Meribel Apres Ski ReportA sun soaked beer bonanza
3rd March 2012
It’s all anybody seems to want to talk about at the moment but it is undeniable and inescapable. It is bloody hot! This week the sun kindly cleared the snow covered parking space outside my chalet for me so that I didn’t have to. It is probably going to get boring hearing people going on about the sun and the heat and the season reaching its inevitable end but I remain positive. There is snow forecast and a walk to the pub last night in a light hoody left me feeling the chill. I stand by it, the season has life in it yet.
While we do have this glorious weather though, rather than talk about everything it stops you from doing and the snow conditions and the visual state of the mountains around us, I am going to talk about the bounty of opportunities that have been opened up by this summer teaser we have been given. I apologise in advance as this is going to be a slightly biased segment of my report...
I love beer. I love a pint sat by the fireplace in a dingy little pub on a harsh winter evening. I love an ice cold beer sat out in a pub garden in July with all my friends. I love a nice big bottle of Cobra beer to wash down a madras when I’m at my local curry house. I love having a crate next to me on a hot day sat beside a sizzling barbeque. I just love beer. I like to think there is an unwritten rule that states at any point when you are able to sit in a ski resort, amongst beautiful mountains, with nothing but a t-shirt and sunglasses on your top half, après ski must start at the very least an hour earlier than it normally would.
Meribel is famous for its après ski and for this reason I have decided to give you my rundown of the top 5 spots for a sun soaked, early afternoon beer here in resort.
5. Le Lac Bleu – This hotel may seem like an unlikely choice for a mountain beer stop but it is actually a great little surprise. Tucked away behind the hotel, Le Lac Bleu is home to a small bar with a lovely sun terrace, complete with large parasols and comfy seats. At around lunchtime the sun starts to hit the decking and it is a lovely place to sit with a nice view overlooking the mountain. This little bar is also ski in/ ski out. Just head down the Lapin run towards the Morel chairlift.
4. Le Roc – It’s all about the location of this little bar/restaurant. Situated at the peak of the mountain between Meribel and Courchevel, Le Roc sits at the very top of the Loze chairlift. A nice big sundeck and reasonably priced drinks make this a perfect stop off with the choice of a breezy blue run or a challenging black back down to the Altiport.
3. Le Taverne – Off the slopes but easily accessible via the elevator (a short run down from the Adret chairlift), ‘The Tav’ is a favourite sun spot. Lunch deals (beer and a burger, you know the deal) and superb location close to the town and the slopes make this a very popular choice.
2. Aux Petits Oignions – Another one slightly out of the way but far from inconvenient. When skiing down from the Rond Point to the Chaudanne, stick to the right and you will encounter some orange netted fences that you must snake in and out of. Snake off to the right down a pathway, unclip your skis and walk another 50 metres along this path. You will come out at the top of 1600. In front of you is this lovely little bar. Sometimes, on a really sunny day, they lay on a barbeque buffet with a smorgasbord of meat and salad options to choose from.
1. Le Rond Point – It could only be one couldn’t it? The Grand daddy. The Godfather of Meribel’s après venues. The Rond Point, or ‘The Ronnie’ if you prefer, can be found by the Rhodos mid station. It is most definitely the most well known bar here and with good reason. A packed schedule all week long, the musical entertainment at the Ronnie never disappoints. The large sundeck is perfect to enjoy a beer and work on that goggle tan. There is a barbeque out front selling burgers and chips, a snack bar downstairs and a more extensive lunchtime menu available (pre booking advised). If you get sucked in and don’t want to leave you will be treated to some stellar evening entertainment. If it turns chilly but you wish to remain warm in a place where you can hear yourself think, there is a nice seating area upstairs in the loft. It really does cater to all tastes.
So there you have it, my number 1 spot for a cold pint in the sun. Rond Point – I salute you!
I will end on an exciting note. The world famous DJ Yoda will be returning to Meribel this Monday night for a set at Dick’s Tea Bar as part of his tour of the alps. Yoda mixes like no other and there is a huge buzz about this night around the resort so I would seriously recommend getting a ticket in advance if you want to guarantee getting in. Plus you save yourself a fiver by getting in there early (€10 in advance/€15 on the door), can’t say fairer than that!