Hello, lovers!! Apologies for our absence around here, but we were very busy flitting around Manhattan together for #LTnyc. We hope you followed along on Twitter and Instagram, and we solemnly swear to report back ASAP on the wonder that was this past week. It was incredible.
But first! I still have more Swiss Alps love to share. Skiing may have brought us to Verbier, but it’s the après-ski that kept us there. And the food. And the sled dogs.
My point is: you don’t have to enjoy skiing (or snowboarding) to fall in love with Verbier. And, because I know not everyone loves the great outdoors—and I know this because I barely love the great outdoors—I am taking it upon myself to provide you with concrete evidence.
So, how else to stay entertained if propelling yourself down a mountain ain’t ya thang?
We were lucky to stay in a fully-catered chalet for the week, which covered all of our breakfasts and most of our dinners, but we still made sure to test out more than our fair share of local fare. (Say that ten times fast.) (But then keep reading.)
Also, a note: I wanted to include links to the restaurants or the addresses or something helpful, but really? Verbier is so quaint that half of them don’t have websites and the other half are just listed as “Place Centrale.” All of the below are easy to find on a quick walk, and all you really have to do is walk outside, say “Do you know where _____ is?” and there’s a 90% chance the person answering will know exactly where to send you… if not walk you there themselves, because the people are just that friendly.
Milk Bar // The wino and I had breakfast here and fell in love with it. With its wood-paneled walls and cow-themed plates, it’s all very traditional. PLUS they serve their chocolat chaud in bowls.
La Channe // This was a recommendation from the tourism board, and it was, unsurprisingly, an amazing meal. It was snowing like crazy, and I am convinced that there is nothing better than cozying up with traditional Swiss food and wine on a snowy winter night. We shared the meat fondue—where you cook your own beef in a pot of oil. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Chez Dany // This place seemed to be all the rage, and was one of the first lunch spots we heard about from our chaletmates. “Just a quick ski down from Ruinettes!”
Ok, so by “quick ski,” here is where I clarify that it is a deathtrap. Most of it was fine, but then we got to this one steep incline that went straight off the mountain. I mean, I assume. My eyes were closed most of the time and I just slide down with my skis parallel to the mountain.
BUT! Once we arrived. Holy crap, delicious. Pumpkin soup in a bread bowl, for one:
There was also some sort of cheese covered monstrosity called a croûte au fromage, and my first taste of Williamine, the local liquer. I tried to order a “Bloody Heidi” with my lunch, but the waiter told me no because it is a digestif, duh.
It also had a killer view to boot. But I do wish they gave out t-shirts that said “I survived lunch at Chez Dany.”
Le Dahu // Another lovely rec from the tourist office, Le Dahu is up near Le Choux and more manageable than Chez Danny’s because you can get their on foot! Success. Also, this view + bubbles:
La Grange // This was the hubs’s first run-in with raclette and it was love at first bite. It was very similar to its nearby buddy Le Caveau, where the wino and I had our own cheese overload one year prior. Either is a safe, delicious bet.
Fer a Cheval // We sat outside on the terrace after our first day on the slopes (I feel really cool when I drop phrases like that, by the way). The sun was shining, the pints of Carlsberg were flowing, and I hadn’t died. It was a good way to spend the afternoon.
The W Hotel // Though the hotel bar is amazing in its own right—for both the views and the cocktails—W Off-Piste right as you ski down to Medran is where it’s at. Go and order a Winter Jack. It doesn’t matter if you hate whiskey like me. I ordered… I don’t even remember what I ordered? As soon as I had a sip of the hubs’s Winter Jack, I made him switch with me. Well, he offered. Because I drank pretty much all of it.
T-Bar // Before the hubs joined me, I took a little stroll around town to re-familiarize myself with good ol’ Verbs. I stopped into T-Bar in the Verbier Central Hotel because it was the only place with a little crowd during the day, and they served their lattes in tall milkshake glasses. Also, free WiFi!
We went here again one night before dinner and the bartender on duty is being SEVERELY underutilized. Everyone was drinking beers and he put on an entire production as he made me a martini that involved lemongrass and chili. It was delicious, and also a spectacle.
Farinet // This is pretty much the place everyone goes for the full après-ski experience, and I don’t blame them. There was live music every night, people were friendly and chatty, and on one side the bar feels a little more local and rustic, while the other side has a VIP lounge vibe working for it.
Bar 1936 // On our very last day of skiing, as we made our way down the mountain, we heard music and spied a group of guys dressed in animal costumes. Naturally we had to stop and have a pint and sit in the sun loungers. It was cloudy that day, but the perfect way to wind down our Swiss ski adventure.
The SLED DOGS
If you can’t imagine eating or drinking one more thing, I get it. I mean, I hear this happens to other people. But if you need a little action that doesn’t involve strapping planks to your legs, head up and say hello to these guys:
Yeah, they are as adorable as they look. We didn’t end up going on a ride with them, but it was enough to pop up and say hello this time.
And there you have it! I hear there’s also a pretty good shopping scene around the village, though I didn’t get that vibe personally. We stumbled upon a cute vintage shop and another store full of Swiss wares, but shopping was the last thing on my mind (“eating cheese” and “surviving” both came first, and pretty much in that order.)
There are a lot of reasons I want to return to Verbier, and one of them is to see the region in the summer—further proof that you don’t need to ski to love this pocket of Switzerland.
Plus: Swiss wine tasting, anyone? They’re big on whites.
– Thank you to Verbier St-Bernard for inviting us to spend a week eating all of their cheese. Along with introducing us to the above restaurants, they also kindly booked our trains from Paris to Verbier, which made the trip easy and relaxing. For further details on train travel to Verbier, visit www.snowcarbon.co.uk. All opinions are, as always, my own.