What can be better in winter than waking up in the mountains and pulling back the curtains to reveal fluffy white snow gently piling up in the tree branches?
The rest of my day in Megéve, France was a strong contender, but this moment of first waking after a restful, quiet night’s sleep to a scene of pure winter beauty takes my vote for number 1. Perhaps it was the surprise of the snowfall that could barely be characterized as a ‘storm’, or maybe it was stepping out onto the balcony to get a better look on how the landscape had transformed over night – but this morning waking in Chalet du Mont d’Arbois reminded me just why lodges, mountain escapes, and winter sports are so appealing.
The first task was breakfast. Vacation takes on a pace that is so drastically different from daily life, that in this instance, preparing for it can be called a ‘task’. Although we were late for the 10am cut off point in the breakfast room, we were received warmly and steaming coffee and tea was brought to the table.
The French know how to do many things right – and for me, the evidence is in the bread. An entire table of homemade breads was the centerpiece of the buffet. Baguettes of every shape, size, color, and seed were artistically placed at the center of the table, and yet, if any one struck your fancy, all you had to do was place it on the cutting board for a taste.
Next came the cheese, the thinly sliced ham, the fruits, and my personal favorite – vanilla poached pears. A soft texture and hint of sweetness made this pear the perfect complement to my mostly savory breakfast. Or so I thought. Then came the bread basket to the table – featuring fresh made croissants, Pain au chocolat, and other sweet pastries. A place was found on the table for a beautiful tray featuring four types of preserves, and voilà, breakfast was served.
And yet, all of this stimuli couldn’t tear my eyes away from the scene beyond the wall of french doors: more lightly falling snow, heavy pine branches, and the town of Megéve in the distance. Maybe it was the paintings on the walls of a glamorous 1920s ski holiday, maybe it was the storm outside, or maybe it was just being days away from Christmas that gave this weekend in the mountains an almost magical appeal.
Our plan to hike the trail down to Megéve may have been postponed by the snow, but there was plenty to see and many more surprises that the Chalet had in store for us. While the storm had me envisioning a quiet afternoon by the fireplace, there was too much to see and do to stay put on Day 1.
Check back for more details about my trip to Megéve and Chalet du Mont d’Arbois, including a 10 meter Swarovski Christmas tree, details of the mountain village, the spa specialties of the Chalet, and a gourmet dinner that puts many other restaurants to shame.
** Call to Readers – Does anyone have a favorite ski resort in the Alps they think deserves editorial coverage? I might be planning another ski trip in the New Year, and suggestions are always welcome. Leave your comments below.***