There are many ways to work up an appetite, but the walk to the tiny Alpage Les Têtes has to be one of the most scenic. The only route to this traditional chalet is a pleasant 40-minute hike through a forest from the car park at Luetaz, a few miles outside the chic French ski resort of Megève. The Alpage Les Têtes is the perfect Savoyard log cabin complete with red-and-white gingham curtains, cow bells and a few kitsch eccentricities, such as a bathroom hewn from a tree trunk. The traditional theme extends to the menu, which features just two main dishes, fondue Savoyard and tartiflette - both specialities of the Haute Savoie. The former comes in two guises, the simple version with the traditional combination of vieux, comté and beaufort cheeses laced with white wine from Savoie or a second version with the addition of ceps. The other option, a tartiflette of potato, cream, reblechon and lardons needs to be ordered in advance. Both are accompanied by crisp green salad. Start your meals with a wooden board of charcuterie and terrine made by proprietor, Phillipe Muffat-Meridol.
In keeping with the Alpine theme, you can finish off with the coup Mont Blanc - an unctuous combination of chestnut purée drowning in crème fraîche. All of the above can be washed down with a carafe of the local red or white wine.
Set in a high mountain pasture at an elevation of 1,470m under the shadow of the Rochebrune peak, you have uninterrupted views of the Alps, which, depending on the time of year, will either be cloaked in snow or wild flowers. If it's sunny, sit at one of the outside tables and soak up the views. The return journey through the forest also offers the welcome chance to burn some of the excess calories.
€20 (£14.20) per person for the three courses. The restaurant opens from noon daily, from 10 December until March/April. Evening reservations are essential.
Alpage Les Têtes, Rte de Leutaz-Very, Megève, France (00 33 6 09 40 55 12)Reuse content