On the mountain the small log cabins are packed out at lunchtime. A great place for sunbathing on a huge sundeck is La Datcha, at the foot of the Cugnai lift. In the Bellevarde area, Marmottes is a welcome break for a hot chocolate when the weather catches you out. At the top of the Le Fornet chair, Le Signal has self-service and a more expensive à la carte menu upstairs. In the village, the Pedrix Blanche deserves its reputation as one of the finest fish restaurants in the Alps. The Grande Ours in the old village vies with the rustic Chalet du Cret, a beautifully renovated old farmhouse which has a fine wine list and excellent menu. For something slightly different, The Melting Pot has a Scandinavian chef and serves a selection of international dishes. You can also find a selection of Savoyard fondues and raclettes in the restaurants along the main street.
The best on-mountain après-ski is at the Folie Douce, at the top of the La Daille gondola, where there's sometimes a band playing live. Top après-ski spot is Bananas, where the Chelsea set meet to enjoy a warming hot chocolate or vin chaud and recount the days adventures. At the Scandinavian-owned Saloon Bar in Val village, flugels were the drink of choice last season. The "in" bars change from year to year, but last year's season workers amassed in Magoo's in the centre of town complete with bean bags, Playstations and lots of vodka Red Bulls. Old classics like The Moris Pub and The Pacific still rock during the week with live bands and party nights. Late into the night those in the know head for the French based Club 21, while first-timers to Val will head for the infamous and expensive Dick's T-Bar where you will find ageing lotharios trying their luck with the various plummy voiced chalet girls. Great entertainment.
You go to Val d'Isère for the skiing: there's a paltry selection of off-slope activities. The Parc des Sports has two indoor swimming pools, saunas and jacuzzis, plus a natural skating rink and curling. There's also hang-gliding, helicopter trips and sleigh rides.
Last Updated: Feb 2010