If you’re like me, then you’ll understand that skiing can often mean struggling down a slippery slope while experienced skiiers and small children whizz past at 350 mph!  And if you’re a veggie then you’ll know that eating in the French Alps can be a similarly trying experience.

Well last week at Serre Chevalier, I managed some great fun skiing, despite the lack of snow at the time, all in brilliant sunshine.  And it turned out that there are some excellent places to eat veggie food too!

serre chevalier

The slopes at Serre Chevalier

The best of the mountain restaurants was undoubtedly the Cafe Soleil at the top of the telepherique from Chantemerle.  After discovery on our third day, we made sure we came over every day for our lunch.  It is mostly a self- service restaurant with galettes and crepes, pizzas, paninis etc, as well as a wonderful salad bar and a dessert bowl – fill up your bowl from the selection of desserts available – see how it’s done below!  On our final day we were treated to a jazz band playing in the snow as part of the Briancon jazz festival.  We lingered long over our lunch that day!

cafe soleil serre chevalier
the dessert bowl at Cafe Soleil

In Chantemerle itself, we were treated to some fabulous haute cuisine at Triptyque, which lists it’s address as ‘en face de l’eglise’!  The restaurant is in the centre of the old town, but has a modern interior and serves a modern inventive menu.  To start we had Crumble Vegetarien, which was a creamy mousse of aubergine and goat’s cheese, topped with chunks of spicy crumble, served in a glass bowl.  The main course was Wok Vegetarien, a less intriguing, but nonetheless excellent noodle dish with vegetables in a richly flavoured sauce.  And for dessert we had Soupe d’Ananas, a whole new taste combination for me, which consisted of two layers of creamed pineapple, the first flavoured with ginger and the second with basil, all served with an excellent vanilla ice cream.  This light dessert was a revelation as the flavours worked so well together, and I’m planning to work on a recipe for something similar!

Jazz Band

the Jazz Band at Cafe Soleil, Serre Chevalier

An important part of a ski trip to Serre Chevalier has surely got to be a visit to the spa in Monetier les Bains.  The naturally heated mineral waters are now housed in a modern take on the traditional roman baths, with a large pool at the centre and a steaming outdoor pool.  In keeping with the ancient Roman tradition there is also the opportunity to dip in and out of the different water temperatures of the frigidarium, the tepidarium and the calderium, as well as saunas and steam rooms.  This was all wonderfully relaxing and set us up for an excellent pizza later in Brasera in the old part of town.  The real log fire there was also welcome.

the outdoor pool at Monetier les Bains

We were staying in Villeneuve and in the old town of La Salle Les Alpes we enjoyed some great cooking at the British run Mojo on the Rue de la Guisane.  They had a couple of veggie dishes, a Thai Red Curry and a Linguine.  And over in the new Centre Commerciale in Pre Long, our favourite spot was the Jardin creperie, which we ate in a couple of times as it offered a selection of veggie gallettes and salads.
Serre Chevalier really lived up to it’s promise with beautiful old villages, great skiing and some really good food!

the old town of Les Salles les Alpes