Decor For Small Living Rooms
Chanel to chocolatiers and bookshops to sports stores where you can pick up some of the best mountain brands. A word of warning: Most shops close between noon and 2 or 3 p.m. a good time to settle in for a traditional Savoyarde mountain lunch at La Caleche, where you can sample local dishes such as crispy Savoy hot cheese with local ham and wild boar terrine with mushrooms and foie gras. Wind down the afternoon with an hour or so in the Musee Alpin, housed in the former Chamonix-Palace, to immerse yourself in the local Alpine culture.
When the day’s adventure is over, you can tell tales and rub shoulders with an international crop of skiers at Chambre Neuf, the town’s legendary club. And for your Chamonix home base, you can’t beat the splendid Hameau Albert 1er. This historic property was originally built by the Carrier family as a railway hotel in 1903. The family still owns and runs it, but now it’s a Relais & Chateaux five-star hotel boasting a Michelin two-star restaurant. Hameau Albert 1 er still has the look of a staid classic mountain refuge, however, at least from the exterior
In 1996, the Carriers scoured the countryside of France’s Savoie region to buy old barns and artifacts to create, on the property La Ferme du Hameau Albert 1 er, which houses 12 chalet-style rooms with fireplaces, Jacuzzis and views of Mont Blanc. The interior manages to blend modern design with the antique structure and, somehow, it works beautifully. A refurbishment of the main building’s 21 rooms created a complementary cool, minimalist, contemporary design.
To relax your muscles after a run down the Vallee Blanche, there is an indoor/ outdoor swimming pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi made for gazing up at the mountains. If total rejuvenation is called for, then book a massage or body wrap at Spa Le Bachal before moving on to dinner
Piedmont, Comtes de Nice and Savoie. You might dine on foie gras de canard with sauteed rhubarb and gingerbread, and move on to veal sweetbread sauteed in Mont Blanc beer with chanterelle mushrooms and garden herbs before finishing with a warm green Chartreuse souffle. Finding something to drink with this feast should not be an issue, since the wine cellar has more than 20,000 bottles and has won a Wine Spectator “Best of” Award of Excellence.
For slightly more casual fare, there’s La Maison Carrier, modeled after a traditional Savoyarde farmhouse and serving Chef Stephane Gassot’s take on classic mountain dishes.