Sometimes cheese is not enough. Perched on a privileged peak among Switzerland’s most magnificent mountains, this remote high-alpine refuge offers both cozy alpine atmosphere and an embarrassment of cheesy diversions. Fondue forks en garde! Verbier’s Cabane Mont-Fort is a lunch stop worth dueling for.

Verbier attracts a sportif crowd, from Richard Branson and Jude Law to the young London royal set, so avi packs and fat skis rub alongside the occasional Brit in a collared shirt at this classic pit stop. After a morning skiing the powder of Vallon d’Arbi or the bumps of Tortin, the hungry and helmeted schuss straight to this stone aerie for hearty Valaisanne dishes… plus, perhaps, a hair-of-the-dog after a night of Verbier clubbing.

If the weather is fine arrive early to bag a bench table in the sun.

No VIP queues here, mon ami. If the weather is fine you’ll have to arrive early to bag a bench table in the sun. Service on the terrace is through an egalitarian serving hatch.

Order, pay, take a number, find a seat, and soak up a dazzling display of pretty peaks, from the mighty Grand Combin to Mont Blanc itself. In case of weather, prepare to cozy up and meet your neighbors in the wood-paneled, lactose-scented interior. Menu favorites include macaronis à la montagnarde with apple compote, crisp rösti, and the best fondue in Verbier, all washed down with topdrawer Valais wines. Sizing is strictly “skier’s portion”, but the 100 lifts that knit the Four Valleys terrain will take care of any calorie overload.

Operated by the Swiss Alpine Club, upstairs the MontFort’s 58 dorm beds constitute a classic overnight stay on the fabled Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route ski tour. It’s common to find late lunchers settling in with a deck of cards and another round. Often these Haute Routers are joined by evolved souls escaping Verbier’s swank hotels for a night en haute montagne under the stars. Lunch at Cabane MontFort can bring you to a truly elevated state.