-star Hotel M de Megève, our choice for a perfect weekend in the snow.




Rising 4,800 meters in the distance Mt Blanc looks down on the elegant 5-star Hotel M de Megève, our choice for a perfect weekend in the snow.

Stéphane Thoreton’s superb Salle à Manger and the Bistro M, a casual version of his creative approach to Savoyard cuisine are good reasons to stay at the inn for dinner.

And befitting this lovely property there is a Cinq Mondes Spa for relaxation or a massage to ease the pain of those recently used ski muscles.


Ten rooms have been added and all 42 rooms have been decorated by Alain Perrier in a style that combines light wood, woolen blankets and pillows in soothing tones of gray flannel and subdued  navy blue with dashes of orange for a burst of color. And of course, the now ubiquitous Nespresso machine.


After arriving I recommend a trip around town in acalèche.  As it navigates the narrow streets and pathways of the village you will enjoy the bracing air and have a chance to learn about the history of Megève.



Along the way stop at a working farm and meet the cows. La Ferme de Joseph serves a fondue with a view made with cheese produced on site accompanied by local wines and finish up with yogurt or ice cream. A wide selection of cheeses, charcuterie, eau de vies to ward off the cold and other regional products can be purchased to be savored later.



Megève was not the first French Alpine village to offer skiing but it certainly was an innovator.

France’s first cable car for skiers, the Rochebrune was introduced in 1933 and today ferries 96 skiers every hour to the top of the slope.

An all day ski pass costs just 43 euros and round trip cable car ride to the summit is 16 euros. Even if you don’t ski it’s a wonderful spot for a vin chaud and a steak or hamburger frites.


Wearing the revolutionary stretch ski-pants designed by fellow Mevègeois Armand Allard, Emile Allias won 3 gold medals in the 1937 world championships in nearby Chamonix.


After a strenuous day on the slopes nothing could be finer than a visit to the Cinques Mondes spa for a massage, steam, swim and for mesdames a menu of pampering petit-soins.


Chef and Directeur de Restauration of the Palace de Menthon on Lake Annecy, Stéphane Thoreton oversees culinary operations at the M de Megève and over a 2-day visit I also enjoyed a lunch that was a bistro interpretation of his dazzling dinners in the Salle à Manger.

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But before dining I stopped at the bar for amuse-bouches and a coupe de champagne. Later on I recommend a nightcap of  a Mojito chaud.


The dinner menu is handwritten daily in a Moleskine notepad,the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. A simple black rectangle with rounded corners, an elastic page-holder, and an internal expandable pocket: a nameless object with a spare perfection all its own, produced for over a century by a small French bookbinder that supplied the stationery shops of Paris, where the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the world browsed and bought them. A trusted and handy travel companion, the notebook held invaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books.


Dinner is served beginning with a flute of Laurent-Perrier brut and a cream of watercress soup perfumed with lime zest then ladled over 3 oysters with a side of Osestra caviar.


The second course was a perfectly rosé pigeon breast served with a paté fume and pan juices that was succulent. A 2010 Ventoux, an assemblage of grenache and syrah was an ideal partner.


For the fish course Chef Thorèton selected bar  that he roasted, accompanied by leeks, asparagus, girolles and coquilles Saint-Jacques, The 2012 Sancerre from Founier was perfect.

Not wishing to miss dessert I opted for a local cheese, tomme de Savoie with a few more drops of the Ventoux.

I was very glad I did as the apple creation was sublime and when savored over a flute of Perrier-Jouet served from a magnum was perfect exclamation point on a memorable meal.



As featured in Travels in France with Terrance

Hotel M de Megève

15 route de Rochebrune, 74120 MEGEVE

04 50 21 41 09

La Ferme de Joseph

259 route du Coin, 74120 MEGEVE

04 5034 36 87



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