Whilst Shoreditch and Williamsburg vie for the title of the most hipster district in the world, with their mix of good food and vintage-chic design, Megève achieves all of this effortlessly and more. Le Chalet Zannier firmly lives up to Megève’s vaunted reputation. Rustic simplicity and luxurious comfort converge at Le Chalet Zannier as the hotel, formerly a working farm, continues to pay homage to the traditional architecture of the Haute-Savoie, retaining the original building’s distinctive overhanging eaves and generous use of wood and stone.
Nestled in the mountains with stunning views of the Alps, stepping into Le Chalet Zannier is like entering a Zen mountain retreat. Under the direction of Belgian firm am designs, Le Chalet Zannier has been stripped back to the simple essence of Savoyard design. Le Chalet Zannier’s design aesthetic is pure and minimalist — without a cuckoo clock in sight. Handcrafted furnishings, such as worn oak trestle coffee tables, are paired with earth-toned pottery and a tasteful mélange of antique pieces. This organic approach to comfort extends to Le Chalet Zannier’s guest rooms, with downy bed linens coupled with natural Aesop products completed by homey wood-burning fireplaces. From the hotel’s salon-library to its meditative cavern-like spa, Le Chalet Zannier is designed for cocooning.
Foodies, rejoice. Far from the urban centres of Paris, Lyon and Marseille, tucked away in the lofty Alps, Megève is renowned as a gastronomic gem. This reputation is due in no small part to La Ferme de Mon Père, Le Chalet Zannier’s cosy restaurant located in the former stables. Under former chef and owner Marc Veyrat, the restaurant garnered three Michelin Stars and an unparalleled 20/20 perfect score by the Gault Millau French food guidebook. Now, headed by Michelin-starred chef Julien Burlat, La Ferme de Mon Père continues in the Veyrat tradition, serving dishes made using locally-sourced ingredients that are rustic yet refined.
Megève itself boasts of a storied history. Formerly a 16th medieval market town, this sleepy alpine village was transformed in 1921 by Baroness Rothschild. Since then, Megève has built a reputation for being the most luxurious of French resorts and a centre of gastronomy. Charming and full of alpine character with cobblestone streets and traditional Savoyard architecture, visitors can immerse themselves in the culture of the Haute-Savoie by wandering through its narrow roads, visiting the area farmhouses, art galleries and more.
Megève Calvary – Take a walk through art, architecture and history along the Megève Calvary. The Megève Calvary is truly unique to France and gave rise to the village being dubbed the ‘Savoyard Jerusalem’ as pilgrims flocked to the region. Established between 1840-1878, the Calvary is composed of 15 chapels that depict scenes from the Passion of Christ through frescoes and paintings.
Historic Megève Town Centre – Megève’s historical town centre is certainly worth a visit. Dating back to the Middle Ages when it served as a bustling medieval market town, Megève’s town centre boasts of a main square that branches out into narrow, cobblestone streets, each full of character and worthy of exploration.
Lake Javen – The pristine waters of Lake Javen reflect the surrounding mountain landscape, creating a truly idyllic scene. Pack a hearty lunch and hike over from Megève for a un pique-nique savoyard. Or, bring along some fishing gear to enjoy a quiet afternoon of fishing on the lake.
BMW Polo Masters Megève – Skiing is not the only winter sport to be found in Mègeve. Every year in January, a section of the Polo Masters tour is held in Megève’s Mont d’Arbois Plateau. The event sees the traditional horseback sport swap grass for snow, an impressive spectacle for those taking a break from the slopes.
Visit a local farm – With numerous working farmhouses in and around Megève’s countryside, spend a leisurely afternoon visiting some local farms to discover the roots of Megève’s acclaimed gastronomic reputation. Be sure to bring home some local cheeses, milk, fruits, jams, honeys and more.
Not only is Megève a haven for foodies and fashionable ski-buffs alike, the village is also home to an eclectic collection of art galleries. Nestled in the beautifully preserved medieval town, works by local artists sit alongside both regional and international offerings. With a variety of public and private exhibitions, those who wish to purchase sculpture for the home, marvel at breathtaking photographs of Mont-Blanc’s scenery, or simply explore the town’s vernacular crafts, will not be disappointed.
With a history that oozes aristocratic elegance it is unsurprising that Megève’s gastronomic offerings are unanimously sophisticated. In this town luxury is everything, so expect traditional Alpine dishes with a twist of contemporary design and flair, transformed into fabulously mouthwatering spectacles. Famed for his three Michelin stars, chef Emmanuel Renaut rules the roost at Flocons de Sel with his carefully curated and seasonally changing tasting menus. He is not alone however – from high-altitude al fresco dining at L’Alpette to the unpretentious, hearty fare at Le Cystobald, there is no end to the culinary delights that Megève has to offer.