Europe’s 5 best gourmet restaurants for après-ski dining

Après-ski is no longer simply about sipping cocktails and glasses of well-chilled Grüner Veltliner on sun-soaked chalet terraces. Today, it can also include some of the world’s finest dining experiences. Even Michelin starred chef Heston Blumenthal has noted his appreciation for Alpine restaurants, particularly in Courmayeur.

While most of Europe’s resorts have a tantalising selection of high-end restaurants to impress gourmands, these five mountain restaurants are truly the cream of the crop – and well worth re-routing your annual ski holiday for.

La Chaumière, Courmayeur, Italy

Set inside a recently renovated 19th Century Alpine hut, La Chaumière exudes Aostan charm with its rustic wood and stone interior. This continues onto the menu, which specialises in local and trans-Alpine cuisine. Notable dishes include homemade ravioli with mountain butter and walnuts, or chestnut dumplings with fontina sauce and nettles. All the meat is free range and locally reared.

The relaxed upstairs bistro is perfect for aperitivo and platters of charcuterie at lunchtime, while the fine dining restaurant on the ground floor provides a leisurely destination for evening meals. It isn’t just the food that makes La Chaumière one of Italy’s best mountain restaurants; it’s the view. The wide windows frame Mont Blanc perfectly and on sunny days you can enjoy your meal on the panoramic terrace.

Piz Boè Alpine Lounge, Alta Badia, Italy

One of the most exclusive mountain huts in Alta Badia, Piz Boè opened in 2014 at the upper station of the Boè cable car station. The hut itself is built from Dolomite stone and wood. A large window with panoramic views across the mountains dominate the contemporary, Scandinavian-influenced dining room.

The hut has a self-service bistro and a cocktail lounge. However, the table-service restaurant is the place to sample the local Ladin cuisine, a fusion of hearty Tirolean and classic Italian flavours. Expect dishes such as venison carpaccio, nettle dumplings and fragrant potato gröstl with artichoke.

Schaufelspitz, Stubai Glacier, Austria

The world’s highest altitude Gault & Millau toque award-winning restaurant is widely regarded as one of the best dining experiences in the Alps. Renowned Austrian chef David Kostner is at the helm and the local Tiroler Grauvieh beef – dry aged for six weeks – has become the restaurant’s speciality. Try it with a perfectly aged Zweigelt wine from the extensive cellar.

The wind-sheltered sun terrace, with its lambskin chairs, is the place to be on sunny afternoons. If you’re feeling the chill of the glacier, step inside the modern glass and steel building. You’ll find a cosy dining room, complete with pine panels and a roaring log fire. The open kitchen lends additional buzz.

Hospiz Alm, St Anton, Austria

Chef Stefan Griessler brings traditional mountain food like goose liver terrine and medium-rare roast beef to a new level. The classic flavours are enhanced by the restaurant’s heritage atmosphere, complete with staff dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls.

During the day you can dine on the spectacular sun terrace, one of the best in the Alps, which overlooks the slopes of St Christoph. By night, head inside where the dining room has the perfect mix of cosy nooks for romantic meals, private dining rooms for celebrations and big group tables set around a large open fire in the centre.

Wine connoisseurs never fail to be impressed by the restaurant’s 65 thousand-bottle strong wine cellar – one of the best in Austria. Not only has it won a Five Star Diamond award, it also has bottles of up to 18 litres. It must be seen to be believed.

Lac Des Chavonnes, Villars-Sur-Ollon, Switzerland

Nestled on the shore of Lac des Chavonnes, just 150 metres from the base of the Petit Chamossaire chairlift, this intimate chalet restaurant is not to be missed. The views of frozen waterfalls and pine trees add a magical backdrop, especially when you appreciate that the ingredients were grown and reared in the very same scenery.

Mushrooms foraged from the woods are cooked into vol-au-vents, while trout pulled from Lac des Chavonnes is transformed into meunière with almonds. Lamb grazed on local pastures is roasted with fresh herbs. Even the wine has provenance: each bottle is sourced by renowned local wine merchant Bernard Cavé.

Craig Burton is Managing Director of Ski Solutions. Ski Solutions is the UK’s original ski travel agent with over 30 years’ experience in delivering high-end ski holidays to Europe and North America.

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Comments (1)

  1. Yasmin says:

    Thanks, this is so useful. I have bookmarked this page as there are so many restaurants I need to add to my list pronto!

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