Its been my secret shame for 25 years.

No, its not gambling, or philandering, or booze and drugs. Its the sad fact that I speak French fluently, yet had never skied in France…uhhhhh, that was until last January…when I spent 72 glorious hours in the crème de la crème of French ski resorts – magnificent Megève!

Perched high up in the majestic Haute Savoie alpine region of France, just across the ginormous Mont Blanc massif (Western Europes highest peak at 15,774 ft), Megève is a blue groomer junkies paradise, with endless corduroy and hero snow if thats what you fancy! But if cruisers dont turn your crank and challenging terrain is what youre looking for, you can find that in Megève too, as our ski guide Elie Birembaut from the Oxygène Ski School pointed out when we went over our plan of terrain attack for the two days we skied the area late last January.

My ski companion in Megève was my trusted photographer friend, Tom Jermann, a Swiss expat/expert skier, now living in Aix-en-Provence, France after spending 25 years in Los Angeles designing album covers, books, and other music industry nicknacks for rock legends like KISS, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the late, great Eddie Van Halen.

Tom and I pulled into Megève on a snowy Sunday night, after spending a week in Kitzbühel covering the famed Hahnenkamm downhill races itching for more skiing, and some of the French alpine culture and cuisine I had the great misfortune of missing out on over the last quarter century. Here are the highlights of our 72 hour visit…


If staying in the heart of the ski resort you visit is important to you, then the Grand Hôtel du Soleil dOr is an excellent luxury accommodation option for visitors to Megève as its only a two minute walk to the nearest gondola (which will connect you to 220 trails and 250 miles of skiable terrain). But be warned, actually making it onto the gondola means you have to run the gauntlet through a dazzling maze of high-end designer boutiques that are dotted all over town, so its easy to get sidetracked if youre a shopaholic!

Another way of getting distracted while skiing in France involves – you guessed it – food. And full disclosure, location, location, location, wasnt the selection criteria we used when we chose the Soleil dOr – it was dining, dining, dining!

Remember, when skiing in France, food is as important as skiing,” Tom reminded me when we were trying to decide which hotel to call home in Megève. So we picked the Soleil dOr because of its excellent in-house gourmet restaurant (Les Petits Caprices), and because it has its own Après Chocolaterie” room with a giant fireplace, comfy seating, and a huge assortment of gourmet chocolate delicacies made by esteemed French chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin to indulge in after skiing! Trust me when I say you havent experienced true French après ski until youve crushed a chocolat smorgasbord at this beautiful hotel after a day out on the slopes.

After checking into the Soleil dOr we settled in for dinner at Les Petits Caprices. The menu at this chic, cozy little culinary gem had all the classics of French cuisine, so we selected Soupe à lOignon and Chateaubriand de Boeuf (which was probably the juiciest, tastiest beef tenderloin Ive ever had in my life). Paired with a delicious glass of red Black Wolf Pic Saint-Loup wine, it was truly sublime!

Dessert was an epicurean orgy of chocolate and local Savoyarde sweets in the form of a buffet – which included a scrumptious Tarte Myrtille (blueberry pie), Tarte Chocolat Jean-Paul Hévin, Mousse au Chocolat, and my absolute fave, a light, spongy cake called Gâteau de Savoie, which is a local specialty smothered in hot custard. The dessert course was washed down with multiple glasses of the restaurants famed fluffy, fruity Velvet Sour” cocktail (Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royal gin, lemon, egg whites), which still haunts my dreams in the most wonderful way on cold winter nights. Do yourself a favor – dont pass this delicious elixir up if youre dining at Les Petits Caprices.

After dinner we wandered up to the hotels super hip rooftop bar for a nightcap consisting of single malt whiskies and a couple of cigars we were allowed to smoke on an outdoor winter patio outfitted with heaters under the stars, a most excellent way to start our visit to Megève.


There are spectacular mountain panoramas youll see on skis all over Europe, but nothing will floor you faster than your first sighting of Frances famed alpine peak trifecta – the razor sharp Aiguille du Midi, the majestic Aiguille du Goûter, and the gargantuan Mont Blanc, the Godzilla of the French Alps, sandwiched in between.

After a hearty breakfast of buttery first track corduroy on the Mont dArbois side of the resort, and a wickedly delicious luncheon feast at the Idéal Restaurant – which included a delightfully decadent black truffle pizza washed down with a very Barbie-friendly Pink Snow” cocktail (Vodka, Saint Germain elderflower liqueur, raspberry & lime) – we chased our ski guide Elie across the mountain to see the mother of all ski views – and spoiler alert, it was more than worth the price of admission!

As we crisscrossed down Megèves picture perfect pistes, flanked by sky-scraping powder dusted pines, we were mesmerized by the snowy silhouette of the alpine giants towering above us on the horizon. The most breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif are seen as you schuss down to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, an idyllic ski village that sits between Megève and Chamonix. The skiing and snow were incredible, and as for crowds, they were non-existent.

The view from Megève of these three monster mountain peaks is unique because we are at a distance facing them,” Birembaut explained as we stopped to pose for a few pix. If youre looking at Aiguille du Midi from Chamonix youll strain your neck looking up at the sky as it rises directly above you, but the view you get of the Mont Blanc massif from here in Megève is really incredible, truly one of a kind,” he added.

