This article was previously published by capital trip 19.11.2020
Skiing in Tignes, a two hour taxi ride from Geneva, we knew it had been good before. Here you’ll find a diverse, safe, elevated snow facility, and with over 300 kilometers of trails, there’s something for everyone.
But what about food?
When we first went to the Alps nearly 25 years ago, we were content with a bed to sleep in and rusk wienerschnitzel on our plate. But we’ve gotten somewhat better accustomed to it over time – and so are most other tourists.
Many alpine destinations are constantly evolving and now offer a number of luxury options as well in accommodation and dining options. And Tignes is no exception. We went there to combine two days of gourmet dining with world class skiing.
The gourmet experience really begins at midday. After 2 hours of skiing in very good conditions, we took the train to La Panoramique restaurant at 3,032 metres.
– We are told it is the tallest gourmet restaurant in the world.
In the list we find – among all things – the bathroom. Something we rather associate with the little pesky birds that fight for food and litter in the big cities. But to our great surprise, the pigeon was beautifully cooked with great mashed potatoes.
– The secret to these mashed potatoes is a lot of butter, they tell us from the kitchen.
The dining experience is a good break from skiing and on the way down from the restaurant you can opt for a long blue trail if you like nature experiences, and want to rest your legs a bit. For speed lovers, you can walk up the relatively steep red hill about 1,000 meters from the city. We chose the latter and used the extra power the shower gave us. It is very impressive to run a gourmet restaurant at an altitude of more than 3000 meters. It must require some logistics.
Post skate necessary
Before the Corona pandemic broke out in full force in Europe, many people preferred to stop at après-ski between ski battles and try dining.
One would like to meet like-minded people and have a cup in good company. Until last year, this was a loophole in Tignes’ software. Our 15th consecutive visit to the district. And while we’ve had great visits in the past with good food and skiing, we always felt like something was missing. It is good after skiing.
On the other side of the valley, Val D’Isère has the après-ski resorts of Cocorico in the center and La Folie Douce at the mountainside. While there were only a few bistros in Tignes until last year, when a section of Cocorico moved up the mountain. With a great après-ski area, live entertainment and a good atmosphere, this can help make Tignes an even more perfect Alpine destination – on the day the ravages of the virus are finally over and we might be able to experience après-ski in its full form again.
A Michelin star is on the rise
At 2,100 meters above sea level, Tignes is one of the highest alpine destinations in Europe. It provides good snow safety, and also means that Tignes is one of the highest in the world with a Michelin restaurant. Last year, the gourmet restaurant Ursus was opened as part of the five-star Les Suites hotel. The restaurant recently received its first star in the Michelin Guide.
The Michelin Guide was started by the Michelin tire manufacturer to help people travel more and consequently consume more tyres. What better way than to get people to travel far south in France and go up a mountain to eat and some skiing?
On our way to the restaurant, it seemed to us that a lot of emphasis was placed on connecting with nature. The restaurant is decorated with trees and we feel sitting in the woods. We go for the three course restaurant meal, and the dishes come in a row. Although we ordered a three course dinner, we were served, with all medium and savory dishes, more than a ten course dinner.
At Ursus you get a three-course meal for €98, or just over 1,000 kroner – and given the scope of this three-course meal, it seems like a bargain. Not only is the food excellent, but it is the details and journey through the meal that make this experience a little out of the ordinary. It’s a long way from when we started with our alpine trekking and lived in rusk wienerschnitzel.
Our visit shows us that it is entirely possible to enjoy gourmet experiences and many good ski trips on the same trip.
Kapital Reise was on a trip with Tourist France last winter.
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