With mucho mileage on our skidometers, we floated off the last gondola in a trance-like state, stoned by the jaw dropping scenery we had just ingested visually. After a quick pit stop for a few après ski cocktails at the posh Lodge Park Hotel, we dropped off our ski gear at the Soleil dOr  and made our way to Le Palais Megève, and its fabulous Balnéoforme aquatic center for some spa time. A couple of visits to the Turkish bath, and a few cold plunges later, we headed back to the hotel and cleaned up for an evening of fine dining.

Dinner on day 2 at Le Café Megève, was like walking onto the movie set of the classic 1942 film Casablanca during the scenes at Ricks Café Américain. One part St-Tropez brasserie, one part Moroccan bistro, and one part piano bar, this magical restaurant is a must visit when youre in this beautiful ski town. It may be snowing outside, but its always sunny at Le Café thanks to the stylish wicker chandeliers, vintage lighting, whirling tropical ceiling fans, and vibrant live music from the piano bar.

The menu at Le Café looked like it was torn out of the pages of Julia Childs seminal Mastering The Art of French Cooking cookbook. Our hors doeuvre” appetizer choices included French classics like escargot from Burgundy, Gillardeau No. 3 oysters, and Cuisses de Grenouilles en Persillade (frog legs with parsley…dont knock it till youve tried it, they were delicious). Hors doeuvres aside, the real pièce de résistance at Le Café Megève is their exquisite Noix de coquilles Saint-Jacques pôlées, marinière légèrement crémée” (Pan-fried scallops, creamy marinière sauce with white wine), a dish best described in three words: To. Die. For.


Mornings in Megève can be treacherous if counting calories is a thing in your world, something we quickly discovered wandering through the minefield of delectable breakfast Viennoiserie available to those lucky enough to be staying at the Grand Hotel du Soleil dOr.

After surrendering to the pleasures of several ridiculously scrumptious almond croissants, numerous pain au chocolat, paper thin fruit filled crêpes, freshly made-to-order omelets, and the creamiest cappuccinos on the planet at the hotels resplendent breakfast buffet, we hit the slopes to work off the massive amount of weight we had added to our frames.

The ski gods were clearly on our side during our 72 hours in Megève, as again we had perfect bluebird skies, blazing sunshine, and uncrowded, pristine slopes that looked like they were striped with giant tubes of chilled toothpaste by the hand of Ullr himself.

Lunchtime, like morning time, can also be treacherous in Megève, especially if you cant say no to the most amazing food on earth. This time the culinary danger zone was the Auberge de Bonjournal, an exceptional French restaurant disguised as a chic, rustic log ski chalet. Not far from the Christomet and Torraz chairlifts in the heart of the Jaillet ski area, Auberge de Bonjournal has all kinds of super-caloric goodies on its menu. So again, we went nuclear and opted for a super cheesy, traditional Savoyarde fondue – which Im ashamed to say we devoured like ravenous, lactose-craved zombies.

Guilt-ridden by the sheer amount of rich, delicious, and ultimately irresistible food we had consumed in just a few hours on the slopes, we decided to add more physical exertion to our day as a post-skiing carbon-calorie-tax of sorts. The pre-dinner activity we chose seemed harmless at first glance. A local told us to check out Megèves Italian themed 3-lane bowling alley called Cosa Papa. Its exactly like being in Rome,” we were advised. What could go wrong we thought?

Haha..what could go wrong? Right?

Turns out Cosa Papa was actually a sensational Italian restaurant specializing in pizza (and just about every other classic Italian dish), masquerading as a bowling alley. The courtesy tagline of our ski day quickly became, Todays skiing brought to you by Cosa Papas Satanes e Diabolo Pizza (tomato sauce, fiore di latte mozzarella, spicy spianata sausage) a deliciously devilish après ski snack!” So we did a little bowling, and ate a little pizza, sue us…and what’s the old saying, When in Megève, do as the Romans do?”

When our little bowling and pizza party ended, we returned to the hotel for some power naps to make sure we had enough energy to consume more amazing French cuisine at dinner. We knew the clock was ticking on our 72 hours in this amazing ski town, and we wanted to make sure we were in fighting shape pour le dîner” at one of Megèves most popular restaurants, La Ferme de mon Père, located at the ultra chic Zannier Hotels Le Chalet.

Led by Chef Julien Burlat, La Ferme prides itself in offering locally sourced, seasonal, healthier sharing dishes that put vegetables center stage” – something we thought would be a great idea based on how much rich food we had marched through during our stay in the Haute Savoie.

With its elegant decor, charming alpine chic timber walls, and mellow lighting, this restaurant was the perfect place to decompress and wind down on our last night in town, trust me when I say La Ferme did not disappoint.

We started with crispy vegetables with black” mayonnaise, and a wonderful spinach and truffle croque. For appies, we chose skewered scallops with baked cauliflower, and thin mushroom pie, with watercress and walnut crumble. Our mains were off the charts delicious – vegetable gyozas with fried rice and pak choi, and a Crozet cep and truffle risotto that I inhaled while it was still steaming. We couldnt say no to a little bit of half truffled Reblochon cheese for afters, and topped the meal off with a dark chocolate soufflé and profiteroles au whiskey, which turned out to be the perfect way to end a truly skiable feast in the French Alps.

Megève is marvellous, and we cant wait to go back to an unforgettable mountain town thats a paradise for skiers and gourmands alike!